This post is from Will at Galactic Free Press. I really like the clarity with which he approaches the problem of the compulsively thinking mind and I wanted to share it with you.
Where does fear exist? Does it have any physical existence, can you hold it in your hand? Same with judgment, where does that exist? How about hatred, jealousy, all the negative emotions? Where do all these things “exist”? Are not all these things the cause of enormous pain and suffering for people? It seems understanding the nature of their existence is extremely important.
The answer is obvious, they exist in the mind, and they have no existence outside of the mind. You may see things like violence happening around you, which is an expression of anger, but violence isn’t anger itself. You may see the expressions of negative emotions happening in the world, but the negative emotions themselves are only in the mind.
The Compulsively Thinking Mind Is The Problem
The mind is the source of all problems, you may believe that someone losing the use of their legs is a physical problem, but the reality is that the problem is still in the mind. There’s people with physical disabilities who curse each day they’re alive, and there’s people with the same disabilities who have learned to live with them and are much happier because of it. Physically, it’s the same situation, yet mentally it’s vastly different. It’s the difference between happiness and misery, simply because of a mental attitude. The way things are is the way things are, it’s the mind that judges that as being a problem or not.
Since suffering only exists in the mind, it seems obvious that the mind is the source of suffering. In fact the mind is what creates all the problems, the whole idea of a “problem” is a concept within the mind. None of these things should be too difficult to accept, at least mentally, but it seems application of this knowledge is something people struggle with. I say this because most people are still trying to solve their problems using the very thing that created the problems, their mind.
How often have you heard that you can’t solve a problem using the same kind of thinking that created the problem? Yet all day long, every single day, people attempt to do precisely that. That kind of unconscious creation makes life very difficult, you can easily create two more problems for every problem that is “solved”. The mind is what creates the problems, it cannot transcend them.
Institutions Value Social Control, Not Your Liberation
All of the religious and spiritual systems, all of the political, economic, scientific, and psychological systems, all of those things the whole world is run with, are based upon using the mind to solve the problems the mind created. It’s not going to work, yet people foolishly put their hope into such an impossibility. It inevitably results in more mental suffering, and I recommend realizing this as soon as possible. Unless people collectively come to this realization, the same patterns will continue to occur.
I have no doubt that many of the people reading this right now, probably most of the people reading this, are looking for mental understandings. That’s simply the nature of the paradigm most people are living from, and it’s why people have so much difficultly transcending illusion. People want to use an illusion to try and escape from an illusion. This is why so much of spirituality, especially the new age stuff, is nothing more than fantasy. If you try to use the mind to see beyond the illusion, you’re just going to create more illusions.
If you cannot solve the problem of the mind with the mind, what then? Since most people live almost entirely from their minds, this seems like a paradox. We have all these spiritual practices that are supposed to solve this issue, but spiritual practices, and in fact all spiritual knowledge, is still mind-based. It may help some, but it doesn’t solve the root problem. It’s inherently limited because it’s still part of the mind.
Finding A Balance Between Your Heart and Mind
This is why it’s often repeated to get out of the mind, and into the Heart. The Heart doesn’t have judgment, so the Heart doesn’t have any problems. You may believe that the Heart suffers, but it’s not really the Heart that suffers, it’s the mind’s unfulfilled desires that create suffering. It’s the mind that creates the illusion of separation, and it’s the mind that mourns a perceived loss, which is really the mind feeling sorry for itself.
The mind can create the illusion of healing, in fact this is what’s known as the placebo effect. Since the mind created the suffering it has enormous control over the suffering. If you really believe in your mind that something will make you feel better, chances are it will appear to end the suffering. If you don’t understand that the mind is what created the suffering in the first place, this might lead you to believe the mind has enormous healing powers. Of course, the patterns that originally created the problem are still there, and chances are the suffering will return in one form or another.
The more you get out of the mind, the closer you get to God. This is the whole point of meditation, yet this is often missed and people get all caught up in meditation techniques and systems, more mental creations. Simply Being Present is the most effective meditation, yet that’s too simple for the mind. The mind needs to complicate things, as complicating reality is how the mind exists in the first place.
The Mind Is A Valuable Tool (With Limitations)
You don’t need to get rid of the mind entirely, that will happen sooner or later anyway. The key is to stop associating your self with your mind. You awareness doesn’t originate from your mind, your mind is only one subject of your awareness, one of many. The key is to understand the uses of the mind, and also its limitations. If you want to write a book, you need the mind, if you want lasting peace and happiness, do not use the mind to try to get there. It cannot, only Love can truly satisfy your Soul, trying to find peace through the mind is why there’s so much conflict in the world. The mind is the source of conflict, it cannot truly understand peace, it only sees peace dualistically, as a lack of conflict. Peace is so much more than that.
Understand that you need the mind to be a part of society. Without the mind there is no society, society is one of the mind’s many fabrications. I don’t recommend disconnecting from the rest of humanity, so I don’t recommend attempting to eradicate the mind altogether. Fighting with the mind only strengthens it anyway, as conflict itself originates from the mind.
Balance is found by not associating your self with the thoughts in your mind, by no longer attaching to them. Simply observe them and let them go, don’t get caught up in them. Then you’ll begin to expand your Consciousness into the more subtle feelings that are usually drowned out by the loud, unruly mind. It’s through seeing beyond the mind that the Divine is found, and where real Love, fulfillment, and peace are found.