Why did I get angry at the kids? Why did I get so nervous? Why did I blush when he said that? We disapprove of so many things we do only moments after doing them!
Ever wondered why you sometimes behave in ways that you yourself don’t approve of? Why is some of our behaviour unacceptable to us?
We believe in an idea where our brain is one unified entity – our thoughts, actions and feelings are all guided by our ego, or the ‘I’ in us. The truth is that there is no single ‘I’. We are a collection of little minds ruling different parts of our brain, senses, experiences and feelings. They are called into play as and when the need arises. Our intellect or ‘buddhi’ is the controller and loads the various little mind programs as the situation demands.
But several times, the little mind program overrun their limits. You have a bad day at work and you ‘carry’ the feelings back home where you are critical of everything the wife or the kids do. Maybe if you had reset your office experience before stepping into the house, your wife’s cooking wouldn’t seem so bad and the kids would not seem so loud.
Our reactions and even our decisions are the result of what we are going through at that particular moment. We are not very rational in our decision making. A particular idea might seem brilliant one day and useless the next. In reality, we are not in control of how we make our decisions. Humans, even the smart ones, are easily deceived, persuaded and sometimes even corrupted.
Sometimes we fail to understand why someone we know so well behaves in a completely unexpected way. When the fact is that our understanding of reality, of others and of ourselves is really just our perception. And if our perception is not shared by others, our understanding of reality is only an illusion.
The point of this article is not to scare you about how you are lacking control. But it is about making you realise that maybe you don’t know yourself as well as you think you do. If you set aside the part that is behaving or reacting, as separate from yourself, maybe you will be able to understand his motivations and desires a little bit better. Maybe then you will be able to guide yourself to little bit better.
Article is inspired by the ‘Multimind’ theory proposed by Robert Ornstein in 1986.