This article presents the whole content of the public talk Cico gave on June 20 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)
The mind is always trapped in all kinds of thoughts, ideas, fantasies and illusions; for most of us, the mind is very limited and petty.
All kinds of reactions drive all behaviours; the behaviours come from thoughts. Living this way, the mind can't respond to the question adequately.
At each moment, there are all kinds of issues popping up, but the mind, which is trapped in conclusions, ideas, philosophies, and views, cannot see the question, the problem clearly. Therefore it can't respond to the issues adequately, and more and more problems are accumulated. This is most people's life.
To understand ourselves is to see this inadequacy clearly. The mind functions locally to a small fragment where our personal experience is built up. This world is trapped in numerous fragments.
Each of us is not only divided by those fragments; the tremendous conflicts within ourselves are also from those fragments, which are all thoughts.
Being trapped in a fragment, the mind has a very narrow scope. The experience is only limited to that small fragment; out of that fragment, there's self-protection, translation and interpretation according to one's very limited narrow experience.
And everyone who's living in fragments is doing the same. There are numerous self-projections and numerous conflicts. The mind is confused because it receives different things from different people, according to their own very little incomplete experience.
And we stay away from each other; we stay aloof because we are all living in fragments. We never treat life totally.
In this mental construct of society, the mind is trained to do a profession, to have expertise. So the mind is trained to be in a small corner to dig in and deep. And based on this small corner, we built up the function and the prestige -- the fame around this function, which further becomes part of the ego.
This society emphasises functionality in such a way that only enhances egoism. So the mind is conditioned to this life -- a life full of fragments. And in that fragmentation, there's perpetual division and conflict between different people, between you and me.
And this brings about individualism; we all become more and more separated, divided and fragmented.
Life is full of misery. The mind is merely escaping from those issues, and each of us is doing the same. The whole society is doing the same, but doing so, all of us don't meet at this moment.
None of us really sees the issues, sees what is actually taking place at this moment. The mind is escaping into pleasure-seeking activities, daydreaming and illusions to achieve a temporary mental and emotional balance, but the mind is struggling and suffering.
Each of us is fully responsible for such a monstrous society. In the very pleasure-seeking, there's only irresponsibility. And this world is trapped in such a vicious circle, craving more worldly things for pleasure and momentary happiness, but life becomes utterly empty and meaningless.
This self-enquiry lets the mind face the issue and see what is actually taking place without running away or escaping.
This is becoming increasingly difficult because the mind has escaped too deep into thoughts and all kinds of subtle pleasure-seeking activities. The mind is totally trapped in those disorders.
To understand oneself actually is to see all those disorders the mind is trapped in, which requires tremendous observation and diligence.
When those disorders are seen by a mind serious about inquiring, the very exposure of the issues into the consciousness dissolves the issues. This means that the very understanding of oneself deeply is emptying the mind; understanding is empty. It is a unitary process.
When the mind is full of thoughts, ideas, views and conclusions, the mind is ignorant in the sense of lacking understanding of oneself.
So this understanding is not intellectual; it is actual because the mind empties itself. However, if you regard understanding as intellectual, you can't go very far because it is still a thought process. You still treat that as an idea, a thought or a philosophy. The mind can be quickly bored with it.
That's not understanding at all. The mind is still trapped in thoughts. And you are not serious about looking at yourself. This seriousness is to give full attention to the issues, with this intensity to understand to figure out what is actually.
The mind empties itself, which is the actual understanding.
When you go into yourself, seeing all the issues and disorders you are trapped in, the mind must naturally empty itself.
And what the speaker says is no longer relevant; it might give you some guidance, but it is irrelevant when you actually see the issues yourself.
Or else the words of the speaker fill your mind. It becomes another idea, thoughts and philosophy.
So, this journey requires your diligence to gather the energy to give full attention to the issues, not taking pleasure in the speaker's words, and then the mind is trapped again in those words.
We use words to explain the issues, but the actual issues are beyond the words. You must see them clearly for yourself because only you can see your problems without being distorted by words or thoughts; you can perceive them.
And nobody else can do that for you. And again, all of those require your diligence. The mind stops being lazy. It is the diligent mind that can empty itself.
And this whole journey is called meditation.
Most of us live in thoughts, And all life activities are driven by thoughts, by numerous reactions, emotions and impulses.
From home to work, to education, to every corner of society, thoughts are everywhere.
Compared to other species on this planet, human beings can use thoughts to do lots of things, making a lot of things.
From the car on the road, the ships on the water to the space exploration, using thoughts, human beings are capable of doing many things.
But thoughts are also dangerous. At first sight, people might not associate it with the physical danger, but when one goes into the nature of thinking, the essence of it, one must find out for oneself that the danger of thoughts is also part of this physical danger.
In this outer world, we have accumulated abundant knowledge about all kinds of things, which embodies this civilisation.
But unfortunately, knowledge doesn't stay in the right place. It overflows into the psyche, bringing about numerous and diverse psychological activities -- the mental world we live in --perhaps we are trapped in.
To look at ourselves is to understand the nature of thinking because our existence in this world is merely based on thoughts.
The name, the prestige, the fame, the position, the title, salary, estate, money, everything is around this name.
And for most of us, the name has extraordinary meaning for the living. The neural loops are functioning around that name.
And that becomes the existence of most people on this planet – a conceptual existence based on a name.
From Day 1, when you were born, your parents gave you a name and then from school to college or work, everything in society functions around this name.
And most of the energy has gone to that name. "I need to work hard." "I need to strive for something…, for a better car, a wonderful holiday in other countries." "I need to fulfil my desire, my dream, my ambition.", "I need to have pleasure", "I want to have company.", "I want to be happy.
You see, all the energy of life has been dumped into this label – the name, and this label is dominating most of us.
We don't see each other; we only see each other through the label, functionality, work, title, and position.
You may assume the authority, but it's still you, the person. The name and the authority are all conceptual. They are all thought processes.
And we all told, we all trained to be self-important -- me first, I should care about myself. And then we all do the same.
But this existence based on thoughts is never stable because thoughts are never stable. And this existence brings about a strong sense of insecurity.
And this society emphasises the-self importance, but this self, its existence, is based on thoughts. And the self feels insecure.
So in a society which emphasises this self-importance, everyone feels insecure, then this security becomes something very important in such a society.
And unfortunately, we don't examine; we don't go deep into this security issue. We all stay on the surface. So we merely indulge ourselves in fulfilling ourselves for a sense of security, but we don't go into it.
So the mind in this society is conditioned to seek security for the self. Our life inevitably becomes bitter.
We all strive for security, but we don't examine it. We think it is something that exists, and this becomes our collective illusion.
We all strive for it, but we never get it. When we fulfil ourselves, this temporary sense of satisfaction, gratification, and pleasure makes the mind forget the security for a while.
And that's the only thing we can do. We all take pleasures; we all seek pleasures to alleviate this issue of feeling insecure.
The issue has never been solved at all. And we think this is normal. The mind is conditioned to this feeling that it is normal because everybody is doing the same, and we conform to each other. We are imitating each other.
But we don't stop to look to examine to inquire, to understand, because we are too lazy, aren't we?
The mind is too lazy; a lazy mind always confirms and imitates. Diligence means that the mind stops imitating and confirming by being aware of all these mental dynamics and thought processes.
To be aware, the mind must inquire and go into the psyche. This requires your energy that must be gathered from the thoughts, illusions and ideas so the mind can give full attention to the issues.
When the mind sees clearly that this security doesn't exist, what's the point of seeking it? Then the mind will see this circus of the whole society.
It is a circus, isn't it? The mind is trapped in a pattern without being aware of it. Therefore, the mind has no freedom, trapped in daily miseries, contradictions, conflicts and turbulence.
When the mind sees clearly that there's no such thing called security, the mind is already out of this mainstream -- the circus.
Seeking security only brings about struggle, conflicts, and all kinds of miseries, except a few fleeting moments of pleasure. It has no meaning.
When the mind is not seeking at all, the mind does not feel insecure; but when the mind is seeking, the mind feels insecure. One must find out for himself to make sense of this statement.
So can one live a life without being trapped by this illusion, not only the personal illusions but also these collective illusions of the society, which means that the mind is conditioned to these collective illusions?
Can the mind be aware of all of those? Being aware of all those thought processes means that the mind psychologically understands the futility of thoughts.
You can't go into the content of thoughts, which is numerous and incessant. And if you do that, you will be trapped again in thoughts.
When the mind sees clearly that psychologically there's no place for thoughts at all, the mind negates thoughts totally without a motive.
There is no negation when the mind has a motive because the motive is still thought processes in the psyche.
So when the mind negates the thought psychologically, the mind sets itself free.
Such a state of mind doesn't seek; it stays with what is actually.
And in that state of mind, the mind doesn't know what is insecure.
But as long as the mind is seeking, which means that the mind is into the thoughts again, the mind is trapped in the known.
And in the known, the mind knows what is insecure; then all the problems come back again around this perpetual issue of insecurity.
There is spontaneity when the mind is no longer trapped by thoughts, which means that the mind negates the thoughts psychologically.
When the mind is trapped in thoughts, it is never spontaneous because thoughts, reactions and desires drive all behaviours. It is not spontaneity. It is mechanical.
Just like when two people meet, they talk immediately; it is not spontaneous because the words carry the thoughts, and thoughts push the words. It is not a spontaneous process.
But it is easy to misunderstand this as something spontaneous due to this lack of self-awareness.
When one is aware of this, one must find out that there is no such thing as spontaneity when the mind is in thought.
When both of us are aware of thoughts and their danger, perhaps we don't speak to each other randomly.
This spontaneity, which is the clarity, comes from this self-awareness. When the mind is no longer trapped by thoughts, when the mind is no longer seeking pleasure, seeking fulfilment. There is spontaneity.
Or else the mind is trapped by the mechanical loops of the thoughts; nothing is spontaneous.