I saw her almost every day that week. She would talk to herself or rather she seems to be talking to someone passersby could not see. Her thoughts were verbalized aloud. She was someone we call “mad.”
Because she was incessantly talking to no one, we call her “mad.” But that is not much different from what other “normal” people do. “Normal” people too talk to themselves except that they do not do it out loud or maybe not often enough to qualify as “mad.” “Normal” people have a voice in their head that goes on and on complaining, judging, commenting, liking, disliking, and so on. The voice hardly connects to the present moment and as a result is not necessarily relevant to the present situation. It usually replays the past or imagines the future. In its imagination of the future, it sees things falling apart. And what is the result of this? Worry, fear, or anxiety. If the voice is relevant to the current situation, it will use the past to interpret it. This is because the voice belongs to the mind and the mind has been conditioned by the past and collective cultural mind-set you are immersed in, which is more like an inheritance. So you see the present and with the eyes of the past, you judge it. This is how your view of the present is distorted.
It is time to stop that voice in your head; that voice that continually torments and attacks you; that voice that has caused you unhappiness and misery. The voice belongs to the mind and to stop that voice, you have to be free from your mind, you have to disidentify from your mind. This is your freedom.
Begin by listening to the voice in your head. As you listen to that voice, do not analyse, condemn, or judge what you hear, for doing so you would lose power to the voice. It is like the voice coming in through a different entrance. Listen impartially to the voice and as you do so, you will realize that you are different from the voice, you are not it. There is the voice and here you are, your being is listening to the voice.
You are now aware of the thought and you are aware of yourself as the witness of the thought. You have gained consciousness. The thought then leaves; it has lost its power. Its power comes from the mind which is energized by your identification with it. Consciousness dissolves the thought. It is through consciousness that you become free of the greatest and mother of addictions – thinking.
Alternatively, you can get back control of your mind by focusing your attention in the present moment or Now. A thought can start very small. For it to grow it needs your attention. A thought tries to get your attention by using subtle means. Once it succeeds in getting your attention, it grows bigger and bigger. This is how you start with a little thought like “I feel tired,” and you end up with a bigger thought like, “My life is miserable.” Being conscious of the present moment disempowers mind activity. You are aware and alert in the moment but you are not thinking.
You can begin the practice of consciousness by giving your normal everyday activity your full attention. For example, when you get into your car to drive to work, take some seconds to pay attention to your breathing before you start the ignition. When you are washing your clothes, pay attention and feel the liquid on your hands as well as the scent of the soap. Become aware of the present. Your success will be measured by the degree of peace you feel within.
Disidentification from your mind is an indispensable step for your enlightenment.