Tag Archives: choiceless awareness

How to Free Yourself from Your Brain

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By Deepak Chopra, MD

On many fronts people feel the urge to change their lives–so why don’t they succeed? We live in therapeutic times. Advice surrounds us about achieving success. Yet when we set our minds to do something seemingly simple–losing weight, giving up a bad habit, acting nicer to people, and so on–something intervenes between the intention and the goal. This “something” exists in the relationship between the mind, which issues a desire or intention, and the brain, which is the physical apparatus for carrying out desires and intentions.

If you assume that the brain is the mind, which is the working assumption in 99% of neuroscience research, there is little room for solving the problem. It’s as if you hear a piece of music you don’t like on the radio, so you try to rearrange the radio’s parts. Obviously a mistake is being made there, but the relationship between mind and brain is subtler. It’s like a conversation between two people, where one person is dominant one moment and the other person is dominant the next. In the dialogue between mind and brain, most of the time the mind is automatically dominant. If you want to raise your arm, the brain sends the appropriate signals without obstacle of interference.

But sometimes the brain interjects its own feedback, and then the signals become confused. In the last post we discussed how brain-trained responses can make us virtual robots obeying old conditioning, habits, memories, and so on. The mind trains the brain to do X, and then without benefit of new training, the brain does X all the time. If you look at your own life, you can find endless examples of how brain-training limits your freedom of choice. For example, Continue reading

Enlightenment Requires Only One Thing–Do You Have It?

brainFor most people, enlightenment, if it exists at all, remains a distant prospect that they never think of. It belongs to other people in other countries, with no relevance to the here and now. In the past few postings I’ve tried to dispel this notion, arguing that enlightenment is actually the most normal state of awareness. Therefore, it belongs here and now, in everyone’s life. But how would you even know if you’re enlightened?

As unfamiliar as the whole topic of higher consciousness may be, it comes down to resembling the common cold. Getting a cold involves a collection of symptoms–stuffy nose, sore throat, chest cough, etc.–that could belong to a number of other disorders. The only sure way to detect if someone has a cold isn’t to look at any of the symptoms but to determine if they have contracted the cold virus. Likewise, the literature about enlightenment is filled with a bewildering array of experiences, including: Continue reading

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