Imagine you are inside a sphere. Suspended, floating, right in its centre. And no matter which way you look, outside the sphere is a wondrous world. The lights, the sounds, it’s almost overwhelming it’s so intense and beautiful.
Slowly, over time, we begin to block out the most blinding parts of reality with some shielding. To make sense of all of that input, we have to filter all of reality down into something that can fit into our brains.
At the start, this process is so extreme that, for babies, they are literally separating their seeing from their hearing. This act of focusing continues until a child is about three. That’s when we all began to learn words. And so begins our problems. Because, prior to words, our minds focused on blocking out things that helped us see.
By creating limits, our minds could detect three dimensions. We could begin to tell if someone was speaking on our right or left. We would begin to develop a sense of control over our body movement. And eventually we would seek to expand our perspective by learning to balance and walk. These are all useful changes.
But when words come in, we begin to apply limits on ourselves that have nothing to do with nature. We begin to think the word-based ideas that will form our egos. Learning words, is like collecting our ego’s building materials.
Over time, we develop ideas about ourselves. Ideas like we’re fat, or smart, or lazy, or disliked. But those are subjective concepts that other people may apply to us inside their spheres, but those don’t have to impact us.
Those ideas can exist in other people’s spheres without polluting ours. We have no control over what limits they place. Those are just other people’s ideas blocking or limiting their view of us, in the same innocent way we do it to others.
Fortunately, their spheres are not our concern. Our lives improve by dealing with our sphere. And by using words to build limiting ideas about ourselves, we are blocking our own sphere. Our thinking can become so intense that it appears to block out all of the light coming from the universe. That is why it feels so dark and anxious when we’re depressed.
The advantage we have is, that this is our sphere of influence. And so we can choose what light we block from ourselves. Of course, we’ll likely want to keep the limits that keep us alive, like being afraid of deadly things. But we can discard ideas about ourselves that are painful and that limit us.
If we think this is above us, we should remember that it was our thinking that placed those limits there in the first place. And unless we maintain that thinking, those ideas will fade and disappear, as many ideas you’ve had about yourself already have.
Do not mistake any missing light as meaning there is something wrong with you. All that’s happened is that your busy thoughts are preventing the light of the universe from reaching you. But it is shining nevertheless. And when we have access to its light, we grow.
Take seriously the idea of reducing your thinking. Because we never know who we might be capable of being, until we’ve removed the innocent, self-imposed, ego-based limits that can only exist if we maintain them with our thinking.
In short, you are bigger and brighter than you think you are. So today, ignore your own ego-based negative thinking, and live your life in a way that lets the light of the universe shine into your life.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.