Mental Fixations.

 Mental Fixations. What are they?

 I have loads of fixated ideas wandering around in my brain. We are told that fixations come from our own likes and dislikes – the two universal poisons of Hope/Fear and Repulsion/Attraction – together with the third, which is Ignorance/Indifference/Inertia. This is true.

 However, there is a more subversive aspect. These fixated ideas generally sound like: “You ‘should’ paint like this!” or “You ‘shouldn’t’ be like that!” “You ‘shouldn’t’ write about this!” and “You ‘should’ act like that!”

 You ‘should’…You ‘shouldn’t‘….is a subtle pressure to conform, of being told (through neurolinguistic and symbolic programming) to be like ‘us’. These ideas are contrived conventions.

 We all like to be liked, and not disliked, and so we comply with these ‘shoulds.’ We go along with the ‘act’. Of course, to be kind and spacious, we should (!!) respect others’ ways, but we don’t have to have our lives weighed down with their expectations.

 These memes (an element of a culture or behaviour that may be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, esp. imitation) are like whispers that enter covertly into the brain and mind through social programming. There are phrases and sayings that we hear in early life, which can infest the mind with doubts that comes to the fore in later life. This can interfere with spontaneity, and causes fixation, uncertainty and lack of confidence.

 We are expected to make the ‘right’ noises. Even in Buddhist retreats and Monasteries, we are expected to behave in a certain way – a certain exaggerated way – which goes beyond intelligent respect. I’m amazed at the uniform, over-positive responses and sweet smiles: it didn’t go down too well when I suggested that we can’t be honest, and don’t have an original thought in our heads. Why do we so readily imitate one another? Is it out of fear of being seen not to conform?

 We have to be skilful in treading in conventional reality…not too tight, not too loose.


To thine own self be true,

then thou canst not be false to anyone.”


We have enough problems

dealing with our own nightmares,

Let alone the nightmares of others!




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