Overcoming the mind that is overcoming you.

There is a unique balance between the mind, the body, and the spirit, which, when recognised consciously, leads to immeasurable personal happiness. Achieving and maintaining a proper balance between the three requires great personal awareness, an acute sense of objectivity, and a perfectly consistent routine.

There have been a few times in which I have achieved a powerful balance between my mind, my body and my spirit, and because of its rarity, I know it is only a matter of time before the mind and body find a way of getting the upper hand, and dominate our way of being. In religious terms it is called temptation, but I often view it as placing the mind and body above and beyond the spirit.

For example, some of us love to place our body first, and we do it by consuming alcohol, drugs (prescription or otherwise), by eating unhealthily, and by indulging our often impure sexual appetites. These indulgences suppress the mind and the spirit, and the resulting lack of balance leaves us feeling unhealthy and unhappy.

Then there are those of us that place our mind first, and we do so by stimulating it endlessly with information, much of it junk, and much of it relevant to our existence. We see it happening everywhere we go, and it looks something like this. Over-indulging our mind causes it to race uncontrollably, and it is precisely that which makes us feel like we are going crazy. The mind has a power that the body does not have, and it is the doorway to devastation.

Overcoming the mind

Over the last few weeks I have fallen victim to the mind, allowing it to dominate so much that I have at times felt the grip of insanity overpowering me. I have experienced the overwhelming negativity that possesses the mind and leads it to believe the irrational. I have felt the drunken insecurity that pollutes emotions and de-motivates the heart. I have felt my spirit and my body be overtaken by a corrupt and viral thought-process, one that is seemingly not of my own mind, but of the mind of a far lesser man.

I have experienced the uncontrollable mind that so many visitors to this site describe, and it is a mind that, thanks to its commanding presence in every moment of our existence, can not be suppressed. This mind seems to have a life of its own, viral in its presence within us, unyielding, feeding off our every effort to be rid of it. As we push, this mind pulls; and as we pull, it pushes.

I have experienced the struggle and the overwhelming sense of helplessness in fighting a mind that lives within me, and yet seems independently stronger than me. I have felt the physical and spiritual exhaustion that this mind brings, and I know the hopelessness, and the pending madness.

In trying to rid myself of this mind I went through each of the practices that have worked in the past, yet my efforts were futile. I fed my spirit and made God my centre, hoping that it would de-emphasise my mind and subdue my emotions. I ate well and ran further than ever before, wanting to find strength and focus. Nothing worked, and I was left weak, and greatly saddened.

Recently, as my mind’s monopoly was at its peak, I finally overcame it. It was both the easiest and the hardest thing I have ever done; the hardest as I had endured weeks of growing despair unlike any I had felt before; the easiest as the solution was unbelievably simple, yet its realisation extremely complex.

A numerical balance

Think of the mind-body-spirit equilibrium as a holistic points system, having a definitive sum total that is distributed among the three. Let’s say that you have no more than 9 points (equalling 100% of our effort), and in a perfectly balanced state you delegate 3 points to the mind, 3 points to the body, and 3 points to the spirit.

During my recent experience, my mind would have been on 6 points, my spirit on 1, and my body on 2. This was perfectly representative not of my desire, or of my efforts, but of my actual state of being. Where I wanted to be and what I was doing to get there, were irrelevant. All that mattered was where I was, and as much as I tried to balance them evenly, my efforts were continuously in vain. My mind, it seemed, was exactly where it wanted to be.

The mind can not destroy itself, and its efforts to prioritise the spirit and the body were acting as a catalyst to its own self-preservation. What I needed to do, and what I did do, was to stop feeding it. I chose to cease all of my efforts, and to simply stop trying. Instead of fighting my mind, I decided to starve it of all stimulation, and I did so by avoiding the internet, by avoiding television, and even avoiding books. I had to free the points which my mind was monopolising so that I could allocate them elsewhere. I did it not by force, but by gentle submission. I did it by becoming mindless. Not without mind, just not with mind.

The spiritual exception

I do believe that having a correct balance between the mind, body and spirit leads to great happiness, but there is one exception to the rule, and that is the spirit. While the mind and body matter significantly, they are of this world, and they do not qualify as eternal. The spirit, however, is eternal, and that is precisely why it’s the one aspect of our existence that should be prioritised with every passing moment.

The effort which we give to the spirit in this world, we take with us into the next. The spirit has no expiry date; it is what makes us special, and it’s what connects us to God. If we give 7 points to the spirit, we will take 7 points of effort with us into the afterlife. If we give 7 points to the body, they will die with the body. While we must respect the mind and the body, the spirit must always be that which matters most. We must speak of its existence, and we must focus on its purity, for our efforts in this regard truly do echo throughout eternity. Living a spiritless life on earth – as the atheist does – followed by a rankless afterlife, is hell twice-over.

Having a spirit is not a choice. We can choose to deny its existence, but closing our eyes will not make it go away, and as much as we may try to starve it, it can never die. If we want to overcome the issues that plague us we must first accept the existence of the spirit, and we must then give it as much importance – if not more – than everything else in our lives. By denying it, we not only deny God, we deny ourselves.

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  • Reply Ken Pan December 15, 2013 at 4:14 AM

    Very true. The key to consistent joy is to consistently focus on the greater purpose while ignoring the focus on the mind and body (the “I”), hence “starving” the “I” of fuel. The less attention on “I”, the less fuel that is added to the flames of the “I”, and hence the more balanced one becomes. Spiritual development occurs when the focus is not on oneself, but rather on the greater purpose. Joyfulness occurs naturally as a result of spiritual development. However, the greater the importance of “I”, the more devastating the self-destruction.

  • Reply Ros December 28, 2013 at 7:01 AM

    Sp, how long did you avoid internet and television and the like? And why do you return to it if it put you in such a selfish and egoic state?

  • Reply Toma December 28, 2013 at 7:22 AM

    Somewhere between two and three weeks, which was enough for me to clear my thoughts and come to an understanding of self. While I would love to be 100% spiritual, becoming so is a struggle and it is something I am not yet able to do, so for now I worry about having balance.

    It’s not about ‘returning’ as you put it. It’s about the lesson learned. Now, when the mind starts to overcome me as it has in the past, I sense it much earlier, and I now know how to overcome it, before it overcomes me. I like the mind, it is an amazing thing, but it should be secondary to our way of being. We should not allow it to dictate.

  • Reply Kodhai Varadarajan January 15, 2014 at 12:35 PM

    A social movement against gadget addiction is being soft launched right now. An interesting Facebook page named “take back our lives” has been started by a New York based ad man and his friends. The FB page aims to be fun and humorous and not be preachy.

    Please check this FB page http://www.facebook.com/takebackourlives . Feel free to “like” the page, “share” the page and bring in as many friends as you wd like. Contribute to the page by sharing your experience/ideas/suggestions/photos/videos.

  • Reply Jim January 29, 2014 at 6:55 PM


    Listen to the how to stop thinking audio files.
    Stop thinking and free yourself.

  • Reply becbec April 13, 2014 at 6:33 PM

    Hahaha another classic toma! Man good reading, very good! People talking out their ass never fails to make me smile, i

  • Reply prem March 4, 2015 at 8:20 PM

    If at all you want to know about mind and its foolishness and meaning of true happiness, visit the articles of Ramana Maharishi.