Reading – real reading without pre-judgement – is very very rare. Most probably the reader’s thought monkey will rise to argue, or just to bounce around, even before the reader is aware of the reason. Even now, the reader is probably feeling the faintest glimmerings of a reaction. The thoughts and reactions can be complex and many but it is the pause within the thoughts that I would want to address. That pause, dear reader, is closer to you, closer to the open mind than the thoughts. That pause is the seat of attention.
Who or what is it that is giving the “attention”? Certainly not the body. Not the thoughts because thoughts and emotions are themselves the objects of attention.. Not the “unconscious” because that is itself simply tightly packaged emotions and memories. You could say “the mind as a whole”but that is simply evading the issue, really a “what else could it be ? ” type answer. It also begs the question “what is this mind?
We live with such mysteries within us but are indifferent to exploring them.
When I say something you dislike very much or like very much, study the rising emotion. Feel it’s texture. Fall in love with it and see it change because of that loving attention .Those who have some practice at looking within may find that oddly, it is much harder to feel the texture of the positive emotion than of the negative one (not speaking of when the emotions are too intense to be studied) . Why this asymmetry? I believe it is linked to a profound about reality. Will get back to this.
This was an experiment in that trillion dollar mind of yours which most of you have not looked into much though may have used for the task of “thinking” . Thinking incessantly and mostly without sense, mostly without purpose and mostly without knowing that you are merely lost in thought. People read that the last frontier is the mind and agree wholeheartedly. However – in general – are amazingly uninterested in going within into the trillion dollar lab that is inside them.
Are you up to the challenge of having your ideas and attitudes questioned deeply. If you do so, your life can become wonderous again. Instill the joy of doubt but with a core of love. In fact, examine everything, somewhat in the fashion of Descartes, except that in the case of Descartes he let thought itself be the examiner, introducing a bias. What we do instead is to examine – even doubting – by keeping a thought or emotion or physical feeling in focus ( awareness rather than focus if you wish to be even less biased in the selection of the object of attention)
A deep, silent core of faith is very good, but then you add in ten thousand rules, with rigidity, elevating them to the same level as your core faith. You mistakenly follow western logic in this. (more later) Your unconscious is not able to distinguish the core from the secondary aspects. This effectively ends up decreasing the focus of the unconscious on the core. You then become so angry when you think (correctly or not) that your faith (whether the core of it or the addons) is being challenged. Perhaps you have no faith in your faith? In theory, it is possible for a person person to have energy enough to follow a thousand rules and only increase in love, but such cases are almost non-existent. Except for you, of course!
To be in love with learning – specially of the inner self – and be utterly ready, always, to change one’s approach, one’s views, one’s thinking, one’s emotions radically. Only such a one can modify his or her understanding depending on new arguments, new encounters, new experiences. Each emotion born of each encounter changes you, making you more aware of yourself. Strangely, only such people with an open mind and heart find that the core – in fact, the spirit – remains unchanged. The ones who have built a fortress around their “faith in a thousand rules” must needs defend their faith, when new conditions threaten the rules. The jigsaw puzzle is clearly going awry, but you are forever forcing the pieces to fit, while feeling some awkwardness because at the back of your mind you know all is not right. Perhaps you should ignore the trees a bit and take a look at the forest if you wish to find your way home. Perhaps you need to consider the point of religion. Even a thoughtful atheist who looks into such issues will realize religion at its core is the quest for what is True, for Love. The unexpected answer religion comes up with is that the True and Love are very closely related, perhaps the same”. There is no particular reason this should be the case; indeed, that this is the case is the great miracle of life.