When you see what your mind is doing, you naturally start to relax. You don't believe every thought that pops up. You're not swayed by every feeling that appears. You realize it's all part of the virtual reality movie of life.
How to get the most out of these Wisdom Quotes:
Put aside everything you think you already know.
Open your mind and heart to receive something new.
Take your time going through each point.
Return to any points that particularly touch you.
In the coming days, listen carefully to the wisdom within you.
*All quotes by Jac O'Keefe, from the video: Trust and the Spiritual Path
NOTE: Jac O'Keefe uses the words "brain" and "mind" synonymously.
1. Left and Right
"If we look at the right and the left side of the brain - the left side looks in parts.
If a betrayal happens it will say: "John betrayed me, and he slept with Susan, and she…" We’ll have parts and the story will have characters, "Why? When did it start?" And the plot thickens.
It’ll be a huge story because that’s what your left brain does. It will only look in parts. It will break everything up. It will segmentize it.
This, actually, is the belief in separation. It’s the capacity to see in parts only. And it is constantly looking for safety.
Your right brain is more chilled. It recognizes that there is an interconnectivity in everything. It sees what’s the same instead of seeing what’s different.
There’s some crazy statistic that 98% or 97% of us are exactly the same - exactly the same! But we are so adamant in defining what’s separate, and what makes me different from you.
We’re constantly watching with our left brain - separate, separate, separate. It’s a bad habit and nothing is going to break it for you except yourself.
Your left brain is constantly looking for safety so it’s defending yourself. It’s always on guard. It’s suspicious, it’s wary, it’s dismissive, it’s judgmental.
If you come from the other side of your brain, it’s calm. You get there with meditation.
Start activating your right hemisphere.
The whole dialogue around keeping you safe, being on guard, what protects you, will die away. Because that’s based on separation and me having to protect myself from what is separate from me.
There’s nothing separate from you at all! It’s completely a creation of your left brain. Completely.
But it gives this amazing reality feel to it. It’s so clever. It’s got us set up that we actually trust the garbage that has been created from an experience of lack of trust. No wonder it’s hard to stop your stories. It’s rigged up to get deeper and deeper and get into its own illusion.
Your right brain is your access to pure consciousness. That is where you touch into divine essence, where you touch into truth.
Your right brain is the doorway to pure consciousness. If you’re not using it, you are not going to be able to live from that place. It will get rusty."
You don't need to get scientific to discover the profound difference between the left and right hemispheres of your brain and how they function.
The left side looks in parts, sees differences, and separates everything. The right part sees the bigger picture and recognizes that everything is interconnected.
Your left brain is defensive, on guard, suspicious, dismissive, and judgmental. Your right brain is chilled and calm.
Because your left brain sees everything as separate, it feels threatened and is constantly trying to protect you by creating a story. Your right brain is the doorway to pure consciousness and divine essence. Start activating your right hemisphere.
2. Are You Supporting the Story?
"What you do with your experiences is really important. If you create stories out of experiences, you are creating a sense of identity.
Can you have no story? Is it alright to have no story?
In the beginning, your brain is making stories but you’re not going to give it the further validation of giving it words, giving it new life. In the beginning, your brain will make the story but you’ve got to stop supporting it, and then your brain stops making the story.
Your brain can make the story but don’t give it the life force of something that happened to you.
If you are seeing from your right brain, from behind the personal 'I,' unity consciousness is readily available to you. The non-dual is readily available to you because everything is interconnected, as you know.
So, seeing that everything is interconnected all the time, but having your brain serve you to drive the car, to choose what you want for dinner, etc.
Let your left brain serve you and put it down again. And let the truer perception that everything is interconnected be your dominant viewing point.
"In the beginning, your brain will make the story but you’ve got to stop supporting it, and then your brain stops making the story."
You've probably heard that your thoughts have no power of their own, only the power you give them. You give them power by giving them your attention and believing them. When you stop taking them so seriously, they let go of you. But don't take my word for it. See for yourself!
Notice when you're supporting the story - the story of what happened to you, who you think you are, and how your life is supposed to be. Realize the meanings that you have attached to events that happened. See that your idea of yourself is based on shaky ground. Understand that your opinions about your life and how it should be are causing resistance against life's unfolding.
Let there be a pause in your speaking, a gap between what you think and what you say. Blurting out every thought as though it's true, valid, and worthy of someone's attention, can keep you stuck in the story of suffering.
3. Are You Expecting Life to Be Predictable?
"When unpredictable things happen, our trust is shaken. But unpredictable things happen all of the time. All of the time!
But our perception is so skewed that we want to keep seeing what’s the same because we like what’s the same, we like what’s familiar, we like routine.
If you can live with what cannot be known, then your right brain can meet the world, and not your left brain, because your left brain is all about the parts and about knowing things in order to feel safe, in order to be able to trust.
But your right brain, that non-dual space from where everything is interconnected, knows that life is completely unpredictable. Anything can happen at any time.
There’s no control and there’s no need to have control because control is an issue for your personal, left-brain aspect.
So, from that right brain, living with the unknown is totally normal. Totally normal. Can you live with the unknown?"
"There’s no control and there’s no need to have control because control is an issue for your personal, left brain aspect." Take that in for a moment.
Do you realize how much you've been trying to control the uncontrollable? And how draining that is?
We're living in such a state of stress and resistance that we're not even aware of it until we actually relax our being and stop fighting with life. When I first saw this, it was like dropping a sack of rocks that I didn't realize I had been carrying around my entire life.
"Your left brain is all about knowing things in order to feel safe, in order to be able to trust." Recognize this, and that your false sense of self is asking for the impossible. Let your right brain meet the world instead.
4. Are You Buying What Your Mind Is Doing?
"What you see from your perceptions, your assumptions, and your beliefs is not the truth at all. It’s not. It’s just your left brain’s version of the world in order to keep the sense of you going. That’s all it’s doing.
Your mind will never know the unknowable. It can’t because it’s unknowable.
The self-referencing is always looking for particulars, it sees in parts, always doing the separation gig, always. But, what’s unknowable is everywhere, that’s the backdrop, whereas your mind is just creating little frames to feel safe.
Get used to living with the unknowable. Let the backdrop be where you’re coming from. And an interesting way to do that is to tell your mind: " You can never know. You’re never actually going to know."
Get used to living with what’s not known. It puts a parameter around the self-referencing, around the me, myself, I. It contains it a little bit.
You can say, okay, I know a part of me is doing that, but I’m not buying it. That kind of distance from the ego is very useful. I see your tricks and I’m not going to follow along and defend you. And that break is huge."
"Your mind is just creating little frames to feel safe." Get wise to what your mind is doing.
The reality is that everything is interconnected by formless energy, but the mind, understandably, sees separation. One aspect of separation is that you and I are inhabiting different bodies and living on different parts of the planet.
But when you buy into your story of suffering and create meaningful scenarios out of neutral events, you fall into the trap of having to keep yourself safe and going through life seeing everything as a potential threat.
When you see what your mind is doing, you naturally start to relax. You don't believe every thought that pops up. You're not swayed by every feeling that appears. You realize it's all part of the virtual reality movie of life. Rather than getting lost in the drama, keep coming back to the seat of awareness. "Let the backdrop be where you’re coming from." Exercising your right brain can help you make this shift.
5. Do You Feel Threatened and Get Defensive?
"If you still have fear in your life, then you’re looking from self-referencing, the left brain, from the dualistic perspective - they’re all different terms for the same viewing point.
I came across a quote from Mark Twain recently: “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”
The self-referencing will know things for sure. It’ll be very definite about anything, have strong opinions about things - and they can be there but you can know it’s just your personality.
Separate your investment from it. Totally separate your investment from it. If you’re defending yourself, you probably know that you’re invested in it; that, somehow, there’s fear somewhere beneath this, because the opposing point of view is a threat.
If you feel threatened, if there’s fear in your life, you’re operating from separation, you’re not seeing as a whole and that’s an exhausting way of living. It’s exhausting because you’re constantly on guard. It’s tough on your nervous system, it’s tough on everything."
"If you feel threatened, if there’s fear in your life, you’re operating from separation."
When we look at fear, we usually look at the thing we feel afraid of rather than where fear is really coming from. Fear is coming from the mind that sees separation, creates stories, and feels threatened by the unpredictability of life. Personally, I like to simplify it and say that fear is a thought about the future.
"If you’re defending yourself, you probably know that you’re invested in it." Byron Katie says that defense is the first act of war. This is so eye-opening! If someone has got your back up, shift your attention from them to you. Notice that you feel threatened because you're invested in your thoughts - you're believing some meaning about what that person said or did.
The mind thinks it knows what's going on, but it doesn't. The elaborate story it's making up is always seen through the filter of fear and separation. Fall back into the background of your experience. Take your place as the sky in which the storm is happening. Give your nervous system a break. Relax into what's happening minus your thoughts about it.
6. Beyond Left and Right
So we’ve got separation, that lens, and then we’ve got the non-dual lens, the oneness, the part of you that sees the whole. Beneath both of these, we drop in, and there’s that divine essence.
It’s interesting because there is a knowingness there. Beneath what your mind thinks it knows, beneath the 'it’s okay not to know,' beneath both of those, there is a knowingness that you always had.
Taste that. Trust that.
That’s the only thing to trust - your own inner capacity. And I’m not talking about an inner capacity that has hard-earned wisdom from the world. Don’t bring your mind with you.
We’re so caught up in the story we’ve created that we follow the story in order to keep us safe, in order to protect us, in order to gain something more for us, and we don’t listen to that inner movement.
Have your personal identity bow down in humble service to what you are. Trust your inner capacity and follow through on it, regardless of fear that mind can present.
Celebrate the uncertainty and unpredictability of life with the innocent curiosity of a child again. That’s where the sense of peace and calm and ease comes from. It’s there all the time. Drop your attention into it. It gets very simple.
There is nothing to find. There is no need to search for anything. It’s just the brain doing its thing, creating an identity. That’s all. It never was you, so why would you defend it? You were here all the time, being ignored. But something lines up if you can let pure consciousness organize things.
And pure consciousness needs the functioning mind, it needs your brain, it needs all of these things in order to make experiencing happen."
Let the mind do its thing, but only trust the wisdom within you, the "knowingness that you always had."
When you recognize the tricks of your mind, you break free from your story, and you no longer spend all your energy trying to feel safe and protected.
When you recognize the tricks of your mind, you are no longer giving it the power to direct your life and keep you endlessly searching for solutions to imaginary problems.
When you recognize the tricks of your mind, you're no longer invested in your thoughts, you keep your heart open, and you experience a natural and effortless alignment with the flow of life.