Anything exists only when our mind knows it exists. Whatever is happening anywhere is happening because our mind tells us so. At the centre of everything is our mind. We exist as long as our mind tells us so. When the mind stops, everything ends.
Look at it like a film. We see a film which has several scenes. Some make us laugh, some make us cry, some make us tense, some make us afraid. There are many characters, locations and events in one film. If we want to change the scenes. Characters, events or the general action, we just can not. Because the scenes lie in the tape from which the film is being projected. That tape is the mind. Whatever is there in the tape will be projected for us to see, to believe, to react. If the scene is horror and you don’t want it, you will have to change the scene in the tape. By changing the screen you can’t change the scene. But the problem with us is that we keep changing the screen hoping the scene will change without even trying to change the projection.
Of course, we are beyond our mind but that stage of realisation comes after hard practice of meditation and going beyond mind. But it can be argued that state is also being realised by the mind itself. Here, I am talking about day to day life. The conscious life. A life fully dictated by our mind.
The mind projects the world to us. Scientists say that we can not see what our mind doesn’t know. That’s true in everyday life. If I ask you to see a colour called ‘Falu’ or ‘Xanadu’, you can never see it because your mind doesn’t know about it. These are all colours but not common enough for us to know. Hence, we can never see them even if it’s right in front of us. Falu is the deep red shade commonly found on barns whereas Xanandu is the Gray-green colour of the philodendron leaf.
Its the mind which is constantly giving a colour, shape and form to the reality, based on what it knows and that becomes our reality. This becomes our reality. Once we identify with our reality, we become blocked from any other reality. Because humans have an instinct to survive. It’s not very open to strange reality. That;’s why it’s said that travelling, experiencing new vistas, new people, new cultures open up our perception, our reality. Because we are feeding our mind new information. More we see, more we learn. That’s why when we fail to understand something, we go to a learned man. A man who knows more than us. Once our mind identifies with it’s reality it projects only that world and refuses to accept any other projection. That’s why so much conflict in this world.
Just few decades ago, scientists used to think that our eyes, ears, nose and our other senses, and the mind, were nothing but openings to reality, bridges to reality. But now the whole understanding has changed. Now they say our senses and the mind are not really openings to reality but guards against it. Only two percent of reality ever gets through these guards into you; ninety-eight percent of reality is kept outside. And the two percent that reaches you and your being is no longer the same; it has to pass through so many barriers, it has to conform to so many mind things, that by the time it reaches you it is no longer itself.
The mind is created by the information, ideas and thoughts given to us by our parents and the society. The script of our mind is written by others. Look at your mind as your society’s agent sitting inside you. It’s not your servant. You are the servant of your mind which is an agent of an organised society. Your society has implanted many things in it. It is your mind, but it no longer functions as a servant to you; it functions as a servant to society. It’s like a mole which is in your system but never in your control.
Why do Hindus, muslims, christians fight? Why do people from Delhi fight with people from Mumbai? Why do people in South Delhi are in conflict with people from West Delhi? Once you start living in Delhi your mind becomes a servant of Delhi and it stops seeing the reality of Mumbai. If you are a christian, your mind is a servant of christianity and it stops being the reality of Hindus. Your mind is a servant of Delhi or India or Christianity or a family or a corporations but never a slave of you.
If you spend most of your day working in an IT company and evenings in a bar drinking away on a regular basis, your mind will start behaving in a certain manner. If you start spending the evenings in a temple or meeting new people or just watching TV, your mind will become that. Once our mind conforms to a certain reality it starts identifying with it and becomes comfortable in it. Then it starts avoiding any new reality and fights it. That’s why all of us are in constant conflict with people who have different realities. That’s why despite seven and half billion people on this planet earth, we identify with a very few people. If you were to answer how many people you can identify with hundred percent who you never conflict with, I am sure you can’t even count beyond your 10 fingers. If God is one, truth is one then why so many realities?
In order to live a holistic life, to experience and understand this world fully, we need to control our mind. To make it a servant of us not the other way around. That’s where meditation helps. Meditation means: put the mind aside and watch. When we watch our mind, we understand it’s dynamics. Slowly, we can control this mind. For that we need to love ourselves the most. By loving yourself you start believing in yourself and do not depend on the reality of your society. You become free from the society and its conditioning. Once you are free, you start observing. Buddhists say – observe outside the mind. Observe your walking… eating… taking a shower, watch the water, the cold water falling on you, the touch of the water, the coldness, the shiver that goes through your spine ¯ watch everything, today, tomorrow, always. A moment finally comes when you can watch even your sleep. That is the ultimate in observing. The body goes to sleep and there is still an observer awake, silently watching the body fast asleep. That is the ultimate in observing. Now you are in control of your mind. Now you can change the tape and make your mind project a holistic scene. Now you are not in conflict because you know there can be more scenes than your scene. This is when you start living.
Be in control of your mind. Be #IAmBuddha.
Note: you can also contribute to this column by sending your ideas, stories, fables, anecdotes. I’ll use them with due credits.