Monday, August 08, 2005

More on God and the Conscious Mind


In spirituality, we always attempt to combine reason with Love to create a path that is not illogical, absurd, or unreasonable. We try to stick to the "Middle Way," the Way of moderation, in all things.

It is possible to misunderstand the message about the "nonmagical" nature of the conscious mind to say that, "You might as well not do anything, even get up in the morning, because the conscious mind is so weak." But is this interpretation reasonable? No, it clearly fails to pass that test, and so, is rejected by the moderate mystic.

The point being made in the recent uld article was that the conscious mind was not designed to create or alter matter. Of course, the conscious mind can create. It creates thoughts, ideas, visions, feelings, and a whole spectrum of other internal and mental phenomena. Again it is extreme literalism that leads to misunderstanding. It was indeed said that the "conscious mind can create nothing," but, in the context, it was referring to magical creation within the world of material things. For, notice that, in the same article, the same word was used when reference was made to the conscious mind's "creating" karma. So, yes, the conscious mind can create.

The illustration of the conscious mind's being able to change a single hair on your own head was not original. This is the challenge discussed by Jesus Christ in the Gospels. If you believe that you can select a single hair on your head, and then, change the color of that hair, I would like for you to demonstrate that ability. Please call me so that we can set up this experiment.

The extreme of renouncing all planning was not at all implied. Encouraging your kids to plan for the future is not at all anti-spiritual. Teaching them that the ego has the power to change the nature of matter is. A good example of the limitations of the conscious mind is the unfortunate hypochondriac. He goes to the library, learns all that he can, from many books, about a certain disease. He learns more than most docs. He is convinced that he has this disease. It is all that he thinks about, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. He is very upset (engaging his full emotional range). He is convinced, for years, with every fiber of his being that he has all the symptoms. So, years later, he visits a clinic. He has not a trace of the disease. If the conscious mind were totally in control, of even the most intimate bodily processes, he would certainly have the disease. But, if it is not his karma, he shows no traces.

The same works in reverse: A man who gulps vitamins, herbs, and dozens of other supplements every day, who exercises, jogs, and drinks only purified water, eating only organic vegetables and fruits, can find himself with a very serious case of biomedical illness. Again, the limits of the conscious mind are verified-- observationally, experimentally, experientially. And there are so many cases over the centuries that these limitations are also a scientific reality. One would have to be at least slightly delusional to deny all the evidence.

People embrace the "conscious mind is God" belief out of fear. They are terrified that "something bad" is going to happen to them. Instead of trusting God (Love) to lead them through the crisis, to make them wiser and stronger, they react like four-year-olds: They just do not want "anything bad" to happen to them. Wiser, more mature, adults adjust, adapt, and accommodate, rather than living in fear. Whatever the cosmos brings to them, they use it in the "lemons to lemonade" principle, and make the best out of what karma and the Unconscious have created as their world.

So, look at the world with eyes wide open! Do not quake in fear, or try to hide in a closet. Do not try to hide behind illusions. You need not flee in terror from "negative" thoughts, for example. For they cannot harm you or your friends by altering the material world. Symmetrically, positive thoughts, although better than negative, cannot always insulate you from "negative" situations.

So, instead of living in fear, try to live in courage! Accept that real problems do happen to highly spiritual and wise, kind people. Many famous mystics suffered from difficulties and challenges. But this was not because they were "spiritually inferior," or because they entertained "wrong thoughts." It was because, as the Buddha so wisely said, life consists, on earth, often, or largely, of suffering. Suffering purifies. (The root of purgatorio means "purification.") So, mystics choose courageous realism over the fantasy-based dream of controlling the cosmos
all around them. For that job has already been taken.

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