Our Strange, Habitual Mental Collections
Do you carry a collection of opinions around with you wherever you go, like pins or patches on a jacket or bumper stickers on a car? Have you ever considered what purpose your opinions serve? Do you use them to show people what type of person you are? What you think? What you believe? What you like? What you hate? What you are sure is right and what you are convinced is wrong? Do these opinions allow you to avoid investigating something further? Maybe the opinion is a position you held many years ago but you haven’t spent much time examining the topic since. No doubt it’s still true, right?
While there is nothing wrong with holding on to opinions, opinions themselves are just lazy substitutions for actual thinking. Opinions are formulated based upon past information, inaccurate or incomplete information and events and mental positions we once identified with. Over time, we confuse those mental positions for ourselves. “I am the one who loves this sports team. I belong to this region or country. I hate this type of music.”
We can consider opinions “junk food” for our mind. This junk food has the same consequences as real junk food has on our body. If you’ve ever tried to diet or just eat better, you know how relentless your body can be in its cravings for junk food. Often we’ll dig into junk food without even thinking about it and, before we realize it, we’ve eaten an entire bag or box of something not at all healthy for our body. This is the way it works with opinions as well. We almost always express opinions unconsciously. Because opinions are mental habits, they flourish in those unconscious environments.
The best way to deal with opinions is to put them under the light of consciousness. Become more aware of them. Spend conscious moments getting to the root of their origins. How did we acquire them? Why are we holding on to them? What benefits do our opinions bring to our life? What alternatives to my opinions exist and how can I consider those alternatives as well?
Your true nature holds no opinions at all. Like a newborn, your nature is that of complete awareness. In awareness there is no need or desire for opinion. When an opinion arises, it is the nature of the mind. The mind uses opinions as the foundation to form ego. That is why your opinions seem so much to be who you are. But that version of you is only a mental structure. Return to the infinite awareness of your true nature and watch the ego and its opinions dissolve.