24 October 2013

Focusing Chapter 3

Q: …Our question is: can there be a happy mind?

M: Desire is the memory of pleasure and fear is the memory of pain. Both make the mind restless. Moments of pleasure are merely gaps in the stream of pain. How can the mind be happy?

Q: That is true when we desire pleasure or expect pain. But there are moments of unexpected, unanticipated joy. Pure joy, uncontaminated by desire—unsought, undeserved, God-given.

M: Still, joy is joy only against a background of pain.

Q: Is pain a cosmic fact, or purely mental?

M: The universe is complete and where there is completeness, where nothing lacks, what can give pain?

Q: The Universe may be complete as a whole, but incomplete in details.

M: A part of the whole seen in relation to the whole is also complete. Only when seen in isolation it becomes deficient and thus a seat of pain. What makes for isolation?

Q: Limitations of the mind, of course. The mind cannot see the whole for the part.

M: Good enough. The mind, by its very nature, divides and opposes. Can there be some other mind, which unites and harmonizes, which sees the whole in the part and the part as totally related to the whole?

Q: The other mind—where to look for it?

M: In the going beyond the limiting, dividing and opposing mind. In ending the mental process as we know it. When this comes to an end, that mind is born.

Q: In that mind, the problem of joy and sorrow exist no longer?

M: Not as we know them, as desirable or repugnant. It becomes rather a question of love seeking expression and meeting with obstacles. The inclusive mind is love in action, battling against circumstances, initially frustrated, ultimately victorious.

Q: Between the spirit and the body, is it love that provides the bridge?

M: What else? Mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it.

02 October 2013

Focusing Chapter 2

Q: …Your mind seems to be always quiet and happy. And miracles happen round you.

M: I know nothing about miracles, and I wonder whether nature admits exceptions to her laws, unless we agree that everything is a miracle. As to my mind, there is no such thing. There is consciousness in which everything happens. It is quite obvious and within the experience of everybody. You just do not look carefully enough. Look well, and see what I see.

Q: What do you see?

M: I see what you too could see, here and now, but for the wrong focus of your attention. You give no attention to your self. Your mind is all with things, people and ideas, never with your self. Bring your self into focus, become aware of your own existence. See how you function, watch the motives and the results of your actions. Study the prison you have built around yourself by inadvertence. By knowing what you are not, you come to know your self. The way back to your self is through refusal and rejection. One thing is certain: the real is not imaginary, it is not a product of the mind. Even the sense ‘I am’ is not continuous, though it is a useful pointer; it shows where to seek, but not what to seek. Just have a good look at it. Once you are convinced that you cannot say truthfully about your self anything except ‘I am’, and that nothing that can be pointed at, can be your self, the need for the ‘I am’ is over—you are no longer intent on verbalising what you are. All you need is to get rid of the tendency to define your self. All definitions apply to your body only and to its expressions. Once this obsession with the body goes, you will revert to your natural state, spontaneously and effortlessly. The only difference between us is that I am aware of my natural state, while you are bemused.