As promised I will touch on the mind and its purpose. I’m going to start with the reasoning of Vasistha from Vasistha’s Yoga, in which is a book I would suggest to anyone wanting to enquire about their True Nature. This piece is on the mind, and its function.
I have described the states of the mind just to enable you to understand the nature of the mind: it has no other use. For, mind takes on the form of that which it intsensely contemplates. Existence, non-existence, gaining and renouncing- all these are no more than moods of the mind
If the mind is all this, Lord, how does it ever get tainted?
It is a beautiful question, Rama, but not the proper time to ask: when you have listened to what I have to say, you will surely find the answer to this question with the utmost clarity.
That the mind is impure, is the experience who strives for liberation. Depending upon one’s particular point of view, everyone describes it differently.
Just as air coming into contact with different flowers takes on their scent, so mind entertaining different notions takes on those moods, creates bodies suitable for them and, as the energy activating the senses, enjoys the fruition of its own notions. It is the mind, again, that provides the fuel for the functioning of the organs of action. Mind is action and action is mind- the two are like the flower and its scent. The conviction of the mind determines the action and the action strengthens the conviction.
Mind is everywhere devoted to dharma, wealth, pleasure and freedom: but everyone has a different definition of these and is convinced that that definition is the truth. Even so, the followers of Kapila, the Vedantins, the Vijanavadins, the Jainas and others assert that theirs is only path to liberation. Their philosophies are the expression of their experiences which are the fruit of their own practice, which is in accordance with the convictions in their mind.
Rama, bondage is none other than the notion of an object This notion is Maya (illusion), ignorance, etc. It is the cataract that blinds one to the sun of truth. Ignorance raises doubt; doubt perceives- that perception is perverted. In darkness when one approaches even a lion’s empty cage, he is afraid. Even so, one ignorantly believes he is imprisoned in this empty body. The notions of ‘I’ and ‘the world’ are but shadows, not truth. Such notions alone create ‘objects’: these objects are neither true nor false. A mother who considers herself a housekeeper behaves like one; a wife who considers herself her husband’s mother behaves like one for the time being. Therefore, Rama, abandon the notions of ‘I’ and ‘this’ and remain established in the Truth.
So what it comes down to is the minds perception of itself in accordance to its association with the body. In Truth, the mind is the Universal Consciousness, there is no difference between the two but in a bout of forgettfulness it takes the appearance that it is the body. The mind is also a label in which is illusion, as there is no such thing in this respect. Because of its false notions of itself, it causes the body-mind to suffer, but the more that the mind is brought back to its source, desire begins to fade. In my own life, I have begun to experience this on a very subtle level, when it realizes intellectually what it is, it begins to go beyond intellect and being nothing in particular but being all, it begins to realize that it lacks nothing.
Desire Nothing, For you lack nothing -Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
The more and more that there is contemplation of your true nature and by asking the question “Who Am I?”, “What Am I?” The more and more The Self reveals itself to itself, and the more at home the Self will feel. This is not referring to the body, as you are not the body nor you ever will be, you are eternal and unborn (which I’ve touched on in previous blogs). The desire for worldy things will deminish with self-knowledge.
I’m going to leave you with one final quote to contemplate which comes from Maharaj once more
What can be forgotten, is not Truth for the reason why Truth cannot be remembered is because it cannot be forgotten -Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
I hope this may clarify some question that people may touch on with the mind at whatever stage they are at in their life. Merely knowing the mechanics of the mind and illusion detaches you from them causing them to lose their grip.
Please feel free to leave comments or questions and I will do my best to answer, the only way to become established in Truth is to extinguish any ignorance (in your and my case as I know that words are ignorance to begin with whether they come from myself or from another source, but words are still necessary at going beyond themselves)