On the Easter weekend I spent some time with a friend, and after emerging from the bathroom she asked me, “Are your systems working o.k.?” or something like that. As I had just been in the bathroom I “mind read”, or guessed, that she was commenting on the bathroom being smelly, and then mind read that she thought something was up with my bowels. I went back in memory to recall if there was a smell left last visit. No.
Looking at her perplexedly I replied “Yes.”
To which she repeated, “Are you sure?”
“Yes,” I said. Then quite content to let her suspicions go, I almost turned my attention elsewhere when I had another mind read.
“Why–are yours off?”
“Yes,” she said!
That shifted the whole experience from one of potentially being “accused” to other-centred concern for her. What a powerful shift in being, presence, experience and reality!
Then we discussed the mutual friend she had visited who had the flu and the “off” shrimp that we ate.
People often speak in the “Reader’s Digest” format–a condensed, deleted, generalized (and sometimes distorted) version of their thoughts. That leaves others to “fill-in-the-blanks”, or make mind reads (unless you ask for more information). Usually those mind reads are all about us, not the other person. And so they are about us; our fears, our hopes. And so they are usually wrong (for that person). And since we have tended to live with some degree of fear, judgment, or separation, the mind reads tend to hurt us, and if we act on the mind reads, then we tend to hurt others.
The best piece of information to ask before acting on a noticed mind read is “What was the purpose of that?”
However, there is an ever larger, invaluable gem when a mind read, or the discomfort of a mind read, is noticed. That is to discover what it is you are attached to and to break that attachment and realize freedom and joy. This can be done using the practice of the Alchemy of Love and Joy. It is free to learn, click on the “practice” tab at the top of this site. Even better, get the book for many more powerful, radical, and unusual concepts as well as more examples and guidance.
That evening my “systems” did go “off” a little bit–not as badly as hers. (Realizing the shrimp was “off”, I ate less of the bad shrimp.)
When you realize the weakness and suffering of mind reads, you’ll eat less, expel less, and instead become more curious about the other person.
May you be happy and free (and healthy),