Seeker – It’s been a strange week. It seems that, with every passing day, my mind holds less and less power over me. Now I get a feeling or exhaustion at the very thought of getting back on the merry-go-round of thought. Why would I want to do that? It has never worked before…
Guru – Very good.
S – And yet real life remains. It’s just there and can’t be ignored. I have to act in the world. There are things I care about, like the ecological health of the planet, the suffering of children in war torn countries. These things require action, commitment, planning and strategy. They require participation of the mind.
G – They require purity of intent to be effective. The mind can be a helpful tool, but there must be awareness beyond the mind which runs deeper that the simple motives of the mind. The mind is rigid, inflexible, and resistant to change. This is its nature. Without such resistance, it cannot use causality. Without causality it is paralysed. But the awareness is fluid and without motive. It wants only what it is, which is a purity of love that the mind cannot touch. Such love requires no motives to be effective. So the mind is a tool, and must be seen as a tool. When and if you engage in activism, operate through mind, not from it.
S – Can you give me an example?
G – You are an environmental activist. You are incredibly distraught over the clear cutting of old growth trees in Canada’s Boreal Forest. You have developed a passionate dislike, possibly hate, for the companies that are causing this destruction. You are angry at the consumers who do not check to see if their paper products are FSC certified. Do you think it is possible to be an effective advocate for your cause in such a divided, fragmented state, a state in which illusion and unconsciousness reign? A more awake version of this would be someone who has deep concern about the rate of clear cutting, but sees the whole. They bear no ill will towards those whose actions are the cause of this. Such an individual would feel as connected with the CEO who is ordering the clear cutting and he would with the tree that is being felled. There would be concern for both, and a deep understanding that there is order underlying all the chaos, one that cannot be understood by the mind, quantified, justified. All actions then would arise from a centre of balance and generalized compassion. There would be no good guys and bad guys.
S – But wouldn’t you be paralysed? Don’t you need bad guys and good guys to be able to act, to make decisions? I mean…if you love the CEO as much as the tree, you just sit there like a big ball of compassion and do nothing.
G – Does a mother who loves her child in a deep and unconditional way stand back if she sees her child being cruel to an animal or bullying another child? No, on the contrary, she acts instantly and without thought, from a place of pure compassion, and addresses her child’s behaviour for his own sake, and for that of the animal or child he is inflicting harm upon.
S – That’s hard to do.
G – It is impossible for the mind to do.