Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Reality of mind, ego.

Q: It is fairly easy to stop a thief from breaking into a house. You just lock the door. But in this particular case the thief is already inside. First we have to catch him and throw him out. Only then can we safely close the door.

To believe that that this thief is something real, something that has to be fought and caught, is just like believing that your shadow is some kind of alien intruder who needs to be fought and expelled. If you try to raise your hand to hit your shadow, your shadow will also raise its hand to hit you. You cannot win a fight with your mind because all your fights will be like shadow-boxing. You cannot knock out your shadow by hitting it because there is nothing there to receive the blow. The shadow will keep dancing around for as long as you keep dancing around trying to hit it. There are no winners in a fight like this, only a lot of frustrated losers. If you start from the assumption that the mind is real and that you have to fight it and control it by manipulating your thoughts in some way, the mind will get stronger, not weaker. If a particular sādhanā assumes that the mind is real, the practising of that sādhanā  perpetuate the mind rather than eliminate it.

The ego is just like a ghost. It has no real form of its own. If you see what the ego really is by enquiring 'Who am I?' it will simply run away. The mind has no substance and no form. It exists only in the imagination. If you want to get rid of something that is imaginary, all you have to do is cease to imagine it. Alternatively if you can be continuously aware that the mind and all its creations only exist in your imagination, they will cease to delude you and you will cease to be troubled by them. For example, if a magician creates a tiger, you need not be afraid of it because you know that he is only trying to trick you into believing that it is a real and dangerous tiger. If you don't believe that the tiger is real or dangerous, you don't get afraid.

When the cinema was first introduced here some village people became afraid when they saw things like fire on the screen. They ran way because they believed that the fire would spread and burn the theatre down. When you know that everything that is happening is only appearing on the screen of consciousness and that you yourself are the screen on which it all appears, nothing can touch you, harm or make you afraid. 

People who believe in the reality of the world are really no better than people who build dams to catch the water that they see in a mirage.

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