Have you ever heard of the story of how elephants are trained for circuses and human pleasure?
It goes something like this… it is the story about a baby elephant being tied to the ground, and no matter how much it struggled to break free from the chains, it couldn’t do so. Eventually, it gave up trying to escape. The baby elephant soon grows up to become a full sized elephant. However, due to the conditioning that it had when it was a baby, the adult elephant would not even attempt to run away if it had a chain tied to one of its legs.
Why? Because it doesn’t believe that it can do so. It had been conditioned in such a way that it no longer believes in its own ability to break free from the chains that bind it, even if the chains are not tied to anything else! The elephant was brought up to believe that its reality as a baby is so real, that there is nothing that it can do about it. This, of course, is not true. The grown elephant has the potential to break free from the chains but it’s conditioning had taught it otherwise.
Such is how our own conditioning works. We were brought up to believe that we are incapable of doing all the things that we wanted to do when we were little. Our imagination and sense of curiosity were hampered when we went to school, as they told us to stop daydreaming and to pay attention in class instead. We were taught all the “facts” which we now find are completely wrong or irrelevant in today’s world, but our conditioning since we were young prevents us from believing the new “truths” that we’ve discovered for ourselves. Consequently, we find it hard to break free from our conditioning, much like the full grown elephant which still believes that the chain on its leg stops it from escaping, when the opposite is true!
We are bound by the illusionary chains of our reality and the only way to break free from this illusion is for us to become aware of the illusion. Without awareness, there is no thinking. Without thinking, there is no imagination. Without imagination, there is no creation. Without creation, there is no advancement.
It’s normally difficult for someone to realise that they are the result of their subconscious programming. After all, our subconscious programming, which we’ve locked into our subconscious mind, has been operating since we were about 8 years of age. AND it operates 95% of the time! So, if you’re not consciously thinking about what you’re doing, your programming since you were 8 is in auto-pilot mode.
My challenge to you is for you to be aware of what you are doing in the moment. Is it serving you? Or is it harming you? I want you to stop and think about why you do what you’re doing. If it’s a habit that doesn’t serve you, break free from your illusionary chain, use your imagination and construct a new, more positive habit that will do the job instead.
You don’t have to be the grown elephant who still believes that you cannot break free from a chain that is not even tied down, but you need to realise also that you’re no longer a baby elephant who is tied down to the ground.