What Is The Mind?

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The mind is an interesting phenomenon. It is intelligent, creative and logical. It understands, analyses and memorises. It provides us with excellent tools like language, mathematics and culture. In a sense, the mind gives humans an advantage when it comes to so many things. However, it is paradoxically our biggest obstacle to awakening. In other terms, the mind is the distraction from our true nature.

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When we are children…

We are born into this world as we are. We experience life directly through our 5 senses, the seen, the heard, the smelled, the tasted and the felt. As we grow our mind also develops. We start developing memory, language and an understanding of the world around us. Over these early years of our lives we gradually enter a world of mind, a mind world or matrix. It is shared with the people around us in our culture and family and constantly reaffirmed by those we look up to and learn from.

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This mind world is usually very fluid and flexible at first. It is filled with play, fantasy and creativity. Children create stories and pretend that they are true through play with other children. They get so deeply immersed with the stories and very engaged in their content. They forget the real world and life and live in the fantasy for a while. Until dinner is ready or it is bed time and the play is over. As adults, the game is permanent. It has gotten so solidified and fixed that we forgot that we were playing. We no longer have the same imagination to the extent where a doll becomes alive or a bottle becomes a rocket ship. We are now living in the mind world or the grand illusion.

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A growing identity…

In this growing mind world there is also a growing identity. There is a force, often called the ego, that invites a strong self-ing mechanism. This is where we start to identify with the mind and the world of stories. We are suddenly a personality with preferences, a past, a future, appearance, skills, social roles, etc. Hence, we forget that they are just stories consisting of thoughts and we believe them to be the absolute reality about who and what we are. This is the human conditioning and where suffering begins as stated in Buddhism.

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Waking up means to become consicous of the world of the mind and see reality as it really is. In fact, the mind creates the illusion of time, space, separation on top of identity. The ego force is strong and very adaptable in a sense. It can shape-shift and take on any form. In addition, it often goes on long after awakening. It often takes the right practises, a good teaching, surrender and grace for this to wear off and your true nature to step forth as the absolute reality.

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Much love and namaste,


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