Understanding oneself is the secret behind stable inner harmony. It implies an awareness which helps us gain clarity of the way the conditioned mind functions. Here are some avenues for reflection that can lead us to that understanding.

People who are busy hoping to gain some predetermined results using mental techniques and methods get embroiled in chasing ego-satisfying outcomes and so are not interested in understanding themselves. This is like trying to find a solution without knowing what the actual problem is. The fundamental problem is the mind itself and not the problems it projects! Unfortunately, this seems to escape the notice of the vast majority of people. If you are reading an article of this kind with some attention, then you would be one who has crossed that point already or, at least, would be drawn to explore further along that line. In any case, what fallows would be of interest to you.

The quiet self-awareness has no self-interest. That is, it is not generated by the ego. It takes place when the interest in understanding oneself is detected as the fundamental movement towards bringing in stable harmony. At the initial stages of this inwardly turned attention, reflection into some of the habitual ways of the mind is helpful. Here we see three of those ways. These pointers are expected to function as catalysts, triggering the curiosity of the reader.

The first pointer is related to the way the ego functions. It operates through pockets of energy, each pocket representing an emotional attachment to people, things or ideas. Symbolically, they are like knots in the brain. These knots get energized every time our thought operates through them. That is akin to winding a spring. The more it is wound, the more violently it lashes out when released. The knots related to one’s relatives, religion and nationality are usually the most-wound ones. Watching a knot’s process in action generates the necessary awareness on how we destroy ourselves by falling a prey to the ‘knotty’ behavior! On such self-observation and understanding, the intensity of the knots comes down and the knots themselves begin to dissolve. One feels a kind of inner relief from the self-generated tension.

The second pointer stems from the adage “One believes what one wants to believe”. This is a sure way by which we deceive ourselves. Most of us feel that the psychological concepts we are holding on to are based on truth while they are no more than ego-satisfying tenets necessary for the ego’s self-assurance. The more we probe into this adage the more we see the need to free ourselves from the tricky self-deception the ego is capable of.

The Third pointer: During our daily life, it is easy to see how the mind is constantly chattering. Regarding these habitual thoughts, Eckhart Tolle says, “Most of it is unnecessary and much of it is harmful.” This is an important issue whose poisonous nature can be brought to light by self-awareness. Sensing the poison, the mind falls quiet naturally. The inwardly directed awareness cannot be brought into action through any method or technique because they are all rooted in the past while awareness is a matter of pure action in the ‘Now’.

People who feel drawn to these avenues of reflection will soon see their center of attention moving from the habitual mind to pure consciousness. They will free themselves from belonging to any group psychologically because they see that group-psychology is different from mob-psychology only in degree and not in kind. Their daily life will be guided by the purity of aloneness and not by any clannishness or group-fanaticism. Interested readers may visit the website http://spirituality.yolasite.com

Author's Bio: 

The Author: Gopalakrishnan TC was born in Madras (now Chennai), India, in 1941. He received his doctoral degree in Coastal Engineering from the North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA in 1978. He served on the research and teaching faculty of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India, the North Carolina State University and the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait. Aside from his professional involvements, he was interested in the philosophic issues of life for the last forty years or so. This led him to the messages of Ramana Maharishi, Lao Tzu, J Krishnamurthy, UG Krishnamurthy, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Eckhart Tolle, Marcus Aurelius and similar Masters. His book entitled “In Quest of the Deeper Self” is the outcome of his reflections on those and his wish to share the outcome with others.
Gopalakrishnan is a member of the International Association for Near Death Studies, Durham, NC, USA. He presented a paper at the 2011 conference of the Association on the theme "The Spiritual Content of Near Death Experiences". Functions as a freelance counselor for mental relaxation. Lives in Kodaikanal, a hill town in south India, with his family. Now he and his wife are both retired and currently involved in developing a fruit farm at a village 20 km from their residence.
Blog: http://nde-thedeeperself.blogspot.com