Projection of the mind

“The perfect man uses his mind as a mirror. It grasps nothing. It regrets nothing. It receives but does not keep.” – Chuang-Tzu

One of the most useful quotes I have found to explain the reality of “no- mind,” is the one above. If we have ever observed our thoughts, our perceptions through the mind; the above will make perfect sense; but if we have not, the above will be difficult to understand and even considered as nonsense.

It is in each of us to go as deep as we would like. It depends on our level of experience; how often we are able to put the above in “practice” in real life and identify how it works.

Nevertheless; awareness, observation, requires no practice. It is like breathing, a normal, every day affair, but as we go through Life in automatic-mode, where the mind is our world, then we will need to stop, breath in and out consciously for a few times and realign with how present we could be in the “now.”

The mind will give us information all the time. We believe it. We make forecasts as to how the future will look like, we even play victims by recalling experiences which are no longer here. If the mind acquires, grasps some information, then “we” will believe it. It happens all the time. If I read something or someone “important” said something, or someone writes a quote from a spiritual teacher, then it must be true. I believe it. That information will stay with me. It has been grasped.

The other day someone wrote a post in a group that a particular well known spiritual teacher was making a fortune out of his teachings which were only recycled in every book. Many fans of that spiritual teacher reacted defending him, that is rejecting the post. That is a form of regret, that is declining something. The other form of regret is when a state of sorrow is triggered from a memory.

Someone could be angry at us. Someone could react toward us in a negative way. Do we keep that experience so it will be nagging us and producing a bias against a particular individual or someone who looks like her? That is to keep something within us.

A mirror reflects. How we perceive something only talks about ourselves, it is a description of ourselves. However, what we typically do not examine is how we could project previous information into a new experience. For instance, while living in the USA; I met someone who asked me where I was from due to my Spanish accent. I told her: ”From Peru.” She said: “ I am glad you are from there and not from Colombia for all the drugs in this country come from that place.” Imagine, that is an extreme case of lack of awareness: That person was projecting information that she either read or even experienced ( her brother was an addict,) but nonetheless it was projected to someone who probably has nothing to do with importing drugs to the USA, just because he was coming from a particular country. The mind likes to generalize and put items in containers, something like: “ You are from Colombia then you are part of the problem I have.” The Colombian container.

That sort of projection has caused plenty of sorrow in the world. Jews were treated all under the same bag due to some projection. Similarly is the fate of snakes and the belief of them being representatives of evil.

Generalizing is easier to observe than projecting, for a projection can include many other unobserved beliefs to uplift or degrade a person, an idea or ideal.

When a mind is not observed, we believe the information it gathers without doubting it, without seeing how it could affect us emotionally, in that case we are still sleeping although believe that we are fully awake.

*** Will resume writing on December 15th. Until then!!