I rule my mind, which I alone must rule.
I have a kingdom I must rule. At times, it does not seem I am its king at all. It seems to triumph over me, and tell me what to think, and what to do and feel. And yet it has been given me to serve whatever purpose I perceive in it. My mind can only serve. Today I give its service to the Holy Spirit to employ as He sees fit. I thus direct my mind, which I alone can rule. And thus I set it free to do the Will of God.
Father, my mind is open to Your Thoughts, and closed today to every thought but Yours. I rule my mind, and offer it to You. Accept my gift, for it is Yours to me.
INITIAL INSIGHT: This was one of my very favorite lessons right from the beginning. It was a favorite, first, because I had never thought of my mind being under my control. This was a new and exciting idea. It was also daunting and a little scary. But then, I saw that I could give my mind to the Holy Spirit for His use and thus be free of the responsibility. That is not exactly how it works, though.
First of all, before I can give it to the Holy Spirit for His use, I must stop using it for my own uses. This meant I had to become aware of how I was using it and change my mind about that. I had to notice that I used it to judge and to assign guilt, for instance. And I had to realize that this was hurting me and not protecting me as I had assumed, then I had to release these thoughts until I undid the belief in them.
It was not hard but it was different and required a great deal of vigilance and trust. It seems not to be something you do once and you are done. I have to make these choices minute to minute. It feels easy now for the most part and I don’t mind doing it because it has brought me so much happiness and peace.
Once I gained some conscious control over my little kingdom, I could then ask the Holy Spirit to use my mind as He sees fit. Actually, He was part of the entire process anyway, so this was just another small step and easy to make as well. Giving my mind to the Holy Spirit is not like relinquishing it to something outside me.
The Holy Spirit is part of me, the highest part of me, so what I am doing, really, is joining with what is real and eternal to make decisions rather than joining with the ego to do so. As Jesus says in the Rules for Decision, all decisions must be made in union if they are to have power. The decisions I make continuously are powerful even if I make them with the ego, but doing so only leads to pain and suffering and death. This lesson is helping me to decide otherwise, to decide to be in union with God rather than ego.
DAILY APPLICATION: It is absolutely essential that I take responsibility for my thoughts, otherwise, how can I give my mind to God? I can’t give what I don’t believe is mine. And how can the Holy Spirit use me as a healing channel if my mind is running amok. As Jesus points out, it is tempting to believe that I have no control over my mind. It seems that I get hold of a thought and it drags me around creating havoc in my life. It does this when I believe the thought.
My granddaughter wanted to spend the night with me one weekend. I noticed the thought in my mind that she would disrupt my plans, make a mess of my house, demand my attention and I wouldn’t get done all that I had planned for this weekend. I had some things I really wanted to accomplish and I also had developed a very comfortable routine for getting all those things done in any single weekend.
On the other hand, because of my work, I don’t have a lot of time with my granddaughter who is always a delight. Another thing is that I made a decision that I would always make time for my family if they wanted my company. So, I was conflicted and conflict is the opposite of peace, which is my one goal, the aim of all my living here because it is only in peace that the Holy Spirit can use me for His purposes.
There was a time when my mind would have been in chaos as I wrestled with what to do, and no matter what I chose I would have been unhappy. When we do something we don’t really want to do, the untrained mind becomes outraged and even when pushed aside, this outrage affects everything. I used to think I couldn’t do anything about all this.
That weekend was different. I knew my purpose and I knew that fulfilling that purpose had nothing to do with what seemed to be going on in my life. I can fulfill my purpose while hanging out with my granddaughter or while doing my writing and working on my website. The idea that I needed the weekend to be a certain way was a meaningless thought I chose to ignore. Once I made that decision, the conflict fell away and my mind was at peace with whatever happened. I chose peace over the ego will to control the story. My mind is my kingdom and the ego is not its ruler; I am. Interestingly enough, I enjoyed my granddaughter and still finished all my work.
This decision to rule my mind so that it could be of service to Holy Spirit only took a few minutes because I have been practicing this for a long while now. At first, it was hard, really hard. I would hold a grievance against someone and it just wouldn’t go away. It would roil around in my mind for days, creating discord in my life. I gained control slowly as I made a commitment to stay aware of my thoughts and to allow the Holy Spirit to correct them. It is not a perfect job yet, but when I think about how peaceful my mind is now compared to what it used to be, I am filled with gratitude.
Here is an interesting story of one way I learned to conquer the unruly ego-mind. It is a past entry in my journal.
I had an interesting experience one day. I was driving on a road next to a beautiful lake and admiring the lovely homes built beside it. I began to wonder how the people got to the homes, as I could see no driveways from the road. Then I realized that the driveways were there, but you could not see them from the roadway because the drop off was so steep. I have a problem with this. I have learned to live with heights, but have never gotten over my discomfort with them. I am particularly uncomfortable with steep drop-offs where you can’t see where you are going. This is the kind of thing that really messes with a control freak.
Lately, I have asked the Holy Spirit to help me look at every fear in my mind and so when I realized the driveways went straight down and nearly to the lake (my other unresolved fear is water) I felt the fear coming up. I was tempted to push it down. After all, who wants to go from a great day to a scary day? But I remembered my purpose and let it come over me fully. The fear was very strong. I had not realized how frightened I was because I had learned to control the feelings, but of course, that doesn’t make them go away.
It really took my breath away as I thought about turning onto one of those driveways and driving straight down toward the water, protected from a sure and horrible death by height and drowning, only by unreliable car brakes. I told the Holy Spirit that I was willing to be wrong about this. I was willing to be free of the fear of heights and water. I was at least willing to drive by this lake without experiencing fear. Though I admit, I didn’t know how to go about changing these thoughts, I knew that He had the answer.
Well, later in the day I needed to get from a very out of the way place to the road home and my customer told me I could save time by taking the ferry across the river. This is not my favorite thing to do, but I had learned to overcome my fear of ferries because it would make my travel almost impossible if I didn’t. I had never been on this ferry but I was tired and wanted to get home so I followed his directions.
Just getting to the ferry was a little strange, in a scary movie kind of way. It was a small windy road next to a levee that holds back enough water to wash away the state. I don’t enjoy knowing that much water is right next to me. There is absolutely no one else on this winding out of the way road that gets smaller and smaller until it is just a gravel road. So, I was feeling vaguely uneasy when I got to the turnoff for the ferry, which by the way, wasn’t even marked. I guess you just have to know it is there if you want to use it.
As soon as I turned onto the road, I knew I was in trouble. It goes up at an angle and then drops off into nothingness at which point I assume is the water that has been held back by the levy all these miles. I parked my car partway up to the drop off and walked gingerly toward it. Yep, I was right; straight down into the river. Oh boy! I could only wonder if it was too late to take back my decision to change my mind about my fears of heights and water!
Too late, here comes the ferry, which crosses only when it sees a car waiting. So, I sat there and talked to Holy Spirit. I told Him that I was still willing to do this without fear and asked Him to show me how to do it. He has a great sense of humor because He reminded me that only this morning, I had decided to not only release fear thoughts but to accept joy and to live my life with a sense of fun and adventure.
Was He kidding?! I was supposed to drive down that steep drop off straight toward the water and hope I didn’t miss the ferry and plunge into a watery death? And, I was supposed to have fun doing it? Not only that but I was looking at the oldest most rickety ferry I had ever seen. Well, the only thing to do was to be willing to release my fear thoughts. They are my thoughts and I can keep them or I can choose a different Teacher, and I had made that choice.
The thought that I was given was to practice being completely present. This is the opposite of what I usually do in these situations. Generally, I put my mind someplace else when I am uncomfortable. But my guidance was clearly to be present. I am glad I have been practicing this because it made it easier. I noticed that I am experiencing myself in a body and that body is sitting in a car on a boat in a large body of water. I felt my weight against the car seat. I noticed how it felt to be moving on the water and the water splashing up against the side of the ferry. I noticed my feelings and was surprised to find that I was enjoying myself! Well, maybe the Holy Spirit knows what He is doing after all.
GRATITUDE: I am ever amazed at how beautifully my life unfolds as I walk steadily onward toward truth. I am given everything I need to take the next step. Each experience is an opportunity to go Home. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for showing me the way.
Please take time this morning to read, “What is Salvation,” to contemplate Lesson 236, and to spend time in meditation. If you have 30-minutes for meditation and would like a gentle audio to guide you, I recommend this meditation by Michael Langford and Karen Worth:
I rule my mind, which I alone must rule.
The Teachings of Inner Ramana says, “Mind is like a tool that must be used if one is to experience this world in any way. Mind is the tool of perception. Perception can only be experienced through mind. But this is not the same as saying that mind controls perception or that one must listen to the chattering or problems and solutions of mind.”
The human mind is an incredible thing. It is also an integral part of the experience of human. This really stood out to me when I saw the movie, Jungle Book. The boy, Mowgli, thought differently than his animal friends did. His mind thought of tools that would help solve everyday challenges, like getting honey from a beehive without being stung. Some of his animal caretakers thought his human contraptions were foolish, until he was able to devise a way to rescue a baby elephant from a large hole that it had fallen into. That’s when the other animals accepted the usefulness of the human mind.
The human mind has value. The problem isn’t the human mind. It’s a neutral tool. The problem is that we’ve forgotten what we are. We aren’t the mind, and we certainly aren’t slaves to the mind’s chatter. We are awareness-life-presence.
It’s just as Michael Langford has written in The Most Direct Means to Eternal Bliss:
“As an example for clarification, you could view thinking and memory as something like a computer program. Within that computer program is a virus. The virus is called the ‘I thought’. The virus controls the program. The I thought controls all thinking. The virus pretends to be your self. The I thought pretends to be your self. The virus creates tremendous sorrow and suffering. The I thought creates tremendous sorrow and suffering. None of the sorrow or suffering is needed. What is needed is to delete the virus that pretends to be ‘I’. What is needed is to delete the imposter self. “
In other words, we need to remember what we are and what the mind is. It is a tool available for our use, but it is not our ruler.
Reflect frequently today on what you are and what the mind is. Notice when you are using the mind (just like you use a computer), and when you are allowing the mind to use you.
When you notice that you are allowing the mind to use you, step back into your Self. Remember your Self. You are primary to the mind. Abide as your Self.
If you need help shifting from identification with the mind to Self-realization, rest the mind and let help come to you. Help will come from the “Thought of peace” which “was given to God’s Son the instant that his mind had thought of war. There was no need for such a Thought before, … But when the mind is split there is a need of healing. So the Thought that has the power to heal the split became a part of every fragment of the mind that still was one, …”
If you have time for a second meditation today, you might enjoy this meditation: