In one of the last major lectures by my Teacher in 1990, he emphasized the importance of rationalization. He was speaking about developing the mind and how rationalization would help in this effort. Many of us were confused to say the least. We usually think of rationalizing when we try to justify some questionable behavior with different logics and reasoning.

You know how it goes….you just did something really wrong, said something you shouldn’t have – a faux pas – and later on, you try to explain it off with, “They shouldn’t have reacted so much.” Or “How did I know x, y, and z.” Rationalizing–we all do it.

However, this is not what my Teacher was talking about. There is another definition of rationalization that refers to becoming more efficient by putting in new systems or equipment. Businesses seek such improvements in order to run faster and better.

Rationalization of the mind, as explained in the lecture, is somewhat different. It takes place when we replace outdated and defective thinking for more positive, expansive ideas.

We think thousands of thoughts per day and some of those thoughts do not help us at all. Sometimes we dwell on problems with relationships, or work, or financial concerns. Of course, trying to resolve our problems is helpful thinking. But when complexes kick in, and we begin to doubt our capacity or even our worth, then thinking gets muddled and stunted. Creativity suffers and solutions do not appear on our mental horizon.

So let’s rationalize – move your thinking to more positive thoughts, replacing the defective and outdated ideas with newer, helpful, and more creative ones. If you keep making the same mistake, don’t justify it or blame yourself. Take your mind to a higher level of thinking and focus on solutions.

Meditation is also a great rationalizer. As we meditate, we become more aware of defective thoughts and develop the mental force to shift to more efficient thinking. Mantra is particularly helpful in this regards as it can keep our mind in a higher state whenever we use it.

Collectively, we also suffer from defective and antiquated ideas. Dogmatic thinking, such as racism, sexism, homophobia and all kinds of biases render our social systems dysfunctional and destructive. The idea that poverty is unavoidable and will always be with us no longer has any use in our society today. We need to envision a society free from the chains of discrimination and impoverishment. Nothing is stopping us except our own inefficient thinking.

(to be continued)

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