Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Most Fearsome Dictator In The World

The biggest evil we commit is of a subtle, unseen kind: it is to lend our mind to another, unquestioningly.

From political leaders to family, to religious men to loved ones, no one is the master of our minds. We alone should master this machine - and master it, not be its slave. Most people, however, who are intelligent and well-read are the slaves of the little, brilliant machine called the human mind. They are used by it: by its data, its patterns, and its imaginative projections. By the stuff it memorizes and regurgitates. By its cold calculations of the best advantage. By its instinct for its own survival, at any cost.

In this condition, they fare even lesser than animals - for even animals are capable of training their minds than be trained by it.

We humans are often quick to point to figures in our families or localities or nations or our own world as "dictators" or "tyrants." Especially in the political sense, there are dictators that we "all agree upon." I'd put that in quotation marks because this universal agreement is an assumption - perhaps not all agree, and certainly in identifying historical figures as dictators is to come up with a label that satisfies the mind. And that is a far bigger danger!

The most fearsome dictator in the world is the human mind on auto-pilot.

It is a mind that has been fed dogma, data, theories, factoids, pictures, presentations, fixed dreams, visualizations - and then turned on. It controls an individual like no dictator can. It is inflexible and hardened over time. After all, the brain's patterns are reinforced after usage, quite literally creating an imprint.

After all, if the definition of a dictator is one who dictates, and if dictation is "to control or command, to prescribe with authority, to say or read aloud to be written or recorded by another," then truly the entity that conforms to this definition is the human mind running on its own. Most people are not aware of how when their senses of perception and communication are not feeding into the mind as much as they are being fed by it. And that the words and actions they are undertaking are being directed by the mind's automatic commands.

Once, a few years ago, I got used to watching the formulaic Indian soaps. I used to work for television myself, and was familiar with how actually the formula for the dialogs are created based on market research about basic human nature. One day, I was talking to someone who offered to tell me the background truth about a situation that deeply concerned me and about which I felt I was in the dark. And as they said, "I want to tell you...," I interjected with a cliched line offered at just such moments in the soaps: "Neither do I know, nor do I want to know!" This declaration was so unneeded and dramatic that there was a brief what-the-heck pause in the conversation. And I had a rather amused feeling, what had I just said? Wow!

That little incident just grew in significance as it became a thread that I pulled, and somehow I ended up undoing quite a fabric of automatic programs running in my mind. In those days, I was also reading Stephen Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. The book refers to the "scripts" that are taught to us by the society and other sources.

The fundamental truth to know, though, is that we accept those scripts - and that we have the absolute ability to override and completely erase those scripts. Most self-help teachers teach us to "write our own script." This only goes as far. To be able to become the writer of our own script, we first have to empty the mind entirely while training ourselves to write an able script. And it is vital to know that the level of self that runs on scripts is not the same as the very evolved self that is able to write a meaningful script. In between these two selves lies the ability to read our own code - to know who we truly are - and to act upon that ability.

This is the quality of a human being who is free of dictation and tyranny. It is an absolutely personal and individual choice.

After all, how often have we seen in history that the most seemingly powerful, fearful, vile, and watchful dictators have been challenged and finally reduced to nothing by ordinary individuals with simple ideas? It did not matter if the dictator was a person or a system. All it took was for a challenger to say, "No!"

What was different about those who rose? They were people who were free in themselves while others about them allowed their minds to take them over - and of course I would not suggest that there were rather physical forms of limitations and tyranny that has kept people enslaved. It is, indeed, not just a mind game.

The point is to remind us that we are free. And we are truly free when we are free of the entity that truly enslaves us: a sleeping mind.


  1. Really good stuff. And I agree in principle too. The mind does play tricks too, and like everything, needs to be effectively trained so that it doesn't make selfish decisions, and as you rightly said, in auto pilot.

  2. Excellent post :) Yet we are all trapped in cages of our own making: other people's opinions of us. The real freedom of life is to break that trap too.

    Ya Haqq!

  3. You are quiet right, the mind has truly become a cage in which one is trapped doing the same tricks over and over again. And yet living in this world, this society the mind is itself shaped and molded and from it we too are molded. A disturbing cycle.

    The idea of freedom is now a generic and materialistic mold that everyone follows. To be able to give into one's every whim is now considered freedom. People have forgotten the true concept of freedom, which consists of a free mind and soul.

    A wonderful post.