How Are We “Conditioned’?

How are we “conditioned”, and can we ever completely free ourselves from it?

Wherever we are or go, we carry with us an image of ourselves. We create and re-create this image based on our thoughts, words and actions. This image was progressively installed in our minds by the influence of our culture, education, traditions, nationality, and all the things we identify ourselves with. With time, we develop certain habits and a certain structure of thought that is the origin of our behavioural patterns, which are very difficult to break free from. Our choices then, become very restrictive and our habits become the boundaries of our world. Freedom from this conditioning can only be done by gaining awareness of how our thoughts are formed, especially the persistent negative thoughts which we have been identifying ourselves with.

Detachment VS Indifference

In becoming detached is there not also a risk of becoming indifferent?

When we realize the transient nature of every situation, we also become aware of the impermanence of all matter- this is true for both pleasurable and painful situations. We become detached as a result of this realization. This does not mean that we enjoy life, and all it has to offer, any less. In fact, being aware of and accepting this fact, allows greater enjoyment of life because we are conscious of its impermanence.

Why is there so much suffering in the world?

Why is there so much suffering in the world?This question leads to the following one: what meaning can we attribute to suffering, both our own suffering, and of that in the world? Suffering always has a reason, but most especially, a meaning, and an origin in relation to certain thoughts, actions and lifestyles. Suffering incites us to overcome it; to free ourselves from it. It permits a reclaiming of self from the fixed structures of the life cycle we are in. As to the suffering of others, it helps us to reevaluate our own personal worries, gaining new perspectives. When we are experiencing difficult times or moments of grief, all it takes is a careful look around to de-dramatize our own situations.