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Mind – A Beautiful Tool

October 07, 2010 | | Comments 0

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We confuse the world as it is with the world as it is thought  about, talked about and figured about –the world as it is described.”

                                                Allen Watts     

The Germans have a word for it –a  “hintegedanka”.

The word is a hint about something we all relate to, if only vaguely, and a few know. It refers to a thought behind thought; to a notion way back in our head that is glimpsed. Like a suspicion. We suspect something may be going on other than what we see, hear, touch, taste and smell. We “sense” that perhaps we are not getting the whole picture; that the five channels we’re “tuned” in on are limited and limiting. So we delve into the inner recesses of our sixth sensing device: mind. What we rarely suspect is our mind. After all, if we think about it, mind is who we are, right?

Mind, whether we call it “mine” or “yours”, is a mask. Some early Greeks recognized this, and created dramatis personae for their stage plays. All the actors  wore masks that proclaimed their roles as dramatic personifications of humans, heroes and gods. They spoke as persona, which means “through sound”. The “person” is the mask. Who or what wears this mask? That is the question rarely asked  and even rarely answered. That’s because we rarely listen in stillness.

 Instead, from a very early age, we learn what  it takes to become a “person”.  All this is aided by the six  senses;  a dramatic personhood is gradually aggregated, i.e. formed, by this process. Along the way, up to age three or so, all our senses, including the mind, become a description of a new critter dubbed (affectionately or not) “me” and, by definition, “you”.  Thus we form a “composite character” of the “person” we will take our self and others to  be for the rest of our natural lives. Of course, this amalgamated individual is –and can only be, a product of all the influences which it comes under, particularly during those early formative years. These contributing factors include, but are not limited to, genetic predispositions and cultural programming. Add to that the sheer randomness of living on the planet, and we have a kind of mind-made madness that functions, for good or ill,  in a  “world” created by and for, itself. A self-serving selfhood, individually and collectively. And while it’s all an  illusion, it’s important to remember that, in the words of Nisargadatta Maharaj  “nothing is wrong”. Everything..every thing…that  happens is OK, is unavoidable and amazing in its ability to create  this thing we call life.

Now all of this brings us back full circle ( if our fear will allow such a possibility) to one of the ways we fall into this trance: mind. Mind functions solely through concepts; ideas about reality which take the form we call “feelings” and their expression in “words” Words, words, werds! To mis-take this mindspin, these words printed here, or any words spoken and written in any language, for reality, is to miss the point entirely.

Mind is a beautiful tool! For sorting and storing data –even for retention of complex “feelings” –mind  is unmatched, if not unparalleled. Yet it is paralleled, so to speak.

Behind the mind, when we listen in stillness, we find what we in fact, are. We find the ground of our Being and we  come to  the heart of the matter. We see and know our mind as the map, but clearly not the territory. The “territory” is that  which is the source of mind. That which is expressed as you, and me, and all that Is. That which is not mind, but which includes mind. That  toward which mind points and beckons. That  unalterable truth  which hints to us not out of weakness, but out of  immense strength  founded on reality. It is that Self consciousness  which pushes and prods us to abandon the minds’ spell, and to align  with a True North that is here and now.

Getting beyond our mind involves going through it!

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