When there is knowledge of any kind in our intellect (scientific, religious, beliefs, etc.) we will believe that knowledge to be true and we will try to act accordingly. This activity based on intellectual knowledge is what is commonly known as doing “good.” Every religion has its own body of knowledge. We have commandments, laws, spiritual guidelines, codes of conduct, traditions, instructions, etc.
Nevertheless, many times we fail to realize that any of those “good” laws or their combination cannot fit the immensity of life and living life, those things cannot fit the many possibilities of living life. Thus, many individuals will choose to live a life of restriction based upon the understanding of certain laws. Their lives could be described in a piece of paper as the commandments they follow.
Those “laws” are not life. Those “laws” or guidelines are “fingers pointing to the Moon.” The Moon cannot be described in lengthy books, thus, it is an illusion that 10 instructions or 1000 could fit every aspect of life.
To experience the Moon is the goal, not to be stuck in the fingers. Experiencing the Moon is not just one experience. There are many, based on timing, circumstances, sensibility, state of mind, etc.
When I appreciate a bird singing in the morning, my sensibility is opened. This wonder is not man created. This wonder of life comes from a pure source of beauty which is Nature. No one can dispute the existence of Nature. It is there, every day, every night. It is just that TV has a greater pull, the cubicle at work and plenty of coffee has more to offer to our sleepy minds than the kiss of the handsome prince from Nature, to awaken us; the sleeping beauties, from the nightmare of living life in the “rat race.”
Nature is not metaphysical. We cannot make a religion out of Nature as we could out of God, however; the sounds of Nature, the vibrations , the colors; the experience is completely alive and when there is sensitivity for beauty, we could perceive it; and that brings its own change to our sleepy minds. That receptivity to beauty is all we need to “do.”
Then the commandment comes: “ I must not be attached to Nature.” That is when the “fingers pointing to the Moon,” become our worse nightmare. Intellectually I can understand attachment and intellectually I will force myself “not to be with Nature on a regular basis so I don’t’ get attached to it.” 🙂 for this is my perceived “truth.”
That is the time when our “spiritual life” turns into one restriction after another.
We have not understood our mind. That is the problem.
The mind will like something. It will not like something else. It will be indifferent toward certain things. That is all folks! 🙂
If the mind “likes something,” then it will get attached to it. If the mind, does not like something; then it will reject that. If the mind is indifferent, then nothing will happen. As long as there is “mind” in us, we will fluctuate between those 3 states. As long as the mind “likes” Nature; that is the thought of “liking,” has entered; then the commandment to “regulate,” things will use the other aspect of the mind; that is to reject something. “I must not be in Nature for too long..” Note that this is the war of the mind.
Indifference is not the key either, for indifference does not allow appreciation; when appreciation is lacking, life loses its zest, its sacredness. It becomes the “same ol’ thing.”
Here is where the teaching of “no mind,” or to go beyond the mind or to have an empty mind, becomes important. Even though, we have knowledge that life is a movie; our minds are continuously playing its own movie. We believe that movie of the mind to be true and become entangled in the issues which are merely a reflection of our own liking something and being attached to it or fully rejecting something else which could turn around at any time.
Finally, in that state of duality of the mind, there cannot possibly be love.
To experience the Moon with the mind, is a recipe for trouble. As a matter of fact, there is no experience as long as the mind is in between.
What do we do?
Observe. That is become aware, conscious that this is happening. That is the study.
Is the mind “bad” then? No. Neither “good” nor “bad.” It just is. Imagination comes from it, dreams come from it; that is why life is really a dream for most of us; thus the need to wake up. 🙂