Help—My Mind’s a Mess!

"You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it." -Charles Buxton

No greater enemy than the uncontrolled mind?


Ask around. Do people feel like their mind is untamed?

Generally not, because society has normalized wild mental conditions as the plain vanilla of daily living, especially as global consumerism/sensualism becomes the planetary religion. “That’s life”—in other words, unregulated expression of material desires is now like breathing and eating.

Watch material cravings zoom around in our mental space. See how the mind drags the intelligence down beneath it, pounding it and holding it hostage. Gradually our intelligence becomes indistinguishable from all the mental junk.

Here’s how the chain reaction continues our disarray: the material mind becomes a warehouse storing all the ideas of sense gratification you encounter in life. This accumulated stock of mental concoctions loads up the mind with lust. Seeking release from the mind by surging through our senses, the lust intensifies dramatically.

Note, however, that the bhakti-yoga definition of lust doesn’t simply refer to carnality. The term applies to the whole mission, desire and effort to enjoy the material world, whether subtly or grossly.

In the Bhagavad-gita, Krishna gives some crucial GPS locations and points out the traffic jam: “The senses, mind, and intelligence are the sitting places of this lust. Through them lust covers the real knowledge of the living entity and bewilders him.”

Crazed in this way, the originally pure self stalls on the highway of conscious development, prolonging materialistic existence, the urge for self-realization destroyed, all by “normal, routine lust.”

Krishna’s special devotee, Uddhava, wants to know why we become so victimized. Inquiring at the very beginning of Kali-yuga, the current age that compromises one of the four cosmic cycles of time, he was obviously referring to a higher culture, which unlike today possessed at least some basic insights into material realities:

“My dear Krishna, generally human beings know that materialistic life brings great future unhappiness, and still they try to enjoy it. How can one in knowledge act just like a dog, an ass, or a goat?”

Next, as He did in the Bhagavad-gita, Krishna delivers an amazing analysis of the deadly lust sequence:

“My dear Uddhava, a person bereft of intelligence first falsely identifies oneself with the material body and mind, and when such false knowledge arises within one’s consciousness, material passion, the cause of great suffering, pervades the mind, which by nature is situated in goodness. Then the mind, contaminated by passion, becomes absorbed in making and changing many plans for material advancement. Thus, by constantly thinking of the modes of material nature, a foolish person is afflicted with unbearable material desires.”

How do we get out of this mess?

As Krishna says at the end of the Bhagavad-gita’s fourth chapter: Steady the wild mind with deliberative bhakti (spiritual) intelligence. He is telling us to direct that spiritual intelligence toward our pure, spiritual identity.

Yes, I know, a concentrated bhakti-yoga process takes time out of our busy schedule and ordinary ambitions, and time today is a scarcity. If you want, though, you can indeed find the time. Discover the time, save the time, make the time—however the factory of your lifestyle functions, you will see that Krishna’s magic works.

1 Comment

  • Reply June 13, 2012


    This is undeniably true, how one misstep sends us toward another, and into a tailspin of more bewilderment. It is never just one, unless you can recall your Divine Source while in the midst of all the above madness. Chanting the names of the Lord or your mantra is a good way to cut off this pre-programmed process. If not, then it continues to repeat itself as if on a loop.

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