Liberating Your Mind
Overcoming the System’s Mental Slavery
The Shackles of the Mind
Within the confines of contemporary society, the vast majority of us are slaves. The shackles have moved from the hands and feet to the mind.
Without liberating your mind, you cannot free your soul.
In the past, there was not even the illusion of freedom. Now, without obvious physical oppression, modern day slavery is built upon mental imprisonment.
In this world, to be a success by society’s standards is often at direct odds with spiritual awakening. This is because society often rewards egotistical behaviors, while spirituality rewards the opposite, ego-less behaviours. This is society’s spiritual trap. It seeks to make you ‘sell your soul’ by conditioning you to seek out behaviours like pride, lust, and greed; behaviours that are harmful to you, as well as those you love spiritually.
If you do not know the truth about your state of mind, you can never know your own truth.
Stripping the Layers
Truth lies at the core of one and all, so spirituality is all about stripping away the layers of life’s lies to reveal it. So before you face your own personal demons, the first layers you must peel off are the ones placed there by the system.
The first thing you need to become aware of is that the system, despite what attempts to sell, was never based on equality or equity. It was based on the illusion of equity. What is happening now, all around the world, is that people are suffering to such extents, that they are, as a consequence, questioning everything to find the source of their suffering.
This is why suffering, in essence, is the beginning of every spiritual journey.
“The moment you know how your suffering came to be, you are already on the path of release from it.” Thich Nhat Hanh
People, perhaps more than ever, are seeing the system for what it is, and, as a result, they are either distancing themselves from it, or trying to take on the system by whatever means necessary.
As a result of society’s unbalanced nature, many of its ideals are extremely detrimental to one’s mental health. This is why depression is so rampant in the Caribbean, and the world at large. The world is so lost, at this point in time, that it is now expected that every person will feel severely depressed at some point in their lives.
Perhaps you actually ought to be worried if you didn’t feel this way, to some degree, because that would indicate a worrying level of ignorance.
Consequently, mental slavery is also largely responsible for the social disorder, criminality and terrorism that are becoming more and more the norm today. This is because without spiritual clarity, anger is the natural response to suffering.
There are hundreds of millions of people living in poverty as a result of social injustices. So if they grow up knowing fully well that society is responsible for their suffering, they may take out their frustrations on those they see as responsible.
Inequality brings suffering and suffering only leads to more suffering.
Abandoned by society, from Trinidad to Jamaica to Palestine, there are children and parents struggling to survive. Their lives are being shattered by violence, discrimination, unfair laws, as well as people intent on doing anything to attain money and power.
I am certainly not condoning violence, but people will do whatever it takes to survive, won’t they? Imagine if every night you came home to the sound of your child crying because she has no food to eat. Would you not also go to extreme lengths to put food in their mouths? It is primarily because of the greed at the top of its pyramid that we have people in dire situations like this. Especially considering, there is more than enough to share.
Let us fill the void that society has left. Instead of judging, lend a hand.
The Danger of Desire
Many, if not most, of the things you purchase you want, you don’t need. To make matters worse, quite often, you don’t even know why you want these things so badly. Quite frankly, this is because you don’t even control your own desires. What you want is, by and large, controlled and conditioned by society’s elite. They condition you to want certain things, so that you purchase them and, in turn, they make money.
Think about it.
Whether it is on the television, the radio, or the internet, it is constantly pumped into your minds that you need certain things: new in-style clothing, makeup to look attractive, prescription drugs to keep healthy, the new iPhone to be cool, or even alcohol or tobacco to deal with your stress. And yet, despite so many people being fully aware of the monetary, physical and mental consequences of obtaining, and consuming, many of these things in excess, they continue to do just that. That’s how strong society’s mind control is. People are literally killing themselves for these things.
Peer pressure certainly doesn’t help either.
If you drive an old car, people will ask, ‘’Why is his car so old? Does he have no pride in himself?’’
Or if your phone is a bit on the outdated side, they might say, ‘’He still has one of those old flip out phones? How embarrassing.’’
“Attachment is the Root of Suffering.” Buddha
For the average person, it is these desires to want, as well as the need to feel accepted by others that control one’s mind. To regain control, rediscover contentment by finding a way to master your urges.
The key to this lies in living in moderation.
Examine the things you own. How many of those things really add true value to your life? Of course it’s OK to splurge now and then, but do you really need to buy a new phone every time a new model comes out? Do you really need to lime at a bar several times a week?
Make a list of your life’s utmost priorities — friends, loved ones, family, your dream job. Now when you’ve identified who and what means most to you, think of how your behaviour and actions affect them. If your previous desires, like constant sexual satisfaction, for example, can jeopardize the relationship with someone special to you, you must find a way to contain and channel these urges via appropriate avenues that won’t risk the relationship ending.
This is maturity.
It is the ability to prioritize what means most to you. For someone who is immature, their desires to want are more important than the things they actually need. Maturity is essential in your spiritual journey. How can you find yourself if you do not know what you need in this life?
Give what you need, and not want, priority.
Work, Work, Work
If you work full-time, most likely you spend at least eight hours every day on the job. That’s at least 40 hours a week and 160 hours per month. That means you spend one-third of your waking day to earn money for a company that, unless you are very lucky, doesn’t care much about your well-being.
Days become weeks, weeks become months, and months become years. The organisation, for all intents and purposes, owns your life.
After finishing your work day, more often than not, you feel mentally and physically worn out. This leaves little to no energy, and time, left in your day to dedicate to yourself or your loved ones.
You might not even have what it takes to sit and have a proper conversation with your significant other or your child. You might not be able to take your kid to the park. You say will make time for it this weekend or next week. How often do you follow through with that?
On most weekends you are probably so exhausted from the week of work that you just want time to recover. And to recover for what? To head back to the same routine.
Nine to five. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
So what takes up most of your time and thoughts? Is it your loved ones or the desire to better yourself? Or rather is it your job, as well as the stresses of trying to pay for your wants and needs?
Quite simply, whether you are rich or poor, or in between, the most important things in your life have likely taken a back seat. There are people, and things, getting more out of your life than you are getting from your own life. It is time to change this now. As long as you have life, you have countless options, it’s up to you to explore them.
Start off by seeking solitude.
Without the water’s stillness, the lily will not bloom.
Take a few days to yourself and clear your mind. This will remove the insecurities saying you can’t change your life. During these days, think of the ways that you can place yourself back in charge of your own life. If you always wanted to take up a cooking course, then do that. If you want to spend more time with your family, then start by setting aside one day to be with them. If you always dreamt of owning your own business, then begin researching how to make this possible.
If you just sit back and hope for better, nothing will change. You are in control and only you have the power to change your life. This life is yours. Do not let others dictate it.
The system’s mental slavery has created a reality where the individual is constantly distracted and deflected from the true things in life: love, empathy, their loved ones, nature and ONESELF.
It is a game; an almost flawless game. Those at the top of society’s ladder, the wealthiest, are winning the game. We, the 99%, work for them and they own our lives.
They control the news we look at.
The shows we watch.
The music we listen to.
The clothes we wear.
The food we eat.
The water we drink.
The land we live on.
The companies we work for.
They control our desires, they control our minds and hence, they control our lives.
While you cannot influence their manner of control directly, limit its influence by being wary of everything that is considered a norm. Be careful of the food you eat, the beverages you drink, the music you listen to, the shows you watch.
Do they make you feel better or worse? All these things affect your body and mind, and in turn, Spirit. In many instances, what they do is create a certain mind set, often negative, which will then affect your decision making, and in turn, your actions.
So be sure to treat your body and mind with care; quite often, society’s messages urge you to do the opposite.
Freeing Your Mind
I want you to try something for me.
The next time you listen to a certain song, examine your how the song affects your mood. You will come to realize that simple things like the type of songs you listen to can make all the difference in whether you have a good or bad day. This is because your mental state is what determines how your day, week and life goes.
A simple trick to be in a more positive mood is to create your own playlist with uplifting positive music or even spiritual guidance lectures. This will get you ready and going for the day.
Create an aura of positivity around all your thoughts and actions. Carry this aura over into the books you read, as well as the movies and shows you watch. Now, I’m not saying you have to cut out all those outrageous action movies, or petty reality shows, but balance it.
Likewise, seek this balance with the internet as well. There are people seeking to twist your mental state in a certain direction online. So question everything and research. The internet is a brilliant tool once used properly. It is one of the key reasons why so many people in our generation are becoming awoken. Use it to educate yourself. However, when used without critical thinking, it shrinks the mind. Limit that control by educating yourself. Knowledge is one of the key components of freeing your mind from this mental slavery.
Look at what passes for news and entertainment today. Do you think it’s by chance that society, via essentially all avenues, is being dumbed down? The less informed you are and the more misinformed you are, the less you question and the easier it is for you to be controlled.
This has spiritual consequences because it makes finding your own truth exceedingly more difficult because you are constantly deflected from introspection. You are being conditioned to think that external satisfaction is the only form of satisfaction. That happiness is to be found externally.
There are millions of people, right now, who think life is all about the acquisition of money, things and the maintenance of an image. But this is exactly why so many people are unhappy because none of it is real. These things can never bring genuine happiness or love.
It seems like everything is now focused on external perceptions of beauty, but not even that type of beauty is real anymore. So many of us dedicate our time to dress, to shape our bodies, or to put makeup on in a certain way to look like celebrities. Who will look like you then? You are beautiful in your own way; appreciate it.
To divide is to control. This is why racial politics and other racial social constructs, while never absent, are making a grand return worldwide. And don’t think it’s just in the United States or Europe that this is taking place, just look at the long-standing political situation in T&T.
It’s no secret that our two main political parties, PNM and UNC, continue to be largely supported based on ethnic and racial biases rather than by policy. This, as we have seen, regardless of which party is in power, has lead to perpetual mud-slinging and blaming, while little to nothing is actually being accomplished for the betterment of wider society. This is not by chance. It is because they want us distracted from seeing who the people who benefit most from all of this are.
Not just Trinidad, in the Caribbean, as a whole, the mental shackles are still very much on the minds of most. There is this belief ingrained in our psyche that those living in first-world countries, and those of fairer complexions, are people to look up to and seek guidance from.
Colonialists created this mindset so that we feel inferior to them and, in turn, we won’t recognize our worth.Thus, perpetuating their sense of authoritative control. This hierarchical order is now continued today, via governments and its financiers, as well as international organizations.
Be proud of your ethnicity. Be proud of where you come from. Take pride in who you are.
As a result of this colonial conditioning, to this day, we, as Trinis and Caribbean people, do not fully appreciate our worth.
It is only through spiritual awakening that we can truly love our true selves, rather than our false sense of self. Once this happens, our unlimited potential will be liberated by this spiritually-liberated confidence.
Caribbean people, and all people from the so-called 2nd world and 3rd world countries, must see the beauty in our struggle and accept and love ourselves for who we are. We must rediscover our roots and take pride in our past. We can be as great as any person from any part of the world.
Our people don’t have to look like their people. They don’t have to like what belongs to us.
Regardless of your heritage, be proud of your ancestry and only then will you find pride in who you are as an individual.
Suffering, our ancestors faced some of the ugliest events in history, but yet they survived, miraculously forging love out of hate. If you do not love what you were, you could never love who you are and who you will become.
We must come to love ourselves whether we are white, black, Indian, Chinese, Syrian, Lebanese, Venezuelan, or any other colour or race. These differences are divisive constructs. They are simply tools and means to divide us, control us and prevent us from finding our spiritual selves.
Society’s Best Friend
In every aspect of life, in every country, the ego is wreaking havoc. You see it in the CEO’s who mistreat their employees just to make an extra dollar. You see it in governments who betray the trust of the population to seek more control and power.
It is time to change this, but we must become active in our quest for change. Question each and everything about society. Find a way to separate your sense of self from your conditioned actions and thoughts. Go deeper and try to determine for yourself why a certain group is being prejudiced and scorned, or why certain laws are in place. Are they there for the benefit of all or for a certain privileged group?
Contemporary western society is based fundamentally on capitalism and materialism. To rise to the top of society, one must acquire more power and wealth at all costs. What effect does this have on the mindset of society and those who live in such a society? Money, power, greed, narcissism, vanity, apathy are all rewarded. While empathy, love, compassion and care do not bring these things, so they are underappreciated and often condemned.
If the minds of the majority of the population are controlled then democracy is also an illusion. It’s an illusion of free choice. Those who dictate society’s pace, control the information you receive, they control your desires, and hence they control your choice.
To truly have free choice, you must liberate your minds.
In all democracies, there are those at the top of the social ladder, who have more influence in a construct that sells the dream of equity and equality. So does everyone really have an equal say? No. Some have more of a say than others.
In every country, there is the 1% who controls each and everything. Without mental liberalization, it is only they who truly have free choice. The candidates you vote for on election day get to power with the support of lobby groups with their own agendas and desires. The information you base your vote on is also predominantly controlled by those at the top of society as well. So if these lobby groups are funding the parties and candidates, do you really think it is their interests or our own interests, as a people, that are of utmost concern to them?
We must put the power back into the hands of the people. Let us demand social equity, better governance, and more just laws. However, for this to happen, we must put aside our differences and unite. We must let truth and love guide us even if they refuse to let it guide them.
We are reaching a stage that we can no longer hide away and think these things won’t affect us. Once it affects one, it affects all. It is time for us to wake up and expose this lie for what it is. All our prophets, great artists and leaders dedicated their lives to changing this. Let us finish their work.
How and why are we still letting our brothers and sisters be victims of poverty, crime, racism, war, sexism, homophobia, and other social ills? Change yourself and together we can all change this world.
The first truth we must face is that this system of society is failing us all; the 99%. And even though they might not know it yet, it is also failing our brothers and sisters of the 1% as well.
Given the unjust and pervasive nature of modern society’s lies, it is imperative that you recognize the lies being fed to you to keep your mind enslaved. It is only then you can move on to examine the deeper, more personal issues that are holding you back from finding your true self. Those are the chains of your inner-self.
Unlike the system, however, these chains do not discriminate. It affects those at the top of society just as much as it does those at the bottom. For you can have all the money and power in the world, but Spirit places no value on these wealths, only the one true wealth; spiritual wealth.
Thanks for reading once again. In the next post, we take a look at modern-day religion.