Healing the Mind : Healing Mind - 3

The Healing Mind continues...

MacQuarie Island under snow.  The isthmus is narrow and only around 30 feet above sea level
MacQuarie Island under snow. The isthmus is narrow and only around 30 feet above sea level

Healing with Mind. It's been around for a long time.

Welcome back to Healing the Mind.

In the first two parts of this discourse I said that every thought we ever have is lodged in our Mind-bodies as a sensation, a sensation which cannot be felt consciously but which is, nevertheless, held within us. Our personal minds can be likened to an ice berg: some twelve percent is readily available to us as conscious recall, the other eight-eight percent is generally hidden. Most of what we are- mindwise- lies deep below the surface.

We won’t get caught up in the percentages. I use these generally accepted figures simply to illustrate a point. Most of our mind is not readily available to us.

A Wandering Albatross.  There were only a dozen or so mating pairs left on MacQuarie Island when I was ther in 1976-77
A Wandering Albatross. There were only a dozen or so mating pairs left on MacQuarie Island when I was ther in 1976-77

Our connections involve not only Collective Mind but Universal Mind

Our ‘personal subconscious’ is only part of the story. Our ‘connection’ goes into the Humanity’s Collective Mind and into Universal Mind. Imagine that ice berg once again. The bit above the water is what we see. And we converse with other ‘bits above the surface,’ other human beings, for example. But an iceberg is simply frozen water. That which is above the surface and below is made of the same stuff. And what is it floating in? Water, of course! And the only difference between the water contained in the iceberg and the ocean that surrounds it is the temperature. It’s all water. It’s all energy. We and everything and every thing are simply energy- except for our consciousness. All physicality and mental and emotional phenonema are energy of one sort or another- except for our consciousness.

We are that which experiences these energies

Ah! our consciousness. Our real ‘sense of being’ is not that which we can see. It is not that which we can hear, or touch, taste and smell. We’re not the eye, or the ear-drum, or the tongue that tastes. We are that which experiences through, the eye, ear, tongue, etc. We are the Consciousness that experiences. We are that which Observes life. We are the Witness. And what is more, we have a will with which we can consciously direct our attention.

The essential us is ‘consciousness with a will.’

Skua Gull takes flight.

It's "Feet Wet" at MacQuarie Island for this bird.   A beautiful bird ballet.
It's "Feet Wet" at MacQuarie Island for this bird. A beautiful bird ballet.

Humanity's Collective Mind and Universal Mind is available to us.

Sure, we experience sensation. Sure, we have impulses and desires which stem from our Mind-bodies. Certainly we have emotions and feelings. We can use our imagination (or have it inadvertently use us by drawing things to our attention without us willing them. This is the habit of the mind) Yes, we have verbal thought. And yes, our closest link to whatever we are appear to be comes through our intuition. But we are not any of these. As Dr. Roberto Assagioli proclaims in his famous book, “The Act of Will,” : We have bodies but we are not our bodies. We have minds but we are not our minds. We have emotions but we are not our emotions.

To reiterate, our little self is a centre of consciousness with a will. The collective mind, even the universal mind is a part of our makeup. And that knowledge can make in us all the difference in the world. For such an insight will get us started on the Search, that Path to greater and greater self-realization. But enough of that here.

Healing the Mind: The Healing Mind

To hark back to those sensations held within the body which give us so much trouble, the so-called sankaras or samskaras. Like tangled, Gordian Knots, the roots of these fester and grow beneath our conscious awareness. They leach down through the subtle layers of our minds as if through porous membranes, until they break out into the physical as ailments, aches, pains, and all sorts of distress. Psycho-somatic illness these are often labelled. And they can become very serious indeed, even to the extent of becoming terminal.

How do we rid ourselves of these? How do we rid ourselves of the root causes of our psycho-somatic sicknesses? We put them into ourselves with our automatic emotional reactions and responses to outside stimuli. Some one yelled at us, insulted us, and we suppressed the anger. It went down inside, joining, in all probability, with the myriad other little and big angers we’ve experienced over the years. How to get rid of this?

Gentoo Penguins on MacQuarie Island

they've gotta be your favourites.  Gentoos really do remind us of  tuxedo's and formaility.
they've gotta be your favourites. Gentoos really do remind us of tuxedo's and formaility.

Collective Mind and Universal Mind.

Well, we can’t think it away. I suspect we can’t pray it away either – unless we know how to pray in a manner which will do the trick. Straight out pleading doesn’t often work, it seems.

Our problem is our mind: it keeps on thinking. And as I’ve said before: every thought has its emotional element. So the first thing we have to do is to silence the verbal thought; silence the inane chatter which most of us not only are immersed in most of the time, but that which so many of us believe to be us. We think we are our thought! We think we are the emotions that accompany that thought.

How do we silence thought?

How do we silence this thought? It isn’t easy. In fact, it could be the most difficult thing you’ll ever do in your life. Try it now…Try to keep your mind quiet for just a minute or two- no words, no naming or labelling, no evaluations, judgments, criticisms, or inward imaginary conversations. Try now… Give it a minute or three.

Did you do it? Bravo, if you did. But I can tell you this. If you want to rid yourself of the ‘sankaras’ – those deeply-rooted emotions which are causing you trouble- you must first master your thinking. You must be able to bring your thinking under the control of your will. At least, for a reasonably prolonged time. Once this can be done…well, then you be ready to learn the technique in which those emotions can be eradicated, torn out by the roots, so that you are troubled less and less.

The Collective Mind and the Universal Mind - believe you can access it and you'll be able to.

A ray from heaven?   No, just a rare ray of sunshine over a MacQuarie Island winter sky.
A ray from heaven? No, just a rare ray of sunshine over a MacQuarie Island winter sky.

Healing the Mind: The Healing Mind.

Layer after layer will be peeled away. And as time progresses, if you keep up the technique, you will become increasingly joyful, increasingly happier, and increasingly more healthy. So how is it done?

The answer provided to me on this is the Buddhist technique of meditation known in Southeast Asia –and now around the world- as Vipassana. There are number of ways in which this is introduced to a student, but I’ll be referring here to that technique advocated by Mr. S.N. Goenka. Goenkaji, as he is affectionately referred to, is one of a long line of teachers reaching right back -as far as we can ascertain- to the original teachings of Sidartha Gautama, the man who became known as ‘The Enlightened One,’ around 2,500 years ago – The Buddha.

Why is Vipassana Meditation different from most other meditation?

Now, Vipassana Meditation is not the airy fairy stuff you see peddled around so much today. Mind you, I’m not knocking other techniques. They do serve their purposes of relaxation, temporary release from stress and the like. But they don’t do much more than temporarily relieve the situation, in the main. This techniue is different.

Why is it different?

Well, in most types of meditation there is an emphasis on either mantras (chanting, repeating words over and other, such as in Transcendental Meditation (TM) or visualization. In Vipassana, this is not the case. There is no mantra. There is no visualization. There is only what is. What is means things as they are, not as you’d like them to be. There can be a lot of pain and suffering in the practice of Vipassana, and there generally is.

So where do we start?

If our bodies were as weak as the control we have over our thinking we'd all be in wheel chairs.

Firstly, we’ve got to bring our minds under the control of our will: our real self, as distinct from our self-imaging, concepts or imagination, ie. our ego self We have to step out of our roles, our personas, our characterizations. Here is another area where you can immediately put yourself to the test. Let’s try it now…

Will yourself to look at something. For example, a cup sitting on the table. Just look at the cup. See only the cup and the table on which it lies. Keep this, and only this in mind. Make that decision. And see how quickly your mind- the part of you that wants to be boss – thrusts itself upon you with thinking. Oh, how it will rationalize. Oh, how it will justify itself. Oh, how it will squirm.

Why?

Healing the Mind. The Collective Mind and the Universal Mind - Pay attention!

Because this mind of ours, this self-image, this concept, has become an entity unto itself and it does not want to lose its power. The moment you bring your real self into the equation, it knows fear- tremendous fear.

Let us draw a parallel between your mind and a wild elephant. The wild elephant wants its own way: the mahout on its back -the real you – wants this beast tamed, so it will do the mahout’s bidding. Imagine the destruction a wild, untamed elephant can do. Imagine then, the tremendous energy that can be used on your behalf once the wild elephant is tamed, and trained to do the mahout’s bidding.

Vipassana Meditation - Can you bring your mind under your control?

You can bring this wild thing called your mind under your control. You can. And at our next session I will tell you how it can be done. Telling, won’t do it for you of course. But at least you’ll know the theory of it.

I hope you enjoyed this third segment of Healing with Mind. Watch out for Part Four. Or in modern parlance- “stay tuned.” More information on the Healing Mind will be forthcoming.

Goodbye for now.

Tom

1 comment

InfinityVal profile image

InfinityVal 4 years ago from NNY

I love your analogy between the mind and body - If our bodies were as weak as the control we have over our thinking we'd all be in wheel chairs. Very true!

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