Life Begins in Innocence.

We come into life innocently. We as children live completely in the present moment. We don't worry about tomorrow; we don't regret yesterday. There are no self-defeating beliefs and judgments about life.
If I were to diagram a baby's mind, I could simply draw an empty circle. This is a mind in a state of infinite potential, but not yet actualized. Then I could draw an infinity symbol within the circle, The baby's mind is still in touch with the Infinite, the Unbounded. This is what allows a baby to be completely in the present moment. Because the baby does not attempt to live in the past or the future, the power of the baby's mind is awesome. Consider how quickly the infant masters a complex language.
Adults generally can't learn that easily. And why? Because adults no longer live in the present moment. The adult's mind is caught by self-defeating beliefs and judgments. Where did they come from? One source is our parents. As infants, we only desired love. But perhaps our parents weren't completely ideal and couldn't always give us as much love as we wanted. Perhaps our father came home after a hard day and shouted at us for leaving our toy car in the driveway. Or maybe he shouted at our mother about his dinner and she just didn't have enough energy left to be completely loving to us. What happens? We develop a little program inside that says, "I'm not worthy of love." (Now I could Draw another circle on the board, inside the other one and it would represent a conditioned program of belief) This continues to operate in us as adults on a very deep, quiet level: the result is that when we grow up, we may have a hard time having an ideal relationship. We keep shooting ourselves in the foot, feeling we are unworthy of love. So this is one kind of stress that we have all picked up: stress from our parents.
Even if the parents were absolutely perfect, perhaps the brothers and sisters weren't exactly overjoyed to have a new baby in the house, competing for the parents' attention; this created another program of unworthiness. (Now I'll draw another circle within the circle to represent another internal subconscious program) A friend once told me, "I remember going through our family photo album, counting the pictures of my brother and of me. He, being the elder, had more! Didn't they love me as much? I also remember him sneaking into my bedroom when I was still in my crib and pinching me very hard. Didn't he love me? Of course he did, but he was jealous; I was much too young to appreciate that."
Or even if family life was absolutely ideal, one day we go off to school. It is all based on competition. We learn to compete, not to create. We learn that we don't do as well in math as Bobbie, so we stop doing math. We draw something we think is wonderful and we're told, "Ewww, how ugly." Part of us believes what we're told, that we can't draw; almost all of us stop drawing by the age of six. What if Picasso had been told, "That doesn't look like anything!" and what if he had believed it? Or Monet? Or Dali? The point is that these stresses picked up so innocently by our experiences are freezing our lives into definitions that seem beyond our conscious control.
Many of these internal programs come from our society itself. There is such a thing as the hypnosis of our cultural conditioning: we're all a part of the collective consciousness of our society. (Now I'll draw more circles, representing these underlying programs of thought and belief adding to the thoughts and beliefs that are between the cognitive outer experience of the outer circle or the mind, and the infinite buried under the thoughts) Some of our society's beliefs are useful to us and some are not. Most of us don't need to know how to find water in the desert; so the knowledge given us by our society doesn't often teach us this. Instead, we're taught how to pay water bills on time. But if we were born in the Sahara, our society's knowledge would be very different, ideally suited to our environment. A nomad from the Sahara would not survive well on the Interstate; he'd probably get run over very quickly; we wouldn't survive long in the Sahara.

Self-Destructive Habits Cripple Effectiveness, Enjoyment and Health.

The problem here is that some of the beliefs we've adopted are useful, some of the habits and internal programs serve us, but many do not. It's useful to remember how to drive our car without having to re-read the owner's manual every time we sit behind the wheel. It's useful to remember which house we live in without having to ring all our neighbors' doorbells and ask them, "Hello, do I live here?" It's useful to recognize your wife or husband when you get home. But so many of these internal programs are not serving us in any useful way. So many of them are damaging.

Have you ever tried to break a habit and failed? Most of the habits we don't like are operating at a level just slightly beneath our conscious awareness. It is very, very difficult to break any habit through effort. Ask any psychoanalyst, you will be told that to root out the source of any destructive behavior is quite complicated and takes a very long time -- and costs a very large amount of money!
Most of us have no problem desiring good things: ideal relationships, ideal jobs, ideal health, and a happy, fulfilling life. But the problem comes when we undermine or defeat these desires by these pernicious and quiet internal programs that say, "You don't deserve that!" or "Get real, you can't have that!" or "Come on, be serious, you're not good enough for him!" So many times, if you're quiet enough to notice these little voices, they sound exactly like your mother or your father or maybe a teacher you once had. These people could all be long dead, but they live on in you: criticizing, condemning, and causing you to fail even before you begin.
When the mind works against itself like this, your ability to succeed in any area is greatly diminished, as is your ability to be happy or even healthy! How much of disease is psychosomatic in origin? Some doctors say almost all of it. The mind is literally out of control in the average adult person. What is left of the baby's innocent, silent mind? Have you heard from psychologists a figure, how much of the minds potential for creativity is being used by the typical adult? Only 5% to 10% of the mind is all that's left! And what is the rest of the mind doing? Thinking, incessantly thinking, chattering away, never ever stopping for a rest. Scientists at Stanford Research Institute have estimated that the average person thinks 100,000 thoughts per day! That's a lot of thoughts. But it's not that we're sitting around thinking up new Mozart symphonies or writing new Shakespeare plays. What are we thinking about? "What's for dinner?" Or, "Why did he say that to me!" Or, "Why did I marry him!" The same thing we thought yesterday and the day before and the day before that. Over and over and over again, pointlessly chattering. Thinking constantly, tiring the body, going nowhere, creating nothing but fatigue.

You see the baby's silent mind is coherent. It experiences the present moment. It isn't regretting the past or worrying about the future. It's simply here and now. Have you ever seen a cat jump for a bird and miss? What does it do? It doesn't think, "If I'd only had tuna for breakfast instead of Alley Cat!" It doesn't think, "If only I'd worked out last week!" It doesn't think, "It wasn't worth catching anyway!" It doesn't think, "I'm trying to cut down anyway." No, what does it do? It turns around twice, yawns, and falls asleep. When it wakes up, it is ready to jump again for another bird, fully awake, fully alive, fully in the present moment. That is skill in action.
But we humans somehow have developed this organ up here (the brain) to think all the time. We've given it dominance over everything. And you don't have to look very far in the world to see how well the dominance of the 10% mind has worked. The human race is like a wildly multiplying cancer, destroying everything it contacts. The ozone is being depleted. The lakes, rivers and seas are drowning in garbage. In spite of all our wonderful advances in the past hundred years, we still have a billion people starving to death at this very moment. Let's face it: this 10% mind is not very bright. It keeps us ineffective at best and highly damaging at worst; it keeps us suffering, lonely and unhappy; it even makes us sick.

Scientific Research Demonstrates the Supremacy of the Mind.

How does our mind make us sick? There has been some fascinating research over the past fifty years which shows just how closely connected our minds are to our bodies: our habitual thoughts determine the state of our health and even our longevity.
One of the earliest and most interesting studies was performed on some rabbits at Ohio University in the seventies. The scientists were attempting to prove the relationship between a toxic, high cholesterol diet and hardening of the arteries. They thought that if they fed the rabbits' high cholesterol food, they should logically develop high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries and the other symptoms we have learned to associate with heart disease, which is still the largest killer in the Western world. The experiment was going along very well, with most of the bunnies developing the expected symptoms, except for one group of rabbits that were not having the expected results. The scientists just couldn't understand it -- they were feeding the rabbits in this group the same high cholesterol food, but the rabbits just weren't developing any of the predicted symptoms. No high blood pressure. No hardening of the arteries. No hypertension. Nothing.
Fortunately for the study, and unfortunately for the rabbits, the technician who was feeding that particular group of rabbits fell ill. Almost immediately, her rabbits started developing the expected symptoms! Naturally the scientists were curious as to why and asked her what she had done differently. "Why nothing," she said, "I fed the rabbits the food as you told me to. I took them out of their cages, held them, stroked them, and sang to them, fed them. Wasn't this right?"
It was the same food, but the rabbits' minds turned the high cholesterol food into other channels, which protected their health! The scientists were amazed. They thought they were studying hardening of the arteries; they were really studying the effects of love. They tried this over and over again and found that rabbits that were loved simply wouldn't fall ill as readily. Isn't this amazing? And this was just rabbits, not even people! How can love change the effect of food? So the moral is: if you're going to eat Big Macs, sit on your boyfriend's lap while you're eating it.

Taking in account the brief descriptions of the psychological approach to life and to everything that is in it, we have become dependent on authority to tell us what is good for us in body and mind. This authority is living in the same psychological conditioning as is described in the brief outline above, thinking with internal programs and beliefs trying to do what is best with the 5%-10% potential of mind to approach what is necessary to maintain a healthy mind and body.
Truth is we can just about eat anything we want to in portions that meet the body's needs. It is the way we use food to mask psychological undercurrents of stress that becomes unhealthy.
Food when used to create feelings to cover up another feeling often leads to obesity.
It's not the food so much as how we think and what we think.

A person with a heavily influenced psychological program that is filled with conflicting ideas and beliefs causing stress in every area of concern can eat the healthiest diet in the world and not survive the psychological conditioning.
On the other hand someone who is perfectly happy and without any stress in the nervous system living perfectly in the now could eat all of the bad foods on a nutritionists list and live a healthy happy life.

There was a study done on identical twins. One exercised every day, ate only a vegetarian diet, the other ate what she wanted whenever she wanted, never exercised and they both had exactly the same body weight and were both healthy. Obviously it wasn't the food, but the state of the mind which had dominance over the body and its condition.

So the question is asked how do you remove stress from the body and mind so as to rise above the beliefs that condition our experience of ourselves and our life?
The answer is to give the mind something that is more expansive and real to focus on than these conditions of belief. To remove ourselves from false authority that we become so reliant on, and to return ourselves to the knowledge and understanding of ourselves so that we can make wise decisions based on Truth rather than relative beliefs of understanding doled out by those who claim authority without being of clear mind and body, and without the capacity to be living in the NOW.
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I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but then I turned myself around!!