Self Actualization: The Split mind
The split mind results from one mind imagining it is two or more, and each of these apparent entities is naturally in opposition to the other, since without this opposition, the split would not occur at all.
Most folks are quite comfortable with their split mind perspectives and don't recognize them as such, but because they also result in inner conflict, they are important to recognize. Realizing what we are doing, on a deep level, results in the collapse of the split since it is truly an absurd thing to do. However, the split serves a purpose and this is why we prefer to not recognize it.
As a common example, assuming there is a desire to lose weight, there is the understanding that one must consume fewer calories than one burns. This may mean eating less, or more discriminantly, or excercising more, but the basic physics doesn't change. If what you want to do is eat, then you must accept being overweight. If what you want is to lose weight, then you must accept changing your eating habits.
As simple as this seems in theory, everyone has experienced it in a more complex way. While there is no conflict at all in choosing the option that is preferred, conflict is almost always experienced. The reason is that we want two things which are mutually exclusive. The absurdity of wanting these two things at once is obvious, and so we come up with a way of obscuring the obvious and creating conflict rather than noticing the obvious and simply choosing the one we want.
We obscure the obvious contradiction by imagining that there are somehow two minds, or two parts of the same mind, one wanting to eat and therefore pursuing that goal, and the other wanting to lose weight and working toward that end. Obviously, there will be a certain amount of struggle, resistance and upset when one goal or the other is not attained, as well as a set of strategies that may be employed by one mind or the other in order to trick the other mind or sabotage the diet or pretend eating isn't being noticed or denying the weight gain, or whatever other creative scheme can be imagined.
The self actualization potential here is to clarify the insane nature of the split mind and to point out the unnecessary internal conflict created by this process. Ironically, we do it to improve our level of happiness, in the misguided (and unconscious) hope of attaining both of our contradictory goals, and yet the result must lead to failure and struggle, and of course less happiness than if we simply accept the reality of the situation and do what we want to do most.
All habits that we want to break (and want to continue) fall into this split mind category, as do all attempts to control our thoughts (such as positive thinking) and behavior (such as modifying behavior to mimic a happy affect). If we pay close attention, we'll likely notice a split mind occurring regularly throughout our days. We don't want to go to work but we want to work so that we can pay the bills. We want to speed through traffic but we don't want to get a speeding ticket. We want to watch TV but we want to play with the kids. In this way we rather continuously create our own conflict, struggle, sense of failure and frustration because we're unwilling to simply do what makes the most sense for us to do and stop going to war with out own minds.
Return from Split mind to Self Actualization
More Self Actualization Articles:
Living Consciously. Understanding Denial and Projection.
Living Consciously. How we form our experience.
When does feeling become suffering?
Breaking Habits by Healing the Split Mind
Is Struggle the Effect or Cause of Suffering?
Happiness is an Idea
Serial Problem Solver
The Delusion of Burt the Bunny
Realization Vs Thinking
Realization is Self Evident
Seeing Through illusions
The Habit Game
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