Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
Published on www.academy-advaita.com
27 November 2017
Every man and woman believes that it is his or her mind that controls the present in daily life. This is the conditioned belief and each one is convinced that the mind controls whatever he or she does in the present.
A man or a woman is dependent on his or her memory to do anything or to know his or her surroundings. Without memory it is impossible to do anything or to know anything in the present.
Primitive man or woman did not have memory because neither he nor she had knowledge. As knowledge evolved in primitive man or woman’s mind, his or her memory also evolved.
This signifies that primitive man and woman lived instinctively in the present during ancient times, just as animals did before in the present and continue to do even in the present in modern times.
As life evolved memory, life evolved instincts as well. Man and woman continue to live instinctively in the present, which they have not understood. They have evolved to believe that their minds control the present.
Man and woman know and understand as well that their minds can control neither the past nor the future. They also know and understand that their memory knows a lot about the past and knows what they would want in their future.
It is strange that though their mind knows the past and knows what the future should be, their mind cannot control either. If their mind controls the present, it should be able to control both the past and the future.
They nevertheless believe their mind can and does control the present. This belief, whether it is true or not, needs to be pondered deeply.
Memory in the mind is a record of what has actually happened in the present. The record happens in the present moment after the present moment is replaced by the next present moment.
This replacement of the present moment by the next, present moment happens spontaneously, uncontrollably and unpredictably. This implies that the present moment is always without memory.
The significance of this rapid movement of moments signifies that the present moment is without memory. Thus, the memory of the recorded, present moment is in the past moment, which is the rapidly replaced moment in the present.
The further significance is: since memory is in the past moment known by the mind in the present, the mind can neither do anything in the present moment nor control the present moment.
Thus, the belief and conviction that the mind controls the present is not the truth. It is merely a conditioned belief, but not the truth. The enlightened rightly proclaim that man is not the doer, speaker and the thinker.
Author: Dr. Vijai S. Shankar
© Copyright V. S. Shankar 2017
So conditioned is the human mind to assuming that he can organize and adapt his environment to suit his needs and ambitions that whatever happens that does not correspond with his needs and ambitions may be a disappointment. There can be no disappointment, however, when the proclamations of the wise are heard and deeply understood. The truth knows no conditions, thankfully.
Julian Capper, UK.
German Translator‘s Note:
The belief of control in the human mind is so strong that all kinds of strategies to shape the behaviour of others and oneself evolved in the human mind. The most oftenly used strategies are punishment and rewards, as well as blame and praise. That punishment and blame are detrimental to humans because of the negative effects is relatively easy to understand. However these strategies are used on a daily basis at many homes, schools and workplaces. The opposite strategies, reward and praise, are not so obviously understood as being harmful. Reward and praise, if used to control the other, lead to many psycological problems as well, simply because the other is tried to be controlled by it. That all of this is illusory, is the statement of the wise, as in this article by Dr. Shankar. And it is wise to let every human being live freely, illusory it may be. The more trust in life, because man is not in control of life, including others, the less controlling strategies are used. This reflects unconditional love and care.
Marcus Stegmaier, Germany.