Recognizing and Releasing the Ghosts

This may not be about what you are thinking, but only you will know that as I have no idea what you are thinking. That is the very kind of ghost I am talking about. I can think I know what you are thinking, but what I think only exists in my mind. What you think I am thinking only exists in your mind. It is as if we are surrounded by beings, which exist as we create them to exist. They play a role and function in our minds. How I think about them, and how I relate to them, is about me. How they exist or do not exist in your mind is about you. Don Miguel Ruiz talked about these beings as ghosts that exist in our mind; it is as if there is a ghost town, which lives in our minds.

It is not that they are literally ghost, in the sense of a paranormal spirit, or the cartoon character of Casper the friendly ghost. Rather they are perceptions of what one thinks they know or believe about a person or a situation. The way I see or think about something may not be the same as the way someone else does. There is always something, which is a little distorted. As suggested by Don Miguel Ruiz I looked at myself in the mirror. While I saw myself, what I saw varied dependent on what mirror in which I was looking at myself. Sometimes it was little things like my right hand appeared as my left and my left as my right. Even though I knew I was seeing things in reverse, it helped to remember that things are not always the way they seem.

So often we give these ghosts names or identities like mother, father, sister, brother, friend, lover, etc. these words, however, are more like symbols. They are labels that we put on people, but it is not who they are. We seek to understand them as we seek to understand ourselves. However, who we see them as is not always how they see themselves. When we interact with this person, we are interacting with our understanding of them and they are interacting with their understanding of us. Our emotional response is real. However, the source of our response is based on what we think we know about a person or situation. It is important for us to seek clarification so our sense of who a person is or what a situation is has greater clarity.

It is said the truth will set you free. However, the journey to getting there is complex because we must come to recognize the lies and ghosts, which cloud our vision and understanding. Perhaps that is why so many spiritual writings mention the need to focus on the clarity of one’s own mind and perception. It is like driving. It is easier to see where we are going and how to react when the skies are clear then when we are driving under foggy conditions.

In Toltec Wisdom, there is recognition of what is called the fog. The fog is everything we have agreed to in our lives, the internal laws by which we have agreed to live, the lies we have told ourselves about what we can and cannot do, the self-judging of ourselves. All of these fog our perception of others and ourselves. This fog in Toltec teachings is called mitote. It clouds us from seeing who others and we really are.

We remove the mitote in which these ghosts live by allowing things to die. We look at the decisions we have made in our lives out of fear, move through them, and allow them to lose their power and die. We examine the agreements we have made and we find the courage to break the agreements, which were made out of fear and not out of love.

We come to an understanding of our authentic self, when we find the courage to drive through the fog, to create new agreements for myself and be who I am truly am. We are all possessed by the teachings we were given as children and/or taught by society. To varying degrees, we have learned to work through them, release those we do not agree with, or no longer agree with, and find the courage to let them go. As one crosses all the challenges, confronts all one’s fears and challenges all the power sources one has allowed to control one’s life, then what becomes visible is the world we have created based on what we have agreed to, and not the mitote of the world around us.