When i was young i was deeply influenced by Bertrand Russell a lot, His philosophies had a very positive effect on my life. Recently i remember i had once written down an excerpt from his autobiography in a notebook i used to frequently read. Recently i have been reading a lot of about the workings of the mind, the ego and emotions etc. I found it strange that Bertrand Russell had in that work given a very nice way to over come the drag the ego can have on our lives.
I believe that Our mind is like a garden. You can plant beautiful plants in it, and it will grow into a beautiful and serene place. but if u don't bother to take interest and sow the plants that are wonderful, your garden will soon be filled with weed and bushes. You need to maintain your garden, by constantly cutting the weed and unwanted shrubs.
observe your mind for 5 minutes. now.
there are two types of thoughts that can arise in your mind.
the first kind is that of a constant background radio that keeps playing in your head.... keeps telling you want to do and what not to do almost with no logic or reason what so ever, these kinds of thoughts are deeply rooted in the past and keep reminding you how things are not the way u want them to be .... these thoughts , according to the Buddha, cause you dukha (suffering) . these are like plants that grow in your garden when u don't maintain it.... these are like weeds... these are unwanted.
There is another kind of thoughts that can arise, these are the thought that u have the control to think consciously with an effort. these are the thoughts that you are aware that YOU are thinking! these are like the beautiful plants you plant in your garden and nourish constantly.
In his book The Conquest of Happiness, Bertrand Russell says, "I was not born happy. As a child, my favorite hymn was: 'Weary of earth and laden with sin.' . . . In adolescence, I hated life and was continually on the verge of suicide, from which, however, I was restrained by the desire to know more mathematics. Now, on the contrary, I enjoy life; I might almost say that with every year that passes I enjoy it more . . . very largely it is due to diminishing preoccupation with myself. Like others who had a Puritan education, I had a habit of meditating on my sins, follies, and shortcomings. I seemed to myself— no doubt justly—a miserable specimen. Gradually I
learned to be indifferent to myself and my deficiencies; I came to center my attention upon external objects: the state of the world, various branches of knowledge, individuals
for whom I felt affection."
"It is quite possible to overcome infantile suggestions of the unconscious, and even to change the contents of the unconscious, by employing the right kind of technique. Whenever you begin to feel remorse for an act which your reason tells you is not wicked, examine the causes of your
feeling of remorse, and convince yourself in detail of their absurdity. Let your conscious beliefs be so vivid and emphatic that they make an impression upon your unconscious strong enough to cope with the impressions made by your nurse or your mother when you were an infant. Do not be content with an alteration between moments of rationality and moments of irrationality. Look into the irrationality closely with a determination not to respect it and not to let it dominate you. When it thrusts foolish thoughts or feelings into your consciousness, pull them up by the roots, examine them, and reject them. Do not allow yourself to remain a vacillating creature, swayed half by reason and half by infantile folly... " ....
.... "But if the rebellion is to be successful in bringing individual happiness and in enabling a man to live consistently by one standard, not to vacillate between two, it is necessary that he should think and feel deeply about what his reason tells him. Most men, when they have thrown off superficially the superstitions of their childhood, think thatthere is no more to be done. They do not realize that these superstitions are still lurking underground. When a rational conviction has been arrived at, it is necessary to dwell upon it, to follow out its consequences, to search out in oneself whatever beliefs inconsistent with the new conviction might otherwise survive. . . . What I suggest is that a man should make up his mind with emphasis as to what he rationally believes, and should never allow contrary irrational beliefs to pass unchallenged or obtain a hold over him, however brief. This is a question of reasoning with himself in those moments in which he is tempted to become infantile, but the reasoning, if it is sufficiently emphatic, may be very brief."