To ask the mind to kill itself is like making the thief the policeman. He will go with you and pretend to catch the thief, but nothing will be gained. So you must turn inward and see where the mind rises from, and then it will cease to exist.
Sri Ramana Maharshi
Or like the fox guarding the henhouse.
We are, each of us, an experience of consciousness. As we move forward in our understanding of how this system of consciousness works, we begin to see that our problems exist not within the world, but rather in our way of thinking about the world. The way we think about the world is housed – structured – in the ego, and when we are seeing the world from the point of view of the ego we are identified as the ego.
As we come to an understanding of this, we begin to look for ways to be free of this identity with the ego, free of its control. But we’ve spent so long in this wrong identity of self that, almost invariably, we end up trying to solve the problem by using the problematic thing itself. We try to figure out how to be free, rather than simply choosing to be free.
Freedom is something to be chosen, not something to be figured out. When I identify as that which is beyond thought, rather than as the thinking, I am choosing freedom. It really is as simple as that.
And almost certainly the ego will respond to this threat to its power by telling me I need to worry about something: money, love, health, lack, limitation. If I take the bait, I am again aligning myself with the ego, with the ego mind. So I simply notice I am worrying and I stop. I stop paying attention to it. I let it go. I return to the moment, to the feeling I found in meditation – the place of something other than my thoughts and my feelings. I recall the peace and comfort within. I remind myself it is there, even though in this moment I may not be able to feel it.
I step out of speculation and I insist on not worrying, on not torturing myself with my mind.
SOHAM. I am That. TAT TVAM ASI. Thou art That. We are the true Self. The place that is beyond thought. That thing which never changes. Everything else is temporary and changeable. My thinking, my feelings, my opinions – all these will change. To identify with these ever-changing things is to build my home on sand. I will always feel myself at the mercy of the world, rather than stable and whole. It is my job to know this daily, hourly, whenever I can remember it throughout the day, and continually to let go of everything that tells me other than this. Let go of the ego and its false sense of power. Let go of these thoughts that tell me what’s wrong with me and wrong with the world. Let go of this idea of self that would have me remain small. And embrace the truth of what is. Thou art That.
Today I will find the way to set aside the old ideas of what I am and expect the universe to show me the reality of what I am.
Murtis, Studio City, CA