Originally posted by applebiter
I'd like to be able to quiet my mind of all thoughts arising from the neurotic hum of fear and desire, and then to listen in to the other thoughts
that drift through my awareness like a guest listening attentively to a host's anecdotes.
Quieting the mind is difficult. For one, thing, only the mind itself can bring forward the desire to quiet the mind. So, you then have the
background noise of the mind, (what you originally wanted to silence) and now you have introduced the desire to silence, ( a new noise) and all the
related frustrations and such when one finds the mind even noisier than before.
Once I was told, when asking how to solve a problem, that "Seeing the problem is the solution." Just noticing the noisy mind, in the example you
provide. Listening to it, watching it ramble, rant, weave this way and that. The quiet that comes from watching is not that the mind itself ever
completely shuts up, it is the quiet that arises from distance. In the process of watching, at some point, you realize, not think, "If I am
watching, I am the watcher. I am not actually the noisy mind." The mind can continue on in its rambling all it wants, you dont either silence it or
"kill" it. You set it aside as "you" for a moment, a while. "You" allow yourself to be the silent watcher, who watches all things, including
the noisy mind. In that space, the space of looking, watching, inquiry, "insight" not thought is free to express and arrive.
Originally posted by applebiter
Maybe what happens to shamans is that they are violently stripped of their role identity, and there is simply no other perspective to know but that of
the host. Over time, the ego returns but is never the same. The coherence and self-awareness of the species-wide consciousness is laid bare to the
eyes of shamans and mystics, and this is why I group them together.
What distinguishes them is culture.
I would agree. The label is arbitrary. And, I feel you are also right in the sense that generally speaking something has occurred that has weakened
the identity and its sense of being in control. And, more importantly, the sense that it ever COULD have control. Sometimes this process may be
violent, sometimes it is like a slow drip of water, not so violent, but persistent. I think it is often "un-sought" in the sense that that which
"seeks" (that aspect of self that has goals, aims and ends) is the very thing that hinders.
Koans, life experiences, dreams, meditation, any event or series of events that can show you the limit of the mind, and show you that you possess a
mind, are in association with one, but are not the mind, is likely to be the beginning. One you see the boundary of the mind, and you realize you are
beyond that limit as well as within it, sets you somewhat free.
This doesnt mean that that experience cannot be then grabbed onto by the mid itself, and used to strengthen the self of "ME, Mine, I (the mind) am
special and different." Or, conversely, it can send the ego into a state of despair, (which also lends it strength) "I am NOT special if I am an
aspect of infinity, I want to be my own individual special self." Sort of a reverse specialness, derived from a sense of having lost something.
Really, what is to be seen is "not illusion." It isnt about creating wild images in the mind of spinning universes, of eyes doing this that and the
other, the mind can create all sorts of things. It ultimately is about seeing "What Is." Without the veil of illusion (or delusion) that the mind
imposes. Not predicting the future, not visiting past lives, but a deep inquiry as to "What Is, Here and Now."
Edit to add;
Just to be clear, the "future" or the "past" could be seen, but it would be experienced as a "now," if and when the "idea" of linear time
unfolding slipped and the "All that is" was perceived "all at once" as well.
[edit on 26-7-2008 by Illusionsaregrander]