Mind: A Double-Edge Tool
Updated: Oct 13, 2020
In Consciousness's work mind has probably the most important role in helping and at the same time preventing us to awake from the illusion of being a physical entity living in an objective independent reality. Mind represents the prism through which the infinite seems finite, the non-physical looks physical, the one looks many and the unlimited appears to be limited.
"You cannot stop the mind from arising, it is already risen. But you can transcend it and realize that everything your mind says is a resistance to Love, to what already is.
The only way to reach Love is to transcend mind and reach your Self.
And since you already are the Self this is a no effort path.
But what it does require is a willingness to let go of
narcissism, sense of lack, competition and desire:
all illusory creations of the mind".
- Shunyamurti -
To be started with I need to clarify that in this post I will use the term "mind" specifically to indicate the totality of our subjective faculties to which we identify with, that are, thoughts, memories, inner chattering/voice, emotions of all kinds, bodily sensations, feelings and perceptions (sighting, smelling, touching, tasting, hearing). Most of people think to ultimately be a physical human being made out of flesh and bones, fat and proteins, atoms and molecules when, under a closer investigation, the only thing you will actually find are subjective experiences that have nothing to do with being physical, material and objective.
The only realization that can lead to an actual revolution and evolution of the human species and of the entire world is to eventually realize our true nature, some-thing that is not-a-thing, some-thing that cannot be pointed as an object, some-thing that has no physical features, some-thing that cannot be grasped by the mind. This some-thing is what we and all reality is and it comes prior to anything in existence, it is the ground of all realities.
Even if it sounds an unreachable realization to attain, the only required step is to stop looking in the world of forms, the outside and external world, and shift your attention within. You job is simply to find That which is prior to anything that can be perceived, felt and thought. You need to find That which is conscious of all the subjective experiences that compose your being a human, some-thing that can be called Consciousness. In this way, what before was called subjective experience, our mean to experience the external world, becomes now an object to be observed and perceived by us, Consciousness, the ultimate subject. What before was our identity, it now becomes an illusory one.
By doing so you will discover that what we ultimately are, Consciousness, has no objective substance, no objective form, no objective localization, no objective feature and therefore we are not subjected to the same time-space limitations of what has a form and a shape. Mind will try its best to try to rationalize and find a logic behind all this apparent non-sense but it will not be able to do so.
Using the mind as your anchor to move and act in life is like riding a crazy horse: you never know in which direction you are heading on. Mind's content change continuously to adapt to every daily situation in order to survive. You job is to disidentify from the mind, to set you free from its tyranny by finding the only stable anchor existing in reality from which to experience and create your reality, that is, Consciousness, alias yourself.
Mind will always be there so do not try to get rid of mind. Mind is an incredible tool that plays an essential role in life but it needs to be sent back to its original place, that is, being at the mercy of Consciousness without being elevated to a master. I fell myself into the trap of trying to prevent mind to arise, to stop the thinking process forever, to silent the inner voice within my head. This is not what you are asked to do in this journey.
The silencing process is fundamental during meditation to realize that prior to mind there is some-thing more profound that before was veiled by the constant chattering of your mind but once you have discovered the witnessing presence behind anything in existence, mind is not anymore the enemy to be fought. It becomes a tool that needs to be tamed after such a long time being unleashed and that in the long run will become your best ally for anything you want to create in life. It becomes your servant for creation.
The best tool to tame your mind is self-observation, a technique that requires to simply being present whenever a negative thought, an intense emotions, a painful feeling arise within you until it loses it strength. Mind is a mix of mechanical, habitual and repetitive patterns that we have learnt to perform by unconsciously identify with it. Our efforts to change these patterns by doing turns out to be a lame strategy in the long run. We cannot change our mind's patterns by reacting to them, by involving our self in new actions. We simply need to be present as Consciousness observing those mechanical habits losing their energy and never be manifested again.
As I have already proposed several time in my blog, Consciousness is all there is. Consciousness in its not-identified state could not appreciate any of its creation and therefore it managed to create within itself a manifestation that could fall into the illusion of believing to be a separate entity living in a world made out of objects. What biology calls evolution, a process in which natural selection brought us here as humans, is actually the intelligent plan of Consciousness in identifying itself in a limited form to be able to participate in its own creation.
And it is here that mind plays an essential role, allowing Consciousness to think to be a individual having its own existence. Mind is indeed a particular and special form of Consciousness that is able to create an identity through the usage of language, labels and concepts. It is able to create more and more complex distinctions within a reality that has none: me, you, others, trees, plants, mountains, ocean and so on are not objective things existing out there having their own existence but distinctions made out by the mind (another distinction) that labels what seems to be out there when in reality there is only Consciousness.
The character within a movie or the wave in the ocean are made out of the same substance, pixels and water respectively, but once they have created the first more important distinction, that is, "me vs. the world", they keep going labeling all the other objects that seem to exist around them. Once the character in a movie falls into the illusion to be an individual having its own existence without realizing that all there is are pixels, it walks around within the movie interacting with "others", surfing the "ocean", climbing the "mountains, admiring "stars", smelling "flowers" without seeing that none of the objects he thinks are existing have their own independent existence: they are all made out of the same substance.
What he thinks to be and the objects that is interacting with are distinctions created by its own imagination within a reality that has none. It is as if one of the word written in this post could identify itself in being an entity and start participating in its own imagined reality talking and meeting to other words.
The exact same thing is happening right now in what we call the real world, where billions of individuals think to be a separate objective being that has nothing in common one with the other, having their own independent existence, busy in doing, lost in their imagined drama when in reality there is only one thing, Consciousness, participating in its own creation by deceiving itself in being many instead of one, in seeing limitations and finitude within its being infinite.
This is what this journey is about: to realize to have been deceived by our own mind in thinking to be someone separate from the rest, to see limitations and boundaries in a reality that has none, to see the other as our enemy when in reality they are what we are.
This illusion must exist and need to be sustained to be able to participate in life. We cannot do it without deception. We need to believe to be a separate being to share and take part in this eternal dance. And I think there is nothing wrong in that as long as we awake from the illusion to eventually play this game called life in a much more conscious way, at our full potential: not by fulfilling the desires and the attachments of an imaginary "me", not by occupying our days riding a crazy horse that leads nowhere, not by being focused on petty and selfish goals, not by being trapped into survival mechanisms but by being inspired by the higher intelligent force that we all are that uses the body and mind as a vehicle to create greatness in the world.
The waking up step represents, in my opinion, only the first step and not the ultimate goal as many believe. Waking up to the realization that you are a formless eternal entity and not a limited mortal being must be the premise to then play the human character at its best potential, knowing the real laws ruling the game.
As long as we think to be a physical human made out of matter living in a world that is independent from us, we will inevitably live life fearing our mind, others and the entire world. Those who subscribe to the materialist model of reality, a model coming from the mind perspective, are bound to the laws that this model implies, that is, a world made out of objective insurmountable limitations; a world where creativity is seen as a insignificant hobby; a world where love is seen as the result of neurotransmitters within our physical body; a world where doing is more important than being; a world where others are seen often as an enemy due to the different skin's color or to the different religious orientation; a world were nature is seen as a land to be exploited and controlled and where animals are often mistreated; a world where the deceived mind tries to earn material richness at the detrimental of others.
And first of all a world where your Being is (apparently) veiled by the mind making your life a struggle, a burden to be lived and the Universe a place to be evaded from. When mind becomes the master, magic is gone and life can seriously become a living hell. When you wake up to the truth, all those activities and beliefs will not make sense anymore. They will appear to be the result of a psychotic mind.
When you wake up to the real nature of reality, you will understand that limitations and boundaries are your own creation. It is you deciding where to draw the line, how to see reality, how to interpret events from different perspectives. You will not have to face anymore an objective, rigid and frozen reality but you can learn to move fluidly within it and realize that solutions have always been out there and that the only existing limitations are the one you impose to your own creativity.
When you wake up to the real nature of reality, you will elect creativity to the most important activity in your life, leaving rationality and logic to the mere job of executing what higher forces have inspired you. We make the mistake to look for solutions using our mind, our thinking process. Mind cannot find creative solutions because our mind is the result of what we already know and its job is not to come up with new ideas. The only ideas mind will be able to propose are simply a re-shuffling of all the information we already possess. They might be good ones but not creative and revolutionary. We need to aim to excellence because our true nature allows us to do so. But we need to leave mind behind and tap into the infinite intelligence present within us, Consciousness, and only then take advantage of the mind as a tool to externalized in the manifested world what a second before was an intangible intuition.
When you wake up to the real nature of reality, you will not even think about harming or discriminating others for differences that are the result of your own imagination rather than objective features of reality. When you stand from the Consciousness's point of view, everything has equal rights and any distinction is evened up. All forms and their features are seen for what they truly are: the creation of distinctions within something that has none. I am not inviting you to stop creating distinctions, this is the beauty of being deceived. It is amazing to admire the heterogeneity of life and to recognize the existence of different human races, different animals, different landscapes. But is important to keep in mind that those distinctions are the result of an illusion, they come from the belief to be someone and therefore the nature of each distinction is illusory as well. Create as many distinctions as you like but in a conscious way, without harming others neither physically nor intellectually and without destroying your home.
When you wake up to the real nature of reality, love will become Love. Not anymore a human emotion, not anymore a biological mechanism but a fundamental law ruling and supporting all existence. Real Love is unconditional, with no limitations and restrictions. Many time we hear asking "if God exists why does it allow those terrible things to happen?". By taking this journey, by looking within, you will discover that That which you are is nothing but Love. Something that allows anything to appear and to be manifested without judgment and resistance no matter how bad and terrifying is its content. It is then the mind that from its limited perspective labels those manifestations as good or bad leading to guiltiness, blame an suffering.
If you are suffering, if you are in pain, if you do not see the beauty of life in every manifestation is because what you think you are is hiding what you actually are. You need to get what you think you are out of the way and only then the beauty of the world will be manifested in every forms. Our suffering must be defeated not by fighting it, not by repressing it but by letting go our illusory identity that is veiling out true one.
Finally when you wake up to the real nature of reality, you will grasp the importance of mind in creating your reality. Mind is the prism that filters out our infinite nature, Consciousness, in a specific manifestation to be able to participate in its own creation. It is like a lens that is focusing the infinite sun light in a limited sun ray. It is double-edge tool: if you know how to use it you can give rise to amazing creations, otherwise you risk to get burned.
Mind is the tool that allows us, Consciousness, to take part and shape our life in the most creative, effortless and joyful way but it needs to be tamed and used as a servant. If it becomes the master it will generate only shallow, ordinary and unconscious creations focused only in fulfilling our own self survival interests that in the long run will bounce back to us causing a lot of suffering.
Mind has to become a conscious and efficient vehicle to manifest the magic that we are.