There are several steps in the process of self-improvement and finding Inner peace and happiness described in this article. These steps may take some time to complete, and I intended to give you an idea of the path of personal growth that will work towards eliminating ignorance.
When you can clearly see the mortal and immortal sides of your being battling like a coin constantly flipping over, you become conscious of the buffer mind. By becoming aware of the buffer mind, you are able to see both sides of the coin simultaneously and are working towards, although not yet achieving, equanimity.
This stage is where you are able to see that you are sad and yet feel happy at the same time. You can see the soul’s desires and you see the body’s way of resisting. Like the judge, you see both sides and you see the reasonable justification behind each argument.
So you are now in a different kind of conflict because you clearly see the two opposing sides and that each one is right in what it wants. The conflict becomes being in the middle of two opposing sides that are both correct, and that you love both.
At this stage you start to get compassion and see each sides fears and desires and you know that their fears are not justified in the ultimate view of reality from the point of the unified mind, yet from wisdom, you look at each side as a young child whom you recognize to have these sorts of desires and fears, even though they are not justified, but none the less you cannot explain that to them.
Now the fight ends but you are still effected by each sides complaint, so rather than it being a fight, it becomes an underlying fear and discomfort. The two sides now are like friends commiserating in a common misery and that common misery is “I want to do this for you, but I can’t achieve it.”
So now you are starting to get closer to a state of awareness of the unified mind. When you are conscious of the unified mind, you will have equanimity. In getting closer to that, the next stage is where you become like the wise father who looks at the two sides with love and compassion and the realization that he can do nothing to speed up each sides maturing when they will each have wisdom and eliminate their fears and ignorance. He must merely wait for them to grow up at their own speed.
By having attained this level of an objective view of the parts of your own being, and viewing with the unified mind which is above the buffer mind and above the body and soul’s mind, from that point of view, you are actually allowing the process of those minds maturing to speed up.
In order to attain this little bit of wisdom and objective view, you will need to be practicing several of the other exercises in Practical Mysticism, and a most important one is that of acceptance that I have explained in a previous lesson. Acceptance basically being the humility to know that you do not know the end result of any circumstance. Only then are you really getting closer to the level of Unified mind because Unified mind knows about Ultimate mind and so Unified mind realizes that it can only do the best it can but does not have the ability to know ultimately the destination of each step on the journey, it has humility. So without true humility, you cannot be fully in the state of Unified mind. Unified mind knows that it does not know, that what appears bad today will actually lead to in the future.
The buffer mind thinks it can figure out what is right and wrong and give an opinion. This is why when you have started to see the body mind and soul mind and are becoming aware of the buffer mind, you are still in a subjective view of reality, but only as you get closer to realizing your unified mind do you start to have the possibility of an objective view of reality in each situation. Again, this goes hand in hand with developing the humility that comes with acceptance of your limited capacity to know the future in its true sense.
When you are looking objectively you will experience the state where you can be sad and happy at the same time, or at least that you will be able to see the cause of your sadness, not merely being lost in sadness, but seeing the cause, the reason that you are sad. And you will realize that that is not a permanent state of your total existence. The sadness is because your soul mind has desires to accomplish something in this world but your body and your personal human life is perhaps limited and not capable of fulfilling your souls desires. It is like being in a prison and that makes you depressed, and drains your energy and motivation.
When you can identify the souls desires, and you can see the human limitations or the reason that you either personality wise or physical wise or financial wise cannot fulfill those desires at this time, you will see how the body mind gets depressed because it feels inadequate to serve the soul minds purpose and desire. When we clearly see the desire of the soul mind, and the incapacity of our mortal side to fulfill that, and what it really is that the mortal side is not possessing to give it the capacity to fulfill the souls desires, then we can work on changing that situation, and of course that would end the sadness because you could start to fulfill your desires and you would feel content. In the interim of making that change, which could take a very long time, with the acceptance that the body is limited, and that the soul may have desires that are beyond the bodies present capacities, you will actually cultivate other characteristics that you will need although you are not aware of that now.
If you accept the limitations of your mortal life right now, be it lack of funds or of physical capacity, or that the world simply is in such a situation that you cannot move towards your goal, (and of course most things in life require the cooperation of other people and sometimes that takes a while to get), and you do the best you can do at each moment, accepting that is all you can do, pain and frustration dissipates.
Doing the best you can do does not mean doing the job the best way the job could be done, it means doing something with a pure heart. In other words, when you give a tip to a waiter, if you hold back one or two dollars, when that little money may mean nothing to you, but it may be a big thing to the waiter, you did not do the best you could. You could have given more, but you held back due to greed or stinginess, so there you did not do the best you could. When someone needs your help which involves you going slightly out of your way, but instead you do not do that, that is the job that is in front of you to help this person, but you do not do it because you are too lazy, even if you do not have anything pressing you that requires your time instead of helping this person, then again you have not done the best you could do. A very common saying is; “that is a good enough job for what I am getting paid.” Acting spontaneously with your best intentions of doing whatever it takes to honor your commitment is doing the best you can do regardless of the results.
So doing the best you can do for whatever task is in front of you means to do as much as you possibly can do without greed or selfishness. When you can function like this, then the body is relieved of guilt because you are functioning with a pure heart.
You may now progress to the level between the buffer mind and the unified mind. With ending conflict, the buffer mind is no longer needed so it begins to weaken and dissolve. As the buffer mind begins to fade, your conscious level of functioning is automatically elevating to the unified mind because that is the natural process. Like a helium balloon, if you let go of the string, it rises naturally. So your state of consciousness will rise naturally as the buffer mind weakens its hold on your attention.
In the harsh realities of this world there are problems and difficulties which are really just situations that are ultimately temporary although they seem permanent when you are in the middle of them. You take those situations as very big real unsolvable problems. When you can look at every problem as merely a temporary situation, then you do not get heavy to the level where it weighs you down and limits you, you can become sad and depressed but be happy at the same time, because you are aware of the two sides. In this way you still have the strength to endure and proceed with your life. Getting lost in a deep hole does not do much good for those around you either.
The unified mind is always content, only the mortal/body mind gets depressed because it feels guilty that it is not fulfilling the soul mind desires. It feels sad because it sees all the obstacles in its path, but when it accepts that these obstacles are temporary, (along with your human life being temporary, but your soul life continuing), then you see every insurmountable difficulty as merely a temporary situation and that eliminates a huge amount of sadness. You can still feel frustrated or sad, but at the same time you feel happy and content because you accept that this situation, although you can apparently do nothing about it right now aside from taking small steps towards changing it, may be there for a while, it may change next moment, that is also possible, but it may be there for a while, and you do not know how long it will ultimately last. So in that view of life’s difficulties and problems, you are starting to resolve the conflict and guilt and again weakening the buffer mind because it is not as necessary any more since the body mind and soul mind are now resolving their conflicts together. That will give you more energy to allow creativity to be accessible and so in that way you will start to come up with ideas and solutions to the troubles in your life and huge difficulties become merely small bearable situations that you can work on changing or accept that they will have to be there until they go away. That will speed up the wheel of your personal evolution, and increase your overall energy level, maybe even improve your health.
The step by step process is the following:
1 Understand and accept the problem and the reason it is depressing you which means to understand the two sides of your being and each one’s desires and the guilt of the mortal side that it cannot fulfill the desires of the soul’s side.
2 Use the objective view that everything is a temporary situation rather than an insurmountable problem.
3 When that is fully accepted, guilt and frustration is eliminated, or at least greatly reduced, but the sadness may still be there, although you now have more energy and the ability to be creative to work towards changing or solving the problem. You will start to see the two sides of your being and their emotions simultaneously, which means you will be sad and content at the same time.
Whether things change or remain the same, either way you will have attained a state of inner calm and equanimity that makes every mountain into a mole hill. Beyond that is another lesson, but this in itself would be an acceptable way to live our lives.
A thought to contemplate throughout the next days that will help you absorb this and the previous lesson is:
The Soul Mind is Conscious Awareness, the Body Mind is automatic reactions.