When we try and become better people we understand we have to give up certain desires certain attachments unfortunately the more you try to give up a negative harmful thought the more you find it is impinging upon your mind that is why this is concept of suppression will not work how do you control this secret to break negative thought patterns.
How do you keep up the harmful desires, the harmful attachments, The Voices the things that gripped the mind?
If you decide I must stop worring, you find yourself worring even more. If you decide I need to go to sleep, you find yourself to be wide awake. Somebody goes to the interview deciding I will not say this statement and finds himself or herself blurting out exactly that. Or a waiter thinks I must not do this, and finds that he is doing exactly what he thought we must not do.
Irony of Effects Theory
There was a gentleman called Daniel Wegner. He has stated the ‘Irony of Effects Theory’. The ‘Irony of Effects Theory’ states that if your decide you should not do something, then your brain has one aspect, which tries to take you away from that thing. Don’t thing like this, don’t do that, don’t desire that.
That is the operator part of the brain. The operator says don’t think of that, And then there is the other part of the brain, which becomes the monitor. The monitor keeps processing. Am I thinking of that, am I thinking of that? so just out of the reach of your conscious mind in the subconscious, the very thought is rotating which you don’t want to think.
The consequences is that if the operator becomes weak, and the monitor becomes strong am I thinking like that, you will find that very thought coming to your consciousness again and again and again. That is why suppression does not work. there is the story of a Sadhu, a Tibetan Monk Who used to live up their beyond the Himalayas in Tibet.
A rumour spread in the nearby village that this Monk has a Siddha Mantra. If you chant it, you will get Siddhis – mystic abilities. One villager came to him and said, “Sir, I’ve heard you have a Siddha Mantra. can you please give it to me, so I will also Chant and get siddhis?”
Milarepa said, his name was Milarepa, he said I don’t have any Siddha Mantras nor am I interested in them.” Because the teaching of the Buddha was – You should purify your mind. Forget about siddhis. The villager said, “Sir, you are trying to avoid. you have it, and you are not giving it to me.”
Milarepa said, “I have told you the truth.” the man said, “unless you give me the mantra, I will not move from your ashram.” He sat down there. Now 24 hour went by.
Milarepa’s Sadhna was getting disturbed. He said, “My dear fellow, please leave. I am not able to meditate because of you.”
The Villager said, “sir, I will die, but I will not leave without the Sidha Mantra.”
Milarepa thought how to get rid of this guy? He said, All right, I am giving you the Siddha Mantra.
It is Aum.”
“Aum a Siddha Mantra?”
“So, if I chant Aum, will I get siddhis?”
“You will get siddhis, but there is a condition. Don’t bring any monkey to your mind.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean don’t start thinking of monkeys; otherwise, your chanting will become futile.”
The Villager said, “Sir, I have never thought of monkeys. Why should I think of monkeys?” He said, “I have just warned you. Don’t think of monkeys.”
He was delighted. He went from here I’ve got are Siddha Mantra. I need to chant Aum, Aum and I will get siddhis, but I must not think of monkeys…
So now, one part of the brain is saying chant Aum, Aum and don’t think of monkeys. Another part of the brain is checking out am I thinking of monkeys, So he was going Aum, Aum don’t think of monkeys, don’t think of monkeys, Naturally, what is going to happen that very thought which he is trying to avoid is going to prime in mind. He said, “is there a monkey behind me?” There was no monkey. “Oh my God! what did I do. I thought of monkeys. All my chanting went to waste. All right, this time, I will not think of monkeys.
Aum, Aum don’t think of monkeys, Aum don’t think of monkeys, don’t think of monkeys.
Is there a monkey walking on the street? Oh, God, I did it again.” So he started scolding his mind, and the more he scolded his mind, the more the mind become disturbed. So it is serving as the mirror medicine. Now he is keeping on scolding his mind, and the mind is thinking more and more of monkeys until he started seeing monkeys all over the place. He said, “All right. The situation of my mind is getting out of control. I go home and first take at Clean bath not think of monkeys.”
When he went into his washroom, he thought he saw a monkey there. “Where did you come in from?” The wife said, “My dear husband, who has got inside?” “There is a monkey.” “Monkey in the washroom?” “No, no, no, he’s got into my head.” So he said, “I will take a bath, go to my Pooja room, sir in front of the altar and take a Mala and say Aum Aum and not think of monkeys. When he went to the altar, he thought he saw a monkey sitting there saying Aum, Aum.
He admitted defeat. He went back to the Milarepa. He said, “Oh sage, the mantra you gave to me please take it back and give it to me in my next life, but don’t tell me not to think of monkeys; otherwise, I will think of them.”
His experience has been validated by modern psychological, social research. Researchers have tried. They tell one group that don’t think of white bears and they find over 48 hours those people are thinking more of white bears. This is what Daniel Wegner said, ‘The Irony of Effects” theory.
You are trying to avoid something and finding yourself getting more and more drawn towards it.
It happens all the time. Whether it is attachment or desire or greed or resentment or hatred, you heard that spiritual lecture give up resentment. They said very nice. such an excellent lecture, I should not have resentment. To whom do I have resentment towards? You know that sister-in-law that relative of mine in Houston, That is my resentment towards.
So how do you control this then? That is why this concept of suppression will not work. The only way you can get rid of Desire is when you develop Bhakti (Devotion).
So only when you get the Bliss of God through Bhakti (Devotion), then your soul will become satisfied, and then you will be able to give up desires. So, first of all, get Bhakti (Devotion), and then these come now as will go.