Our mind is an instrument, a tool. It is there to be used for a specific task, and when the task is completed, you lay it down. As it is, about 80 to 90 percent of most people’s thinking is not only repetitive and useless, but because of its dysfunctional and often negative nature, much of it also harmful. Observe your mind and you will find this to be true. It caused a serious leakage of vital energy. This kind of compulsive thinking is actually an adduction. What characterises an addiction? Quite simply this : you no longer feel that you have the choice to stop. It seems stronger than you. It also gives you a false sense of pleasure, pleasure that invariably turns into pain.
Because you are identified with your thinking, which means that you shrive your sense of self from the content and activity of your mind. Because you believe that you would cease to be if you stopped thinking. As you grow up, you form a mental image of who you are, based on your personal and cultural conditioning. We may this phantom self the ego. It consists of mini activity and can only be kept going through constant thinking. The term ego means different things to different people, but when I use it here it means a false self, created by unconscious identification with the mind.
To the ego, the present moment hardly exists. Only past and future are considered important. This total reversal of the truth accounts for the fact that in the ego mode the mind is so dysfunctional. It is always concerned with keeping the past alive, because without it, who are you? It constantly projects itself into the future to ensure its continued survival and to see some kind of release or fulfilment there. It says “one day, when this, that, or the other happens, I am going to be happy, okay, at peace.” Even when the ego seems to be concerned with the present, it is not the present that is sees : It misperceives it completely because it looks at it through the eyes of the past. Or to reduces the present to a means to an end, and end that always lies in the mind projected future. Observe your mind and you’ll see that is how it works.
Reference : The Power Of Now. Eckhart Tolle.