top of page

The Double-edged Sword of the Mind

Your mind is a supercomputer with enormous potential.

It can be used to solve incredibly complex problems, create stunning pieces of art, or write captivating poetry. Through our minds we're able to channel creativity from the depths of our being into remarkable feats of art and science that ultimately, well, blow our minds.

But if we're honest with ourselves, we know that most of the time this isn't what our minds are doing. In fact, it's usually the opposite. Our minds tend to nag us all day. They never seem to shut up, about anything.

I don't want to get out of bed. 5 more minutes.

Why is it hot out? I don't like the heat.

Did she see me? Why didn't she say hi?

What's his problem? How dare he speak to me like that!

What am I doing tonight? I don't want to work out later, but I have to!

Hmm, what's in the fridge, I'm hungry. But I just ate!

I deserve a cookie. But I shouldn't! But I will!

That's not a double-edged sword! It's two swords!

Does this sound anything like your mind? How is it that a tool so smart that it can build spaceships and split atoms, simultaneously be so stupid that it finds a problem with every little thing we do, or don't do? What can we learn from our relationship to our minds?

In order to answer these questions, we must first understand that we are not our minds, but rather the ones who experience our minds.

You are the one who has a mind. After all, it's your mind, right? Furthermore, your mind has a specific way of working. While the contents of your mind will most certainly be different than the contents of my mind, the structure and way in which they operate are very much the same.

Each of us is intimately familiar with what our own minds have to say and how they tend to manifest our inner voice, but few of us know why they do this.

Your mind is using you

The reason most of us struggle with life is because our minds never shut up, and we never stop believing what they say. Those suffering anxiety believe their intrusive fearful thoughts. Those battling depression are convinced their thoughts of sadness and worthlessness are true.

In fact, the severity of anxiety, depression, and even mental illness, is directly related to the degree in which we believe our thoughts. Some people with extreme forms of mental illness are so convinced of the activity in their mind, that we call these beliefs hallucinations. Sadly, people who commit suicide do so because their minds told them to.

But why does the mind never shut up? Where do these thoughts come from? What is the source of that voice in the head?

Certain people collect things in life. My grandfather collects cereal boxes. You may know someone who collects stamps. Maybe your mom collects shoes. But there's one thing we all collect - and that's bad experiences. From a very young age, we go through life and naturally have experiences - some are pleasant, some not so pleasant. Due to the nature of the not-so-pleasant experiences, we tend to push them away with our will. Because they're uncomfortable coming in, we don't want to experience them.

But when we push something away, it has to go somewhere. We can't just push an experience away once it happens and expect it to disappear into thin air. When we resist the moment unfolding in front of us, it gets stuck and leaves an impression of stored energy within ourselves. By the time we reach our twenties or thirties, we've collected thousands and thousands of bad experiences, leaving thousands and thousands of impressions of energy stored within.