• Metaphysics & Mysticism

    • As humans become aware of the collective self, suffering (and love) will also become shared responsibilities.

    The thinker is the thought: a reflection on the illusion of the self / 

    The world has always been a dangerous place but now, it is terrible: wars, racial and religious conflicts, nationalisms, economic crises, terrorism, overpopulation, and the destruction of natural habitats and oceans are all commonplace. Instead of helping, science contributes to the disaster. What does the future hold, perhaps not for this generation but for the one that follows? Humanity is heading towards its own destruction and no-one seems to care. What should we do? Where do we begin? We must not think in terms of where our evolution will take us: the future is now. Humankind thinks in terms of continuity because all transitions must develop over a period of time; the past, present and future are important because we need time to go from one place to the next, to acquire knowledge, to become better, but time is merely a mental conception: time is movement, hope, becoming, a trajectory, a mental journey. I can have the experience of time and evolution as something that occurs naturally, but I cannot know if I’ll become something better, even if I try to improve. Wanting to become non-violent is an impossibility because humans are violent: non-violence does not exist, like all other ideals it is an illusion. If we see an oasis in the desert we know that the desert is real and the oasis false, we know we will not be able to grow plants there in the future; we cannot build gardens where nothing will grow, in this sense we cannot avoid being violent. For us, the only possible state is violence.

    What is the psyche, the ego, the mind, the self? The self is the movement of the conscience, all the structure that binds our thoughts: my name, my experiences, my memories, my reactions, my answers, my rituals. Is my self independent from my thoughts? No, because the self comes from thought. There is a predisposition to believe that thought can trespass all thoughts, which is untrue. Thought cannot capture the unknown, the limitless, because it is in itself limited. We can constantly discover new things but they will also be limited. Humankind’s achievements in the fields of science, art, communications and surgery even, are unquestionable advances, but our psychological achievements are limited and thus our technology and our knowledge also are bound.

    In the same way, the good and the bad that take place in the world, totalitarian ideas, democracy, are invented by thought, and thus are limited. Since every action is born from limited thoughts there will always be a conflict, such as dividing the world geographically or into nations. How did we divide the world? We think there is safety in numbers, the family, tribe, nation, we do not see the world as a whole, which is why we think there is safety in divisions and these are responsible for creating insecurities. Attempting to survive as individuals, as groups, has left its print throughout the history of humankind ---the history of war.

    Thought itself implies dividing. My limited thought prevents me from seeing that we are all one and not many, that we are all humankind even if we are all different. If I say that I am an individual the division between myself and the table or some trees does not give rise to a conflict, but it creates one between men. We all think that we are unique in some way, we have something that distinguishes us from the rest, the same happens with collectives and nations with their gods and cultures. These qualities are superficial but the fear, sadness and loneliness they entail are not, these are human. Consciousness is not individual, but bodies are: they are all made of the same material but they are different. Many believe that the same is can be applied to the mind, but this is not so, our consciousness is one, shared by all humans, having individual consciousness is merely an illusion and thus the sense of separation is also an illusion.

    If I want to become something else, I experiment the reality of what I have been but what I do not want to be. The thinker is the thought. Does this make a life without conflicts possible? No, because if you accept the limitation of thoughts you have no peace, the source of the conflict itself is thought. Is it possible to end suffering? Is suffering the opposite of pleasure? No, it is something much more complicated: the grief, loss, total and invasive pain, the desperate feeling of loneliness; suffering is a shock, it is the essence of the self. We all carry out the same pattern: through suffering our egoism is diminished. We share our suffering with the rest of humankind: to understand it we must remember it is the same for everyone, that we all suffer somehow, even if its commonness does not make it any more tolerable. Since the beginning of time we have suffered and we have not yet resolved this suffering because we insist on treating it as if it was an individual problem and it is actually something that affects us all. The problems humankind continues to experience are the result of always following the same separation patterns. You cannot be compassionate if you consider yourself to be a fragment.

    What is the purpose of searching for the truth? As human beings, what is our responsibility? How can we influence others? How can we awaken? What can we do if nations and organisations are foreign to us, if we see that humankind is sleeping through an illusion? How can we communicate? If we feel that we are not different, if the idea of common suffering awakens our compassion, we will want to relieve the pain. The end of suffering is love. It is important to relieve physical pain, but we must also relieve psychological pain, make others see things clearly. This is the tragedy of those who can see: make others see what they do not see.

    Tagged: thinking, mind, philosophy, Metaphysics & Mysticism