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I wish to inquire the kind of discipline which is necessary to come upon Enlightenment. Or does it require no discipline at all? However it is obvious that a certain discipline is necessary. By simply allowing the mind to go on its own way, it will never arrive at anything worthwhile. Thoughts, being self-repetitive keep on going endlessly, one after the other. By thoughts I mean here, psychological thoughts, arising from ego.
Enlightenment is not in the realm of thoughts. It happens with the natural cessation of thoughts. How to come to the end of thoughts? When does the mind end? To understand it, first of all we have to find out the root cause of thoughts. If we watch thoughts deeply you will find out they arise from unrest within. Doesn’t it?
What is this unrest within us? At the bottom of the unrest we find a deep craving for pleasure. Thoughts seek pleasure knowingly or unknowingly in one form or another. Seeking pleasure produces unrest.
Have you observed that unrest activates the thought process? More the unrest, more the thoughts. This unrest takes the forms of dissatisfaction, inner conflict, frustration, a sense of unfulfilment and so on. Pleasure goes with a sense of unrest which produces a deep existential anxiety. You must have noticed how the mind gets activated when there is an anxiety, through a conflict, longing or tension. When there is no such friction, mind goes to sleep.
By allowing yourself to go by the stream of thoughts you will arrive nowhere. Following the craving for pleasure is not the way to Enlightenment. Basically Enlightenment is the flowering of the highest energy in man. This fact makes us look at religion from a different perspective. Religion is the gathering one’s total energy to come upon the highest state of consciousness. By religion I don’t mean here the organized religion.
So the question we are asking: What kind of discipline is necessary for Enlightenment? I said that Enlightenment is the expression of the highest energy. This implies the kind of discipline necessary for it. It is the discipline that preserves and purifies energy. Is that clear?
As we saw, the unrest fuels production of thoughts. Every thought is a package of energy however small it is. Thought consumes energy. The mind wastes itself by producing emotions, dreams, self-talks, and imaginations. Is that clear? Conflict, fear, worries, tension in the mind are great wasters of energy and this energy has to be preserved. To come upon Enlightenment one needs a tremendous energy.
Then the next question is: how to preserve the energy of mind from being wasted? Now, Is there a state of mind that preserves the mental energy from wasting away? Such a state of mind is awareness.
What is awareness?
By awareness I mean, being awake from the slumber of mind. The mind is caught into the webs which it has weaved as conditionings. When you are awake you are not caught into the web of thoughts. In this state of being awaked you are above the world of mind. You are above happiness, sorrow, hate, hopes and frustrations that the mind produces. You do not identify yourself with mind or its motives. In that state of being above you are free from the grip of mind and therefore you are wiser, more reality conscious. The true discipline arises from this clarity of reality. In this awakened state of being; you do not identify yourself as the actor or as the recipient of the consequence of action. You are only a passive witness.
With this clarity you see what is meaningful and what is not meaningful, what is essence and what is not essence, what is true and what is false. This is the wisdom that guilds you towards Enlightenment. With it you are your own discipliner. You are responsible only to yourself.
So far I pointed out that the kind of discipline leading to Enlightenment arise from the preservation of energy from dissipation. Awareness saves the mind from wasting itself. The discipline arising from awareness is altogether different in that it has no ego. This means that you do not discipline yourself according to a preconceived order to achieve a future goal. You know you want to come upon Enlightenment and you are not attempting at it through egoic will. Such a struggle only strengthens your ego.
Have you noticed all the disciplines recommended by religions are anti-life? They say: Do not sleep when feeling sleepy. Do not eat when hungry. Supress sex impulse and suffer. Fight against your desires. Go against the stream of life. Such religious discipline expects you to follow blindly their code of discipline suffering silently. They are not life friendly.
We said that the struggle against desire is not the way. We saw earlier, that the way of pleasure is also not leading to Liberation. Can you liberate yourself from these two opposing approaches? i.e going by the way of pleasure which is the way of the mind and going against way of pleasure. Having realized futility of these two opposing approaches can you arrive at a balanced state of mind, which in neither the way of pleasure nor the way of struggling against life? You neither give in to mind, nor go against the mind. Without getting into the afore mentioned extremes you simply allow your awakened intelligence to operate in a life friendly way. There is no one to judge you. You are not obliged to any authority. You are only answerable to yourself.
Now let’s come to the other dimension of discipline, which is purification of energy. It is a different approach. What does it mean to you? Purification of mind means releasing the energy caught up in web of conditionings. Energy locked in the conditioning is defiled. Therefore they have to be released. This means deconditioning the mind.
Is it possible to release the energy held up by the brain circuits? It seems possible. The conditionings are like blind spots that drive you to act accordingly. When one realizes that a certain conditioning is blind, limiting, and narrow the very realizing it, releases that energy. For instance I see I have an antipathy towards, say to discuss politics. I look at my antipathy with the light of awareness, then I see how it has been built up, I see the whole structure of it. The very insight frees me from my mind-set.
This is an effective self-cleaning meditation. Whenever you spot that you are under the spell of a certain conditioning such as racism, fanaticism, or a bias, you turn your attention towards it in a manner of introspection. You simply go deep into it and be with it for some time. You go to the core of it. Out of the insight into the problem, it disappears with all its roots. In its place comes light of wisdom. We need such self-cleaning. Otherwise we simply allow dust of conditionings to gather upon us.
If you are careful about yourself, you do not allow such blind spots to drive you in life. Wherever you see them you uproot them and clean the mind. The light of awareness dispel the shadow of ignorance. The moment you realize the false as false it vanishes and you regain your true Light.
But on the long run, deconditioning of each conditioned state of mind is time consuming and it will be an endless work. Rather than can I take the whole conditionings, instead of one by one? The whole mind is the product conditionings. In other words the mind is the sum total of all your conditionings. This very insight releases the immeasurable energy held up within the mind. With the release of energy held up by the ego, the Light of the Universe reveals itself...