06.05: Treat the mind’s promises with a bucketful of salt
Whenever we see a promise of a huge gain at a tiny price, we tend to become skeptical. That is the understandable effect of living for years in a commercialized society.
Yet when similar over-hyped and under-delivering promises come internally instead of externally, we often cast aside our customary skepticism and let ourselves by carried away by the mind’s promises.
The primary reason for our un-skeptical belief in our mind is that we think the mind to be me. When we think an idea as our own, as we do with the ideas of the mind, we let our ego put all its strength in boosting the idea. Only later when time shows the mind’s idea to be counterproductive and plain stupid do we wonder exasperatedly why we did such an outlandish thing.
Gita wisdom can come to our rescue at such time and transform our moment of exasperation into a moment of illumination. The Bhagavad-gita (6.5) urges us to handle our mind with great care: to elevate, and not degrade, ourselves with the mind. As our mind is presently intoxicated with materialism, the best way to handle it is to feed it with the salt of skepticism. When we doubt a person, we take that person’s promises with a pinch of salt. However, given the track record of the mind in misleading us millions of times, we need to take the mind’s statements with not just a pinch but a bucketful of salt.
When we consistently feed the mind large doses of skepticism, then gradually it gives up its fanciful schemes for material enjoyment and slowly starts taking a liking for devotional joys. Only when the mind has transferred its affection from matter to Krishna fully are we safe in putting aside our salt-bucket.