“What is MIND? Can you explain through words what is MIND? How to move from MIND to NO-MIND? No-mind is also called pure space, emptiness, what does this mean? I personally feel the mind is total illusion (Correct me please if I am wrong). And if the mind is illusion, how illusion can be associated with purity and impurity? You know they refer it as “Pure Mind” and “Impure Mind”.”
Thank you for your question.
A description will set limits. This may work for tangible items; but when we are referring to intangible such as the “Mind,” is not that easy.
For example, let us take a look at a dictionary definition of MIND: “The element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences, to think, and to feel; the faculty of consciousness and thought.”
From my experience, that definition is quite inaccurate; but yet because it is a “dictionary definition” most will believe in that. Of course, if there was AWARENESS we could know the answer, but yet we want words to make intellectual sense of something that is readily observable.
Consciousness is AWARENESS. The MIND is accumulation of experiences and conditioning which shapes our perspective of Life. We use the filter of the mind to make sense of the world. The mind is the one knowing “what is right or wrong” according to society’s teachings. It is the internal voice speaking which brings our conditioning forward.
For example: “masturbation is sinful.” That is conditioning. That is stored in our mind. That becomes our guiding “truth.” Thoughts will appear to support that core belief. Once those thoughts have drilled down in us and we believe them despite our inner conflict; then feelings will settle and those will create emotions, that is; the body will be affected. Then we may play the “dishonest” game of defending that “truth” verbally, while still DOING it. This will increase our sense of guilt and from there, it is only a step into emotional and mental disturbances.
If you want to understand, do not try to make sense of my words. Just use those as guiding symbols. OBSERVATION, AWARENESS is what will allow you to know.
If you go deeper into this, you may be able to recognize that the MIND is not YOU, but conditioning that have shaped YOU into something. It has given you a “form.”
For example, you are clay; but the mind will present that clay into the form of a little house made with clay. The mind will defend that “form” at all costs for it thrives in identity, which will create the ego-mind. Ego is mind.
You said “The mind is total illusion.” I ask you to confirm that through your own observable experience, after reading this.
Is the house made of clay an “illusion”? Yes and No.
However, what is important is to see clay in every “form.”
That is deconditioning. It is not to negate by saying that everything is an “illusion,” but by OBSERVING that clay will present itself in different forms. Every form is a perspective, the way we look at Life.
“Reality” presents itself through different “forms.” All of them are “real,” but illusions at the same time. It all depends on the one observing. His conditioning. His perspective.
This is the reason why the “I” is real for most, it presents itself with a marvelous form… but it is an illusion at the same time.
When there is no-conditioning, what is there then? An Empty mind. That is space, emptiness. Many labels to refer to “no-mind.”
My friend Mathias, one day explained that “emptiness allows for decoration of a room.” If the room has already stuff in it, there are limits as to how we could decorate. For most individuals, the mind is full of stuff, full of furniture, there is no space for anything “new.”
The terms “purity and impurity” are mental abstractions. A duality created by the mind. Concepts to play with.
“Purity” is not to DO some things and to avoid others.
“Impurity” is not to DO things which are not “pure.” Observe the trap. We must define what is “pure.” That definition entails a particular perspective, a particular reality. For example, some religions believe that sex is “impure.” Thus, their definition of “purity” is no-sex, celibacy.
It is not that sex is pure or impure, but it has been defined in a certain way. There is a particular perspective in such statement.
Since the mind is more less a “computer hard drive” full of experiences and conditioning influencing the output of our actions, there cannot be such a thing as “pure or impure” mind, but rather pure and impure experiences, which can’t be. Experiences are only that, experiences.
No-Mind is not the negation of mind, but to empty the conditioning of it, the “furniture” in the room. That is how it is said: “A pure mind is an empty mind.”
The next question will be: How do I empty my mind?
“You” don’t DO it. Once AWARENESS sets in, it happens while at the same time, emotional disturbances may need to be dissolved; but that is part of someone’s particular path. There are no “recipes.”
You want to DO something? OBSERVE yourself, BE AWARE of your thoughts, emotions, reactions, movements. Learn from yourself. “Know thyself.”
Beyond the trap of purity and impurity, there is AWARENESS and lack of it.
AWARENESS is like breathing. We are so used to “automatic pilot” that we need to read what the “expert” says about “how to breathe.” That is the conditioning of the mind: Believe the “experts” if you want to know.
Once we read the opinion of the “authority,” thoughts will arrive saying that “I know what breathing is.” To de-condition means to open to the possibility that “I don’t know anything, despite reading about it” and go through the breathing experience ourselves.
The mind will try to make “my” findings about breathing into a “best-seller.” That is conditioning. Got to make money! Get ahead!
My moral values will tell me that “I shouldn’t make a profit through spiritual teachings.” That is conditioning as well. That conflict will come from the mind.
An empty mind, is empty of that sort of conflict, for BEING knows the direction in Life. There is no need to make a choice, for that is mind.
To listen to that message without distortions, means to discover no-mind.
What is intuitive, observable, conditioning aside; is very hard to put in words. When I share something in this blog, is not a “teaching.”
Teachers charge for their “knowledge.” Their “knowledge” is second hand, acquired through someone, a system a religion, etc. They teach that, which is easy to assimilate by the masses.
Ahnanda is aware that whatever comes through him, is not “his.” Ahnanda did not make “effort” or “studied with the top masters” or has a library of “spiritual books” to get what he shares. It is not “my choice” to think “spiritual” things, make a plan for an article and write. It just happens.
When I express that opposites are truly inseparable. That gets misunderstood easily. Most will try to make sense with their heads rather than observing their experiences.
A reader wrote: “…it is actually a very simple thing that the “Good” and “Bad”, “Right” and “Wrong”, “Higher” and “Lower”, both things exist together in one single system, they are inseparable. But this is making me think you know that if I don’t want the bad part, I will actually have to renounce wanting the good part as well…”
Observe the confusion. This is not a matter of “choice.” Someone will experience only what he needs to experience in Life, but the labels to describe the experiences become his world rather than the experience itself.
If I experience “cold” it is because I know what “hot” is. If I say “I don’t want to experience hot, thus I need to renounce cold, for both go together in a system.” That is experientially senseless, although intellectually it may make sense.
Let me clarify: Pain and Pleasure are polarities of the same experience. It is the same experience in movement, that is why one side will bring the other.
Life is not an intellectual game. The problem with lack of fulfillment in life that most humans experience; is that their whole life is in the head, the mind.
Hurricane “Irma” IS. There is the assumption that it could hit Florida – USA in a couple of days. Observe how futile is the human drive for certainty: In Nature, there is no “extrapolation of past events to forecast the future.” Observe how the news and some business are thriving unexpectedly out of this incident. The hype is there. The talk that “ Irma could go this way or that way” bring lots of “experts.” The population grows with fear: “What to do? Do I leave and go someplace “safe” or do I stay?” That is the gamble.
People don’t want to make a mistake and spend money unnecessarily. They live in their heads. Their “choice” is giving them a headache. They want to be “right.”
That is the world of the mind, the head. All the information disseminated through the media only increases panic, in the name of safety.
Listen to your gut feeling and go with it. You will be at peace. Just make sure it is your gut feeling and not your mind.
End of report.
“But… but.. what about if I am “wrong”?”
A gut feeling doesn’t work that way. Have we noticed that?
In Life there is no such a thing as being “right or wrong.” That is a human invention that only works in the “office world.” When we deal with Nature, with the forces of Life itself, those mental standards are worth absolutely nothing.
Life is about experiences. Some will experience a hurricane, others will not. There is no right or wrong. Is a hurricane good or bad? 🙂 It just IS. If it IS, it has a “reason” to BE.
If we label a hurricane as “bad,” then we will have a “bad” experience and the “good” experience of not having a hurricane, may have yet another type of “bad” experience. We are caught up with senseless labels.
Nature is unpredictable, just like Life, just like a gut feeling.
Life and death go together. They are not separate.
A “choice” is not a choice, when there is togetherness.
The core of any worthwhile “spirituality” or self-help/psychology is in the understanding of our own mind.
I am not saying “study” of our minds. This is not about what scientists have discovered and for us to use that information just to be “right.”
When we are understanding ourselves, to “reinvent the wheel” is necessary. No one can give us insight through second hand information, unless we are ready to look, become aware and learn from that.
Observe the conditioning in our minds. What we know about or “civilized” society is conditioning. We expect “reality” to follow those guidelines but we may find out that Life does not follow the commandments, laws and guidelines of the “Office world.”
We have a thought. Did we willfully come up with it? Or perhaps, it just appeared? Have we observed that.
Do we become aware of the thought arising, or we simply IDENTIFY with it and call it “mine”? This question is the beginning to find out more about our minds.
At this time, there are millions of people suffering from some kind of mental issue.
What do they have in common? Contact is lost with external “reality.”
In other words, these individuals strongly believe in what their minds dictate.
Someone suffering from schizophrenia, have a “reality” which is undeniable to them. They feel very strong about it. That creates the clash with a different reality of “normal” people. Psychosis, depression, bipolar disorder, dementia… all of those fancy terms, basically describe a mind that is not in touch with “reality.”
If we identify with the contents of our minds, we may live a miserable life. Ego resides right there. Ego is interested in being “right.”
As a person evolves into a different consciousness, that person will realize how forceful our minds could be.
Someone suffering from OCD, is bound to perform certain repetitive actions because in his mind, those activities will bring some benefit. If those actions are not performed, then a sense of guilt and uneasiness will arrive. The mind has control over that person.
Because our society lives in the mind, there is no other “authority” to trust but the conditioning and contents of that mind. That is until we know about out gut-feeling, our heart feelings or any other fancy label to describe a direct knowing which is not necessarily logical or follows a particular benefit for ourselves. To be able to trust “that,” and discern it from the mind, is to create the gap from the rule of the mind.
It is that space, the one that will allow us to observe our own mind.
For example, when we interview someone for a job. We could ask the same questions to all candidates, grade them, add them up and see who is the top candidate. That is the world of the mind, what we have been conditioned to believe. The worshiped idea to be “fair” is there. Nevertheless, personality traits may be covered by someone who is a good talker, a funny person, etc. To observe beyond the answers, becomes important, and to listen to our gut feeling is even more important. Nevertheless, that is not considered to be “fair,” for it is not following “guidelines,” etc. That is the dilemma.
The bottom line is that, we could learn about this experience only if we are AWARE, otherwise; we will perform mechanically the same steps every time there is the label “interview” in our minds, for the conditioning is strong.
We are asleep.
Thus, in that example we could follow the strict steps of the mind to hire someone, or we could go with our gut feeling; but what creates insight and open up our consciousness, is simply to be AWARE that we went with the mind or the heart.
That AWARENESS is the choice-less choice where freedom from the tyranny of the mind resides.
When the mind is caught up with a duality, it has no option but to choose. Paradoxically, is that choice the one that will bring a terrible fight with the nonchosen one.
Pleasure and Pain are one example of such duality.
For centuries, the religious and moral teachings have been made to frown upon pleasure. Even the word “sinful” has been used to label it.
The “spiritual” teachings to deny the physical world and the senses, in the imaginary pursue of something “pure” in the “spirit” world; is utopia.
Life has many dimensions. Every dimension has a particular consciousness, a particular experience.
To deny the physical experience for the sake of pretending to attain a subtler state of being, is to deny Life.
When we deny Life in pursue of an ideal, we are not living harmoniously in the “now.”
The conditioned mind, understands what is “right” or “wrong.” That is the duality that our minds feel comfortable with.
Throw the word “harmony,” and the mind can only think of that as being the opposite of “imbalance.”
A dictionary definition does not bring the experience.
Harmony is the equilibrium of opposites.
Life works through opposites. Pain and pleasure are opposite experiences which are part of living Life in our dimension.
To deny them to attain the ideal of “freedom” is to become paradoxically, slave of such duality.
Humans throughout time; have chosen to embrace pain, sacrifice, martyrdom as the epitome of goodness, moral, sainthood, etc. In this “choice,” rejection of pleasure has brought an unbalanced Life.
Others have embraced pleasure as a reaction, as to desperately indulge in it to take their painful existence away from it; but as we deny one side of a duality, it will appear stronger in our lives.
Overcoming a duality is not a matter of rejection. It is a matter of balance, that is the ability to live Life in harmony with the internal and external elements, moment by moment. This balance needs to have the capacity to change and modify according to the circumstances, it is dynamic.
As we could see, it is not about defining ideals by embracing some and rejecting others.
As we dare to live outside of the conditioned mind, we will observe that balance as a gut feeling will take us back to the sensation of harmony. In that state, the word “overcoming” has no meaning. The “inner equalizer” will bring the stability to BE life itself. Equal to Life.
How do I get there?
You don’t. There is nothing to accomplish. Nothing to “work on.” When you ARE, you will not know it.
It is openness. There is no method to “achieve it.”
Be AWARE that only something that is closed, could be open.
Your potential to be open, is equal to your potential to be closed.
That is why, inner knowledge is about finding out how closed we are.
But we don’t want to see that. We want the fairy stories of “achieving” love and happiness, we “want” the utmost open state of BEING; when we ARE closing down… However, once the door is shut down, it could be open.
It is amazing how the “keywords” are more important than the experience itself.
“You have to live in the now.” “Women want a sexual partner who has presence, who is fully present in the act.”
Those phrases sound amazingly good. Knowledgeable stuff. Best seller material, but…. what is presence and what living in the now mean?
Do you know? Do you practice it?
There is no definition. There is no practice.
Do we need steps or methods to get there?
How can we explain something which defies our language?
Through a common Life scenario.
When we drive a car, as we become familiar with its operation, things become “second nature,” that is “automatic.”
We are driving for some time and our thoughts will appear and process some incident of the past or fantasize about something in the future, or even create a story out of some current Life episode. Have you noticed that?
If we haven’t noticed that, we are not ready to live in the “now.” We don’t know what that is, even if we repeat the latest definitions and use the more hip-hop terminology. At that point, we need to read “best sellers” on how to practice “presence,” and how to live in the “now.”
We need definitions, we need “how-to’s” and ideas to make this practice permanent in our everyday life.
However, a time will come when we notice our fantasizing, our dream world or tele-transportation into a remote past… then we are AWARE. No more “best seller” material needed.
When the mind is full of thoughts, we are not living in the “now.” When we drive the car in the “now,” we are automatically alert, even though it is the same avenue that we drive every day to work. Thanks to our mind, we can remember the familiar sight. But, thanks to our mind, we will snooze into unconsciousness due to the familiarity of the sight. It is the same old thing. No need to be alert.
When the mind is empty of thoughts, we are alert, aware, conscious. When we add content thanks to the conditioned mind; that pristine moment is not. Then, we do things in “automatic mode,” thoughts take over and we forget what we did 10 seconds ago.
After hearing this “revealing” explanation, some will say: “From now on, I will practice to empty my mind of thoughts, so I can live in the now.”
Please don’t put yourself in that stressful situation. Observe that there is no practice whatsoever. AWARENESS is not a practice. Emptiness of thoughts is not a practice. As our consciousness and state of BEING are in a tranquil state, the necessary space to separate ourselves from the mind will appear, then we could observe the mind.
Ahnanda is not saying “my mind,” but just the mind.
At that point, we will become AWARE on how we have obeyed the dictates of the conditioned mind for so long, thinking that THAT was ME.
No wonder, the greatest teaching of all time to remember is “Know thyself.”
Paradoxically, it is not a “Best seller.” 🙂
Opposites drive Life into movement. “Life changes” is the consequence of opposite energies.
Want to be “spiritual”? Want to be “good”?
Non-spiritual and “bad” has to be experienced. Thus, It is to be “bad,” “bad” after all? 🙂 It is a matter of time.
We will find people with opposite virtues/weaknesses, characters, perspectives, experiences, skills, etc. That is what is necessary for movement in the World to occur, yet; our conditioning will judge and label what is not considered “right” through our standards.
God needs the Devil. Police needs crooks, politicians need masses, day needs night… Get the picture?
Those apparent opposites work as “One,” practically it is a unity.
We say: “Body, mind and spirit,” to define a human being, but all of those separating labels cannot divide what is meant to be ONE.
Our minds will affect the way our bodies feel and our bodies, the perception of the mind.
For most the word “spirit” is not experiential. It is only a nice label to throw in there to “look spiritual.”
Nevertheless, whether we dissect a human into 20 types of bodies and 500 chakras, everything works as a unity. It is ONE.
Our education, our learning is based on information. That is second hand knowledge. That is worthless to understand Life, but for the human world, it is priceless stuff.
Once a human being is sold into the ways of society as the only “Life,” then he will not be able to connect with Nature, with Life itself.
In some minds, a concept is real: Triangles exist and so numbers. An” ideal” such as “justice” is supported, the unchanging ideal unable to fit “what is.” Life has its own “justice” which has very little resemblance to human justice. It is merely the experience of the opposite. We say “my karma.” One side of the full experience.
“Spirituality for the masses” keeps teaching its followers how to avoid change. How to stick with an ideal. “Summer is good. Don’t go into Winter for that is bad.” That creates inner dishonesty. A believer believes Summer to be the “right” thing, but he cannot stop the process of living Winter in his own skin.
The procession of the opposites is bound to pass by, it is the 2 faces of the coin which makes up ONE coin. Every time we choose one side, we cannot avoid the other to show up. It is a matter of time.
We have learnt to separate opposites, but from another vision; those opposites are complementary.
Every human experience has an opposite. Every Life journey will go through that trip. Today saint, tomorrow sinner. Where is the middle line? There is none… or we could make up one and label that as our “morality.”
Our conditioning to believe in labels don’t allow us to see the continuity of the rainbow: Different colors, even opposite of each other making up ONE white light.
To be in balance, to harmonize is a more mature way of living than just doing what we think is “right.”
Nature is in balance. That is the way Life moves. Every energy has a reason to be, it has a mission to fulfill.
Our conditioning does not allow us to see that. The mentality of conquering and rejecting what is perceived to be “wrong,” “bad,” “impure,” etc. is prevalent. We are trapped in dualities.
Isn’t Summer the opposite of Winter? Between those 2 apparent opposites, lies a range of experiences, which we label as Spring and Fall. Labels are there so we can understand through language, what we are referring to. A concept is “static” thus, it is not “real,” for Life is movement. Our minds like static things for they bring identity. “I” am static. “I” can be defined. “I” am separate from Life.
In Nature, nothing remains the same. Thus, to constantly harmonize with changes is very important to be in balance with the Totality.
“Harmony” cannot be put into a commandment. Cannot be put into a “You shall not DO this or that.” That is the ethical loophole.
“Static” things, ideals and ideas create illusionary comfort. We were taught to make sense of Life based on human conditioning.That is our yardstick for “truth.”
We do not breath. Breathing happens to us. We do not digest our meals. That happens to us. Our heart beats without our will to do it. Thoughts come and go through our minds like a swarm of mosquitoes… without OUR control. We ask, where is the source powering ME, making all of that happen?
That “ME” is messing up the question. Observe that “ME” is not separated from everything else. The distinction of ME is only intellectual, practical, to fit into our human made world and language. At what point in our Life cycle, is there a static ME? The mind has a “static” picture, it has memories to hide the “reality” of change. There is no “Me,” but when there is, then there is death.
Death is “bad.” Humans continually lose the “battle” with it. Then someone says: “Death is natural. If you live, you will die.” Very clever. Logical, sound premise. However, most humans will not accept it. Their consciousness is not there.
There is a huge experience of a “ME.” It is undeniable even though, we try to cover it with intellectual stuff or religious “afterlife insurance.” (a.k.a “salvation.”)
That consciousness will bring certain experiences: Fear, anxiety, stress, guilt…
Trapped in our conditioning, we dream into “getting” a different consciousness.
We want to make sense of Life by following ideas of our systems and methodologies which support the understanding of a conditioned mind.
Life is not meant so we can “make sense” out of it. That is intellectual, that is our conditioning. Life is meant to be lived, experienced. That experience cannot be shared as a “truth” to follow, as a “standard” for all, so we dismiss it. We want our conditioning, what we think is “right.”
To try to find the “purpose of Life” will show us that our mind has taken over the “driver seat.”
But…there is no need for a driver. 🙂