Friday, August 22, 2008

Beyond intellectual understanding

Sometimes on the spiritual search we come to a point, where our experience is that we have understood what is being pointed to, at an intellectual level, but it has not sunk deeper than that. The mind is still busy and we can still get easily lost in trance. This can be puzzling and frustrating.

At the same time, we also experience a deep knowing that what is being pointed to is true. Is it not? Indeed this knowing is what keeps us on the path even when we are frustrated and don't seem to 'get' it.

So first let's take this moment to acknowledge that which keeps bringing us back to our desire for truth. The mind may spin in all directions, and then something calls us back to the awareness of the spinning mind. At the moment that we are aware, the spinning mind has ceased, and is now a memory. Let's take this moment to celebrate this grace that reminds us again and again of the awareness that we are. In this acknowledgement we open to the grace more and more.

Now when the thought arises that I have not yet got enlightenment, we can see that thought itself. See how it spawns a whole belief system about yourself. It may even masquerade as an honest thought - I haven't got it can seem like the honest truth. And it is real for you, until it isn't.

So stay with the thought with the attitude of a curious scientist. In other words, see if you can observe your whole experience with this thought, simply with a desire to know what is really going on. Notice if other thoughts arise; perhaps fear, perhaps boredom? Discover for yourself.

When something inside us resonates with truth very strongly, the mind must work smarter to cover it up, not because mind is evil, but because that is mind's job. So we can simply notice the hard-working mind, and its efforts. This seeing of our entire experience around a thought is at once the seeing through it.

Often the mind deploys boredom and fear very effectively. Our great fear is that without thoughts to engage us, life would be very boring and completely empty. Again this seems like an honest and innocent thought, and yet, if this is believed then it can give rise to a plethora of other thoughts to keep us enmeshed in the trance. So watch if this thought arises and see if you are believing it. If so, ask yourself - Is it true that there is boring emptiness without thoughts to engage me? Is it really true?

Even just asking this question means that we have opened up to a different possibility.

When we believe our thoughts strongly, we become those beliefs and we look at life from those beliefs. Then it becomes difficult to separate out those beliefs from us, and we assume that the beliefs are true. So questioning our beliefs is very powerful. The answers don't matter. The questions do all the work!

By its very nature a belief militates against the truth. When we believe something, the mind must work to keep it 'true' in time. This is contrary to the freedom of truth which is totally free to be something new every moment. As soon as I have a belief, I have invested in a future in which this belief will be 'true' for me. This is exactly how the mind veers away from ever-changing reality - by insisting on 'permanence' over time, by investing in a future.

So beliefs are like the wall that the mind uses to bounce thoughts off, like balls. So long as the wall exists, we are captivated by the surface reality of bouncing balls. When the wall collapses, the thoughts surrender to gravity and stop their furious and quite pointless activity. What happens then? This fear of what happens when the bouncing stops, is the wall of last resort that restores the trance.

Recognize the fear for what it is and discover what lies inderneath.


Maury said...

Again, clear, precise writing. Love it!. Funny, that I know nothing about you, only happened upon your blog, and just reading a little, placed a link on my blog to yours.

This is how truth works. It recognizes itself wherever it is. What will is needed in this?

Ameeta said...

Yes! Thanks much dear friend!