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Sep 03

The Manipulative Co-Directors of the Mind

0011by Frank M Wanderer

Many of us think that we are not only the main actors of the films of our lives but also the directors of it. But the more detailed analysis of the reality shows that this is only an illusion. In most cases our minds direct the films of our lives, not we.

I’ve previously introduced in my articles how the mind works, now I only wish to point out those factors, which manipulate our life films unconsiously. The manipulative co-directors of the mind are the following: the Consumer Social Pattern, the Power of Expectations and the Mirror of Opinions.

The Consumer Social Pattern

The most important system of social co-existence on Earth today is the consumer society. It means that the basis of social development is economic growth, and economic growth depends on how much we consume.

The most important consumer is Ego, since all products obtained (house, car, expensive clothes), improve the imaginary greatness of the Ego. The more commodities or more power we possess, the more important members of consumer society we are.

If we are able to divert our attention from Ego, and concentrate on our internal development and our spiritual birth, our qualities as consumers will considerably drop, since we are no longer attracted to the things that so far fattened our Egos.

As in the recent decades more and more people have felt a need for spiritual birth, social strategy changed accordingly. Spiritual development has also been made a consumer product, which largely supported by the survival instinct of the Ego. The Ego, which has been interested in money and power, now turns towards spiritual development, and disguises itself in the dress of a spiritual Ego. We try to decorate those spiritual clothes by adding more and more spiritual knowledge and experience so as to make it more colorful and individual.  With all that, we hope that our spiritual progress will serve the further increase and eternal happiness of our spiritual Ego.

Consumer society is all too pleased to serve us in those needs. A glance at the vivid market of spiritual books, methods and masters will suffice to convince us about that. Nothing has really changed; the pattern of the consumer society is the same, only its contents have been partially replaced.

The Power of Expectations

The more complex a society is, the more space a specific member of it is supposed to occupy in the complicated system of human relationship. Every such occupied status involves a set of rules, the system of expectations that dictate how the individual occupying the status is supposed to behave in a specific situation, how to behave as a man, a father, a doctor etc.

These expectations tell us how we must and how we must not behave in a specific situation and in connection with a specific person.

In the majority of cases, these expectations work unconsciously, almost like automatic programs running in our life. These deep programs have become a part of our mind in the course of our upbringing, and they are activated by a specific situation in which we are or a person we get into contact with. Then we put on the appropriate mask, tailored to the specific situation or person.

We occupy several statuses at the same time, so it seems that we drown in the sea of expectations. It is also common that the various expectations attached to various statuses collide with each other, generating further anxiety and stress for us.

What keeps us on the forced track of expectations, why do not we simply leave it behind?

The dynamizing power of the social expectations is provided by our identification with the internal and external expectations, and base our identity on them. We identify with our social statuses, with the masks of our roles in our gender, family and occupation. These masks are attached to us so closely that we would not be able to exist without them. We indentify ourselves with our internal expectations, and our scruples and level of demands often constitute the cornerstone of our identity.

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