It was in the year 1960’s and 1970s that the expression “mind over matter” became popular which was frequently applied when they have discussion about paranormal phenomenon such as psycho kinesis. It is the idea that when a person concentrates on something, like pushing a ball, he can control it with his mind without using any parts of his body to move the ball. It is all in the mind, and a person usually rejects the idea that there is this power of the mind. The human mind is a mystery yet to be fully discovered by man himself. The idea of how powerful the mind does not only fall to the study of scientists, but as well as spiritual people who holds the idea mind over matter as a mantra. It is through the method of meditation that the mind becomes more powerful.
This is undoubtedly true since starting from concentration to willpower that is used for self development, from bearing pain by focusing your mind elsewhere to even moving matter with the power of thoughts, everything is possible if a human mind so desires as expression by the idiom ‘Mind over matter’.
Psychokinesis shares some similarity with the expression ‘mind over matter’ since it tends to imply a kind of extreme point of the same, where an individual bestowed with such ability can move objects physically with the sheer power of one’s thoughts.
An important aspect of mind over matter is the mastery of our fears. Fear has been described by some as an acronym for False Experience Appearing Real. Our minds are so powerful that they can actually cause our bodies to manifest sickness, as evidenced by students becoming ill shortly before taking an important exam.
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Often there are stories of cancer patients or those with other terminal illnesses, who quickly succumb to their disease and die; while others, similarly afflicted, overcome their malady and defy medical science and get well. One major difference between the first group of terminally ill people and the second is the attitude and expectations of the patient.
While a fighting will doesn’t always ensure a complete recovery from a life-threatening disease, it usually prolongs the time left to the patient, when compared to those who give up upon hearing the dreaded diagnosis and prepare to die.
One popular way of training your mind to perform feats of mind over matter is through the Change Your Mind, Change Your Life Course! This features guided visualization and affirmations. You decide the goal that you wish to accomplish and write it down, setting a specific date for your goal to be achieved.
It is best not to focus on too many things at a time. You visualize yourself achieving that goal, and enjoying the fruits of your achievement. For example, if you want a new car, you see yourself at the car lot picking out the make and model of your choice. You picture yourself in your mind driving around town in your new car.
This is not a dogma to be accepted on faith, nor a philosophy to be accepted intellectually. You have to investigate yourself to discover the truth. Accept it as true only when you experience it. Hearing about truth is important, but it must lead to actual practice. All the teachings of the Buddha must be practised and experienced for oneself so that one may come out of misery.
The entire structure of the body, the Buddha explained, is composed of subatomic particles—kal±p±—consisting of the four elements and their subsidiary characteristics, joined together. In the world outside as well as within, it is easy to see that some matter is solid—earth element; some is liquid—water element; some is gaseous—air element; and in every case, temperature is present—fire element.
However, someone who examines reality within himself will understand the four elements at a subtler level. The entire range of weight from heaviness to lightness, is the field of earth element. Fire element is the field of temperature, from extreme cold to extreme heat. Air element has to do with motion, from a seemingly stationary state to the greatest movement. Water element concerns the quality of cohesiveness, of binding together. Particles arise with a predominance of one or more elements; the others remain latent. In turn, a sensation manifests in accordance with the quality of the element that is predominant in those particles. If kal±p± arise with a predominance of fire element, a sensation occurs of heat or cold, and similarly for the other elements. This is how all sensations arise within the physical structure. If one is ignorant, one gives valuations and reacts to the sensations, generating new misery for oneself. But if wisdom arises, one simply understands that subatomic particles are arising with a predominance of one or another element, and that these are all impersonal, changing phenomena, arising to pass away. With this understanding, one does not lose the balance of one’s mind when facing any sensation.
As one continues observing oneself, it becomes clear why kal±p± arise: they are produced by the input that one gives to the life flow, the flow of matter and mind. The flow of matter requires material input, of which there are two types: the food one eats and the atmosphere in which one lives. The flow of mind requires mental input, which again is of two types: either a present or a past saªkh±ra. If one gives an input of anger at the present moment, immediately mind influences matter, and kal±p± will start to arise with a predominance of fire element, causing one to feel a sensation of heat. If the input is fear, the kal±p± generated at that time will have a predominance of air element, and one feels a sensation of trembling; and so on. The second type of mental input is a past saªkh±ra. Every saªkh±ra is a seed which gives a fruit, a result after some time. Whatever sensation one experienced when planting the seed, the same sensation will arise when the fruit of that saªkh±ra comes to the surface of the mind.
Of these four causes, one should not try to determine which is responsible for the arising of a particular sensation. One should merely accept whatever sensation occurs. The only effort should be to observe without generating a new saªkh±ra. If one does not give the input of a new reaction to the mind, automatically an old reaction will give its fruit, manifesting as sensation. One observes, and it passes away. Again one does not react; therefore another old saªkh±ra must give its fruit. In this way, by remaining aware and equanimous, one allows the old saªkh±r± to arise and pass away, one after another: one comes out of misery.
Nirvana is beyond mind and matter. It can come to you anytime depending on how pure you are. In that state, all your senses stop functioning. It could be for a second, a minute, or longer, but for that brief period, you are beyond all sensation, all thought. Choice less observation is no craving no aversion.