1. The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled
We live in an age of information overload. Our televisions and the Internet are flooding our senses with a myriad of things. Researchers carefully craft all the advertisements we watch and all the magazines we read to prime us to think certain thoughts and take certain actions.
✔ spend time or money on something we don’t need.
✔ looking forward to the next gadget to purchase
✔ the next television series to binge on
Sending out that daily status update makes us feel a certain kind of security about who we are. We know we are living a good life when someone confirms it with a “like” on the Internet. It’s a form of social validation that encourages sharing, often at the expense of true feeling. This constant outward search for approval is often the reason why we don’t look for an internal source of approval. We get used to asking others about who we are, and become unable to see the reality for ourselves. If they tell us we are doing the right thing, then we must be; otherwise, we are not that sure.
2. See what you see.
Take a moment to notice what you are seeing at the moment. Is it your phone or a computer on which you are reading this, and your surroundings? Or, are you also seeing, at some level, mental images?
Most of the time, we are unconsciously seeing things, such as what happened at work today, or what our friend said to us, or some scenes from a favorite TV show. At other times, we are often seeing things that we want to happen, or fear might happen.
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The physical eye shows us one reality, which is often mundane, but the mind’s eye shows us a reality that can be quite interesting. We unconsciously or consciously visualize things that either give us pleasure or fear. We imagine negative outcomes and think of ways to protect ourselves in case they happen, or we imagine positive outcomes like enjoying an upcoming vacation. Yet, both outcomes exist only in the mind. The present reality contains no such thing.
As kids we are encouraged to imagine more and more, in order to be creative. But creativity isn’t just visualization, is it? It is also about seeing the same reality as others, but differently. The key is being able to visualize when we need to, and not, when we don’t. Otherwise our imagination becomes hyperactive and results in constant stream of images in front of our eyes. As if we were dreaming, while awake.