Peter J. Capper M.A.
7. Five Senses
Man looks around at the world in which he lives. From infancy, he or she has been nurtured, guided and trained by those who love and care for him or her. He receives preparation and education for the life that is wished for him or her. The language that he or she speaks and the beliefs and customs that are accepted are, initially, nor his or hers to choose. He adopts those of the family into which the child is born.
Gradually and inevitably, as he or she grows, life introduces new ideas that challenge those he or she has cherished. Gradually and inevitably the process of self-enquiry begins as the thrill of new acquaintances and experiences stirs within him or her.
Man’s search for identity gains momentum: very personal and very earnest. Many potential paths of discovery present themselves; many are discarded and rejected while some are accepted and embraced. The market-place of life hums with questions and answers that offer the absolute in a world of relativity, freedom midst the bondage and eternity as the prize for virtue.
The forum is awash with the stalls of practitioners of spiritualism and religion, each competing for disciples. Man’s dependence on mind in his search for ‘truth’ is revealed for what it is. The reward is knowledge, albeit in the guise of understanding. The quest for knowledge and its evidence has become overwhelming and universal.
Nonetheless, man is troubled with doubt and uncertainty – doubtful as to what the future holds, uncertain in the control of his own destiny. We rejoice in birth, we rejoice in death of a man branded as an enemy. We grieve at our personal losses, our failed ambitions and our missed targets. We triumph in our perceived successes, missions accomplished and our profitable enterprises.
We experience emotional swings in our daily life; we hold ourselves and others responsible for the outcome of actions and events, and we are liberal in apportioning blame and criticism. No less do we congratulate others and especially ourselves and seek praise for what we have done.
Whilst man holds to the conviction that he or she is the doer, and that life is an amalgam of separate events, governed by cause and effect, he misses the spontaneity of life. Not only that. Man misses the beauty of that play of life, the play of light and sound, the transforming power of life to make the sensual real, and its intelligence to manifest the world, the mind and man himself - all illusory though: that is to say, it is not as the mind says it is.
There is no mistake for the cosmos happened spontaneously.
Throughout the waking state, man is governed by the thoughts of the mind. Thus, he takes as real all that he sees, hears, touches, tastes and smells - this is his reality, for the mind cannot see beyond the sensual world. Nor, astonishingly, can it know what is happening in the sensual world while it is happening, for it is never present. It lives, if at all it lives, in the past.
Knowledge, however sophisticated, cannot alter life. Mind, by virtue of its knowledge acquired by painstaking and costly research and experimentation, by its bank of proof and evidence, cannot know life – less can it understand it.
To divest mankind of its adamantine belief in mind’s authority and to begin to understand the nature of the mind, faultless as it is in every detail, is the business of enlightened beings, respected as the wise.
Understanding the nature of life, a singular and eternal flow of energy, is their realisation and life’s gift to man, who is a perfect expression of life, albeit illusory. Everything is in its place in the cosmos.
In this cosmos dawned the mind and became its centrepiece. No wonder, for the remit of mind includes all man’s sensual faculties, his or her thinking, remembering, deciding, perceiving, dreaming and reasoning, as well as mind’s very private and subjective world. Furthermore, it is through mind, fired with emotion, that religious worship is conducted wherever it is.
Thus mind is the unchallenged navigator of man, throughout his or her journey in life. This no-one would dispute, illusory though it is. Understanding this is the gateway to enlightenment.
But, if man, mind and the entire cosmos is nothing but energy - What, then, am I?
Peter Julian Capper