Friday, October 23, 2009

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What is the mind?

The word mind is used in many different ways, like most words. Words are very mysterious, aren’t they? What would we be without them? All the thoughts, all the ideas, all the beliefs and belief systems are made of words.

Words can be used for lying and cheating, nonsense, telling the truth, singing songs, poetry, yelling to the kids to shut up, arguments, sweet-talking, telling jokes, explaining how to find the way to the post office… The thinking mind is made of words.

We are all in the same boat. We can’t live without the words. However, they also create enormous suffering. This is the human predicament. Animals don’t have this problem.

What are beliefs made of?

Beliefs are not just beliefs. Beliefs are magic spells. Beliefs make you into a Christian, a Muslim, a Jew or a Hindu. Beliefs make you into an atheist, a liberal, a left-winger or a neo-Nazi.

You may believe that you are useless, a complete idiot. You may believe that you are perfectly normal; you may believe that you are saved. You may believe that you are still sleeping, that you are not awake yet. You may believe that life is but a dream. You may believe in guardian angels or reincarnation. You may believe that the observer of all the thoughts in your head never dies.

The spell is broken when you are able to see that your beliefs are just beliefs, theories, mental constructions, words. As long as you’re not able to see this, you will be in a never-ending search for proof that you are right.