Sunday, October 30, 2016
'Awakening' to Better Mental Health
(I apologize for any grammatical or spelling errors, my mind thinks faster than I can type)
If you spend time on the internet and especially social media, you have likely read or heard of the term 'Awakening'. There are an abundance of theories about this new age term and many are capitalizing on this premise. Some will give you tips and strategies about how to begin your own awakening process as if they were some sort of 'guru' or specialist. Others use the theory of awakening to guide to a higher form of existence.
I am going to provide you with an alternative theory today that will help us to gain a more objective look at what it really means. I do not have the answers, only ideas. If my ideas are sound then I will continue to try proving my theory through practice. The ideas I will share are here to help you expand your mind and think outside of the box somewhat. The more controlled our thinking becomes, the stronger our control over our own mind and thinking become. Better mental health will follow.
We have been thrown into an age where the sharing of information has become almost infinite in nature. The amount of information and knowledge out there to be absorbed is overwhelming. The more information we download into our brains, the more that needs to be processed. Compared to only a hundred years ago, we are likely absorbing hundreds of times the amount of knowledge we would have as a species at that time.
Just like a computer, the more knowledge we want to store and the faster we want to process it takes upgrades in chips and memory. Well here is my theory. The evolutionary process is slow and methodical and can be observed over hundreds of thousands of years, Humans have changed in needs, from base instincts to requiring many complexities to live within the social system we have created. Evolution has not caught up yet and this is my theory of why mental health issues have hit epidemic levels in the world.
We are absorbing more and more information each day through the internet, so we end up with an abundance of unprocessed information in our minds. This unprocessed information is taking away from our ability to clear and quiet our minds and this is where the detriment to our mental health begins. As usual, I will try to keep this article brief and expand on each idea at a later date.
Here we can look at the 'awakening' process and take a closer look. Awakening is simply an evolutionary response to a very physical problem. It does not happen in one generation because our genetic code needs to be rewritten to better facilitate our new existence. Long in the past, a philosopher or thinker could take an idea and ponder it for days. This becomes more rare all of the time because of the distraction of the world around us.
Many people who write about the awakening believe they have moved further in the process than others and do their best to share what they have learned along the way. Others write about it in a way that gives you the impression that they have achieved something we have not, and that if you follow them you will awaken as well. If my theory is correct, and awakening is an evolutionary response to the overload of information, then I will also state this: the whole world is awakening!
We are all going through some sort of 'awakening' in the world and it is wreaking havoc on our mental health. The more we look at the world around us based on the abundance of information we have and have access to, the more confused we become. When we see others commit acts of evil we have trouble making sense of it, and this causes more inner conflict. The more inner conflict we obtain, the worse our mental health becomes and the downward spiral continues.
Much of the time, those who are trying to help others achieve their awakening are actually adding confusion to the process. Nobody has all of the answers otherwise we would have another 'prophet' in the world right now. Based on pure thinking, the smartest person on the planet right now is the Dalai Lama, and he is likely the only one who could possibly understand what is going on. The rest of us simply have ideas, and some are better than others. Remember that a little of bit of knowledge can be dangerous.
There is a huge difference between 'awakening' and 'waking up', but I will go into this at a later date. For now I will offer a couple of ideas that will help you to ease the abundance of information in your mind so you can begin strengthening your own mental health. I see two options at the moment that are within our control and which can help us to improve; the first is to find quiet moments in the day to process some of the information that we have not critically thought through yet so that we can begin to remove some of the load from our mind, and the other is to expand your mind so that there is more room in there to house all the information that is already there.
Many people who talk about the awakening have come up with good tips and strategies to help us better achieve both of the options, with ideas to quiet the mind and brain exercises that help us to expand it. I am simply suggesting that you start somewhere, don't just wait for it to heal itself. Our minds are overloaded, especially if you live in a busy part of society or spend a lot of time on the web. Of course our mental health is suffering because genetically speaking, we were not quite ready for this explosion of information, but we will be.
Self reflection is a wonderful way to work on clearing out the mind and I recommend it to anyone who will try it. Again, look around to find information that you find helpful to yourself instead of spending time downloading more useless information from the internet into your mind. I have found that expanding our minds is the best way to ease the suffering we are experiencing. There are many ways to begin expanding your mind and I have found that best way to do this is through 'mindfulness'.
Look up mindfulness training and techniques and find out what this is all about. Being mindful means to live in the present moment and to experience everything around us in a new a childlike way. We learn to open our minds and truly ponder simple concepts which begin to provide clarity to what we consider to be more complex problems. Read an Eckhart Tolle book if you want to better understand what it is like to expand your mind, and find some peace within.
We are all going through an awakening process which is leading us to a higher form of consciousness. We will all go through this at different rates and with differing successes. The true success is becoming your best self, all of the information does not really matter in the end, so stop worrying about it all. The awakening is the cause of much of the mental health issues we are experiencing, but we must choose the proper path if we want to 'wake up'.
One of my strategies to opening the mind is to better understanding Zen Buddhism. For example, in Zen Buddhism you will learn to concentrate on your breathing while meditating on a question which has no answer. 'If a tree falls in the forest and there is nobody there to hear it, does it make a noise?' or 'What is the sound of one hand clapping?', are types of questions that can be used. It is meant to free your mind so you can begin to observe the flow of thoughts from within. This is wonderful mind expansion tool.
I hope you are finding some of this helpful to your own thinking. My purpose it to get you thinking in a more open way so that you will begin to strengthen your own mental state. These are theories and ideas which I find somewhat sound at the moment but it does not mean they are right. There is still much to be pondered if we want to wake up eventually. I hope you all have peaceful day and that you find some calm points in your mind today.
Take care and be well