Why is this so?
The psychological being, the person we take ourselves to be, depends on mind.
- Mind is the agent which sets priorities;
- Mind is the evaluator;
- Mind is the decider;
- Mind is the carrier of culture;
- Mind reflects our genetic heritage;
- Mind tells us who we are, who we are not, and who you are; and
- Mind is the holder of the ‘inadequacy belief’.
Mind depends on itself for being. It tells us, time and again, that we are our mind.
In other words, we place our inherent trust in our minds – even if we deny it.
This is even more true for people who are intellectual. The mind of the well educated has even greater importance because it has demonstrated how brilliant it is. It has the capacity to organize vast volumes of facts and it has the ability to perform complex forms of analysis on these many observations. Thus its power and voice are all but deafening.
We learn, a million times over, to trust this mind.
And this is precisely why awakening is so rare for nearly all of us. And this is why I say that Trust is the final hurdle.
We must see that even the great mind is seen and it is seen in every moment, if we are open to that seeing. The challenge of awakening inevitably boils down to this pivotal question: “Do I trust my mind or can I trust open awareness?” It’s very similar to Hamlet’s immortal question, “To be or not to be? That is the question.”
The issue is not can I negate the mind?
Is there a way we can bridge this terrifying gap? Can we find the place where mind seems to end and open awareness begins?
How do we learn? How do we see what is true? The only compelling answer to that question is this: we observe. Awareness is the source of our knowledge. And for forms of knowing that elude us (say, for example the computer programming that has made the internet possible), we learn from those who have observed truth on that level of experience (which we call computer science). Thus a vast web of knowing evolves and grows.
We learn through awareness. If we could not trust this awareness, what could we ever know? This, to me, is the bridge that connects the perceived world with living, open awareness. Our aliveness is a direct and immediate outcome of awareness with mind.
Our problems and our suffering begin when our identity migrates from open awareness to a mere thought of the mind. We have never been a thought and if you observe very carefully, you will see that every manifestation of identity is all wrapped up in thought.
If nothing else, the best thought can do is to inform us who we are not. That’s the best it can do.
Can you trust the clear shining of your open awareness? That is the decisive question. Can we trust what we see in this very moment without needlessly inserting the quest for a personal identity in that seeing? Because as soon as we renew our quest for a personal identity, in that very moment we have severed trust with our primal aware being and overlaid it with our conditioned, thought-based false self.
This is why I say that trust is the final hurdle. Trusting this open awareness is very scary. It’s a kind of courageous falling backwards into space. There is no place to stand here. We are just This.
But here is where and how we can regain our power in this moment – here is where we discover the balance that can never be taken away –
We don’t abandon the mind. We just stop seeking our identity within it. And here is the part that may “blow your mind”. When we awaken into the openness uncontaminated with personal identity, we observe something that is all but miraculous. We see that what we took for “our” mind, is really just another object that seems to float unseen everywhere in the universe. The knowing that we took to be personal and part of the self, is, really, another energy thing that happens here, there, and everywhere. It belongs to know one, but is available in the moment of its seeing. The cosmic narrative that binds all things into one is the mortar of the universe and it is yours’ right now, if you can only trust this open awareness that is before anything and everything else.
As long as we fight the mind, we will be at war against ourselves and our world. What we have taken to be ‘our’ mind is the world and the universe. It is the birds and the rivers and the stories. It is all of that and so much more. It lives to be seen.
Can you trust that? Can you trust your true self, that which does not come and go?
If you take away anything from this post let it be this:
The mind naturally loves itself. When identity is attached to mind, the mind is expressed as ego. It is a normal outcome of the personal inadequacy belief. But when mind is FREE to be mind AS mind, then it can love itself AS itself. So thoughts can love themselves AS themselves – that which is heard can love itself AS itself – that which is seen can love itself AS itself – that which is felt can love itself AS itself.