In the small Utah town where I grew up, the Mormon Church was the place where all my friends congregated, and of course, that's where all the girls were. So that's where I was. One night in our youth group, the leader passed around pencils and paper and said, "If you could have one thing -- right now -- what would it be?" I wrote, "I would like for my mind to leave me alone!"
I almost didn't turn in the paper because after I wrote it I thought it was sort of dumb. The leader read my paper last and as he read it out loud, I remember sliding down in my chair. You know how embarrassed kids are to be singled out. After class, the other kids asked me, "Does your mind ever tell you anything you don't know?" And I said, "Never! It never tells me anything I don't already know." The youth leader had said to us that the mind can be our worst enemy because it can take the negativity of our lives and magnify it, repeat it, and obsess about it until we feel like we're going a little mad. He probably didn't use exactly those words for us kids, though.
Well, you know how it goes. At the same time you're thinking you're interested in somebody, your mind says to you, "I don't know, maybe they're interested in someone else." Why did you need to think that? Or the time somebody says, "The boss wants to see you," and you immediately think, "Am I going to get fired?" Why does your mind go there? You could instead be thinking, "Maybe I'm getting promoted." But no, that yo-yo mind says, "I'm getting fired." And what does a yo-yo do? It spins in circles up and down the path of a string. Up and down... our human condition.
That Utah night so long ago was a turning point in my awareness because, at 16, I realized that there is something other than my mind that is part of my being. I realized that if I could say, "I want my mind to leave me alone," there was another part of me identifying myself as "I" and "me." What part of me claims possession of my mind, my emotions, my body, my imagination? "Who," I wondered, "is me?"
Watch the video below and enjoy the moment of peace. I invite you to still your mind for a moment and ponder that question: Who am I if I'm not my body, feelings, mind or imagination?
John-Roger is founder of the international, non-denominational Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (MSIA), through which he has shared the teachings of Soul Transcendence, which is becoming aware of oneself as a Soul and as one with God, not as a theory, but as a living reality. For more information: msia.org.
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