Science believes our brain has two modes of operation…
The first mode is called the Reptilian mind. The reptilian mind is the mind of a survivor. Nature has built into every being instincts that drive us to survive and protect ourselves when threatened. And so the reptilian seeks out food when hungry, shelter during a storm and a mate for procreation.
But the reptilian mind, besides being responsible for keeping us alive, is also responsible for a wide array of ‘human’ tendencies. Envy, pride, anger, hate and more commonly, fear – a collection of emotions that distinctly characterise a human in pursuit of survival.
This is the side of us that is hardwired into the human experience. We, like every other animal, primarily focus on the survival of our kind, regardless of how selfish that sounds. From one need to another, the reptilian mind feeds of necessity, and will stop at nothing until every need is satisfied. And since desires are limitless, it often leaves us feeling incomplete and wanting more.
However, think of a moment of serenity. Imagine yourselves, standing on a cliff near the ocean, watching the sunset. The cool breeze blowing under your ear, while you stare out towards the horizon, where a plethora of colours paint the skies. The dimming sunlight bounces off every crescent of every wave, making them appear like gold embroidery inching towards you, as the roar of the ocean fills your ears.
In such a moment, the reptilian mind ceases to exist. For that moment, regardless of how small, the mind operates from a region where it isn’t based on the needs of survival. The same space of operation of a poet when he sits down to write, a musician becoming one with his instrument, a painter lost in his painting and you, lost in the moment.
This is the higher consciousness. The higher mind, is the mind without its limitations. In this mode, the priority becomes to live in the moment, and not merely survive the race. One isn’t driven by needs and desires. Instead one is fuelled by an unexplainable lust for life itself. As you soak in the moment, the bigger picture becomes clearer to you. You stop seeing yourself as just another being, trying to survive, but as a part of a larger, collective consciousness. You begin to understand that our experience of reality is subjective, yet at our core, we are one.
In this elevated state of mind, we cease to simply exist as a human being. We become a fuller, more dynamic version of ourselves, over-flowing with potential and energy. Simply put, we become ‘super human’.
Our general ideas of being super human would mean displaying marvelous feats of super strength, flying, or moving objects using telekinesis. But unlike fantasy, the state of higher consciousness is an achievable one. One can train the mind to not rely merely on instinct and fear to make decisions, but also a feeling of cosmic oneness and unity.
Consciousness is as dynamic as it is subjective. If you have a golf ball sized consciousness, when you read a book, you have a golf ball sized understanding of it. When you look out to the world, you have a golf ball sized awareness of it. And when you wake up every morning, a golf ball sized wakefulness.
But if you can expand that consciousness, you will read the book with more understanding. You will look outside with greater awareness. And when you get up in the morning, more wakefulness. This expanded consciousness will find root at the source of all thought and creativity. This state may also be referred to as ‘flow’.
In positive psychology, flow, also known as the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energised focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterised by complete absorption in what one does. Or in simple words, you’re in flow, if you’re living in the moment.
Through practice, meditation and simply being patient with oneself, one can train the mind to live the most of now. And living each moment to its fullest is the secret to living a fuller life.
From nowhere, to now here. Be here. Be now.