When Did You Start Subtracting

When Did You Start Subtracting?

When you came into this world; your mind was totally open to a world of endless possibilities. You had no knowledge, prejudice, or belief; total innocence and no ego. Mystics and Sages have called this state “Beginner’s Mind”.

Matthew 18:1-4 In that hour [or, At that time] the disciples approached Jesus, saying, “So who is greatest in the kingdom of the heavens?” And Jesus having summoned a young child, He set him in the middle of them and said, “Positively, I say to you*, unless you* are turned around [fig., changed inwardly] and become like such young children, by no means shall you* enter into the kingdom of the heavens. “Therefore, whoever will humble himself like this young child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of the heavens.

Then you started subtracting from those endless possibilities. What does this subtracting consist of?

Your Parents (or other adults), Religions (or other moral authorities), and your Culture (schools, country, politics, etc.) told you what was; right or wrong; good or bad; acceptable or unacceptable. Your Agreement with what you were told was your subtracting; your mind closed a little…

You watched what all the human beings around you were doing and judged each action as; right or wrong; good or bad; acceptable or unacceptable. Your Agreement with what you judged was your subtracting; your mind closed a little more…

Now during this process of making Agreements (developing a belief system) you added a lot of beliefs that contradict each other; your mind closed a lot more…

If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.  William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

I cannot put it in words better than The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Excerpts from: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

We never had the opportunity to choose what to believe or what not to believe. We never chose even the smallest of these agreements. We didn’t even choose our own name…

Children believe everything adults say… We didn’t choose these beliefs, and we may have rebelled against them, but we were not strong enough to win the rebellion… The result is surrender to the beliefs with our agreement…

In human domestication, the information from the outside dream is conveyed to the inside dream, creating our whole Belief System

And we also learn to judge: We judge ourselves, judge other people, and judge the neighbors…

We train our children whom we love so much the same way that we train any domesticated animal: with a system of punishment and reward… Soon we became afraid of being punished and also afraid of not receiving the reward… With that FEAR of being punished and that FEAR of not getting the reward, we start pretending to be what we are not, just to please others, just to be good enough for someone else… Eventually we become someone that we are not. We become a copy of Mamma’s beliefs, Daddy’s beliefs, society’s beliefs, and religion’s beliefs…

The domestication is so strong that at a certain point in our life we no longer need anyone to domesticate us. We don’t need Mom or Dad, the school or the church to domesticate us. We are so well trained that we are our own domesticator… We are an auto-domesticated animal. We can now domesticate ourselves according to the same Belief System we were given, and using the same system of punishment and reward…

The Belief System is like a Book of Law that rules our mind. Without question, whatever is in that Book of Law is our truth… There is something in our minds that judges everybody and everything, including the weather, the dog, the cat — everything. The Inner Judge uses what is in our Book of Law to judge everything we do and don’t do, everything we think and don’t think, and everything we feel and don’t feel… Every time we do something that goes against the Book of Law, the Judge says we are guilty, we need to be punished, and we should be ashamed…

There is another part of us that receives the judgments, and this part is called the Victim. The Victim carries the blame, the guilt, and the shame…

And this is all based on a Belief System that we never chose to believe. These beliefs are so strong, that even years later when we are exposed to new concepts and try to make our own decisions, we find that these beliefs still control our lives.

Whatever goes against the Book of Law will make you feel a funny sensation in your solar plexus, and it’s called FEAR

Because everything that is in the Book of Law has to be true, anything that challenges what you believe is going to make you feel unsafe. Even if the Book of Law is wrong, it makes you feel safe…

That is why we need a great deal of courage to challenge our Own Beliefs. Because even if we know we didn’t choose all these beliefs, it is also true that we agreed to all of them…

All these laws exist in our mind, we believe them, and the Judge inside us bases everything on these rules. The Judge decrees and the Victim suffers the guilt and punishment…

True justice is paying only once for each mistake. True injustice is paying more than once for each mistake… How many times do we pay for one mistake?  The answer is thousands of times… But every time we remember, we judge ourselves again, we are guilty again, and we punish ourselves again, and again, and again…

Is this fair?

But nobody abuses us more than we abuse ourselves, and it is the Inner Judge, the Victim, and the Belief System that makes us do this…

If we can see it is our agreements which rule our life, and we don’t like the dream of our life, we need to change the agreements…

End excerpts from: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

John 3:3-7 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most positively, I say to you, unless someone is born from above [or, born again], he is not able to see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus says to Him, “How is a person able to be born, being old? He is not able to enter into the womb of his mother a second time and to be born, is he?” Jesus answered, “Most positively, I say to you, unless someone is born from water and Spirit, he is not able to enter into the kingdom of God. The [thing] having been born from the flesh is flesh, and the [thing] having been born from the Spirit is spirit.  “Stop marveling that I said to you, ‘It is necessary [for] you* to be born from above [or, born again].'”

Later in your life you repent and make the choice to open up to “Beginner’s Mind”; this time not in total innocence and setting aside ego; turned around [fig., changed inwardly]; (to be born from above [or, born again]).

“The most necessary part of learning is unlearning our errors.” — Zeno
“When any real progress is made, we unlearn and learn anew what we thought we knew before.” —Henry David Thoreau
“The mind is slow in unlearning what it has been long in learning.” — Seneca
“Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned.” — Mark Twain