Subtle rules. Hence Meditate.

Last time we saw that it is the subtle thoughts in our mind that force us to act. Hence the impetus behind every gross act (like reading this blog, trying to please people who matter, eating in a particular restaurant etc.) is given by our mind. If we are simply trying to control our behaviour, if we are only trying to make sure that our actions are consistent with people’s expectations then we are merely treating the symptoms of our disease. Somewhere we should try and see what causes us to behave inconsistently. We should not stop our investigations till we can go no further. Even then, we should always keep a possibility open in our mind that their may be a deeper, more subtle cause. Keeping this possibility constantly alive in our mind gives us modesty which is the necessary platform for further insights.

Now, how do we go about finding these subtle causes? Obviously the search must go on where the answers exist. If you lose a valuable ring in a dark place, it would not do to search for it in some other place just because it is well lit! To find your lost article, you would have to bring light where it is lost and using its illumination try and search for the lost object. Exactly like that finding the causes of our behaviour in other people’s actions is searching at the wrong place. True, these external causes are easily visible. Someone Else’s fault is very easy to see is it not?! But other people exist in gross world. A world which can be (partially) understood only through your senses. Your knowledge of anyone else is dependent on what you see, hear, smell, taste and touch and deduce. Looking for the causes of our tensions there is exactly like searching for the lost ring in a well lit but far away place. But the ring is to be found in dark, unexplored and dirty corners of your mind-set. What use is searching for it in the behaviour of your boss or wife or friend? Like they say in the famous Star Trek series, `Your goal is to go where no man (later versions have more politically correct `no person’!) has ever gone before.’ Even you yourself have not understood those depths of your own attachments, obsessions and deep craving. These are the subtle causes of all of your so called improper behaviour, all of your tensions and all of your self conceived weaknesses. Search for the causes of your worries there.

How to make our subtle, fine impressions visible? Simple, just flash the light of your attention on them. You see, the lost ring in the above example is not making any conscious attempts by itself to hide from you. It is lying where it fell. It is peacefully staying where you yourself have put it. Its getting lost is not because of its wish, it is because of your own forgetfulness. How beautiful this example is! Exactly like that, your subtle wants (vaasanaa) have not made any attempt to hide from you. When you made them yours, they were very much visible and even now they are equally visible. Only thing is: you do not know where to look for them and how to look for them.

Here is an aside: Ever thought why saints can really understand you? Why is their word so very powerful and their advice so much effective? It is because they have seen your subtle impressions as clearly as daylight. A holy person whose eye sight is so full of light, whose illumination is so great that He/She can easily see you for what you are. They also see how far away you are from discovering your own really real, honest desires and finally they also see how retrace your path back to them. That particular path of yours may not be the shortest one or the most pleasant one. But they know that it is the way you can go back to your roots. Hence, their words are so very effective. They give advice in retail, person by person. Their suggestions are not wholesale! Hence, it is much better to come in and remain in some contact with a holy person than read thousands of books (which give general, wholesale advice).

OK, back to our question. How do we find the causes? We are inevitably lead to the most tried and trusted method of any philosophy worth its salt. the method is Meditation.

Obviously, in order to look inside our mind we must first stop looking outside. Try and minimise the disturbance from outside world and sit quietly without any physical wants in one place of your liking and keep observing yourself. Not your body but your intellect and mind. See what thoughts arise. Note that the aim of this exercise is discovery. Nothing else. We are not going to modify the ring. Just find it. Hence, whatever thoughts come to our mind, we should not try and classify them, judge them or alter them. Just see the ground where you have lost yourself. This is an art. Not to get involved in our discoveries is an art.

Here, the word `art’ may make some of us get discouraged. Especially those who were born with short stubby fingers and a hoarse voice. Who were no good at any art from childhood. But this is an art in which we were all born to excel. It can be learnt by all of us. Definitely by those who are capable of reading this blog!!! So, do not feel discouraged at all. And as for those who would like to see some comments about how to do meditation, just wait till next time!


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