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What is the conditioned mind and how does it work?

The mind controls all our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It is capable of adapting to changing circumstances and responding to different stimuli, but it is also subject to conditioning. The conditioned mind refers to the way in which our experiences, beliefs, and attitudes shape the way we think, behave and perceive the world.

Conditioning occurs when a person associates a specific stimulus with a particular response. This process usually occurs unconsciously and much of our conditioning is created throughout our childhood, and it can have a powerful effect on how we perceive the world around us. For example, if a child is repeatedly told that they are not good enough, they will develop beliefs that they are not good enough, even if the criteria for good enough does not truly exist.

The conditioned mind is also influenced by social and cultural factors. We learn many of our beliefs and values from our families, friends, and communities, and these can shape our thoughts, emotions and actions in significant ways. For instance, a person who grows up in a household where they are not allowed to speak their mind they may struggle to assert themselves in certain situations, even if they truly wish to speak.

The conditioned mind's main role is to keep us feeling either safe or pleasant and it will develop beliefs and actions to facilitate this, at times even to our own detriment. It tends to operate on autopilot and many of us may not be aware of the underlying beliefs and attitudes that drive our behavior. We may not even realize that we are acting in a certain way because of conditioning. This can make it difficult to change ingrained patterns of thinking and behavior, even if we want to. But our unpleasant emotions can be indicators of when our conditioning does not align with our truth.

It is possible to break free from the limitations of the conditioned mind and connect to your true self. This can be done through self-awareness and introspection, as well as through practices like meditation and mindfulness. By becoming more conscious of our thoughts and emotions, we can start to identify patterns of conditioning and work to overcome them. We can also learn to question our beliefs and assumptions, and to approach the world with the perceptions of our inner truth.

While conditioning can be a useful adaptation mechanism and survival tool, it can also limit our ability to perceive the world according to our truth and to make aligned decisions. By cultivating self-awareness and a willingness to challenge our assumptions, we can start to break free from the limitations of the conditioned mind and achieve greater connection to our truth, resulting in peace and wellbeing.


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