Wednesday, 4 January 2012

The Mirror of Consciousness

What we think is the same as what we believe. The body experiences life through the senses. In essence the body receives data from the world in the form of sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. This data as with all data is also ultimately what we believe. This data is more subtle than thinking but is likely to be the product of many millions of years of evolutionary accretions of belief.  It is important to see that what we believe is not limited to one particular form such as thinking. Data of any kind is knowledge and there can be no knowledge without belief. When we look at the world we do not see anything without belief being involved in that process. Whose beliefs do we see when we look at the world. It is only possible to see our own beliefs and therefore what we see is not determined by what is seen but by the one who sees.

We live inside a most extraordinary mirror; all that we see, hear, touch, taste, smell or think about is a perfect reflection of what we believe. What we like or dislike is not universal to all people it is determined by our own particular beliefs. When we hate, that which we believe to be hateful is immediately reflected back and we experience that same hate. If what we hate is a person then that person may or may not experience our projection of hate.  What that particular person believes or does not believe is what will determine that persons experience. What is not in doubt is the fact that when we hate we must experience that same hate internally. This is not a pleasant experience and the more we hate the more unpleasant that experience must be. This is true of all our emotions; what we feel is what we believe and once believed must be experienced.

Is hate a belief that has anything to do with truth? You may say I hate someone for some wrong they have done to me. This must be based on a very personal belief, what I believe has been done to me has not been done to someone else. Others may confirm to you that you are right to feel wronged but this is also very personal and would not apply to everyone. All that we believe is immediately reflected back to us in the form of the physical sensations that correlate to those beliefs. If we hate, we experience the physical sensations that correlate to that particular belief. Any negative experience we may have is determined only by what we believe to be true that is in fact not true. It is not possible to trick the mirror, what is reflected back will always be precisely what we believe. 

Suffering can only occur when we believe something that is not true. This is an extraordinary quality of the mirror and it is this more than anything else that makes freedom possible (freedom from our own false beliefs). I suffer when I believe something that is not true. When I stop believing something that is not true the cause of suffering is no more. The mirror is a mechanism of truth but truth can never be a belief. The absence of a false belief is all that is required to reveal that which is true. If we believe that we are unlovable then what will be reflected back to us will be the proof of that belief. This proof can never be a pleasant or comfortable experience. The mirror does not lie it can only reflect back to us what we truly believe. How do we know what we truly believe? We know what we truly believe by observing what is reflected back, this is the proof of what we truly believe. The difficulty lies in observing the proof without belief. This is possible but difficult because we are so addicted to belief that it is hard to observe anything without projecting belief onto what is observed. Also the one who observes is also a conglomeration of beliefs.

 The mirror is our guide it tells us always precisely what it is we believe and further what it is we believe that is not true. Ultimately the mirror will reveal that the one who observes is also composed of beliefs that are not true. This is where consciousness is leading us, slowly but surely towards the end of all beliefs. That which is does not need belief to sustain it. Consciousness is always revealing that which is true and that which is untrue. That which is true is not a belief and that which is untrue must inevitably lead to suffering. Suffering includes fear, anxiety, depression, irritation, frustration, intolerance and many subtle and not so subtle variations of these. If we observe carefully those moments when we suffer we will come to see in great detail all the things that we believe to be true that are in fact not true. This must happen if freedom is to be anything more than a nice idea.

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