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Lessons from history on the deadly power of mind – Part 1

“You too Brutus….Then fall Ceaser”

Shakespeare penned these immortal words for Julius Ceaser, who uttered them in grief, while betrayed by his trusted friend Marcus Brutus. The tragic hero Brutus has captured the imagination of the Western world for centuries.

I wonder if my mind is Brutus!

Brutus loved his friend Ceaser, but his country Rome meant everything for him. The evil Cassius knew if he had to check the march of the ambitious Ceaser, he’d have to win over Brutus. What better way than to fuel his heart with the desire for service to his beloved country Rome. Brutus fell for it; he thought he was a man of principles, yet as a puny pawn, he was manipulated by the evil doers. Brutus began to consider Ceaser’s growth as dangerous to the welfare of Rome. He did the unthinkable by stabbing his dear friend, only to regret later. Brutus suffered endlessly; his wife committed suicide, and he realized the senate was corrupt and had used him. Besides, the ghost of Ceaser haunted him. Finally Brutus killed himself at the battle of Phillipi.

Brutus lives in the hearts of many. How often men and women betray their own souls? We cherish ideals, cry tears while watching a movie where the hero sacrifices his life for noble values. Yet, ironically, when it comes to our own lives, we slip often from these principles, and worse, we don’t seem to mind it. Why does a dichotomy exist between what we truly seek in the innermost recesses of our hearts, and what we actually busy ourselves with? What drives us to endless passion, mindless sorrow, and a hopeless existence? And how can we check this downward spiral; how do we rise from being used by the mind, to use it instead, as a tool to help us reconnect to our true selves and God?

Like Brutus, we too become victims of propaganda; we buy others’ dreams, while burying our own. We want to be heroic, yet our lives often end as a tragedy. The ghost of our past mistakes haunts us; we are unable to let go and live free. Are we on a suicidal course?

Pause!

Yes, that’s what we need to do now.

Improve your awareness. Ask these questions:

“Where am I and what am I doing now, and why?”

This is the first of the principles-AWARENESS- that can help us control our vicious mind.

We need to urgently pause, connect to ourselves, and know where we are heading to. Once we know where we are going, we could ask if the journey is really worth it, and also see if our mind is helping us move forward towards the destination. Awareness also means to be cognizant of my own mission- that Paulo Cohelo in the Alchemist calls as a ‘personal legend.’

Improved awareness helps us ask: Do I have a dream and am I willing to fulfil it?

This leads us to the second principle- ACCEPTANCE.

It is equally important for us to ‘accept’ ourselves the way we are. We need to trust ourselves and our dreams; we ought to be kind and compassionate to self and others. Acceptance helps us come to terms with who we are and what we want. An inner fortitude is more important than external achievements.

To be continued….

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