There Is a Mitote in Your Mind
What is the sound of a thousand people talking in the marketplace, and nobody listening? No, this is not a mysterious Zen riddle; it is the description of what is going on in the minds of most people when they are dreaming. Toltec teachers use the word mitote to describe this babble of the mind. It comes from the Nahuatl language, which, as mentioned earlier, has been spoken in Mexico since the time of the Toltecs.
The Toltec master invites his apprentices to listen to their mitote as an important first step in the mastery of awareness. Most of those voices in your mind are the result of everyone downloading their opinions and beliefs in your early domestication. It is important to keep in mind that whatever you hear there is not bad or wrong, and not to be judged. It is simply the chatter that goes on in most people's minds “behind the scenes” of daily life.
Beliefs and Agreements Rule Your Life
A “belief” is something the mind accepts as true or real, often with an emotional connection that gives it even more of a sense of certainty. When a parent tells a child that she is beautiful or ugly, smart or stupid, the child takes on the belief of the parent with absolute certainty. When a teacher tells a child that he will probably never make it to college, that belief of the teacher becomes the truth for the child. If a parent finds young children exploring each other physically, and tells them they are bad and they must never do that, this becomes a belief in the mitote of the child's mind — and may be there for an entire lifetime.
Write an inventory of ten things you want to do, but don't do, because you agreed they are wrong. Who did you make those agreements with?
Do you want to continue to let those people make choices in your life? If not, write new agreements that would serve your life in a more positive way.
An “agreement” is a contract, or a shared opinion between two or more people. During your domestication, you made agreements with parents and others, often against your will or integrity. You had no choice; you had to go along with their way (or the highway). If your Dad said “Hey, we don't pull the cat's tail,” you knew you were bad and could be punished if your desire to pull overcame your intention to follow the rules. You made two agreements. The first was that you would be part of the “we” of your family and not pull the cat's tail. The second agreement was subtler. You agreed that if you pulled the cat's tail, or even wanted to, you were a bad person and deserved expulsion from the “we.”
When you add up all the things you were told you should do differently, all the wrong things you did (wrong thinking, wrong emotions, wrong actions), and all the things you didn't do that you should have done, you will see how many of these agreements you made. Perhaps you can also understand why the Toltecs teach that these beliefs and agreements are what control your life, and that unless you wake up and reprogram your mind, you will never be free.
Indirect Downloads and Contradictions
There are many beliefs in the mind's mitote that were not learned directly. A child might be frightened by her parents' violent arguing, and make a silent agreement never to fight with her husband when she gets married. From this ongoing experience she would probably create a belief that it is wrong to argue with anyone. As an adult, she will avoid conflict, even denying her feelings and going against herself to keep the peace.
The power of the beliefs and agreements in your mind from the past can have a powerful influence in your adult life. The Toltecs recognize the importance of waking up from the dream and examining those beliefs. When you have awareness of their power, and an understanding that most of them are fear-based lies from others, you have the choice, and perhaps the motivation, to change them.
Have you ever noticed that many of your beliefs contradict each other? The things you were told by parents may conflict with what your teachers said was the right way to behave. Or things your family taught you about love and sex might be in conflict with the ideas of peers and mates.
Here are some examples:
“Thou shalt not kill” versus “We're looking for a few good men — join the Marines!”
“Money is the root of all evil” versus “Winning the lottery would be wonderful.”
“God loves all His children” versus “If you are not good, God will punish you for eternity.”
This mitote of contradictory beliefs programmed into the human mind cause equally contradictory behaviors. Have you ever said to yourself, “I don't know why I said that! I never intended to say it; it just came out that way”? Or, “I knew that something bad would happen if I did it, and then I went ahead and did it anyway. I don't understand what happened.” Inconsistent, conflicting, or unexpected behaviors are the result of these unquestioned beliefs held in the mind.