Music Will Remind You Of Me
Why do I allow habit to dominate consciousness?
Almost everybody does it, unless one becomes enlightened.
The habit is the easier way to do a thing. The whole mechanism of a habit is that you need not be conscious about it. It has become a mechanical part of you, a part of your robot mind: it does things by itself. You can go on thinking other things, dreaming other dreams, and the habit takes every action to its end – with more perfection because a habit is mechanical, and machines don’t commit mistakes.
So everybody is dominated by habit. And it is one of the most important things, to get out of this domination. It is moving from mechanicalness to consciousness.
In the beginning it is very arduous. You are doing one thing, and at the same time you have to remain conscious – so you are divided. Because of your division, your action may not be as perfect as when the habit does it alone; it simply knows how to do it.
For example, if you learn bicycling, in the beginning it is very difficult, for the simple reason that you are too conscious, and there are many things to be conscious of. You have to take care of the handles, where they are moving, the direction. You have to take care of your legs, whether they are working on the pedals. You have to take care whether there are people on the road, cars or trucks. There are so many things to take care of, and you don’t have any habit.
So, many times you will fall down, but as it becomes more and more habitual, it is called the transfer from consciousness to the mechanical part of your being. It is being done every day: the conscious mind learns a thing and then delivers it to the mechanical mind; then the conscious mind is free again, and the mechanical mind goes on doing all the things.
This is a natural way to make things simple, but as far as your growth of consciousness is concerned, it is against you. It is efficient, in tune with nature, but not in tune with a higher nature – that is the cosmos, the conscious cosmos, where every action has to be conscious.
So try anything that has become mechanical: do it consciously. You will have difficulties because the result may not be so good. Don’t be worried about the result – your concern is that whatever is done, is done with alertness. The action will take a longer time, but it will be more graceful.
Work first on one habit until you have changed the habit back to the conscious mind; and then there is a tremendous joy. Then work on another habit. Once you have started working on different habits, after working on a few habits, it will become easier and easier to change them back to the conscious mind, from where they have all originated.
Excerpted From Light On The Path CH: 38