I just wish I could be in control of my mind when I die.– Ann McNeil in The Roaring Silence, about 13 minutes in
I am not sure exactly what she means by it, but here are some things that come up for me.
When I find myself as capacity for my world, all my experiences happen within and as what I am. It’s all revealed as the play of life, or the play of the divine. To me, that’s the most important, and there isn’t really any “control” here.
At a more human level, we can tame the mind. We can train the mind in stable attention. We can shift how we relate to others, ourselves, and all of life. We can train ourselves to notice what we are, and for what we are to notice itself.
The glib response is that we cannot control anything and there is no one here to control anything. Although that has some truth to it, it’s not nearly the whole picture. In real life, there is a lot we can do to train the mind – to notice its true nature, to have more stable attention, to relate to experiences with kindness, and so on. I assume that’s what she referred to when she said: “in control of my mind”.
To me, it’s not really “control”. It’s more that we have trained our mind to work in different patterns.
Or that life has trained itself, locally and as this mind, to work in different patterns.