The mind is a wondrous phenomenon with its own unique nature. Have we ever thought of our mind in this way? Probably not! More so if we have not been asking ourselves hard but pertinent questions with regards to the complexities of our own mind – how is it that the mind can be clear or feel light at times; but at other times seem confused or dull and heavy? For those who been depressed, they will know well how difficult it is to live with that kind of mind, yet being unable to escape from it. Many a times, we do not even relate such experiences as mental happenings but take them as an individual entity or as something personal or even as a physical brain happening.
The mind fits the case of a “so-near-and-yet-so-far” mystery… We are experiencing the mind 24/7 and yet do not know what it really is and how it actually works. Ironically, we experience the mind every single moment and use it all the time! We are even challenged by it from time to time. Yet, we seldom notice that it is "the mind" we are experiencing. We take it personally, not noticing that it is just a mental phenomenon.
Sounds perplexing? It will be if we do not take an interest in our minds. To embark on the journey of understanding our minds can be a very surprising and profound journey of discovery which may even be shocking at times. Just the few examples illustrated below may baffle you if you have not been initiated into the mysteries of the workings of the mind.
Mind or I?
Do you have a mind? Or, does the mind have "you" instead? Confused? The first question has two parts in it – you and the mind, whereas the second question refers to the mind creating "you". If you are uncertain, try asking this – "who am I?" Notice that thinking has to take place in your mind to tell a story about "you" – and since thinking is a function of the mind, doesn’t that then mean “you” are a product made up by the mind!
Is the mind me?
Well, do you not notice that the mind takes precedence whether you are aware or not? Can we really choose what kind of mind we want to experience, say, can you suddenly just decide to be sad or happy? Or can we only intend to experience that but may not actually succeed? Many people say that “the mind is just too noisy!” If the mind is me, how come I have no “control” over it all of the time?
What is Mind?
No shape, no color, no form – that is what it is. But those do not fully define the mind. Although shapeless, colorless and formless, the mind can produce experiences that may seem tangible, though strangely, form is not what the mind is. Take for instance, feeling hurt. What is feeling hurt, when it is formless or even shapeless?
Projection or extension?
Is your mind projecting or extending? What does that even mean? Evaluation, for example, is the mind's interpretation of what it perceives, hence projecting it, as if it is happening on the object, separated and further from the mind. Whereas with extension, one is aware that everything “outside” that is comprehensible is actually an extension of the mind. Or we can say we are not separated from anything.
There are more surprises awaiting one who is interested in unravelling the mystery of the mind, which highly leads to the end of stress and also fear. Both arises out of not knowing reality as it really is, specifically the workings of the mind. If you are in awe by what the mind can be, do consider joining us in the enriching journey of awareness where you start to truly understand the real workings of the mind. In the meantime, do continue to ponder, “who am I?”
Hor Tuck Loon