Who Controls the Controller?


If you happen to be a fairly normal human being you will have a voice in your head that is given the label “me”. This voice generally speaks in your native language and flatters itself with the belief that it directs the actions you take, and even what you think. Above all, this voice believes that it controls what you do – control is its big thing. To suggest that it doesn’t control anything, and is, in fact, an artifact created during the process of living, is quite insulting for many people. So let’s get into some insults.

This thing in your head that says “me” and “I” is a phantom with no real existence at all. It can only think because it has acquired language and been influenced by external impressions. As such it is programmed by the environment and is a machine. It has no authentic properties in the sense that it is something that is an inherent part of you. Change the environment and it changes – it is not our own, but is a parasite that has persuaded the rest of you that it is boss. The fact it isn’t the boss is easily demonstrated. It cannot predict how you will be feeling in an hour from now, or indeed what you will be thinking. It cannot even guarantee you will be alive in an hour from now. It has no power whatsoever – no real power. And here is the death blow for this usurper – what controls this fictional controller? It should be obvious by now that life itself controls the controller, and you do not determine the processes that take place in life. No one believes they control the unfolding of life unless they are delusional (for example people who believe in the law of attraction, where what we think becomes real – sheesh).

Someone on the CF Facebook group recently gave some examples of how people can control their thoughts. Reciting a Buddhist mantra all day, or a Christian prayer all day – insanity. As Gurdjieff said, insanity is a fixed idea. And Osho was more brutal in his assessment of such people – they are simply insane. But people who might see these things as some form of control forget to ask what caused a person to recite a mantra all day – in other words, what was controlling the controller.

In my experience, this whole thing of control, and more generally free-will is the point where many people get stuck. The controller just doesn’t want to see what is controlling it.



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We tell children fairy tales to cushion them against reality. Most people mature into more sophisticated fairy tales called religion and spirituality. Some people drop the fairy tales and look at reality as it is - but it’s difficult.

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