Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
Published on www.acadun.com
30th October 2013
Beyond the mind
Boundaries do not exist for a young child or a sage. There is no beyond. However, as the child grows and evolves, the idea of ‘my’ and ‘mine’ enters the young person’s mind. Gradually, his or her separate world is established. In this world, wants and desires arise and multiply, accompanied by hopes and fears. Help is at hand, if it is sought, or even if it is not, in the form of religious or spiritual guidance. An invitation to follow the guidance or even become a disciple is offered. Hereafter, having espoused certain beliefs and practices, man divides his world into believers and unbelievers, this group and that group. Mental and physical boundaries are formed and crystallised as surely as night follows day.
Quite apart from these divides, there are deep social issues, erecting boundaries between communities and even families. Small wonder, then, that in this maelstrom of belief and counter-belief man reaches out for a reality that is beyond – beyond the mind. The various descriptions of reality, such as ‘Bliss’, ‘Awareness’ and ‘Soul’, are believed to exist beyond the mind. This is a popular belief accepted as the truth. Every path that is available to go beyond the mind is searched for high and low, near and far.
The more popular the path is, the more attractive it becomes to man and his ego, for the ego always loves the popular and the most sought after. There are many paths available to man in every ‘religion’ or concept of spirituality that is present. The ego is attracted to them for man longs for ‘Bliss’. Many spiritual and religious stalwarts propagate that the bliss man searches for or longs for lies beyond his mind. They encourage man to practise spiritual techniques that are popular, adhere to strict rules of a certain religion, and to go within oneself. The shopping list for spirituality to go beyond the mind is long, and present-day man loves to shop.
The more difficult the regime needed to go beyond the mind is, the more challenging it becomes to the ego, and the ego loves a challenge. Life is invested in such programmes with no returns until the day one has to depart. To go beyond the mind or within oneself only the ego is available to do this. But the ego is false and needs to be destroyed in order to go beyond the mind or within oneself. This belief is once again accepted by all who endeavour to go beyond the mind.
But what is beyond the mind? Is it the past, the present or the future? It cannot be the present for man does not find ‘Bliss’ in the present. Can it be the past? It just cannot be, for man knows the past is dead and so would bliss be. It cannot be the future either, for the future is nothing but an imagined and modified past!
So, where is the mind? Is man sure where his mind is? He only assumes the mind is in the present. But what is the present? Has man defined what the present is? No, he has not yet been able to define, with certainty, the present. The present to man is the time read on a wrist-watch or the clock on the wall. Time cannot be the present as man cannot see a moment or time in life. The present is the moment ‘now’, which has no duration of time within it. The mind is never in the present for it is always in the imagined past or the future. Science informs that the smallest unit of time that could represent the present is an atto second, which is one billionth of a billionth of a second. This unit of time is not recognisable by the mind. An atto second is not enough time available to do any action and, therefore, to go beyond the mind is just impossible.
The moment that is in the past or the future can never be seen, and also the present moment cannot be seen as there is no cut-off point between one moment and the next. This makes the moment that ‘is’ the present. The eternal moment appears as many moments to the mind and time is created as a thought, which is not real, for a thought is an auditory illusion of sound and not an actuality.
The mind is not in the moment that ‘is’, for the moment that ‘is’ flows in the timeless ‘now’. Therefore, man cannot go beyond the mind using the mind or the ego. He would only be in the mind while trying to go beyond it. Man needs to understand that ‘Bliss’, ‘Awareness’, ‘Soul’ or spirituality is not beyond the mind, but is the moment in which he is alive. The moment man is alive, however, is ahead of the mind and the mind is not in the moment that ‘is’. Ahead is not the future, but the moment that ‘is’.
The moment that ‘is’ projects optical and auditory illusions of life and time. These illusions appear real to the mind and the mind tries to escape from them by trying to go beyond the mind, for it believes ‘Bliss’ is present there. Man needs to understand that ‘Bliss’ is the moment that ‘is’ and the mind can never reach it. ‘Bliss’ is the moment that ‘is’. The moment that ‘is’ is the spiritual destination man searches for. The moment that ‘is’ is Bliss, for it does not accommodate any belief, opinion, conclusion, interpretation or time.
Author: Vijai S Shankar© Copyright 2013
Life is definitely spicy – after all, ‘Variety is the spice of life’. So, why not? Life offers its offspring, every single one of us, a limitless array of ways back to itself. Each way has its own taste and fragrance; each way is perfect in every detail, illusory though. However, each way also becomes a power-base for its adherents; and each way brings out the ego to proclaim its uniqueness, supremacy and reality over all other ways. Such is the influence of belief, opinion, conclusion, interpretation and time. Such is the way of the mind to create and maintain barriers and boundaries. Understanding this dissolves misunderstanding. Understanding this is the gift of the wise to man, and the moment that ‘is’. Thank you - we are so grateful.
German Translator’s Note: