The Grasping Mind

March 10th, 2014



“Everything is broken”[1]


Here is a cheery thought. Everything we have and hold dear – material possessions like houses, cars, boats, money and careers along with those we love like family, children, friends and lovers – we will lose. This is not a philosophical question. It is a consequence of our physical existence here on planet earth.




Maybe our children will grow up and end up living on the other side of the world. Maybe all our material wealth is lost in hard times or stolen from us by others. Maybe we will live long enough to see our dearest friends and lovers die before we do.


Even allowing for a blessed life of good fortune we know we will still lose all of these things through dint of our own mortality.



Even our body is not our own


If we really were our body why could not we just say: “Well, I like the age I am. It is a good blend of youth and experience. I think I will just stop aging now.”


Can we?


While it may be a sensible idea to take care of the vehicle that pilots our physical existence there is the inescapable certainty mother earth will eventually reclaim what is hers. So why do we place so much time, energy and faith in such shifting sand?



Mind control or a mind controlled?


At War with Self. All rights reserved.

At War with Self. All rights reserved.


There is a part of our makeup that concerns itself with (the illusion of) survival and control. In terms of energy-consciousness this is the focus of the first two energy centers (also known as chakras).


Think of this part of our consciousness as well-meaning security software. Its purpose is to try and control any potential threat to our survival. Its ruling emotions are fear (what I do not want to happen) and desire (what I want).


The first chakra focuses upon our personal survival: “Me“.


The second chakra focuses upon a more extended version of ourselves via our sexual offspring and by extension our socio-cultural and economic tribes: “Mine


If this was the only focus of our mind our world might seem a very threatening place ruled only by fear and desire – our so-called alpha drives to dominate, control and breed.


At one time in human history the alpha part of our nature helped us survive and prosper when we were a relatively small part of life on earth. Now however, if we allow our mind to be overly controlled by these two energy-consciousness centers, those same drives threaten to destroy us.


Our grasping mind will ultimately be left grasping at nothing. To put it biblically:


“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”[2]


©Tom Toro

©Tom Toro




“I could rise above on a higher love” [3]


The solution is to allow our consciousness to spend more time in our higher centers. In traditional Chinese medicine the heart center/chakra is said to ‘house the Shen’ – the seat of our energy-consciousness.


The heart center is concerned with everyone’s welfare, not just ‘me and mine’. As a result it does not grasp. It sees beyond the illusion of our fear-based grasping for earthly survival.


Heart in space


The true nature of our heart center, of the Self, is unconditional love. Unconditional love is us without the fear and desire to grasp and control. Therefore: The part of our mind that likes to grasp does so because we have become separated from our true nature.


This separation from Self has serious consequences for our health and well-being.



The grasping mind in health and disease


When we are caught up in trying to control perception and appearances we separate from our heart; from our Self. To use a Swedish term, it is easy to fall into the role of the ‘duktig’ (good/clever) person – one that strives to live up to others expectations at the expense of their own integrity and ultimately, health. (For an extended discussion of this tendency and its affect on health click here.)


We also separate from our heart when we try to gain for ourselves at another’s expense or suffering. Whatever it is we think we have grasped and gained we cannot keep for very long.


When we separate from our Self the result is the same as for all separations: sadness and grief for what we have lost. In this case, we have lost the connection to our Self.


The split we create within can cause enormous damage. As one client put it: “I realize I have the capacity to kill myself (not by intentional suicide but by ignoring the voice of their heart until it is too late)”



So where does that leave us?


I thought you’d never ask. Once we realize these two things:


  1. We can never hold on to anything in the material world of form.
  2. If we ignore our true nature that knows this we will suffer


What we have left then are these options:


What we choose to:







Does this mean it is ‘wrong’ to have material wealth? Of course not. We are free to enjoy any experience. It is the fear of loss and the desire to grasp and control it that causes our suffering.



The software of the Self



© Alex Grey

© Alex Grey


In traditional Chinese medicine death is described as the Shen departing from its home in the heart giving the material body back to mother earth.


The only thing that continues is energy-consciousness (as energy is never lost, just transformed). The only thing contained in this are our experiences – that which we have learned through what we have created, transformed or healed.


When a client comes to see me and has finally given up trying to control and bargain with their life and health I know they have a much better chance of healing. At the very least they will make great use of the time they have left.


Such an attitude reflects a shift in consciousness. It results in creative transformations that not only heal themselves but so many around them as well.


We cannot grasp onto this life as it will ultimately prove beyond our control. What we can do is use the time we have to get to know our Self in our true state – in love and joy. It may not be something we can grasp or control but it is something worth experiencing.


Till another Monday slips gently through our grasp once more


PS: For those in Stockholm this Monday evening, 10th March 2014, there is a Conscious Health open lecture concerning our relationship to change, greif, letting go and health. For details click here.


[1] ‘Everything is Broken’. Bob Dylan. All rights reserved

[2] Mark 8:36 King James Version

[3] ‘Higher Love’. Steve Winwood and Will Jennings. All rights reserved




© Jeremy Halpin all rights reserved. All images are the author’s own unless otherwise indicated or if the original source is unknown at the time of writing. You can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner of the page – or share it on the social media of your choice. If you have any wishes or questions regarding subjects to be discussed on this blog use the contact information below. Jeremy is also available for seminars, lectures and personal consultation:



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