you can't force your mind to awaken
In reply to "Oh Ye of Little Faith" posted by Anatman, Karen said...
If you know something to be true, you don't have to believe in it. I think if you believe in something you are hoping that it is true. I don't have to say I believe the sun comes up everyday because I know it does. As far as faith goes, I see faith a little differently. I was raised catholic also and went to catholic school most of my life. Faith for me is implicit trust in the universe that all is well and all will be well. I forget which mystic said that but one of them did. And I really feel that way. When I get to worrying, wondering, driving myself crazy with why people are the way they are etc, I just know that it is the way it is and everything will be ok. That doesn't mean that I sit back and do nothing. I do what I can, when I can, but I'm not married to the outcome. For me this is the meaning of form is emptiness and emptiness is form. I sit, but I don't have to sit to come upon reality and people who sit to gain a glimpse of something are going to be in for a big disappointment. You can do a lot of things with your mind. One of the things you can't do is force your mind to awaken. I have in the past tried to do this. It doesn't work. Neither does all this talk.
November 03, 2006
And I thought it was such a good comment I'd like to repost it here - I hope Karen doesn't mind! It struck me as having an important similarity with the passage I've included below.
"... Yet the superficiality of this consciousness is seen in the fact that it cannot and does not regulate even the human organism. For if it had to control the heartbeat, the breath, the operation of the nerves, glands, muscles, and sense organs, it would be rushing wildly around the body taking care of one thing after another, with no time to do anything else. Happily, it is not in charge, and the organism is regulated by the timeless "original mind," which deals with life in its totality and so can do ever so many "things" at once.
However, it is not as if the superficial consciousness were one thing, and the "original mind" another, for the former is a specialized activity of the latter. Thus the superficial consciousness can awaken to the eternal present if it stops grasping. But this does not come to pass by trying to concentrate on the present - an effort which succeeds only in making the moment seem ever more elusive and fleeting, ever more impossible to bring into focus. Awareness of the "eternal now" comes about by the same principle as the clarity of hearing and seeing and the proper freedom of breath. Clear sight has nothing to do with trying to see; it is just the realization that the eyes will take in every detail all by themselves, for so long as they are open one can hardly prevent the light from reaching them. In the same way, there is no difficulty in being fully aware of the eternal present as soon as it is seen that one cannot possibly be aware of anything else- that in concrete fact there is no past or future. Making an effort to concentrate on the instantaneous moment implies at once that there are other moments. But they are nowhere to be found, and in truth one rests as easily in the eternal present as the eyes and ears respond to light and sound."
Alan W. Watts 1957 "The Way of Zen"
I really like his explanation. It was something the me of 1987 didn't really understand but the me of 2005 did. And thanks Karen for stating it so well also.