This article presents the whole content of the public talk Cico gave on January 17 2022.
If the mind is quite busy, it might be good to stay silent for a while to empty the mind first. (Silent audio guides)
This moment can we meet truly each other? To inquire, to understand, to figure out what is life, to inquire into the nature of mind, to see the light. The light is not over there, but here in the heart.
Living a simple life is never easy, look around this world, the whole world is trapped in this continuous, incessant consciousness. Where all kinds of corruption, all kinds of issues abound. So on this occasion, let's talk, let's converse openly and honestly. Both of us give full attention to all the issues we all have as human beings.
In daily life, such an occasion is rare. Most time we pretend, we always wear a mask. The talks are superficial. So this moment, can we shed away all the things? Put aside all the things humans have created and built up from thousand years ago until now. They are all thoughts, ideas, and conclusions, which have no reality at all at this moment.
So shall we do together to go through this, inquiry into this -- all the issues? It is not your unique issue, but it is the issue of every mankind living in this world.
So this inquiry is not entertainment. We must be very serious to look at and understand all the issues.
As you may see, it's a matter of life and death, truly, isn't it? It has touched upon the fundamental level of living -- how to live.
This inquiry can only take place when we empty everything when the mind is very humble. A humble mind means that the mind stays unknown, so the mind is eager to inquire, understand and observe.
There is no burden from tradition, from culture, from all the things the mind has accumulated through education, through ideology and culture. Just simply throw away all the rubbish, so this moment the mind stays fresh to look, look at life, observe the mischief created by the self, by the ego, to actually see what it is, which means that the mind must go deep, have the depth, have the quality to look further, deeper into the psyche.
This demands a tremendous amount of attention from you and me. We must both have this intensity, eagerness to understand, to inquire, to look. And the very doing so together is already part of true meditation. Not those phoney ones that keep talking about methods, paths, practices endlessly. We do not condemn the technique, the practice, but that's a very small part, compared to the necessity that we are really acting now to give full attention to all the issues.
Or else the mind is always seeking a method of how to be quiet. In that seeking, the mind could not go beyond, go deep. And all the issues exist in different forms.
To understand life -- this tremendous thing, one has to understand fear. Because of fear, this living becomes difficult and challenging. There are all kinds of fear in different forms in the living.
Many human activities are driven by fear. All the mental challenges are related to fear. We rarely talk about it because we fear -- we fear to talk about fear.
Without dealing with it openly, fear is proliferated into each corner of life. Beneath this superficiality of living - the decency or whatever, there is tremendous fear.
There are so many different forms. All kinds of personal fear from all kinds of small things. Fear of not getting, fear of losing, being afraid of other people's opinions, views, and evaluations. Fear of not achieving. Fear of being nothing. Fear of being ill. Fear of the pain, the suffering. There is also fear of death.
The mind is trapped in incessant fear. And we never look at it. We just run away and escape into all kinds of entertainment, and pleasure. Without dealing with it instantly, the fear keeps accumulating in different ways.
Our behaviours are driven by fear in many big ways. And the mind is also very good at using other people's fear to intimidate, bully, and threaten. It happens a lot in the workplace, in many different situations, and environments.
It is all because of fear. Because of fear, we become violent and aggressive. And in fear, there is no humanity at all.
To deal with fear, we must look at it – what to fear. The mind is so easily into “what”, but the point is fear.
Fear is fear. How many types of fear are there or is there only fear? Every time the mind thinks about fear, the mind is always misled by “what to fear”, ignoring the fear totally. That's why the mind couldn't observe the fear.
The mind fears looking at fear because the mind is into “what to fear”, not fear. When there's no fear, there is no “what to fear”. The content of fear is thoughts and images. They are non-existent because this content of fear has no reality at all at this moment. They all imagined. (can one see it actually?)
But if the mind takes what is imagined as true, then that reaction to the imagined brings about fear, and the mind is trapped in fear.
Understanding fear is not the content of it, but the nature of fear, this psychological fear, not the physical ones. When the body, when life is in danger. the mind fears (The body and mind are one), but that's not the psychological fear, in the physical fear, the mind acts.
But when the mind is in fear -- this psychological fear, the mind is lost, life is totally paralyzed. All kinds of distorted behaviours are out of this fear when the mind is trapped in thoughts that bring about fear.
One must see clearly: thoughts breed fear. As long as the mind is trapped in thoughts, fear is inevitable. Being trapped in thoughts means that the mind mistakes the thoughts as true. And that misinterpretation brings about this tremendous fear that the mind can't escape unless the mind sees that it is only thought, it is not true at all.
When the mind is seeing what it is, that is, thoughts are thoughts, and the fear is dissipated immediately. Please do it in your life to see whether this is the case or not. Simply negate thoughts. Negating thoughts does mean that one breaks away from thoughts brutally, but one understands the essence of thoughts.
Thoughts have no reality whatsoever in actual life. Seeing clearly the nature of thoughts is the negation of thoughts. But why don't you negate thoughts? Why do you still hold hope for thoughts? Isn't it because of pleasure? Because Thoughts give you all kinds of pleasure, all kinds of satisfaction, all kinds of fulfilment.
And you have an interest in it. Right? — the vested interest in it. That's why you can't negate it. The mind refuses to see the nature of thoughts because pleasure is there.
But to see what it is, the mind must be able to perceive: pleasure and fear always go hand in hand. You can't keep one and leave another. That's an illusion. (Unfortunately, that is what most people are striving for)
But for a mind which is into pleasure, this is not an illusion. The mind always wants to seek pleasure and always wants to avoid fear and pain, but all of them are the product of thoughts. And the very doing so is a struggle, a constant struggle which leads one to nowhere.
To inquire together now, you and I must observe this objectively. If you have this vested interest in thoughts because of pleasure, and you refuse to look at them objectively. We don't condemn pleasure, but can we set aside all the pleasurable thoughts and ideas and just look at thoughts as they are.
This consciousness is merely a product of thoughts. When the mind is trapped in the consciousness, the mind is seeking pleasure. When the mind is trapped in this consciousness, the mind has lost its connection with nature. In thought, one is only seeking pleasure, therefore pleasure becomes tremendously important for such a life. And this western civilization is merely thoughts, and pleasure becomes so important. Life is conditioned to pleasure, which means that life is purely conditioned to thoughts.
Such conditioning means that the mind can't really observe, can't really understand the relationship between the problems and thoughts.
So, life keeps generating fear, and the mind keeps avoiding fear, all the suffering, all the rest of it. And the mind keeps seeking pleasure. This trend, this tendency becomes a common thing in this civilization.
The more we are into pleasure, the more we are being chased by fear. That's why life becomes crazier and crazier.
Look at this internet age, our life is surrounded by all kinds of entertainment, TV, films, and videos because you are seeking pleasure. That's why other people will try their best to feed you with pleasure, which becomes their pleasure. At the same time, fear is chasing everyone.
One must see clearly in one’s life what is taking place actually. One must think deeply, reason, and negate the false to see what is actually taking place in life. Doing so means that you are in solitude, you are moving away from the mainstream. (Solitude is fundamentally different from isolation, thoughts create isolation, without thoughts, the mind is in solitude, in real connection.) You must stand alone to look to let go of all the influences that keep blocking the eyes from seeing what it is in actuality.
And the very doing so is the transformation of human beings. And in that very doing so, a totally different landscape will reveal in one’s life. But the speaker can't describe it. It's beyond words. The images created by words only destroy that.
And one must come upon it by really acting. When one comes back to this state of humanity, one belongs to nowhere, neither the eastern nor western. One is a human being. That's it. And in that state, there are no issues.