The power of Pure Nothing

MANI SHANKAR | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Dec 8, 2013, 6:23 pm IST
Updated Mar 18, 2019, 10:42 pm IST

You’ve known yourself all these years- in the sense that you’ve known the same old you, the chap the world calls by your name — whose turbulent mind has been the topic of discussion these last few weeks. I think you have figured that the one constant quality of the guy called you is that your mind is on the run always and never stands still, never experiences deep silence, never experiences a state where thought bombardment doesn’t happen. A constant chaos of thoughts is the default mode of your mind. The only small mercies are that the mental traffic is sometimes pleasant and relaxing, which is why wherever you look the world keeps telling you to seek more ‘happiness’ — and you translate that as a quest where you seek more pleasant thoughts. In truth you are a thought addict — the expressway called your mind is jammed bumper to bumper with one conflict or another, one obsession or another, one depression or another.

What you really need is not more ‘happy’ thoughts but a freedom from all mental clutter. The so called ‘happiness’ is like the mist, it can evaporate in seconds  and expose you to the harsh reality it barely concealed. Asking for ‘happiness’ is like trying to cover a stench with a perfume. A few whiffs of chemical roses and then the putrid waft comes along quietly and slams your nostrils again.

That’s why the ancient philosophies differentiated between happiness and bliss. Happiness is just one more thought- manufactured in your head and delivered in between a spate of miserable feelings. Bliss on the other hand is not made by mind. It is something altogether different. Bliss is the natural state of your self — the intrinsic quality of your being-that  is revealed to you when you manage to clean up all the garbage of thoughts — happiness included. Which brings us to the point of it all — de addiction from the mental clutter.

The only way you can be de addicted from thoughts is to experience thoughtlessness. Where the mind is just pure mind, a beautiful divine thing by itself, not a crucible of effervescence where something or other is on the boil.

That’s what it all reduces to — a touch of thoughtlessness every day — free from the traffic jam, the empty expressway where you flow along in serene abandonment.

It’s all about silencing the mind. It’s about shutting off the valve of the gushing cerebrum and experiencing the power of pure nothing.

It’s not difficult in the least-once you know what you want, the mind — wonderful instrument that it is — will figure out its own sweet way to deliver the experience. More on this next week.

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