Egoic Mind: At times there is a sweeping dissatisfaction with my life. At times there are feelings of great joy, without awareness of said unease. On a few seldom occasions there is stillness. What is real?
Gnani: All and everything.
Egoic Mind: And yet nothing, I suppose. That’s trite. Bubblegum guru bullshit.
Gnani: The mind would want you to believe that, for it wants to remain in control of the chaos.
Egoic Mind: I see that the mind creates turbulence, even in still waters. I DO apperceive that.
Gnani: It wants to be the Queen of the Chaos. Wanting you to believe in its omnipotence and wanting you to serve its every whim.
Egoic Mind: And yet it has an insatiable appetite and can never be appeased. I do see that as well. I have noticed the inner dialog at times that is always surveying the landscape of the mind … it asks “what can I do for myself in this moment?” Not in an overly selfish way … but to ease the physical pain, or otherwise still the din of the mental noise. It is always looking around, searching and seeking ways to BE COMFORTABLE. I see it all around me as well, the urge and desire to be “free” of human pain. We seek sangha and therapy sessions to try and unravel the “mystery” of our mind. “Why did my mother leave?”, “Why am I still holding on to this anger?”, “How could I have done that stupid thing?” At the core seems to be a belief that if we FIGURE IT OUT, that our suffering will end.
Gnani: And yet, you have seen that for the vast majority of those people, your “self” included that the suffering does not end. Why is that?
Egoic Mind: Because the mind is the one doing the seeking and it has no desire or intention of truly alleviating its own pain. Shocking as that may sound. At best the mind is a tabloid news reporter. It thrives on drama and mayhem. It seeks it out, sensationalizes what it finds and plays the newsreel over and over in our head.
Gnani: Go on.
Egoic Mind: No. I find that utterly too depressing a thought. It makes me feel “trapped” inside a Machiavellian mental machine. I don’t want to believe that. I don’t want to feel helpless.
Gnani: Keep going. The mind wants you to stop here before you SEE. It wants you to SETTLE for the half truth.
Egoic Mind: What is the full truth that I am missing?
Gnani: Keep going.
Egoic Mind: Okay, the mind as a tabloid news reporter. I see that. I see the news conferences it holds, I see it trying to rope other people in for higher ratings and I see that these tactics do not lead to any reduction in suffering for any length of time. That is to say, there may be a brief respite when one fire is doused, and perhaps even the crowd cheers for a moment at the “victory” – but it can only be a transient feeling of relief, because the next “natural” disaster is looming on the horizon. And even though the questions may appear to change, “Why don’t I feel loved?”, “How could she hurt me like that?”, “Why do I put up with this abuse?” … it is really only mutterings of dissatisfaction that the mind is creating in order to reign supreme in the land of chaos.
Gnani: Yes. That is the partial truth. There is more though that the “I” can not see.
Egoic Mind: I’m lost in the egoic mind at the moment. I am sure I can recite bubble gum guru-isms back at you, but I can not FEEL it right now.
Gnani: Simply NOTICE the stillness right now. Without effort or urgency. Simply SEE what is here, right now.
Egoic Mind: When there are NO WORDS left, or no stories to follow … there a feeling of a soft smile all around me. I know that sounds strange, but it is the best reach for words to match something that is not quite possible to describe. A soft smile.
Gnani: Indeed words do not matter. Words and logic and reason are all tools of the false sense of self. You need not try and convince “it” of anything.
Egoic Mind: So what IS the truth? And what do I DO about it? How do I quit my job as a tabloid news reporter and stop being so self obsessed with “being comfortable”?
Gnani: There is an apperceivable shift from the striving of “being comfortable” to the Truth of BEING.
Egoic Mind: I can hear the argument in my head … some version of never amounting to anything if we all sat around in our “beingness”. Because the mind wants to be in control of the chaos and if it put down the video camera with the live feed for the 6 o’clock news, it believes that the world would end.
Gnani: And it will.
Egoic Mind: Well damn if its gonna happen now! No one wants their world to END!
Gnani: Which is why, so many suffer for so long. And even those who claim to be seeking an end to the suffering are really only placating the network executives at Chaos Central Station.
Egoic Mind: Okay, so I know this “soft smile” to be the Truth. Call it the “witness that watches” or the Beingness, or the Presence, by whatever name or Author Unknown, I know without a doubt that it exists. Because that is my experience, despite my mind’s attempt to discredit or ignore that fact. I know Truth exists. Now … what do I DO about it?
Gnani: Doing is still an action undertaken by the minions of the mind that live for the next battle. There is no war to win.
Egoic Mind: Then I will be doomed to suffer for as long as I have an active mind.
Gnani: Take again the example of the tabloid news reporter. Right now there are live news streams going on that are reporting crisis around the world. Are there not?
Egoic Mind: There always is. So yes, I imagine that there are now, on one of the 720 channels on the satellite network. But I don’t have the TV on. Oh! I get it. I make a choice, not to watch it. There ARE 720 metaphoric channels at any given time and I can choose which one I tune in.
Gnani: (soft smile)
Egoic Mind: I am not only the broadcast network for the queen of chaos, I am also a universal RECEIVER. I can pick up all of the channels on this mental DVR, but I don’t ever have to sit down and WATCH any of them. I can change my focus.
Gnani: But there are real world problems, people are starving, injustices abound …
Egoic Mind: Yes, I hear that mental “defense” … I can not simply “ignore” the pain and suffering. But watching it passively on the news, does nothing for the betterment of any sentient being. Actions when possible, will come. And they will come from the stillness … the smile of compassion. When I can truly help, I will. When it is possible to reduce even my own suffering, it will be done. But in the copious free time of the hallows of the mind … I need not turn on the fox hunt of the tabloid press. I do not have to spend my energy in researching the crisis of the mind.
Gnani: Is that so?
Egoic Mind: Well SHIT, don’t confuse me. I thought that I HAD IT.
Gnani: Well then, keep THINKING … or … consider … right now …
Egoic Mind: Feeling the soft smile. Yes.
Egoic Mind: But you know .. there isn’t anything more to write about when I am in that place of “peace”. There aren’t any words left.
Gnani: (soft smile)
Egoic Mind: Deep bow.