Friday, June 7, 2013

The Nature of the Mind

The mind has two characteristics, that of abiding in awareness of itself and that of projection, or creation. The mind ceaselessly projects the creation of thoughts, thoughts about the past and future and thoughts about sense impressions.

When the mind projects itself into a world of form suffering necessarily arises because the mind has separated from itself. This is the origin of loneliness, the sense that something is missing. This leads to the seeking of fulfillment in sense objects. This is the tragedy of ignorance wherein the mind has forgotten it separated from itself. Pitifully it seeks fulfillment in its own creations, the objects of its own separation which only distract it from returning to itself. This search leads to everything from rampant consumerism to art, music and poetry, to science and the study of the phenomenal universe, and to all religions.

As if to compound the error the mind, having lost track of its true identity in itself, seeks a self-identity with the objects of its creation. To claim a self-identity with one or more of the minds creations causes suffering indeed. The mind’s creations live only by feeding upon themselves, thus they are in constant fluctuation so one’s self-identity is always threatened. Think about the life of a tree from seed to sapling to fruit bearing mature tree to firewood to ashes and smoke, or to a pile of rotten wood chewed on by beetles. In all it is simply a morphing of forms, as is the case with our own bodies, the sense objects we most strongly identify with. From birth to aging to sickness and death our body simply morphs until its component parts are recycled in the flow of changing forms we call life. This is not really Life. It is merely a procession of deaths. This is what Jesus meant when he said “Let the dead bury the dead.” He used this shocking statement when speaking to a man who was stuck in this procession of deaths and could not step outside of it to see his true identity in the deathless.

True Life is the nature of the mind when it abides in itself. This Life neither changes nor ceases. It is the constant source of all that was created and all that never was created and all that will be created. Quite simply the end of suffering is a shift in identification from that which changes, that which dies, to that which never changes, the unborn, the eternally constant that resides in us all, that some call God.

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