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Beyond Thoughts, Beyond Conditioned Mind: An Interview with Author Michael Cupo

May 10, 2013

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Like many authors, Michael Cupo experienced a profound inner change in his life, and wrote about it. Unlike most, rather than convey his experience through memoir, he

It's Monday Only In Your Mind author Michael Cupo at a recent book signing.

It’s Monday Only In Your Mind author Michael Cupo at a recent book signing.

It’s Monday Only In Your Mind, which zeroes in on two of the biggest challenges with which we all deal – Conditioned Mind, and subscribing too literally to our thoughts. His book further extends with the “It’s Monday Only In Your Mind” blog he has begun writing, and daily inspirational quotes on his Facebook group page.

We had the opportunity to interview Michael, who is gearing up for another promotional tour for It’s Monday Only In Your Mind. As you will see, his answers not only speak to the changes in his life, and his tips for others – but also to one of the more purposeful reasons to write a book in the first place.

366WRITING: Michael, what motivated you to write It’s Monday Only in Your Mind?

Michael Cupo: At first, my motivation was to find inner peace, but in this so-called quest, I kept returning to a couple of questions: “What made me feel a sense of inadequacy as a child?” and “Why did I have to turn to alcohol and drugs amongst so many other things in the first place?” The quieter my mind became, the more these questions were being answered. And I was finding these answers to be real, not some made-up story in my head. When I shared these answers with others, the response I would mostly get was always the same: “I never looked at it like that”.

366WRITING: We love your title, and it leads to a question everyone probably wants to ask, especially after having a great weekend: Why do we have such a collective emotional downshift on Mondays?

MC: The emotional downshift is due to the way we have been socially conditioned to constantly live our life in the past or future. We are never in the present moment, so we are always trying to arrange life the way we think it should be, instead of the way it is. This is very childish, because in reality, Monday is no different than any other day except to an emotionally immature mind. We agonize over it being Monday week after week for most of our life. This is the insanity of the Conditioned Mind.


MC: There is the part of us that is controlled by the senses. This is the human aspect (thought based) of who we are. But there is a self that is beyond anything physical, beyond the thought process. It is the self of the mind, but not in the conceptual way. It is the energy beyond form, but even beyond that; it’s just that our thought process needs to make it solid, so it can have something to grasp and make sense of. Our mind is beyond thought. It is pure Universal Energy. It is who we are before our existence and it is who we are when conditions no longer allow this form to exist and it ends.

To go beyond thought, one must go beyond attachment. This is when we are in alignment with our higher self. It can be called our soul, life eternal, nirvana, bliss, etc., but words are not needed to understand our higher self. Actually, any word will hamper our alignment to our higher self because the word itself is in the form of a thought.

366WRITING: Tell us briefly about your life experience that has formed the book’s foundation.

MC: In 1987, I stopped using alcohol as a solution to cope with life, but unbeknownst to me at the time, I just substituted other things for the alcohol. After eighteen years of being alcohol and drug free, I became addicted to pain medication. The life-changing events that occurred once I got off the medication was I knew that the reason this happened was because my self-centered behavior never changed. I don’t how I knew this, but this understanding was the catalyst that led to writing my book. After much investigation I started finding answers and I started seeing changes in my behavior. I knew I was on to something that was going to last.

366WRITING: Tell us about your personal background, career, family, hobbies and enjoyments.

MC: I have been working for PSE&G (electric utility) for 24 years. I am an Electric System Operator Supervisor based out of Newark NJ. I grew up in Newark to loving parents, and was one of 6 children. Today I live in Clark NJ. I have been married for 21 years to Maureen, and I have 2 children. My daughter, Alexa, 19, attends Iona College, while my son, Steven, 17, is a high school junior. My favorite things to do are to work out,  meditate, play golf, go to the beach in the summer, and spend as much time with my family as possible. Also I thoroughly enjoy helping people who want help. I really enjoy all aspects of my life today, just as it is.

366WRITING: Your book is a number of things: a personal story, your own journey, but also a well developed narrative on how readers can change their lives, recover from traumas, and transform themselves. What holds people back from taking this step – even when it’s obvious that a change is necessary?

MC: The mind defaults to what is familiar. Even to the point of its own destruction. The conditioning must be changed if this behavior is to be changed. If this isn’t identified, the behavior is repeated over and over until the necessary practice is cultivated to initiate the change. Own Conditioned Mind (ego) keeps us from realizing this. It tells us everything is okay, but it is a big lie. Usually, until something dramatic happens, this lie isn’t exposed. The end of the egoic control allows for change to occur. This is the core content of my book, how to instill this change without having to go to the depths of despair.

366WRITING:  In your own transformation, can you share with us a few major surprises you learned or experienced about yourself?

MC: The biggest surprise is my writing. It was never my intention to write a book. I still am the one who is surprised the most by being an Author. I also learned so many misconception about existence, God, love and life. But the biggest one is, “I am not my thoughts”.

366WRITING: What is the response you’ve been getting so far from readers and people at your promotions?

MC: Most responses from people are pretty much the same: from my book, they are getting an awareness of how controlled they are and how controlled people around them are, how unaware they were of this. But how by becoming aware of this, they are slowly changing their Conditioned Mind Patterns; when they do this, they feel so much freer and alive.  To me, the important thing is they are passing information in the book on to others. This is the true measure of any book.


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