This article presents the whole content of the public talk Cico gave on May 9 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)
No matter where you are or how busy you are, can you put aside everything else? So we can learn and think together without any burden.
This burden is created by numerous thoughts, ideas, conclusions and illusions. The mind is lazy, it is always relying on thoughts for a sense of fulfilment, satisfaction, confirmation and certainty.
The thought itself is full of all kinds of issues, but it is never stable. Thought is always changing, but the mind is so lazy, always wanting to be told, confirmed and assured by thoughts. So life is accumulating thoughts all the time, and this burden inevitably becomes bigger and bigger.
To understand oneself deeply is to understand the nature of thoughts. This life that most people are living is merely some thoughts. The whole society is based on all kinds of thoughts – the known – knowledge.
To understand oneself is to see clearly that this life is based on thoughts actually and the ego, the “me”, the self is a thought product.
That's why one needs to put aside all the thoughts and burdens to observe the thoughts completely. One can't observe thoughts through thoughts, which is self-deception and happening now all over the world.
So to understand, one must step out of thoughts to observe. If one is into the thoughts, due to pleasure and reaction, one can't really observe.
So to observe objectively, one has to step back, step out of these thought processes to observe objectively, perceive, and look directly at what is actually going on in the mind.
This observation of the thought in such an objective way is to inquire into and understand oneself actually, which requires tremendous work from you. Nothing will change if you merely listen to the speaker without really doing anything.
When you act, when you give full attention to all the issues, the role of this speaker is totally unnecessary because you can discover and find out for yourself.
To find out what is true, not according to what other people say, including the speaker, but to find out for yourself by seeing the false in the living, which is also the way to come upon what is true, the eternal truth of the daily living that can't be overshadowed by anything.
So this inquiry and investigation need a lot of energy from you, you need to gather all the energy or else the energy is being dissipated by thoughts all the time.
This moment, can we really meet, which means that can we gather all the energy to think together, to find out together what is really true in the life?
And this authentic discovery -- the actual discovery, when the mind is really paying full attention to all the issues, initialises this genuine transformation of a human being.
For most people on this planet, life is totally trapped by thoughts. Thoughts have permeated into almost every corner of the living.
Egoism, individualism, commercialism and consumerism are all the products of thoughts. Thoughts are infinitely divisive, creating endless and numerous fragments.
A life trapped in thoughts is fragmentary, being divided by thoughts all the time, bringing about numerous conflicts, contradictions and therefore confusions.
In the face of those conflicts and divisions, the mind is totally confused. The mind suffers from all kinds of challenges, from these so-called personal issues to so-called societal matters, though there is no actual difference between the personal and the societal, which are both from the issues of the mind.
So you see, this division created by thoughts is a bottomless hole, trapping the mind endlessly, creating such a disordered life.
The mind is restless because the mind has numerous divisions. Those divisions bring about this movement of thoughts, which are extreme, changeable and conflicting.
Such a mind is living in fear. Where there are thoughts, there is fear.
And such life is inevitably in panic. People panic in different ways for different things -- different content of the thoughts, but the mind is panicking.
This life is always in panic in one way or another, and the mind wants to get rid of it – the symptom. So the mind escapes and runs away from panic into pleasure.
But the panic is always there. Without understanding the panic – not the word itself but the actual panic one is going through, the panic always exists in different forms.
Living in thoughts, the mind functions in thoughts among the divisions created by thoughts. So such a mind is full of thoughts, full of chattering -- constantly chattering.
The mind struggles to concentrate on some thoughts by excluding others. By doing so, the mind creates the division, which is called the conscious and the unconscious. The mind is excluding other thoughts to concentrate on some thoughts, and other thoughts are running in the background without awareness.
And when those thoughts that are running in the background are causing issues, the mind is confused “what happens?”
Numerous fear is running in the background; the mind tries to exclude it by focusing on some thoughts that can bring about pleasure.
However, the fear is always there because those thoughts that bring about fear never end; they are being suppressed and controlled, but they're still there.
Can one see this actually in one’s living? Running away from those issues won't solve these issues. Running away from one thought into another only accumulates more thoughts and issues.
Can one see this clearly in one’s living? Or else this is only the viewpoint of the speaker. To him, it's a fact, but to you, it might not be until you actually observe it in your living, in your life.
When the problem erupts in the background – so many thoughts are running in the background, the mind reacts to many thoughts without awareness. So all those bring about this uncontrollable panic.
The mind is always controlling, but in the face of panic, the mind finds that it can't control it at all. It's totally confused about the symptom. And the mind wants to get rid of it, so the mind is seeking a solution -- a stopgap. You see, the mind is still running away, still escaping, unless the mind stands with the issue to look at it, observe it and understand it, but this requires tremendous energy to take action to observe, not run away, not to escape.
To observe oneself is not to resort to theories or philosophies, or views. Like “the conscious” and “the unconscious” is also the theory created out of psychology or whatever.
And if one doesn't actually observe oneself, following those theories only puts one into more issues. When one actually observes oneself, one will find out those theories have no place at all. One can find out what is really true and what is really false.
To observe oneself, to understand the panic, one must understand what thoughts are.
Why is the mind occupied by thoughts all the time? Is that possible to empty all the thoughts totally?
It is not to analyse one thought by another because the very analysis is using another thought. It is a loop that leads to nowhere.
So when the mind is in panic, the mind is looking for new solutions, new stopgaps and new tricks to get rid of this symptom. But the very seeking of doing that -- the seeking itself is still the thought processes, actually adding more thoughts to the mind.
Because the mind always wants to control to solve issues, for anything that the mind can't control, the mind is afraid - you see - more panic, more fear adding up to the mind.
Can you actually observe this in yourself? The word panic is not a problem, but the mind can easily focus on the word “panic”, so the word “panic” becomes the scapegoat.
And these reactions to the word only make issues complicated, but when one observes oneself thoroughly, one will find that the real symptom is beyond words, and what one can observe is also beyond words.
So the real solutions are never verbal; it must come from one observing diligently, tremendously and carefully to see the actual issue, neither the theory nor the views imposed by others,
The speaker is not imposing any views on you but encourages you to find out for yourself, to find out what is the actual issue, not the symptom defined by words.
So when one is investigating this whole mental process, one must empty the thoughts first.
Emptying the thoughts is giving full attention to the thoughts, not to the content of it, but observing these dynamics, this movement of thoughts without being carried away by its content.
The very doing so is emptying, also understanding.
There are only thought processes, not conscious or subconscious or unconscious. There are only thought processes.
One must observe its own reaction to thoughts to see how the fear pops up and how the panic appears.
If the mind is not trapped in thoughts, there's no fear at all; there's no panic at all. Thoughts breed fear, but you must observe it in yourself. Or else, this verbal statement made by the speaker has no meaning to you.
When the mind actually observes that thoughts breed fear, the mind won't focus on how to get rid of panic anymore, but the mind must find out how to live a life without being trapped by thoughts.
When the mind sees that all the issues come from the thoughts, it doesn't mean that I should have no thoughts – that's another illusion, but can the mind not be trapped by thoughts?
Thoughts as knowledge have a place in life, but psychologically, I see the danger of thoughts creating numerous issues -- fear, worry, anxiety, panic.
When I see that actually -- I see that thoughts have no place psychologically, so can I live life without being trapped by thoughts? That is, thoughts stay in the right place, but psychologically the mind is free of any thoughts and attachments.
When the mind is doing so, the mind is really observing itself, understanding itself. This understanding is never verbal but actual. The words are never the thing.
When the mind sees that thoughts bring about all the issues, the instant insight clears all the issues. Or else the mind is always panicking, and the mind always wants to control, and there's frustration when the mind can't control in the face of such mental challenges.
But when the mind is really observing, it's really understanding, learning about itself. There's no control at all. There are no issues either.
Outwardly, control might be necessary, right? The traffic light needs to control the cars to make sure the road is safe to cross, but mentally, where there is control, the mind is trapped by thoughts.
So “can one live a life without being trapped by thoughts?” means that “can one live a life without any mental control psychologically?” which means that psychologically the mind is always observing and learning without this centre.
The centre is me -- the accumulated knowledge about me in the past through the “me”. There's no observation because everything is being distorted by the “me”, which is the past, the accumulated thoughts, everything is still based on the distortion and projection of the “me” -- that is not observed.
It is still the thought process creating self-deception. So the question comes, is it possible for one to observe the total movement of one’s thoughts? In that observation, the mind can't be trapped by thoughts.
And in that observation, the mind is emptying, and thoughts are staying in the right place.
Why is it so difficult for one to observe the thoughts? Is that really difficult technically? Or because the mind has this vested interest in thoughts -- the pleasure, right?
For most people, pleasure becomes extremely important in one’s life, but pleasure is also the product of thoughts, and when the mind is encountering issues, the mind seeks pleasure from thoughts to run away.
So you see, the mind is always interacting with thoughts, and at the same time, thoughts keep creating numerous issues.