Do you realise that whenever someone is opposing us, we are always naturally in resistance? It is like as if it threatens our sense of righteousness, our beingness and most of the time, we either keep quiet from then on, or start to defend ourselves in a nice manner or in a form of an argument. Either way, we are already attacking our counterparts and therefore will attract the exact response or reaction from others; they will start to keep quiet, or they will start to defend themselves as in to join in the attack.
So if we have been in the journey long enough to know that whatever out there is simply a projection, we would already know that it is the mind that we are dealing with. Whether it is out there or in here, we will find that there is some sort of war or battle that is already engaged between us and the mind. And we will coin this mind as the ego mind for this is the part of the mind which holds many concepts of the self, the false self. Why I say this is because it is only the self that can be threatened, offended, need to be defended or will ever launch an attack. And there are indeed many layers to it. It is the part of the mind that we identify with at first that uses fear patterns to get what it wants.
Some people say, don’t give face to the ego; some say, the ego is the devil. Perhaps they are right, I don’t know and I can understand the reasons to why they would define the ego mind as such. Whilst it may be helpful to regard the ego mind as that in the beginning journey, but it is more essential to get to know the ego mind so to understand it, rather than to battle with it as to oppose to it. I mean, think about it, who is the one that is opposing it? Is it us, or is it another layer of the ego? And there, some will say it again, “you see, the ego is very devious!!” and accompanying that statement is an attitude of blame from the failure of being unable to identify it. Again, who is blaming?
I remember telling my teacher once that the mind is so darn good that I can’t seem to get out of its grip sometimes and he laughed heartily and told me, “Of course! It is God’s creation, it has to be that good!” and he left me with an advice, that the mind is so good; to be careful as the mind can test us anytime. The word he used here is ‘test’ and not ‘deceive’ which would be a derived meaning of the word ‘devious’ or ‘cunning’ or ‘sly’. Such neutral perception my teacher has and I understood what I was asked to do.
You see, the mind is much like a wild stallion with full potential. A wild stallion of such is born out of an environment of being free, or out of control for quite a while without a master; and for someone to be its master it will take much skill, patience and not to mention time. But before the mastery can happen, the master has to understand the nature of the stallion first and again, this takes patience, time, practice and compassion. Until then, the stallion may periodically attempt to throw the master off its back just to test if this master can truly be its rightful master.
And it is all there is with the mind too. So instead of labelling the mind qualities so not to ‘fall’ into the trap, why not understand it? The very virtue of labelling although it is directed to the mind is already pointing that we are still grasped by it. And the more we battle with it, the more identified we are with it, only that we are oblivious to it.
My other teacher once told me that the most pitiful thing to happen to a person on the spiritual journey is that the ego mind has a firm grip on him and he is not even aware of it. That is what we call, a spiritual ego. Not that there is anything wrong with it, but yet if freedom is what is seek then all battling has to drop – not the bodies, not even the mind. What difference is a body and a mind except one is in form and the other is not? It is like blaming a body for anything that can be seen, and blaming God for anything that can’t be seen. Can you see the similarities?
Understanding of the mind can only come through observation and right inquiry. Everything is of the mind, and not to understand it is of no difference from being dead. I do not mean this in a sarcastic manner but as a matter of oblivion to what is alive within.