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InvisibleSclorch
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Mindfulness and Control
    #2316099 - 02/09/04 12:11 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

I was just thinking... what is the relationship between mindfulness and control?

I'd say, for the most part, I'm pretty damn conscious/mindful of everything I do. Though there are a few situations where drone mode kicks in - driving (often, but less when I'm not tired or when the music is off), hygiene (usually), and eating (frequently).

As a youth, I think it would be safe to say that I was a bit of a control freak. I wasn't ever diagnosed obsessive-compulsive, but if not, I was right at the line. I never considered this tendency of being constantly aware to be a positive thing until my high school years (when I pretty much said "fuck it" and let go). It wasn't until a few years ago that I ran into the eastern concept of mindfulness.

So, finally, my question for you:
What is the difference between being mindful and being a control freak?


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InvisibleZero7a1
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Re: Mindfulness and Control [Re: Sclorch]
    #2316122 - 02/09/04 12:15 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

I think it relies on the state of the individual.

Is one that is mindful worried constantly if there is a problem? Or are they just aware?

is the control freak constantly trying to have a grasp on things, becasue they are trying to avoid that possible danger?

So maybe being mindful is the acceptance of the known, but yet bendable to the unknown.

The control freak doesnt "bend" to the unknown, it tries to constantly adapt to fight off anything that could be missed, which might open a potential threat.


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Mindfulness and Control [Re: Zero7a1]
    #2316171 - 02/09/04 12:23 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Well, whadda ya know... the answer came fast this time. :wink:


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InvisibleZero7a1
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Re: Mindfulness and Control [Re: Sclorch]
    #2316179 - 02/09/04 12:24 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Surprise Surprise!


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OfflineSpecialEd
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Re: Mindfulness and Control [Re: Sclorch]
    #2316180 - 02/09/04 12:25 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

I'd say that being a control freak is a character flaw. It's overcompensation. I don't see how mindfull could be synonymous with control freak. Perhaps Mr Mushrooms could be of assistance there.


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InvisibleZero7a1
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Re: Mindfulness and Control [Re: SpecialEd]
    #2316192 - 02/09/04 12:30 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

hes not asking whether they are synonomous, he is asking how being mindful and being a control freak are different .


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OfflineStrumpling
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Re: Mindfulness and Control [Re: Sclorch]
    #2316245 - 02/09/04 12:51 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

I think the difference between being these two highly scientific terms "mindful" and a "control freak" is that a control freak will attempt to control things outside of their realm of control at times, which can suck for more than one person in more ways than one. One who is mindful is simply aware of what they are controling, and aware of what they cannot control.

that's my take anyway, without my scientific dictionary :wink:


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OfflineStrumpling
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Re: Mindfulness and Control [Re: Zero7a1]
    #2316254 - 02/09/04 12:52 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

"hes not asking whether they are synonomous, he is asking how being mindful and being a control freak are different."

Well by asking how one is different from the other, he was implying to me that they are almost indistinguishible from various perspectives


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OfflineSpecialEd
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Re: Mindfulness and Control [Re: Strumpling]
    #2316298 - 02/09/04 01:12 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

^^^dito


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Mindfulness and Control [Re: SpecialEd]
    #2316920 - 02/09/04 08:13 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Here is a difference.

Many years ago I was travelling across the desert late at night with a buddy. He was doing the driving at that time. I felt no need to be in control of the situation. I watched as a car came directly towards us at rapid speed "knowing" it was an illusion of the dark night, bright headlights and narrrow road. Suddenly, my senses and awareness went into overdrive as the illusion seemed all too real. I grabbed the wheel from his hands and yanked us off the road into the desert as the car went flying by on the wrong side of the road narrowly missing us in a head-on collision.

Shaking and pale, my buddy lit up a cigarette and I refered him to the "Quitting Smoking" thread. (See how everything is interconnected?)


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OfflinePedM
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Re: Mindfulness and Control [Re: Sclorch]
    #2317212 - 02/09/04 11:16 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

I think Swami may be a Buddha, or at least an emanation of sorts.

>> What is the difference between being mindful and being a control freak?

A controlling person is typically frantic and hysterical about properly arranging external conditions in order to avoid situations that bring difficulty, and create probable cause for situations that bring relief. A controlling person believes this is possible, and expends an enormous degree of energy minimizing all of the outside variables, quarreling with others who disagree with that person's methods, and typically abides within minds of tension and stress day after day, perhaps life after life.

This is the opposite of mindfulness. A mindful person has realized that finding happiness and freedom from adversity is not achievable through rearranging the conditions of the outside world. A mindful person has instead turned their focus inward, to their own mind. Through careful observation, a mindful person is aware of which habitual thought patterns bring suffering, and which bring us happiness. Having achieved this special awareness, that person begins abiding within proper minds.

A controlling person would, by definition, have very little awareness of their own mind and how it functions. They would, like us all, be especially prone to allowing the mind to dictate their every experience.


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
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Re: Mindfulness and Control [Re: Ped]
    #2317689 - 02/09/04 02:04 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

I find that the typical "control freak" is a real mess on the inside.
these are the type of people who seem to be in control, but if you look at their routine, they're always in a hurry, constantly running from place to place, they're pretty organized, but only because they're always misplacing things and they try to control their environment, including other people, to try to bring some order into their own lives. these people have trouble dealing with any loose ends, any unanswered questions, unpredictability or uncertainty.

control freak: attempts to control the outside to bring order into their own chaotic lives
mindful: controlling and calming the inside to bring order to your life

or maybe a mindful person is just a control freak who read some Buddhist literature..


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Mindfulness and Control [Re: Ped]
    #2317728 - 02/09/04 02:13 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

I'm assuming you're using "controlling person" in place of "control freak".
Correct me if I'm wrong.


Ped: A controlling person is typically frantic and hysterical about properly arranging external conditions....
I agree.

This is the opposite of mindfulness. A mindful person has realized....
I agree.

A controlling person would, by definition, have very little awareness of their own mind and how it functions.
I disagree. They might not have explored every nook and cranny, but they understand alot of it. And they are quite aware of the Self.

They would, like us all, be especially prone to allowing the mind to dictate their every experience.
I agree.


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Mindfulness and Control [Re: infidelGOD]
    #2317771 - 02/09/04 02:28 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

infidelGOD: I find that the typical "control freak" is a real mess on the inside.
Yup.

these are the type of people who seem to be in control, but if you look at their routine, they're always in a hurry, constantly running from place to place, they're pretty organized, but only because they're always misplacing things and they try to control their environment, including other people, to try to bring some order into their own lives. these people have trouble dealing with any loose ends, any unanswered questions, unpredictability or uncertainty.
Okay, this is where we might differ.  I think there can be more than one type of control freak.  The kind you describe is one, but there are others... some that are NOT very organized externally, but are very particular and organized internally.  They also may not want to directly control other people, instead, they just consider everyone around them to be wastes of flesh.

control freak: attempts to control the outside to bring order into their own chaotic lives
mindful: controlling and calming the inside to bring order to your life

Yup.

or maybe a mindful person is just a control freak who read some Buddhist literature..
Yeah... hehe... maybe...  :eyemouth:


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OfflinePedM
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Re: Mindfulness and Control [Re: Sclorch]
    #2318273 - 02/09/04 04:51 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

>> A controlling person would, by definition, have very little awareness of their own mind and how it functions.
I disagree.


Perhaps a better way to put it would have been "A controlling person would, by definition, have very little awareness of their own mind it's relationship to our experience." If a person posessed such awareness, they would not allow their own minds to dictate their every experience.


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: Mindfulness and Control [Re: Ped]
    #2319975 - 02/10/04 01:01 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Ped: Perhaps a better way to put it would have been "A controlling person would, by definition, have very little awareness of their own mind it's relationship to our experience." If a person posessed such awareness, they would not allow their own minds to dictate their every experience.

Nope, I disagree again. Of course, this is based upon my own anecdotal evidence, but the main difference between the two is being comfortable with uncertainty. The control freak battles uncertainty while the mindful relishes it.


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OfflineViaggio
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Re: Mindfulness and Control [Re: Sclorch]
    #2320174 - 02/10/04 02:07 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Ped described mindfulness pefectly. It's being aware of your mind and recognizing it as a separate part from the self, along with its thoughts and emotions.

"Be mindful of your thoughts, Anakin. They betray you."

If a control freak was actually mindful of his thoughts, he would recognize his behavior and dissolve it.


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OfflineFrog
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Re: Mindfulness and Control [Re: Viaggio]
    #2320191 - 02/10/04 02:14 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

I love it when you guys are all intellectual and shit.  :grin:


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The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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OfflinePedM
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Re: Mindfulness and Control [Re: Sclorch]
    #2321128 - 02/10/04 02:40 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

>> Nope, I disagree again. Of course, this is based upon my own anecdotal evidence, but the main difference between the two is being comfortable with uncertainty. The control freak battles uncertainty while the mindful relishes it.

Our disagreement essentially stems from a misunderstanding.

Viaggio clarified what I was meaning by saying:

>> If a control freak was actually mindful of his thoughts, he would recognize his behavior and dissolve it.

A controlling person must lack acute awareness of the way their mind is functioning.  It is a function of mind to become uncomfortable upon encountering uncertainty.  If an individual possessed an awareness of the way their mind functions to create experience, they would understand that discomfort with uncertainty is merely a mental habit, and naturally they would oppose these minds as they arise.

Generally, when a controlling person encounters an unforseen circumstance, they are immediately gripped by anxiety.  Anxiety is a function of mind.  It is a series of thought patterns conjoined with a series of feelings that function to produce a tightness, an inner tension.  Upon encountering anxiety, or any undesirable mental phenomenon, we have the option either to abandon the uncomfortable mental path, or allow it to guide us into places we do not wish to go.  In this case, a controlling person lacks the awareness of this choice, and follows their mind wherever it may take them.  As a result, they gain a reputation as being anxious and unhappy people.

The mind is functioning this way all the time.  The mind is always leading us in different directions.  Very rarely are we aware of this process: very rarely are we mindful beings.  Take the example of anger.  When a situation arises which prompts us to become angry, our mind apprehends a set of circumstances which it disagrees with or finds offensive and says "I should not have to experience these circumstances."  Immediately, we are presented with the tempting option to become angry, to viciously oppose the circumstances to which we feel aversion.  If we are not mindful, we are blindly guided into fits of frustration and rage, which serve no function except but to harm ourselves and those around us.

After the situation has settled, we might reflect and think to ourselves "Boy, that was completely unnecessary.  I do not wish to become angry ever again, because it is simply not productive."  Yet the next day, or even as soon as thirty minutes later, we may find ourselves again swept up in anger by our undisciplined minds, over and over.  Is this not utter insanity?  :nut:

It is because we lack awareness of how our mind functions.  If we have awareness of how our mind functions, we no longer follow negative mental paths, and we naturally oppose negative mental habits.  This is a profound freedom.  A controlling person, an angry person, an anxious person, all of these unfortunate people are bound within the prison of their own tangled minds.  Each of us are suffering to varying degrees in this way.  The world is filled with beings trapped in suffering.  Understanding this, how can we not have compassion for ourselves and others?


Life is Suffering.
Suffering has a Cause.
Because it has a Cause, Suffering and be ended.
Mindfulness and Awareness bring an end to Suffering.


--------------------


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InvisibleZero7a1
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Re: Mindfulness and Control [Re: Ped]
    #2322102 - 02/10/04 10:45 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

AH, but what if one is aware of such a mental process in ones mind, but one can not seem to overcome. Is it because that person thinks that it is something that they must overcome that they become frustrated?


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General Interest >> Philosophy, Sociology & Psychology

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