When There Is No Container, You Cannot Be Contained - Grasshopper
All content happens within a boundary. When those boundaries are stretched or broken, you can never remain the same.
How many of our mental border lines or psychological prison bars are self-imposed and illusionary? We incarcerate ourselves to sit in a cell of our own making to be contained for a life sentence.
This is lunacy of the highest order.
What makes a room? Its walls. The room can only hold so much because its space is determined by its size, which is decided by its boundaries. How many constricting homes have been opened up by tearing down walls, resulting in an open floor plan?
Your mind is a container that contains you.
Please be advised if you think this is going to be a “you can be anything you want to be” homily, you may be disappointed. It’s less specific and deeper than that.
Our mind is a tiny little room that we live in for our entire lives. We never notice there is infinite room to expand because all we see are the same four, confining walls. It’s familiar and contemptible. The familiarity keeps us coming back and our contemptibility keeps us in misery.
Many consider others to be their jailers. That just reinforces the concept of containment and gives us a place to shift the blame for the gloom of our room. Some change jail cells in hopes that the new wall paper will make life here more tolerable. It never does.
You take your container with you wherever you go and confine yourself anywhere on earth.
Diversions of all sorts, along with drugs and alcohol, will temporarily make your room disappear. But after you sleep it off, you wake up in the same place - a confined mind.
The dangerous mind expanding drugs of the 60’s, like LSD, had a small upside. They showed that expansion was possible. The limitation they implied was that you needed an external agent to free you. You don’t.
You have everything you need right now to become free. You don’t need an armed band of desperados to break you out. The key is always with you but may not be in plain sight. Reminds me of a great story from Sandra Maitri that I included in a blog post last August . . .
She recounts an old Sufi parable in her book, The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram that provides some perspective. She writes of the parable,
“It tells of a tinsmith who was unjustly imprisoned and who, seemingly miraculously, made his escape. Many years later when he was asked how he had done it, he replied that his wife, a weaver, had woven the design of the lock to his prison cell into the prayer rug upon which he prayed five times a day. Realizing that the prayer rug contained the design of the cell’s lock, he struck a deal with his jailers to get tools to make small artifacts, which the jailers then sold and profited from. Meanwhile, he also used the tools to create a key, and one day made his escape. The moral of the story is that understanding the design of the lock that keeps us imprisoned can help us fashion the key that will unlock it.”
So, where is your key to freedom?
It came with your software package. It’s your ability to notice.
Noticing you are imprisoned in your own mind is the first step towards escape. The minute you discover that you are being held prisoner by your own thoughts, the walls start to crumble and you see vistas you never thought were possible.
The time to escape is now. Notice that you are having confining thoughts. Don’t judge or condemn those thoughts, just notice that you are having them. Simply by noticing, you become aware that repetitive thoughts keep you repeating the same existence over and over.
When you notice your thoughts, you create space in your mind - space for infinite ideas that lead you to freedom from imprisoning thoughts and towards peace of mind.
The ability to notice our thinking is a bigger kept secret than the formula for Coke.
It takes practice and the results are always worth it. Begin right now. Notice your repetitive thought machine at work. Notice how it takes you over the same territory time and again. When you interrupt your stream of thought by noticing, you transport yourself to a white water rafting ride toward freedom.
You will remain contained and drained as long as you think your thinking will free you. It’s the largest lie we’ve ever been told and as a result, we spend all of our time redecorating our mind.
You can remain self contained or you can be free now. The choice is always available. I wonder how soon you’ll notice the key.
All the best,
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