Nature, and Beyond Nature

I find the mind intriguing, and yet, baffling. Nothing has come near to comparing the capability of the mind, its weirdness and its potentiality. When I refer to the mind, I am referring to a nature rather than something that I am learning to comprehend. In terms of nature – it is not something that belongs to me and yet it is something that I can’t separate from except to experience it. I am using the word “nature” to denote an experience that is universal by observation and has a specific order or pattern that can be understood by anyone who examined it.

At the individual level, each of us has a specific interest and priority in life, be it money, career, status, hobby, relationship, health or even solitude. Underlying each interest is our need to feel complete, as food for satiating our inner need. There is something within each and every one of us that needs to be continuously fed, to feel complete. Seldom do we try to probe or understand why is there such a specific need tailored to each different individual. This uniqueness propels us to judge our neighbour or help us find common grounds for friendship. The proverb birds of the same feather flocks together points to the effect of this peculiar need.

Our observation of cliques, tribes, fellowships, societies, organisations or even individualisations are all based from this specific need ingrained in each of us. It is from this need, specialness is motivated. Where there is specialness, separation inevitably arises. Separation is not something we consciously create and thus it is impossible to have a non separate entity or a common ground of understanding for us to be together – simply for the reason that lodged within each of us is this unquestioned need that propels us to be different from others. No matter how well we jive with others that resonates with our inner need, somewhere along the friendship there is prone to be disharmony or splits, or on a lesser degree, adjustment to fit into each other’s need; which ironically becomes another form of our own inner need. For us to feel belong we either move away to find another grouping that we can subscribe to or make inner adjustment to escape our fear of rejection.

Our entire life is practically on this unconscious motion – changing courses to satiate our needs or making adjustments to feel belong. Seldom are we authority of our own mind. The mind’s need is subjugating us to live a life of misery and slavery – albeit an unconscious choice – imprisoning us to keep satiating its need. Where there are moments of choice, each choice is made according to this mind’s need. Is there then truly a choice or merely a conditioning brought forward from the blindness or ignorance of this need?

A secular life does not invoke such questioning and thus practically gives away a life in vain to the vanity of the mind’s desire. To the uninitiated, material gains and status is the yardstick of a successful life whereas to an inner seeker, a seeker who wish to understand and transcend the meaning of existence; all gains are merely a camouflage of an incessant addiction found at the deepest core of the mind – the need. Spiritual gains, or as Chogyam Truangpa bluntly refer to as material spiritualism, are no different from those of material pursuit. Spiritual ecstasies, calmness, joy or any uplifting experiences becomes a trapping for the need when we identify them as the ultimate experience of oneness or God, or even enlightenment. Where there is a need, there exists the ego, the opposite to what sacredness of God or enlightenment is.

In short, God or enlightenment has nothing to do with the world. It is entirely exclusive and beyond the mind, not to mention the body. To match what is beyond the mind as mind experiences makes a mockery of the sanctity of what a mind has the potential of achieving – its own destruction – the destruction of “I-ness” which is the cause of all the need. Here lies the fallacy of the mind – its weirdness of the unquestioned need due to ignorance and its potential of ‘self’-destruction, arising from self-inquiry – wisdom.

What then is this need, in reality? An idea. Plainly an idea – arising from delusion and along with it is the world born.

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