Is control even a good thing?

Thích Quang Duc was a Vietnamese monk who burned himself to death at an intersection in Saigon to protest the government’s control over religion.

The surprising (for lack of a better word) and incredible thing is that he lit his own match and burned in the traditional seated lotus position. While dying, he never moved a muscle.

Most people would say that this sort of thing (or restraining yourself from buying a candy bar or having undesirable emotions) requires fantastic control of your emotions, desires and thoughts. But they misinterpret how this interplay functions.

You are not your thoughts. You have to exist before your thoughts can exist. You are before your thoughts. You can observe your own mind thinking thoughts. The observer is more who you are. You are the sky – your thoughts are just clouds that temporarily occupy that space.

Once this is understood, your thoughts, desires and emotions become increasingly less potent over time. You can distance yourself from them and therefor control them more easily because they are less powerful. It is a very important distinction. Understanding this is the first step in creating an environment in which it is easiest to make yourself into the person you’d like to be. Do you want to be a better business person by letting go of stress and risk associated gun shy-ness? Maybe this path is for you.

Thích Quang Duc’s Wiki –


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