TWO KINDS OF MIND

There are two kinds of mind. There’s the mind that thinks it’s the boss, that barrels its way to the forefront to make a big noisy show, that over-rides reality with its need to be seen as the badass “ruler of the world”. And there’s the mind that has surrendered its illusory sovereignty and fallen into the abyss of being.

The first kind of mind - the one that thinks it’s the boss - is the mind that is most prevalent. It’s the one that most people identify with most of the time. It’s so prevalent that it’s taken for granted that this is how we are, this is what it means to be human, this is just the way of things, this is normal.

Friend, perhaps we can take a moment here to examine this mind a little more closely. Perhaps you - like me - can see that this “boss mind” is what we may more accurately call the acquisitive mind. The acquisitive mind is always busy. Busy doing what? Well, it’s busy accumulating things … collecting experiences, taking inventory of bits of knowledge, stacking up certainty, comfort, dreams and goals. It’s always flapping around, going somewhere, looking for something, labeling and categorizing and finding a position to stand on. The acquisitive mind is busy taking ownership of whatever it is experiencing … a thought, a feeling, something it sees or hears or smells or tastes. And in taking ownership - like a snapshot in time - it distorts reality to fit in with its own prejudices, its own fears and its own hopes. And so reality becomes a memory, no longer alive but relegated to a list of ‘good memories’ or ‘bad memories’, things and experiences to “make sure I avoid at all costs” or “make sure I possess at all costs”. The acquisitive mind is never at rest, never at peace .. no wonder it often runs on empty and becomes exhausted and starts looking for peace or stillness or happiness or fulfillment as another thing to acquire.

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When mind exhausts itself completely, perhaps when you hit rock bottom, when there’s no escape route, when you’ve been shattered and flattened and broken open … now a fork in the road appears, a bifurcation point. You can gather what little energy is left and pull yourself together, attempt to glue the fragments to make a facsimile of the original mind, and start up the whole tiresome acquisitive mechanism again. Or you can stay down on the ground, on your knees, totally obliterated into not knowing how to move. And then you can fall even further, fall and keep on falling, into that terrifying place called the abyss, the black hole of unknown-ness, the center of the cyclone that swallows you up because the mind cannot function here. This is called surrender. And it’s where you die … and are resurrected.

The mind that is boss dies here. And in this death, it wakes up to its true nature, its true function as the servant of life’s intelligence. Awake mind has no interest in grasping at reality, no interest in taking ownership of experience, no interest in being the boss. Awake mind is as light as a feather, as clear as a cloudless sky, as humble as a blade of grass.

Awake mind is a master of the art of falling, the art of dying, the art of “not giving a fuck” about being special or worthy or rewarded or elevated. But there is no bossiness in this master, no trying to muscle in to the front of the pack or to the top of the game in order to get its own way. This master knows that the only way is to fall … and to keep on falling, until this falling becomes freedom, until this falling becomes bliss, until there cannot possibly be any other way.

Friend .. which mind would you rather have? Which mind would you rather meet life with? Which mind do you bring into the world?

  • (photo by Alex Azabache on Unsplash)

    • This piece was first published on Facebook 2019