Losing your mind? Good for you!
Is our mind everything we think it is? In the mainstream circles the mind borders on being holy, as if mind can do no wrong. As well as intellect. We are told to cherish our mind, build it up and use it. We are told it is all in our mind. And, great minds are greatly perceived.
No one can argue, the mind is great in many ways. But what is actually the mind, and is it really the mind that does the great things? Is it really all in our mind, or there is much in our heart and in our soul? Obviously, the mind is intangible, thus hard to measure or prove.
Truth be told, mind has done us as much bad as good. Aren't all these the goblins of mind: prejudices, false expectations, bad opinions, foregone conclusions, misjudgments, preconceived notions, preconceptions, prejudgments, injustices, narrow-mindedness, one-sidedness, partiality, contemptuousness, discrimination, bias, bigotry, chauvinism, racism, sexism, xenophobia, animosity, antipathy...?
No doubt, our mind can hurt us, as well as benefit us. And who decides which will it be? It cannot be mind itself; it must be something else that decides, right? Who or what controls the mind? It is important to know the answer, because then we can find the means to achieve everything we want. There is something that is higher than mind, something that is not as fickle as mind or heart, with their thoughts and emotions. That something is called many names – soul, Higher Self, Higher Intelligence, conscience, essence, feeling, secret self, spirit, vital force...
What happens if we lose our mind? It is suggested that we would end up in a mental hospital.
What about following our heart? Everyone talks big about following one's own heart, but that means not following one's own mind ie. relinquishing it. It's either one or the other. Even better it is to follow our soul, which speaks to us through intuition (gut feeling), conscience, instincts, imagination, dreams and so on. So, what happens when we lose the guidance of our mind and allow feelings to guide us? By feelings, we don't mean emotions. The trouble is, feelings are often hard to decipher. We think it is a feeling, but it might be the mind's interfering. Mind and feelings are not two separate islands. In fact, they are very much connected. So we feel something in connection to what we think. And we think something about something we feel.
Why is losing mind good for you? Find the answer in the excerpt from our novel “Magic Tree”:
Excerpt from "Magic Tree" novel by Talidari
Magda loved being challenged, mentally slapped, stretched and twisted. That was how she got her kicks. And you need those, if you are looking to be propelled to the territory where a very few have walked, to a site where the magic tree grows, to the less-traveled road, a true homeland.
There were times when, after she got out of the TS building and walked to the tube station in the Baker Street, she could feel her heartbeat so intensely that it felt like it was going to explode. The firing sensation in both, her heart and mind, was inflamed by the insights she gained during those engrossing and energizing interactions [discussions]. Sometimes she would feel invigorated and rejuvenated, and other times troubled and baffled, but in any case, she was challenged to take a broader look into what was going on around her, and thus her horizons expanded and consequently the sense of grosser possibilities unfolded itself. Even though the wordings in their discussions were immaculate, still she felt that it must have been something other than just bare terms that triggered that kind of expansion of her consciousness. Or was it, in fact, possible that the words themselves had the power to do so, and if so, how can one use language to achieve that?
“Blimey!” was Lena's role-answer when asked this kind of questions, obviously adapting into British articulation just fine.
“What kind of answer is that?”
A thunderbolt struck in the distance giving chills to the girls, so Lena used it to make her point: “Now there's your answer, coming straight from heavens!”
“Will you please translate it for me, for I don't speak thunderian?”
“It's Nature's way of saying there is more to life than words.”
“How can you tell?”
“You and your damn questions! Do you ever stop thinking and just enjoy life?”
“I saw that. Don't eyeball me.” Pause. “How can I enjoy if I don't get my answers?”
“Easy. Just take your mind off things and chill. You should try it sometimes. It's fun!” Lena was in the mood to tease her friend, as usual.
“That's if I want to live a trivial life, but luckily, it's not my idea of having fun, nor is frivolity my path. As for you, if you don't know an answer, make no bones about it. Don't pretend to know by joking about it or changing the subject.” Magda was in the mood to fight back, as usual.
“What do you want me to say? Isn't it obvious?”
“That there's no one answer only and that everybody has to respond to themselves, because the answers to such questions hold the key to solving the life's mysteries and as such cannot be articulated.”
“Amen! Gee, where does this sudden flash of wisdom come from?” Now she was teasing her back, putting up a mocking face.
“From not asking others, I guess. If you chill more, you'd get some pearls of wisdom too. It's not all in the books you read. Most things you cannot know from learning or being told. But you wouldn't know about that, would you?!” Tease, tease.
“Well, what do you know! Sometimes I wonder why I even bother with you. You always need to contradict me, for some reason. Do you feel threatened by me, or what?” Magda fired back.
“That must be it. Now you resolved my mystery. I never knew. Oh, thank you!” Now Lena was getting ironic. There were times when this would insult her, but not anymore. She had grown to learn to counterblow such assaults with either irony or sarcasm, depending on the mood. Either way, she wouldn't take them in.
Since they were practically in each other's pocket, being room-mates and all, before long they had to start talking again, whether they liked it or not. Magda was first to break the ice this time. Obviously, she was learning.
“Look, I'm not saying we have to sail always side by side, but I don't think it's too much to ask from you to help me out, when once in a while I pop out a question or two. Is that so terrible? What have you got to lose? It's more than obvious that we are very different and rarely can agree on anything, but at least we can respect our differences and learn to appreciate them so that we can work them out. What do you say?”
“I can't help but notice that you are a pain in the ass, if you don't get it your way. Have you always been such a pain in the ass, or you take lessons?”
“I take lessons from you.”
“There's not much for me to do but tell you off. You don't need to get insulted and bite my head off. Take it, as I'm your devil's advocate, if you want. I'm not going to pretend, if that's what you are asking,” Lena said.
“C'mon, I'm offering you a truce. At least you can pretend to respect that.”
“Whatever.” Lena didn't seem to give in. “I still think you should chill. Did you ever think the questioning is an end in itself? You are getting on my nerves with firing all those impossible questions at me all the time.” Lena couldn't care less about burying the hatchet, because she cared more about proving her right. It was a question of truth above peace.
“What's impossible about them? I think every question should find its answer, same like every keyhole has its key or every pot has its lid. They were devised together and meant to be coupled. I just want to unite them. That's all. Is that a crime?”
“Yeah, if you keep nagging. There is definitely a time for pushing forward and a time for holding back. Sometimes things come to us when we at least expect them. You don't need to always push. You've got to go with your gut. I'm sure that the things you need to know will reveal themselves to you in the most natural way. You don't need to get to know things through learning or being answered. All you need to do is to relax, open yourself to its coming and see it.”
“I don't know. I always think, I need to do something, not just sit there.”
“No, no. Don't just do something, sit there.” Surprise, surprise, disagreeing again.
“You mean meditation and stuff? It doesn't do anything for me.”
“Probably because you don't have patience. You want to see the results right away, don't you? It doesn't always work that way. If you ask me, with meditation there is reverse physiology (not to be confused with reverse psychology) at work. You've got to hear with your eyes and see with your ears.”
“Exactly. Who needs sense when we have intuition? You don't need eyes to see, or ears to hear. The Little Prince told you to look with your heart, I'm telling you to look with your gut. The most important things in life are invisible to eyes, as well as inaudible to ears. That's what it means to see with your ears and hear with your eyes, my dear. Through meditation, you can know everything without first being told, without learning.”
‘Well, maybe she's got a point there', Magda kept that thought to herself. She was no stranger to benefits of the gut feeling.
Lena then added icing on the cake: “One last thing, about the answers you want, especially to your question how words can have the power to trigger the expansion of consciousness and how we can use words to achieve that. I suggest you look into Bible's 1 Corinthians 2 and find it out from St. Paul. There's also an answer that ends all questions. Don't ask me what it is. Just remember to look at it whenever you need guidance. But you got to read it with your third ear.”
“You mean third eye?”
“No, you read this with an ear, the third ear. You'll know what I mean when you see it.”
Bible was not something she would normally have with her, so she couldn't check it out on the spot. No one in the house had it either, so she had to wait until coming to the theosophical library. When she finally got it, she had a light-bulb moment. The revelation blew her away. Her mind took off like a jet. It wasn't the words that revealed her anything but her understanding of it, her interpretation. Just like with the TS group discussions, or with thunderian for that matter, the meaning lied in the space between the words, in the words that were not visible, but only audible, in the fourth dimension.
She noticed that Lena changed with times and wasn't such a troublemaker, as in the past she prided herself to be. What's more, she didn't shop without buying anymore. You know what I mean, her fingers were no longer sticky. Somehow, she turned into a law-abiding citizen. Magda figured it had something to do with her newish Buddhist outlook, particularly with understanding of karma that guaranteed her to pay the price, one way or another, if she stole from others. Speaking of bad habits and addictions, this ex-shoplifter came up with a profound remark: it's not difficult to overcome it; it's difficult to decide. Some words! She gathered, if Lena managed to conquer her biggest weakness, maybe there was some weight to her words. So she took her advice.
Next day, it was a Tuesday, Magda joined Lena in a meditation class that was taking place at 6 p.m. at the TS. To her surprise, many people showed up, close to twenty, and they all sat in a circle, surrounding a candle that was placed in the center on the floor. The leader did a short introductory, then someone killed the lights, and the meditation kicked off. That time they used a visual meditation to train their minds. They were suggested to gaze at the tip of the candle's flame and focus their attention merely on that. It was easier said than done. It sounded simple in theory, but doing it was a whole other ballgame. With her eyes on the candle and her mind elsewhere, her thoughts were running amok, since she couldn't keep them fixed on the flame for more than a few seconds. She didn't see much point in keeping them focused anyway, but it did astonish her how her thoughts had a life of their own. Surprisingly, she didn't seem to have any control over them as they were creeping in and out without her consent.
Sorry to say, meditation did very little to take her mind off things, as promised. Some of the contents of her mind knocked her socks off, and she wondered where they all came from, where was the source from which all the thoughts sprang, and why did they end up in the executive lounge of her mind in particular. She recalled the words of the wise Indian lady, saying that we were not our minds. As Magda was watching her mind doing its own thing, she was convinced evermore that indeed she was not her mind. At times, when it seemed some weird thoughts colonized it, she wished she could fire her mind. No need to put up with the horrors of being alone with bizarre thoughts. No, she wasn't defined by her mind, neither by her body, nor emotions. But then again, she was reacting to all of the three, so she must have been a part of them, or they were parts of her. It was all rather intricate, but fascinating in the same time.
This wasn't her first attempt to meditate. She tried it out a few times before, here and there, and it felt always the same – boring after a while. But she liked this group, especially the leader. Maybe because she changed her views on meditation, or perhaps it was convenient time filler between the jobs in the library and the karaoke bar. Whatever it was, she decided to keep coming back every week, seeing it as going on a date with her mind, but with no strings attached. One way or another, she did modify her views with times and was willing to explore her spirituality more and more. Most of the folks in the class were businesspersons, who used meditation as a stress buster. It worked for them, because it helped them relax and cope with pressures. Well, Magda had no such needs and therefore looked for another inner requirement that she could fix with it.
Lena made a point there, saying she still had some patience issues to deal with, or let's better call them the impatience issues. And meditation was told to cure that. Lena called it the hall of mirrors, because in meditation she could glance at many aspects of her personality, many faces of a same face from many different angles. Introspection was her way of catching a reflection of a side of her personality, which was more than just an expression of conditioned responses regulated exclusively by her environment and heredity.
Read the rest in our novel "Magic Tree"
- The official website for the novel "Magic Tree" by Talidari
A contemporary, treasure hunt tale of a young woman's journey across the world to find the magic tree that fulfills every wish.
- Get the "Magic Tree" at Amazon.com: Kindle Store