A Different Understanding of the Mind (#893)

Would you buy a ticket to the movie of your life?

This month, we’ve been sharing a series of video and audio clips on my Facebook page. Day 24 is called “A Place to Stand”, and in it I share the story of how six simple words – “you don’t have to think that” – transformed my perception of life a few years back.

Up until that point I had seen the mind as primarily a “receptive interpreter” – like a camera which accurately records reality but due to its limitations, distorts, deletes, and otherwise filters information that doesn’t fit its pre-programmed expectations and beliefs. And if that were true, upgrading the programming of the camera was the best way I knew to create a better experience of life.

So I had spent many years working on my mind. Because it was apparent to me that when I thought different thoughts I felt different feelings, I attempted to change my life by changing my thinking. I started with simple affirmations and visualizations; over time, I graduated to hypnosis, NLP, and other cutting edge mental programming techniques. And it helped – I became less unhappy, more effective, and carried with me a sense of possibility that no matter what terrible thing happened in my life or in the world, I could find a way to see it that would mitigate the inherent pain of the situation.

But as I looked closer at where all my hard work had gotten me, it became clear to me that I was fighting a losing battle. People I knew who’d been practicing the best techniques of mental programming for decades longer than I had were still struggling with their lives and emotions. It reminded me of something one of my golf instructors had once told me:

“The best golfer in the world is only two bad shots away from throwing a club.”

My own best efforts had left me as a “high functioning depressive” – someone who was more than capable of making it through life at a really high level, but only a few weeks away from sinking back into the mire of depression that had been my constant companion in the early years. So when someone told me that what I thought I already knew was getting in the way of what it was possible for me to learn, I was extremely open to seeing something new.

In order to get a sense for yourself of what I saw, imagine that the mind functions not as a “receptive interpreter” but as a “creative projector”. Since the world is essentially made up of undifferentiated energy, anything we see, hear or feel outside us is just a temporary and limited differentiation of that energy, created via thought and projected by the mind into our consciousness. We then experience that thought/form as “real” and “solid” via the senses.

I can’t even begin to speak to the detailed physics or even metaphysics of this, so I have nothing particular to offer in relation to things like “the law of attraction”. What I do know is that when you begin to understand that the mind works less like a camera and more like a projector, life gets a lot less scary and a lot more fun. Because even the scariest movie monster in the world isn’t real.

When you begin to see that everything you’re seeing, hearing, and feeling is all made up – a collaboration of mind, thought, and consciousness projected into your senses from the inside-out – it’s harder to take things personally, and you are able to handle the fluctuating highs and lows of your thinking with greater ease and grace.

Ready for the best bit?

The cinema in which the whole comedy/drama/horror/adventure unfolds is your deepest self. Every time a particular movie of the mind stops playing and your thinking settles back down, you’re right back in a comfy chair waiting for the next movie to start. This inevitable return to your true self is part of what I call the kindness of the design.

If you don’t like the movie, “you don’t have to think that”. Fresh new thinking and a new reality is never more than one thought away. Better still, you don’t have to not think it either. Because no matter how caught up in the movie you might get, you’re still sitting in your favorite seat in the “innate cinema” of your wisdom and well-being.

Have fun, learn heaps, and happy exploring!

With all my love,


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