Saturday, November 29, 2014
'To "Think" Or To be Thoughtless"?
Ever since we can remember we have been thinking, since that is something we think we cannot do without, as it is a part and parcel of our lives. Since our childhood it has been hammered into our heads that we must always ‘think’ and do nothing without thinking and have often been punished in class during our school days for ‘day dreaming’ and not thinking! On the spiritual path, however, thinking has hardly any relevance……a paradox, isn’t it? In order to comprehend the process of thinking we need to understand our thought process. We need to understand that thinking is just a small part of consciousness but we tend to attach far touch much to thinking but ‘think’ very little about consciousness…. All our thoughts arise from the Cosmic ‘Mind” or the “Mind” of the ONE from which they are supposed to percolate down to our mind. It can also be said that thoughts arise from Consciousness. Our ‘mind’ comprises of a Superficial or “Conscious” part which is extremely active , flitting from one thing to another and perpetually ‘creating’ its own new world by producing incessant thoughts, and each and every new thought giving birth to many more and the cycle goes on. This happens because the thoughts arising from the Cosmic Mind do not reach it as those pure thoughts get ‘blocked’, so to speak ‘on the way’ and the conscious mind, therefore, gets free reign to do as it pleases. The deeper parts of our mind are much more stable and extremely powerful. The Subconscious Mind houses the entire knowledge of everything which exists or has existed since millennia. The Individual Superconscious part is synonymous with our Atma and the deepest is the Universal Superconscious Mind or the Mind of the ONE, which is pure consciousness…. and all powerful. Between all these layers there is a barrier which prevents us from accessing the deeper layers of our mind. However, when one meditates it is possible to bypass the barrier and access all the layers so as to connect with the ONE. Thinking is the function of the Conscious part of our mind and has been given to us to be used as a tool for our day to day activities…..it is meant to be used by us but what is actually happening is that it is using us! We have fallen prey to its myriad ideas and suffer because of it. Thinking comprises of logic, analysis and weighing the pros and cons of everything we think of, creating so much ‘noise’ and chatter that we fail to listen or connect to our deeper self. It has been said that we must “control” our mind in order to remain peaceful and relaxed but nothing could be further from the truth…..how can we, while continuously thinking from our Conscious mind request the same part of the mind to shut up! In order to achieve equanimity we need to connect to our true selves for which thinking is a barrier. “Thoughtlessness”, therefore, has nothing to do with ‘controlling” our mind or thoughts…. (here ‘thoughtlessness’ does not irresponsible actions performed which are often called thoughtless and occur due to a fault in thinking process) When we meditate, however, we gradually start connecting to our selves, which translates into the fact that we start getting aligned to pure consciousness and as that happens the gap between each thought gradually widens and we experience short phases of “no thinking”. This phase also coincides with periods of extreme clarity and wisdom, since in those phases we tap into the “Mind” of the ONE and pure and absolute consciousness and whatever is transpiring there becomes accessible to us as the barriers between the different levels of the mind slide away and thoughts from ‘above’ pass through the created passage and become our own. It is these phases occurring in the minds of scientists which are responsible for their ‘brain waves’ resulting in so called inventions and discoveries. (As an aside…. only if scientists ‘thought’ less, there would perhaps be more ‘discoveries’)! As one progresses in his/her meditation, these phases of ‘no thinking’ become longer and longer resulting in peace, harmony and an increase in wisdom and all positive emotions since one gets closer and closer to the ONE by imbibing His very nature of absolute Love, compassion, kindness, etc. With still further spiritual progress slowly but surely our ‘thinking’ mind starts taking a back seat and one needs to think less and less as one now just KNOWS instead of believing something. This happens due to development and strengthening of our intuition. Whatever action one does now is based not on the thinking process but stems from the KNOWING one has gathered by accessing the deepest layer of our mind…which is His mind. The purpose of the spiritual path is to ultimately merge with the ONE…..to reach our ‘home” where Sat Purush resides. With greater advancement in meditation our proximity with Him becomes more and more till finally we and the ONE become one….the drop becomes the ocean. When this happens our own thoughts cease altogether since they are replaced entirely by His. It is at this stage that we become truly thoughtless. Thoughtlessness happens when we transcend time and space….. past and future become irrelevant and we live in the present which is NOW. It is then that we accept the reality of everything, we learn to accept things as they ARE, with no addition or subtraction. This is the moment when we are truly connected with our SELF and therefore, with the ABSOLUTE REALITY which is the ONE. We transcend the mind and the Atma and Paramatama become ONE Let us learn to USE our conscious mind for day to day activities only and evolve to a stage of thoughtlessness by connecting to ourselves and living in the present…..truly evolved souls may not ‘think’ even for their daily activities and do everything based on their advanced intuition. May He bless us all and take us all to those dizzying heights….