“Hello, Hal.”

“Hello, Hal.”

Fans of 2001: A Space Odyssey will know the reference.
“Open the pod bay doors, Hal.”
“I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

But which one is the robot, the HAL 9000 or Dave Bowman?
Everyone knows the obvious answer, so let’s dig a little deeper. Here are a couple of questions to ponder.
Question 1: Do you know how memories are recorded and filed within you?
Question 2: Are you in control of when those memories are pulled up and presented into your consciousness?

Though there are times when a person deliberately drifts into memories (old people know this experience,) what I am talking about is the way mind produces references from the past to explain the present. All judgments fall into this category. Judgments seem to imply that we know something about the inner workings of the other. You must have heard yourself saying, ‘They are doing that because…’ The content that fills in the because IS memory supplied from your inner file.

Is it in your hands whether the memory file is presented to you in that moment, or is it an automatic action within? It seems clear to me that this mechanism functions automatically, robotically.

Throughout history, people have attempted to control the mind. For example: good people don’t judge, religious people always care for others, greed is a sin, and so on. Reality is quite the opposite; real people know they are filled with opposing thoughts and that fighting with opposing thoughts only leads to tension and misery. I grew up with the idea that a house divided cannot stand. Though we all do it, fighting with oneself is simply self-defeating.

Given that we are in this situation, that robotic mechanisms are at work within us (and beyond our control,) what possibility is there to live a life of freedom? Watching offers that possibility; watching thoughts (memories) in the mind. Imagine a taxi passing, you can jump in and go for a ride or you can step aside and watch it pass by. Likewise with thoughts. (Most people choose the ride.)

Judgments are a fact of the way we were trained, the question is whether we as adults choose to believe them and act upon them. Ask yourself, do you really know the person sitting beside you; what is she thinking? Unless the other speaks, everything you imagine that person is thinking is a projection of your own inner thoughts. And your thoughts are being produced in spite of you, from your memories.

Seeing the fact of this will make for a great day, a day full of laughter.

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