Matters of the mind

By on May 07, 2019
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Matters of the mind

How important is a thought to the human brain? Find out

Having trekked around the Inca Trail in Peru with an oxygenated brain, a body that had visualised the existence of the Huayna Picchu (the young mountain) and walked along the town of Machu Picchu (old mountain), the mind had gone blank. There was no ‘thought’. For a moment, the 

body resisted going back to the 

world of ‘thoughts’.

The peace in the absence of thought, and thus the absence of ‘me’, was so profound in the deafening silence of the Inca Mountains; caressing the breeze of the trail, the green forests and deep blue skies; even the thought of returning to civilisation sent a shudder down 

the spine.

And hence, I thought about the ‘thought’. Amusingly, what better 

time would there be to express 

the expressionless?

I began to wonder. Do all animals think? Do dogs or chimps really obey  well and heed commands? Maybe or maybe not because thoughts – and hence the mind – is made of words. Without words there can be no thoughts and hence no mind. Mind you, please don’t mix the brain with the mind.

All animals have brains that help with the functioning of their body with movements, endocrine and survival instincts. However, a thought is unique to the intelligent human brain alone.

The mind is infinite and, given the right direction, has mind-boggling dimensions. The inventions that have led to human progress are phenomenal.

From the invention of the wheel to the steam engine and from electricity 

to nuclear energy, mankind’s mind has set itself apart. From the clock to computers and from penicillin to robotic surgery, the mind has helped the species to survive.

From Darwin to Einstein and to the Nobel laureates of today, we know how powerful the human mind is. But the flipside is that “the mind became insecure”. After building the initial walls to protect itself, it divided the world into hundreds of countries. From sharp weapons to gun powder, and from nuclear arsenal to chemical bombs, humans developed mass destruction.

When the root is violence, the fruit is massacre. But the violent root is in the mind, just a thought, yet a massacre leaves thousands dead. In World Wars I or II, unaccountable humans lost their lives over a misdirected thought.

The mind has many games to play and needs to be kept busy and entertained. For it invents religions and rituals, games and sports, skills and competitions and even exams. The stage actor and films keep the mind engaged. The creativity of the mind is phenomenal and is often seen in  movies: good 

and bad.

The mind is scared of two things: ‘uncertainty’ and ‘insecurity’. Yet there is only one thing secure in our lives and that is insecurity.

There is only one other thing that is certain in our lives and that is uncertainty. And between uncertainty and insecurity the mind is trying to be balanced. From extreme ecstasy to deathly violence the mind has experienced everything.

Yet when ‘I’ invent myself as an identity, I find huge and complex interpersonal conflicts that separates 

me from others and this thought itself 

is violent.

When we drop the ‘I’, our mind associates with the world in oneness; 

and for that there has to be absence 

of thought.

Though this may seem utopic and paradoxical to the conditioned human mind, this “I-am-no-oneness” is too joyful. This state has no future or past; it lives in the ‘now’ .

It has no identity, and no fears, just pure Joy. And though “I-am-no-oneness” can be briefly experienced by all of us, the ground reality of practical conditioned experience takes us away from this utopic reality to the violently competitive state of the society.

From education to finance, from physical to mental power, we are all boiling in the cauldron of a soup in which we all cook ourselves and remain.

Remember: The steam is the result of water, but it’s not the water. The water is in the ocean, and the steam is in the sky.

Similarly, the brain is the matter, the thought is the steam that can either explode or burn or condense back into water or be as cool as ice!

It is important to move out of this soup – “the mind” – and get the clarity of a clean, joyful mind or no mind.   

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