The Charioteer and the Reins of the Mind
Visible Origami Ė February 20, 2010
Not having internet access has provided me with time for many other considerations, as well as contemplation of the essential rather than the representative. Not having the internet, like not having anything, puts the mind into the state of feeling compelled to fix the situation orÖ gain what is lackingÖ or remove what is hinderingÖ or however one views or defines it. The truth is that things happen for a reason. One doesnít have to know what the reason is to know that there is a reason. Nothing happens without a reason, or a cause. Karma is like this.
Good and bad are relative terms for conditions we are attracted or repelled by; what we prefer to experience or prefer to avoid. We donít know the essential meaning of most things so our idea of good and bad are subjective. This means that what we think to be good may not be and what we think to be bad may not be. In this way we come to war against our own best interests. By example, most people think that death is bad and life is good. Most people think pain is bad and pleasure good. Most people think what most people think and the usual truth is that most people are wrong about many things and the world shows this.
Iíve been reading The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation. Here is something from that text which will repay careful consideration, especially the last lineÖ ďIt matters not what name may carelessly be applied to mind; truly mind is one, and apart from mind there is naught else. That unique One Mind is foundationless and rootless. There is nothing else to be realized.Ē
Of course, realization is one thing but understanding is another. We can realize a great many things but there are many levels of understanding. Understanding comes through surrender; the greater our capacity for Surrender, the greater our capacity for Understanding.
On a number of occasions, I have noticed a certain feature about observed respiration. Iíve noticed that conscious breathing can be an orgasmic experience that easily rivals sex and far surpasses it as well. My limited experience in these matters has resulted in some surprising states of being and it is not possible to convey this in words. Imagine how much lies beyond my limited understanding of the matter. The same is true about a great many things. Our assumption that what can be known is contained in our present state of knowing is a degree of arrogance that also cannot be put into words. The usual reader here is not an example of this but examples abound in this dark period on the planet. Just as you canít pour water into a vessel that is already filled, you canít comprehend something you already think you comprehend butÖdonít. This is the meaning of Christís exhortation to become as a little child.
It has taken me a long time to obtain the visceral realization that I donít make things happen and that everything is already under control. My efforts at making things happen appear to me to be obstructions in the way of lifeís perfect ease in making everything that should appear, flower perfectly in its appointed moment. The unease; impatience, resistance, worry and concern Öas well as all of the other devilís pitchforks that accompany our need to control life are some of the things that make life a burden and an annoyance.
Many of us grasp intellectually that we should just move with the flow of what life intends for us and reap the bounty of the cosmic love that materializes in and around us but we go right ahead and muck it up regardless by insisting that we know best what we require and just exactly how to go about getting it. This is where all the push and shove comes from and this is the source of the tension anyone is aware of as they move through the byways of this crowded world. Most of us suffer from it and most of us contribute to it and we get back on our investment with interest. Even when we know we are going against our own best interests we insist on continuing to do so. Itís a marvel and a mystery.
It is impossible to state in words just how remarkable life becomes when we let go of it and allow The Charioteer to take the reins, which we might even feel in our own hands, as well as the mind of The Charioteer simultaneously. Thatís the One Mind guiding the Ďseeminglyí separated mind toward union, which is the direction it naturally goes in no matter what direction it goes in.
We think we can see around the corner but we canít. We could see around the corner if we werenít doing the seeing. Many of the readers here are aware that there is a charioteer but for some reason we think heís busy somewhere on important affairs of the cosmos which donít necessarily, or only incidentally, include us. The fact of the matter is that The Charioteer is rooted in our minds- our being- and is never anywhere else at any time and everywhere at the same time. We might think of ourselves as The Chariot. I often think of my body as a horse and on occasion, in more rarified states of mind, actually experience this to some degree.
The mind is like an oceanÖ restless and always coming and going like the tides. Very often, while in a more rarified state of mind, I can see horses galloping into the shore and their manes billowing in the whitewater of the waves. One might almost imagine the world is an ocean and all those waves pounding on the shores of the day to day are composed of millions of horses always arriving and never arrived. There are some who take objection to my more rarified states of mind or the mediums I occasionally use to get there. Some not only know what is best for them but they know what is best for me too. I feel lucky in that respect because I donít know at all about any of it. Truth be told, the mediums vary and sometimes they are as au natural as it gets. The point is getting there by whatever medium. We could tortoise and hare this to death but thereís no point in that.
Iíve said on occasion that those who love much are forgiven much. I could also say that the divine is impressed by oneís intensity to experience the divine and is far less concerned with whatever mechanisms one might employ to do it. This isnít relevant to the point of this piece. It just showed up on its own for whatever the reason. By the same token, the divine doesnít care if we are a Christian or a Moslem or a Hindu. The divine doesnít care if we chant or prayÖ kneel or stand. Itís the intention and intensity of the heart and the direction of it that counts far, far more than whatever rituals or practices we engage in. None of these things are permanent ends. Not many of us get in our car to drive somewhere and then sit in our car once we get there, with the motor running, as if that were the point.
For some reason we know whatís best for us and, by extension, we know whatís best for everyone else as well. As long as we know all of this we can be certain that we are pretty much wrong at both ends of the spectrum. We fill our minds with concepts and structures of an infinite variety. We build intricate architectures; temporary projections into mental space, according to long existing blueprints that get changed with every age and we call it truth. Our mind gardens become so cluttered we canít tell the weeds from the flowers and wherever the path used to beÖ who knows where that went?
The point is to unclutter the mind, not the other way around. The purpose is to empty the mind so that what really is can be isolated and highlighted because, once you empty the mind, what really is, is all that remains. Itís pretty simpleÖ too simpleÖ letís just add a whole lot of things. Letís dress it up until we canít see it any more. Yeah, thatís it. Heh, hehÖ it would be funny if it wasnít so painful but it only hurts when I laugh.
My warm and enduring greetings to you all and an especial bon voyage to that sincere pilot in Austin who made his statement in his own way. I donít know the right or the wrong of it but it sure looks like he had a great many of us in mind when he did it and you canít doubt his commitment.
From The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation;
ďThe Non-Created is the Non-Visible. By knowing the invisible Voidness and the Clear Light through not seeing them separately, there being no multiplicity in the Voidness - one's own clear mind may be known, yet the Thatness is not knowable. Mind is beyond nature, but is experienced in bodily forms. The realization of the One Mind constitutes the ďAll Deliverance.Ē Without the mastery of the mental processes there can be no realization. Similarly, although sesame seed is the source of oil, and milk the source of butter, not until the seed is pressed and the milk churned do oil and butter appear. Although sentient beings are of the Buddha essence itself, not until they realize this can they attain Nirvana. Even a cowherd [or an illiterate person] may by realization attain Liberation.
To Give oneself, body, speech, and heart, to the cause of Holy Truth, is the best and highest occupation, O ye Tingri folk.
Wealth and riches are illusory, loaned for a moments use; show not
overfondness for them, neither hoard them, Tingri folk.
One's kindred are alluring visions, glamorous mirages; break the tie, sever the knot of sentiment, O Tingri folk.
Fatherland and homes are transient, even as a nomads camp; let not fondness bind you to them; renounce all things, O Tingri folk.
Even on one's birthday morning, omens of one's death appear; ever be alert and watchful; waste not time, O Tingri folk.
One pointedly devote yourself to the Sacred Dharma Path; it shall be in the hour of death, your Guide and Boat O Tingri folk.Ē
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Last updated 24/02/2010