This article presents the whole content of the public talk Cico gave on June 13 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)
Can you put aside everything else so we can really meet at this moment, inquire into the self, and understand the self completely and deeply?
This life is so messy, so chaotic, so confusing. This outer world is also so chaotic and confusing. The mind is being hit in various ways by influences, problems, traumas, and hurts.
Life is trapped in endless issues. This journey requires you to gather all the energy to observe yourself completely.
The mind must be learning and observing now. Learning is not an accumulative process, not acquiring knowledge to add more and more things to the known. That's not learning. That's mere acquiring knowledge.
When the mind is really learning, the mind is fresh, and the mind is emptying itself, so the mind can really see what is actually happening. See the actual. Or else the mind is always verbal. The mind so relies on words and expressions. It is seeking pleasure, seeking fulfilment, and satisfaction from words.
But the words are not the thing; the actual is not words. The description is not the described, but the mind is lazy. It is always living at the level of words. It doesn't go beyond them to see the actual.
The words, the theories, the views, the ideas, and the conclusions create numerous filters and screens. The mind is always translating and interpreting according to what it knows, so this process is always accumulative.
And such a mind is old, dull and dead. Because it never learns, such a mind is trapped in its own distortion, illusion, and isolation.
To have this capacity to learn and see the actual is part of meditation. The actual is beyond any words, which requires the diligence of the mind to observe, to reason, to see things as they are without being distorted by its preference, judgment and condemnation.
Or else the mind is always verbal, always clinging to the words for comfort for certainty. And such a mind is merely a slave to words. Therefore it is incapable of observing itself totally. So all the issues are there, all the problems are there.
This journey requires a mind that can stay fresh and empty all the words so that the mind has nothing to be attached to -- the mind is free to look.
But if the mind relies on words for certainty for a sense of security, such a mind can never go beyond the words to see what is actually taking place.
When the mind can do that – go beyond the words, the mind can see what is actually taking place. And that seeing the actual is the ultimate certainty, which is beyond any words and expressions. And this life is totally transformed.
But now, you are still listening to the words uttered from the mouth of the speaker. If you don't do it by yourself, the mind always thinks what is being said here is another idea, another thought.
But if the mind really sees the actual, you will find out for yourself what is an authentic living and what is true. And then what the speaker says is no longer relevant because such a mind can come upon this vastness, which is beyond words.
So this journey of meditation, which is life, requires humility, diligence and seriousness, so the mind is eager to find out, eager to get all the energy to find out what is the actual, what is the truth?
And this journey never ends because the mind is learning and observing each moment.
And this life only exists at this moment, but it's the journey that embodies this life. It's moment by moment.
It never ends, but it also ends at each moment, also starts at each moment – life is always new and fresh.
This journey of self-inquiry of this deep understanding of oneself is to establish a relationship when both of us understand ourselves actually, completely and totally. The mind is no longer trapped in thoughts, in illusions, in its own selfish and egotistic end, which means that the mind is no longer isolated by itself, then we have a relationship.
It's a human relationship beyond any labels. So we can meet truly at this moment. We can talk over the real issues about living, look at the issues together and think together to find out what is true and what is false in the living.
And such a relationship is based on humanity, based on the truth. It's never personal. As long as one is personal, there is no relationship at all.
You may call the personal relationship as families, friends or whatever, but actually, when one is being personal, one has no relationship.
Because being personal means that the mind is trapped in its projections, illusions, and thoughts, full of its preference, liking, disliking, judgment, condemnation, hatred, ambition, greedy desire, wanting, and craving. The mind is trapped and isolated, and as a matter of fact, it has no relationship at all.
So this self-enquiry is to establish a true human relationship, so the mind is no longer personal, no longer petty, and no longer egotistic.
But this requires one to observe and learn tremendously and diligently, to see the danger of being personal.
In this relationship, the speaker is a mirror, so you can look at yourself to see what you are actually, see the egocentric behaviours, and see all kinds of tendencies.
And through this mirror, you see yourself, and we see each other.
But if you don't see the mirror, just regard the mirror as the thing you want to possess, and then the process of being personal starts.
For example, one may have a taste for Asian people, automatically classifying the speaker as the Asian people because of his accent, outlook and whatever.
So one wants to make friends with Asian people because Asian people are less confrontational and more tolerant than one's peers, which brings an extra image about the speaker.
And most of life, one's behaviour is based on people's negative reactions to act or not act, so the mind misinterprets this as permissive. And the mind wants to go further, to seek pleasure from it, because the mind may find a sense of warmth or feel well treated.
And when the mind is doing this, being personal starts, the mind is taking pleasure from it (the experience of being well-treated), pursuing it, and the mind wants more and more from this experience because this experience brings a lot of pleasure and the very doing so means the mind stops observing itself.
When the mind is really observing itself, the mind can't be personal at all.
When the mind is really observing, the mind will find that the speaker assumes the Asian outlook, but he does not belong to any nationality, any group but the mind is already trapped in the images it forms via thoughts and its preferences, and it seeks pleasure for its own self-fulfilment and satisfaction.
So all of those are blocking one from seeing things actually, and one is trapped in one’s personal experience. Therefore the mind ceases inquiring and understanding.
And the speaker becomes one's personal friend, but actually, it's the image one forms about the speaker as the friend one means, which has nothing to do with the speaker in actuality, which is a fact.
This is what is actually taking place in this world: one is trapped in its own illusion built up by one's personal experience; one isolates oneself, and that isolation implies division, which is the root of all violence, including all mental and physical ones.
The self-enquiry and being personal are never compatible. In this serious self-enquiry, one stops being personal.
Being personal means corruption; the mind is trapped in its own pleasure, its own seeking, its own illusion. The mind is totally isolated. Therefore the mind can't really observe what is actually taking place.
And in this world, which is so personal, so individual, the mind is also very commercial. The mind always wants to exchange, making everything into a transaction.
The mind, which is personal, is also commercial, making everything exchangeable, so the mind is purely isolated by its end, purpose, and utility.
And all of those are based on its self-isolation. The mind is trapped in the mindset of paying and buying. This personal state of mind distorts everything; it's around this centre, which is called me, full of calculation, evaluation, judgment, and pursuing its ambition, preference, and pleasure. At the same time, it suffers.
Such a state of mind becomes a danger. And such a state of mind is mechanical in a dangerous way. It inevitably encounters issues.
And this chaotic, messy and self-centred state of mind, both personal and commercial, doesn't observe itself at all.
And a commercial mind never knows what is goodness. Such a mind can easily interpret the tolerance from goodness as something permissive; this brings the desire to pursue and get more.
When the mind is really in goodness, the mind is doing good. Such a mind is never personal; it's never commercial. Such a mind sees the value of goodness, which is invaluable.
Setting a price for goodness is utterly derogatory, and only a mind living in the goodness that is never personal can see what is good.
And the only way to respond to goodness is by doing good.
Where there is the ego, goodness is not.
The mind might be controlling itself to be kind, conforming to etiquette, but it is phoney because the mind is controlling the mind doesn't know what is good.
When the mind knows what is good, the mind has no control at all. Such a mind is good in nature. A mind that is good in nature has no issues at all.
So to really look at yourself – what you are actually, can you stop being personal totally?
Being personal means being isolated; in isolation, the mind does not see the person in actuality.
A mind trapped in its illusions, images and thoughts is aggressive and violent because the mind is imposing its own preference, which is all thoughts and ideas, onto others. That very imposition is violence and aggression.
The mind thinks it is treating its “friend” well, but there's only violence.
Such a state of being personal is dangerous. This danger can easily trigger the mind to be self-protective.
That's why in such a personal state, there's only isolation. And what is called a friend or any relationship is verbal, superficial therefore vulnerable because the personal mind is violent; in violence, everything is vulnerable. And these verbal things, which are called relationships or whatever, are an illusion.
It is merely based on the abstraction of a personal mind, but nothing really exists.
So can one see the danger of being personal in all forms? Observing oneself objectively means that one stops being personal, so the mind can see things as they are without being distorted by its preference, judgment, condemnation, or hatred.
So the mind sees things as they are without any filters. And this requires tremendous energy to give full attention to the issues, reactions, and what you see and do at each moment.
Stop being personal is to inquire into the self and completely understand the essence of the ego. The mind is finding out a living without any sense of ego.
In that living, which is naturally impersonal, clear, certain, which is not fun thoughts words but the mind sees things as they are, which brings both this unshakable certainty.
And this is authentic living. That's never been tainted by its corruptive, petty commercial and personal state of mind.
Where there's goodness, being personal is not. And you must see the truth of it in person for yourself.
Only a mind that is never personal can have the emotion in the right place. Or else the mind is full of sentimentalism and emotionalism, creating all kinds of nonsense.
Can one perceive the danger of being personal? Why are you so personal? This commercial world is based on being personal, and everyone is ingratiating each other.
From commercial advertisements to anything, it makes one feel well treated and privileged. So the mind is constantly being stimulated and cultivated in an illusive state called personal.
And such a mind relies on words for positivities. Look at the words from newspapers, the website, and all kinds of commercials. It is overblowing. It is too positive to be true, and the mind is conditioned to that.
And such a mind, which is personal and commercial, cannot see things as they are because the mind has been spoiled by these excessive positivities created by the words by the expressions, which is an illusion.
Unless one really sees the tricks from the words, one’s attachment to words, and the utter superficialities trapped in words, the mind cannot go into itself to see what is beyond the words.
When the words and their positivities trap the mind, the mind is escaping –- escaping from what is actually because the actual is beyond words. And the actual lack nonsensical positivities, so the mind gives opinions about the actual.
The mind is still escaping from the actual, but without seeing the actual, all the issues continue in different forms.
So to meditate is to really observe oneself, see the absurdities of this being personal -- the mind is confused and chaotic. In this personal world, there are numerous contradictions and conflicts.
To the speaker, being personal is a tremendous danger. When the person is approaching him in such a personal way, the mind is very alert for that because it is the real danger, physical danger to a peaceful living, to a living with care, love and compassion.
And if you are also living in the same way, living with care and compassion, you will see how dangerous it is to be personal.
How dangerous it is - this Western civilisation is based on individualism, commercialism, consumerism, and personal experiences.
So it's up to you to take action in your life to observe yourself in aloneness in solitude, stay away from all kinds of media influences from the propaganda, books, gurus from numerous opinions, ideas -- they are all words.
The actual is beyond words, so if you can gather all the energy to observe yourself adequately and deeply without being trapped by the words or being attached to the verbal expressions.
You will find out for yourself this timeless quality of mind, the truth that is beyond any words.
And the whole journey will reveal to you if you are diligent enough and the mind is never lazy to observe and inquire; after all, the truth of living is only at this moment.
Being personal is a danger. When the mind is personal, the mind is taking pleasure. Also, it's full of fear and anxiety. The mind in that state can't perceive the danger of being personal. That's all thought processes.
If one is really observing deeply without interference from thoughts, one must find out that the mind reacts to the personal state. Look around this western civilisation, it is utterly personal and individual, but people keep such a vast distance from each other. Because being personal is a danger to the mind, the mind stays away from it naturally.
So that's why a mind that is being personal is utterly isolated. One must see this clearly and objectively this living, which is so personal, commercial, lonely, isolated, and trapped by all kinds of emotions, illusions, and fantasies.
Such living has no meaning at all. It is full of sorrow, conflicts, and problems, unless one sees clearly by living a life based on facts, in truth, ending this personal state.
And only in that state, there's love; there's compassion, and there are true human relationships. It is beyond verbal things, but a personal mind always says it has personal friends. It is merely a verbal thing, not the truth.
The truth is that such a mind is isolated. Only when the mind lets go of this state of being personal and sees the truth – the power of truth, is life transformed.