We live everyday without really paying attention to how we operate. Why is this? Because most of the time we work with our thinking without leaving a just a little space for the unconscious to emerge. What is that? What does it mean? I will proceed to explain in my own way what I do mean with this relating to a small incident that happened the other day.
Well, you might say of course we have to think in order to operate. True, this is normal you might even add. Thinking is how we operate, how we function, how we act and how we lead our life on a day to day basis. A necessary tool of course. So what are we talking about there? If I need thinking to function in our life what wrong with this?
Well, there is nothing wrong indeed. Thoughts, we forget are only a little part of our life, but it plays an enormous role and has taken over in more ways than we can imagine. We are word addicts more than coffee, drugs, nicotine and any other substance you can imagine. My father said that many years ago: ” Words are a drug and we don’t know that we are addicted”. Thoughts have taken over our life and we don’t know how to stop. Stop? how can you do that? Yes, of course there are countless methods that will tell you how to do just that. You pay for them and follow them: the gurus, the methods, the masters, the newly illuminated that have found peace, the countless men and women that swear that they have discovered THE WAY.
AM I to believe them? AM I to follow them because they are gurus and masters? Tempting no? Well, I have decided to look at it all in a different way.
If I follow all these masters and know-it all men and women, where do I stand in all that? I’ll be merely a follower. Nothing wrong of course if that is what you want to do. But why can’t I be my own master and guru? Can I discover by myself what they have discovered? Why can’t I do it? What peace are they all talking about? If they have done so, it must be in all of us. Therefore what is the obstacle?
So, here is my little incident that helped me see through a few things related to thinking and how AT TIMES it can be a real hindrance.
The other day, a friend of mine was looking for a phone number. Have you seen that phone number? No, I said. Never saw it. So, he went on looking for 10 mns solid searching for this evasive number and could not put his finger on it. I remained silent and did not utter a word. After a while, I said: “did you look in the 3rd file in the filing cabinet”? So, he went there and could not find it either. So, he went on looking for a while longer to no avail. That is when I got up, searched that very file in the filing cabinet and found it. The 3rd one from the back. Dumbfounded he could not understand why he had not seen it.
How many times this happens to all of us? So, I ponder on it for a short while and suddenly it became clear why he had not seen it and why we are not seeing when the object is there in front of our eyes. My simple explanation is that we are taken so much with our thinking that we do not pay attention to what we are doing. We are not with the ACTUAL process. Our mind is filled with ideas hence cumbersome to see the obvious. Our mind is busy, busy with formulating ideas that represent only the world within our frame. We see what we want to see or not see. Seeing requires an attention to the process (thinking) that guides our activity. When that process is too taken by itself it becomes the obstacle. It becomes a hindrance. We can observe here that thinking is necessary but not the ultimate tool. A tool that it is, and that is what it is. A tool that allows us to go to work, to drive a car, to walk through the door, to build a house, to water our garden to cut down a tree and so on. But I would not go as far as saying to know who we are. Thinking can’t know who we are. It approximates our status and makes us THINK. But when it ventures into the realm of being it has lost its power. It pretends and can’t get a foothold. Hence the justifications and the reiterations of its position.
We see the world according to our perception of it. That perception is molded by our background, upbringing and education. Everything is translated by what we know. Of course that is necessary and I won’t deny it. But it becomes an obstacle when that is the only thing that supposedly exists. We forget this. We forget that they might be some other ways to see the world. Thought has become so dominant( addictive) that it remains the only thing that is viable. Hence our narrow minded views of the world. We can’t extend further than what we have become accustomed to “seeing”. We fight for it, go to war on it, annihilate countries and people, torture, maim, rape and so on.
So, if my friend, could have only extended his vision outside his thinking process he might have been able to see the paper and the phone number that he was looking for. In other words he remained glued within his narrow frame of vision and did not see the obvious. That happens to all of us all the time. It is because we do not leave a little space, we do not pause, we do not arrest ourselves just a few seconds that there might be another way of looking, another perspective on our pseudo reality that we latched onto as being the only reality that ever exists. How small that is!
It is therefore important to stop and take a few seconds to envisage another way. To let our unconscious speak. It knows what to do and how to go about it. But that is very hard one might say. Of course it is hard because thinking does leave any gap. It engulfs us and we say that there is no way out. What else should I do? What Can I do? Can you give me a trick or a method? and we do not realise that it is thinking that is speaking. Yes, thinking does not see this realm, can’t fathom it, can’t hold it, can’t touch it, can’t sustain it, can’t even start to imagine what it could be like or look like. This realm, is not within the grasp of thinking. It encompasses thinking but not IT!
So, the pause that is needed to see is gone, and we remain with the status quo…I can’t find it and start to search around. Stop, and let the mind rest for a second or two. I am not keen on the saying: “search and you will find” it may apply in other occasions but not in that instance. If our mind is perpetually busy, the standstill, the suspension and the gap just disappear and we are left with the same old story….the incessant roof brain chatter that hinders us for being present. Being present is where the thinking does not get involved. It has nowhere to go. In fact it can’t deal with the present since it does not “know” it.
Till next time.