Early childhood conditioning creates the basic pattern upon which the judgmental mind is constructed. This can be seen in adulthood as the Inner Judge or Inner Critic, also known as the superego. Internalized fears and beliefs provide the basis of superego judgements, and these are, for the most part, the result of conditioning originated in childhood and later augmented by peers, schooling, religion, and many influences in society. Originally, much conditioning was intended to be useful in supporting our survival in the world, however, some of it resulted in developing habits of mind and body that persist and distort our perceptions into adulthood.
It has been found useful, indeed necessary, to recognize these distortions in order that we might relax into our True Nature. We can do this by first recognizing and acknowledging the appearance of conditioning in our lives. This first stage already disengages and distances us somewhat from the judgements of the superego. The importance of this process is reflected in the following quotations.
All of our lives we are conditioned rightfully so to move toward safety, to move toward feeding our hungers but if our life becomes just about moving toward safety or just about feeding our hungers we overlook what needs no safety, what is already full.
The most evident manifestation of the soul being asleep is one's unshakable conviction in conventional or consensus reality, and in the content of one's overall social conditioning. Regardless of what profound experiences of Being you may have had and how objectively you may have seen reality, when you get up off your meditation cushion or leave a meeting with your teacher, you act, feel, and behave as if reality is the world you learned from your mother. When you do this, you are expressing the asleepness of your soul."
~ A.H. Almaas
Reactivity tells you that past conditioning is present.
During the first seven years, every society tries to condition the mind – and conditioning means nothing but hypnosis: forcing authority, law, tradition, religion, scripture, the priest, the church, into the innermost unconscious of the child so that from there you can control him.
Please be so good as to believe that there is nothing whatever mysterious about this matter. If it were easy, should we not all be Buddhas? No doubt, but the apparent difficulty is due to our conditioning. The apparent mystery, on the other hand, is just an inability to perceive the obvious owing to a conditioned reflex which causes us persistently to look in the wrong direction.
~ Wei Wu Wei
Even in the beginning when someone comes to satsang, there might be a discomfort with the silence. Now that is a clue because there is a recognition in the body and brain that something very immense is happening — and it's a little scary. So the way I explain conditioning is the image of mortar around bricks. Mortar is basically made of sand and something else which hardens and it keeps the building in place. It's the same with conditioning — it's hardened through time and agreement and opposition to it. In an earthquake, if there is a brick building, the earthquake literally vibrates the mortar back to its original substance, which is sand, and then the whole building collapses. This sounds terribly deconstructionalist but that's exactly what happens in satsang! The conditioning, that little shell, which is maintained through surface tension, starts to crack and dissolve and all or a sudden that which was resting prior to it is revealed. So it's definitely good to get yourself to satsang.
~ Pamela Wilson
Your unhappiness ultimately arises not from the circumstances of your life but from the conditioning of your mind.
~ Eckhart Tolle
Conflict arises out of ego, not out of deep spiritual Godself. You know, when we forget who we are, we forget the God inside of us, we forget the God in everybody else, then we fall into ego. We fall into the separate sense of self and that separate sense of self is a conditioned self. And that conditioned self is going to act and create conflict because it needs the world to be a specific way. And if the world doesn’t conform to the specific story I have in my mind, then I’m gonna fight it. And I’m gonna fight anyone that gets in my way of getting what I want. So at that level of reality there is conflict. Conflict arises out of forgetting.
~ Rabbi Olivier BenHaim
Each of us is a product of our family, environment, friends, education, culture, and society. These conditions lead to a certain way of seeing things and a certain way of responding to things. When we see this, we have compassion for everyone, including ourselves. We see that if we want something to change, we also have to help change his or her family, environment, friends, education, culture, and society. We are responsible, directly or indirectly, for each person's consciousness attitudes.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Ego identity is kept alive through habit, practice and the unquestioned assumption that we are our body and mind conditioning. We are living with the notion that we are this constructed self. This constructed identity is our root belief and nearly all our activities spring from there. And we keep all this up because it is all we believe we are. We are faithful and loyal to this habit of associating with impermanence, and like this we become a loyal member of the community of ignorance. But once the ego is immersed in the energy field of satsang, its power and influence begin to this away quickly. As soon as the ego enters the Heart’s orbit, it is like a meteorite vanishing into the atmosphere before it reaches earth.
When the conditioned ego is not active, the natural functioning of consciousness simply flows, and responding in the moment happens. When ego filter is active and we are viewing through separation/conditioning, there is a distortion to the natural flow.
Because it has been man's conditioning that it is only effort which could bring him anything in life, it is extremely difficult for an ordinary man to grasp the fact that nothing more than a deep understanding of one's true nature is necessary for the total transformation of awakening to take place.
~ Ramesh Balsekar
After we have been on the path for a while, we discover that we have signed up, perhaps unwittingly, for a loss that will eclipse all of our losses: the death of our conditioned identities, which we have taken to be who we are. Not trusting yet that this death is the vehicle for the very transformation we long for, we flee from it in terror.
~ Jennifer Welwood
Conditioning is learned - this means that it can be unlearned.
Do you really want to end the war of "my will" and crack through your conditioning?
Do you know yourself as Self, or do you prefer to merely talk about it?
~ Stuart Schwartz
The moment you become aware of the ego in you,
it is strictly speaking no longer the ego,
but just an old, conditioned mind-pattern.
Ego implies unawareness.
Awareness and ego cannot coexist.]
~ Eckhart Tolle
. . . conditioning is just a spell that's maintained through agreement or opposition.
When we go to satsang that spell gets broken.
~ Pamela Wilson
. . . the factors (i.e. barriers to liberation) already known and generally accepted, include the influence of the environment, society, the economy, childhood conditioning, and the paucity of real teachers.
~ A.H. Almaas
The Truth is beyond thought, concept, and conditioning
and this Truth is what you are, and only the Truth Is.
So stop your search, simply be Quiet.
Yet along the way I also discovered something I was not prepared for: that spiritual realization is relatively easy compared with the much greater difficulty of actualizing it, integrating it fully into the fabric of one’s daily life. Realization is the movement from personality to being, the direct recognition of one’s ultimate nature, leading toward liberation from the conditioned self, while actualization refers to how we integrate that realization in all the situations of our life.
~ John Welwood
Someone, who has realized the Truth of what he is, rather than what he has been conditioned to believe he is, will be smiling in every cell of his being.
It is infectious.
You have changed your thought, but thought is always conditioned.
Whether it is the thought of Jesus, Buddha,
X, Y, or Z, it is still thought, and therefore one thought
can be in opposition to another thought;
and when there is opposition, a conflict between two thoughts,
the result is a modified continuity of thought.
In other words, the change is still within the field of thought,
and change within the field of thought is no change at all.
One idea or set of ideas has merely been substituted for another.
Seeing this whole process, is it possible to leave thought
and bring about a change outside the field of thought?
All consciousness, surely, whether it is of the past,
the present, or the future, is within the field of thought;
and any change within that field,
which sets the boundaries of the mind, is no real change.
A radical change can take place only outside the field
of thought, not within it, and the mind can leave the field
only when it sees the confines, the boundaries of the field,
and realizes that any change within the field is no change at all.
This is real meditation.
~ Jiddu Krishnamurti
You were not born to cry.
You were not born to have bad experiences in your life.
You were not born to have negative conditions in your life, so-to-speak.
You were born to be happy.
Yet you allow the conditionings of the world to affect you.
You allow you're bodily condition to affect you.
What the newspapers tell you, what the TV tells you.
You respond to these things.
This is the only reason that you're not enlightened, so-to-speak.
For you have allowed exterior conditions, external conditions to make up your mind how things are.
Things are things and that's it.
They're not good, they're not bad.
~ Robert Adams
Every thought, however simple or complicated,
comes from outside,
and your brain reacts to that thought
according to your genes and conditioning.
~ Ramesh Balsekar
What I'm saying is, watch out, for your social conditioning,
and how your constant commerce in language with other people
shapes the way in which you actually sense the world.
~ Alan Watts.