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Nature, Mind

And the Art of Being Human

Mind itself is a rather vague term within today's mumbo-jumbo of psychological and technical information. It has come to be understood that mind is different from brain or consciousness, yet even experts treat the three words is being synonymous. Let's eliminate one possibility, the brain. The brain is part of our body, it is dense physical whereas the mind is more subtle and indistinguishable from consciousness.

It is so easy to be confused by jargon and when we consider the physical brain that uses energy when we think and without which mind would not function, it is to the mind what the body is to the soul. In other words the brain is a physical vessel or vehicle through which the mind or consciousness becomes manifest and transfers information to our organs of action or inaction.

To create a sense of difference between mind and consciousness, we could see mind as being a tool for calculus that can access the information stored in consciousness and consciousness has many levels or departments if you like.

So brain is the physical, the grey matter that simply supports mind and consciousness as well as the physical body whereas mind is intermediate enabling us to navigate our lives, do our maths, decide what to eat and how to live. Consciousness on the other hand is an interconnected universal part of our nature in which we reside.

We can also look at our nature through analogy or metaphor. Like a computer, our bodies have a physical structure that we can relate to our physicality. A computer has an operating system we can refer to as a mind and when the user of the computer accesses the Internet, this is akin to the mind accessing a vast repository of information.

Like a computer, the mind contains an area of localised knowledge and beliefs unrelated to the greater consciousness and all our minds are different because they are all programmed differently. However unlike a computer that has no capacity for self-awareness, human beings do. Therefore we identify ourselves and create a personality with which we operate in the world as a mind and body because these are the only tangible physical aspects of ourselves.

Mind and emotions

We are a highly evolved bioelectric organism, in fact we are the most highly evolved piece of technology on this planet. Most of us have failed to establish our identity or true nature. We tend to operate according to our mental constructs of what we believe tempered with what we actually perceive.

In other words we identify ourselves as being body and mind which are constantly changing and in relation to the universe in which we live, extremely short lived. Therefore when we identify ourselves as body and mind we tend to be reactive to life. In contrast if we identified ourselves more closely with consciousness or as a sole with her body and mind, we would be much more capable of living the life we want.

With your computer, you turn it on, you do what you want with it and then you turn it off when you have finished. Yet a reactive mind is continually making waves, it's undecided like an excited child in a paddling pool, it runs this way and that way creating waves in all directions and those waves intersect each other confusedly.

Unfortunately there are far too many people whose minds are programmed on beliefs instead of absolute reality. Even though absolute reality is something that cannot be defined, it can be experienced through meditation which then gives stability to mind and body.

Where we are not established in reality, when we have built our house upon the sand as in the biblical narrative, we have no sense of clarity between body mind and consciousness. This gives rise to the personality that is highly dependent on specific behaviours of other people to reinforce and believe the same as they do. When your house is built upon the rock of knowing that you are a sole with the body and mind with access to a vast repository of consciousness, even the world may end and you would be alert to the fact but an phase by your own imminent demise as a body and mind.

Many fear that such involvement would lead to an emotionless life, but this is not so for consciousness is very warm and inclusive. The flow of emotion becomes richer without the demands, barbs and expectations we characteristically associate with emotionality.

"The highest state of Love is not a relationship at all, it is simply a state of your Being. Just as trees are green, a lover is loving. They are not green for particular persons, it is not that when you come they become green. The flower goes on spreading it’s fragrance whether anybody comes or not, whether anybody appreciates or not. The flower does not start releasing its fragrance when it sees that a great poet is coming by - ‘Now this man will appreciate, now this man will be able to understand who I am.’ And it does not close its doors when it sees that a stupid, idiotic person is passing there - insensitive, dull, a politician or something like that. It does not close itself - ‘What is the point? Why cast pearls before swine?’. No, the flower goes on spreading its fragrance. It is a state of being." ~ Osho

Situations
It is because of our mistaken identity that we become conflicted. When we identify as a body-mind personality and only a vague notion that we are something much greater we are operating from a base of limitation. This is the great illusion that lies at the heart of human suffering and gives rise to beliefs which further limit who we are.

We become reactive to life and then suffer because we are reactive and out of control. By contrast if we can identify ourselves as the soul with a body and mind which leads to a truer situational awareness, we have greater peace of mind and real freedom. In these points below are illustrated some of the tangles that we get ourselves into:

  • “Its no surprise to me that anyone hardly tells the truth about how they feel. The smart ones keep to themselves for good reason. Why would you want to tell anyone anything that's dear to you? Even when you like them and want nothing more than to be closer to them? It's so painful to be next to someone you feel so strongly about and know you can't say the things you want to.” ~ Henry Rollins
  • “We often feel that it is someone else who is making us unhappy, and we can become very resentful. If we look at the situation carefully, however, we will find that it is always our own mental attitude that is responsible for our unhappiness. Another person's actions make us unhappy only if we allow them to stimulate a negative response in us. Criticism, for example, has no power from its own side to hurt us; we are hurt only because of our self-cherishing. With self-cherishing we are so dependent on the opinions and approval of others that we lose our freedom to respond and act in the most constructive way.” — Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Transform Your Life”
  • No material object, however beautiful or valuable, can make us feel loved. Because deeper identity and true character lie in the subjective nature of the mind. His Holiness the Dalai Lama

To arrive at a sense of self and a soul identity takes some real courage. One must step out of the rat race, learn to sit quietly and relax because that's all meditation really is; relaxation. Unfortunately we live in a cancerous society whereby the cancer is in wrongful thinking and wrongful actions. In addition to relaxation which is sometimes enough to provide the insight and motivation to transform or heal oneself, we must turn back to the wisdom teachings from ancient India.

The more you learn to relax and come to know your own soul, the mysteries will be revealed and instead of needing to find happiness outside of yourself, it will flow naturally from inside you enabling you to become a cocreator in your own life instead of reacting to life and suffering the consequences of not knowing.

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