Break negative habits, invite new positive habits
When we clean out the negative conditioning that gets stuck in our stream of consciousness, we get rid of unconscious tendencies, habitual patterns and conditioned reflexes. Once they're exposed and then integrated, the amount of joy and satisfaction we experience during life is hugely increased.
In Rob Nairn’s book, ‘Living, Dreaming, Dying’ (Kairon Press) he speaks about embracing the flow of human consciousness through the cycles of life, dream and death. Understanding our own mind, he explains, and becoming ‘fully human’ consists of going through layer upon layer, going deeper and deeper and unfolding what lies within.
‘Getting in touch with and changing our underlying tendencies and then bringing positive tendencies into focus is a step towards awakening our full potential’, he says.
Levels of conditioning and negativity are entrenched in our stream of consciousness, affecting us as unconscious tendencies, habitual patterns and conditioned reflexes. Unless we expose and integrate them we will experience conflicting emotions.
The following excerpt from his book ‘Living, Dreaming, Dying’ which is based on the wisdom of Tibetan psychology, speaks about the importance of breaking negative habitual tendencies.
‘Our personalities are expressions of deep, underlying tendencies. Some are hidden, usually because we prefer not to acknowledge or know about them. Others peep through and surprise us in undefended moments, and others may be reasonably familiar to us on a day-to-day basis.
For example, we may be profoundly insecure, needy, grasping and greedy. This is a common complex that rules the lives of most people who are driven to acquisitiveness. They won’t acknowledge these aspects and seek to conceal them from themselves and from others. The superficial personality might be quite jolly and seem happy, an appearance that can be maintained while external conditions remain favourable. But if things go badly wrong – for example, if the person’s wealth, possessions or relationships are threatened – a complete change of personality could well manifest. This could take the form of uncharacteristically violent, ruthless or destructive behaviour that might even surprise the person concerned.
What is the source of this Jekyll and Hyde change? Simply, the underlying and hidden state of the person’s mind. All that varies from person to person is the degree of denial and repression, or the amount of understanding and insight present in the mind.
These underlying tendencies, like the skeleton of the psychological entity are not all negative: some are positive and others neutral. They give it shape and form and so largely determine the way it is. If we continue the analogy, the mind that presents itself to the world is very close to being cosmetic. It concerns itself with image, overt behaviour and survival within its environment. The average person thinks this mind is important, is ‘me’, and identifies with it. But the deeper layers of the mind are more powerful and real, real in the sense of being truer expressions of the person’s energy system rather than pretences.
While we are alive we cling to this shallow mind and generally ignore, repress or try to escape from the deeper layers, particularly the negative aspects. This is why so few people grow or mature psychologically or spiritually. The power and strength needed for growth lies within these depths. By blocking access because we fear the negative component, or our deeper divine component, we block the totality and become superficial, shallow people, cut off from our deeper potential.
However we train, [the mind] the focus must be on getting into touch with and changing the underlying tendencies. In particular we need to face, come to terms with and integrate negative dispositions. In addition, we need to bring positive tendencies into focus, strengthen them and finally take the mind beyond opposites altogether, through purification and awakening of the enlightened potential.