Remember the last time you were disappointed and frustrated? You thought “I am unhappy because I do not have that job/car/house”.
There is another way to look at it. The reason for your unhappiness was not that ‘you did not have something’. Instead the reason you are unhappy is ‘you had something (else)’. What you had was the belief that ‘you need that something to be happy’. Get rid of this belief and you will be happy even without that thing. Once we imagine ourselves as the master of the belief and not the slave, we realize that it is our choice not to let go this belief and agonize ourselves.
We all have these unseen, unspoken beliefs that we are not aware we carry. We fail to grasp their existence, because do not know the world without them. After grasping this as a belief, we can change the way we define self.
Imperfect myself + good job = perfect myself
Perfect myself + belief of (incompleteness without job) = imperfect myself.
Almost never we abstract ourselves away and look at our beliefs as our extensions. If I ever got handle of all my believes and I defined them all as an extension of my true nature, I will end up abstracting a truly natureless nature.
When all the Zen books are talking about not associating yourself with your mind and body and thoughts, and identifying your true nature, it is that “Perfect myself” nature they are talking about. As perfect myself, I am indeed free of all insecurities, desires and fears. Yet we never grasp it, because we have never seen the world without it.
There is a small story Catherine Ingram, the Dharma teacher, tells. One day a small fish goes to his grandpa fish and asks him “What is it they call water, everybody is making so much fuss about? I searched everywhere but I did not find it”. The grandpa fish says “Son, not only the water is all around you, but good amount of you yourself are water”
Our mind is full of such ungrasped believes and ideas. In fact that’s what makes our mind. Our aware self is floating in sea of such beliefs that we will never notice till we peek out.
How did these believes come in there? We ourselves picked them on the way. And we have forgotten how and when.
If we create many of these believes, then our will bounces from belief to belief and then we call it double mind, anxiety, fear and many other things.
If we ever peek inside this maze, we find interesting things. The very moment we identify a belief, we empower ourselves to make choice about existence of that belief.
When I am writing this, I have tones of beliefs in me. I believe somehow someday somebody will read this.
I also believe that I am great and very important person. I believe that my country and my religion are great. I believe that my friends and family are great. I believe that everything I am part of deserves special attention from this universe because it is related to me. I believe that by making choices, I can make tomorrow better than today. I believe that if something happened two times, it will happen third time. I believe that ten times of anything is ten time better than one time of that thing. I believe that I have a right to expect the better things in this world. I believe that I have right to expect better behavior from people and I believe that I know the best about this world.
Sometimes the world does not support my believes and sometimes it does. I am insulted by my boss. I feel the insult because the reality clashes with my belief.
Have you ever felt “I need more money so that I will feel free to do things I want” ?. What money brings is the sense of freedom without having to bring a change within you, your belief system. The very feeling mentioned above stands on a set of believes we never bother to put in words. I want to become millionaire because then I can only do what I want. Thus I will spend more time in doing things I like and spend less time reacting to the insecurities and fears I feel. Thus I will spend more time acting and spend less time reacting. This is core of our idea of freedom, which we rarely bother to put in words.