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The functioning of the mind

The mind is both the cause of all problems, nurturing desires, anxieties, creating the concept of a separate « I » and the key to understanding the journey on earth undertaken by consciousness. There is no need to reject the mind in itself, as it can be a helper on the path, allowing us to understand that we are not only that flow of thoughts. However, we have let the mind be the absolute leader and parasitize our entire life.

The mind exhausts itself in its endless endeavor to change reality by building ideals, beliefs, and certitudes, by forming a representation of that which is, thereby stopping the perpetual movement of life. The mind creates a reality, made of illusions, it establishes the “I” and the world outside the “I”, the thinking subject and the thought object, without autonomous reality. The mental activity projects us outwards, towards objects and creates the belief of a separation, a distance, by deploying its energy through time. We are so used to direct our mind outwards, towards entertaining objects, that we are only able to see those objects that fill our mind. We let the mind exercise a pressure on each event, believing that we are in control of that event in retaining certain aspects and in rejecting others. The mind leads us to capture life through concepts instead of letting life be through us. Obstructed by all that it has accumulated, the mind is unable to reflect the situation of the present moment as it is.

The mind teaches us differentiation. It is implicated in all experiences of duality. It functions through comparison and opposition. We identify ourselves to this constant discrimination, and we conceive it as the basis of our reality. However, there is no duality: the two poles are not separated, they interact. The mind is the cause of the separation between opposites which are inseparable and can’t exist one without the other in the expression of life. The mind is conditioned to exclude what appears inacceptable. The interdependence of opposites is the basis of the movement of life. The problem comes from our attempt to get rid of one of the opposites.

Constant distractions, which feed the flow of thoughts, the absence of rest, of stability, the perpetual search are common characteristics of the mind and make it continuously anxious and tired. The mind is almost always divided - desire or rejection. Endless choices make our life complex. We compare, take or reject. We exclude whereas life includes all. Each event is put in a category. Our mind trapped in duality and temporality is only able to judge if an event will bring happiness or sadness. It is unable to deeply be with the reality of a situation, to perceive the boundless intelligence which presides over the unfolding of circumstances. We forget unity or we search it through the mind structured I / the other, subject / object. To transcend division, the mind must acknowledge the limitation of the relation subject / object, and then its own limitations.

It is possible for us to be aware of the functioning of the mind. Therefore, we are not this mind which carries us wherever it wishes through beliefs, emotions and sufferings.

The mind is a function; it is not what we are. Let’s accept that it remains an instrument of the true being, the consciousness. Let’s turn it inwardly, not through efforts, but as a natural move inside consciousness.

The nature of the mind is movement. We should not block that movement because thoughts are a way to experiment life and such effort is only mental. Any effort to control the mind can only make it cleverer and lead to a stronger ego. It is about being free from the mind, not being without the mind. That is to say not to limit ourselves to being a sum of desires and fears. Not to oppose to the natural movement of thoughts, but to stop entertain them, taking them as real and to see that their origin is emptiness. We are silent and empty space within which thoughts appear. That ultimate truth cannot be reached by thoughts.

The questioning on the meaning of life and on our true nature begins naturally with the mind. It is the mind which searches. But the mind can only ask questions, it then very quickly conceptualizes and doubts. It cannot bring an answer: the realization of the Reality cannot be objectified; the ultimate Subject cannot be an object of knowledge. In its search, the mind can understand up to a certain level the nature of the Reality, but it cannot realize it. If it finds an answer, that answer can only be the mind itself and in this created illusion, the mind will conceive a mental reality and then will seek to explain it. As soon as conceptualization stops, perception remains pure. And with it, comes peace. That is our original nature. The difficulties and sufferings arise when we loose direct contact with the flow of life, when the mental activity creates a distance between what the mind is convinced to live and the reality of life.

It is possible for us to live without a ceaseless mental activity, by welcoming perceptions as they arise, without analyzing, judging or fabricating images. There should only be straight observation of each phenomenon, emotion, and feeling, without qualification or judgment. To observe is not to analyze. Simply keep an acute and sensitive attention on the mechanisms of the mind, of its repetitive and conditioned schemes. The attention that welcomes is neutral. We simply are welcoming all that cross our mind, all phenomenons seen by the light of consciousness. Who observes? Our deep being, showing in this observation that it is not the mind. We cannot see this true being, we cannot know it as an object and we cannot conceptualize it. The problem resides in our self identification to the mind. Thoughts are only maintained by our identifications. Let’s remain the witness of thoughts, without identifications. To observe does not give rise to a flow of thoughts. Through observation, the mental energy calms down. The mind calms its parasite functioning, it takes its right place and it does not carry us in reactions of fear, aggression or droop. A distance arises, and the energy stops feeding continuously the mind. Its functioning gets slower by itself, without constraints, by the only observation of its movements. It calms down through effortless attention. It sees its limitations, becomes humble, receptive, open. It continues to function, but thoughts come from silence, our true nature, not from the intellect. They appear, disappear; we perceive their empty nature, simple reflections on the field of consciousness. There are then no obstacles to the flow of pure consciousness, and the true intelligence can work. Intuition then emerges: that is the immediate answer to life, without concepts in-between. It comes from the heart, not from the intellect.

The mind may have certain knowledge of the intelligence which supports life, but it cannot have a total knowledge of it. The mind is part of a phenomenal world. How could it encompass what is containing it ? That which is infinite, formless, cannot be understood with the mind. The mind is itself an obstacle to the answer it seeks. The only possible realization is that it accepts this fact with humility. The mind will then be at rest, established in its origin, transparent, without judgment, without choice. Unified, without conflict, the mind will become the instrument of the functioning of life in its globality.

We only know what there is beyond thoughts when thoughts cease. The mind does not have the power to reveal the true nature of life, because it is memory which hides the reality as it is. Thoughts mask with their repetitive schemes the free movement of life. The mind is made of past and of projection of this one in the future. Always moving, it cannot be in the present moment. As soon as it interferes, the contact with the present moment disappears. The process of psychological time starts. Everything is then seen from memory and evaluated from conditioning. When the mind is silent, time stops. We are in the present moment, that is to say within the Reality. The realization of our timeless true nature is then possible.

Once the ultimate truth is realized, there are no rules nor illusions created by a mind that nothing disturbs anymore. It is at rest, without divisions, in harmony with the flow of life, the origin of everything. Consciousness reflects itself as it is, pure, in a stable and peaceful mind. The peace is what we naturally are. In this global vision of the Reality, the mind at rest lets appear and disappear everything which comes, without conceptualization, without division.

The energy of love can then flow.