This article presents the whole content of the public talk Cico gave on July 11 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)
To meet at this moment means the mind must set aside everything else -- the mind has discarded everything else, everything human beings have created. So the mind is really free, free to look, free to listen, free to observe, free to question, to doubt, to understand what is actually taking place.
Seeing things as they are is one of the most demanding tasks for most people on this planet. Most people are living in illusions. The mind is trapped in all kinds of personal experiences, with all sorts of peculiar ideas.
Life is totally lost in this river, which is called consciousness. The mind is always chasing something, pursuing something, achieving something -- the ambition, the dream or whatever.
When the mind is into that, the mind can't see what is actually taking place. Without seeing what is actually taking place, what you are actually, the mind is confused.
When one looks at life closely, one must find that the mind is bombarded with many things, being pushed and influenced by all kinds of things. There are all kinds of nonsense, politically, commercially and religiously.
The mind is constantly being influenced and manipulated, and this society becomes a stage for all kinds of circuses. The mind is trapped in a pattern, and the mind is being manipulated by other minds, which are trapped in other patterns.
All kinds of tribalism are the manifestation of these incessant circuses. The mind is being hit hard by all sorts of things. Looking around, everyone is pretending to be innocent.
Such living is confusing, isn't it? And this is most people’s life. And this society becomes uglier and uglier, more and more degenerate and immoral.
This existence with its ugliness is totally meaningless. With the outward development of medicine or whatever, the longevity of human beings has been much improved.
But inwardly, psychologically, the tremendous suffering and sorrow are still there. Without solving this tremendous issue of living with its incessant psychological problems, this modern world's development only makes one suffer longer as one lives longer.
And in this utterly individualistic world, the mind is chaotic, confused, and baffled by all kinds of unbelievable things that cannot be explained or rationalised by such a petty mind, which is so self-centred and selfish.
In spite of that, the mind is still escaping more furiously, more devilishly into all kinds of pleasure, all kinds of very subtle pleasure. So the mind becomes pettier and pettier.
Such a life is deteriorating into something uglier. It is becoming more and more difficult for such a petty and self-centred mind to see this disastrous sight everyone is contributing to.
This whole world is in crisis, but do you see it or not? Or are you just seeing it now because the speaker's words influence you?
When you are only concerned about your own issues, all your energy has been absorbed by all of those issues. So the mind has no energy left to look to observe this world.
When one really gives all one’s energy to look, observe and see the disaster – to see the crisis in this living in this monstrous world actually, one is free of all one's own issues.
Most people are not concerned about this world; they are only concerned about themselves, which creates a division between themselves and the world, regarding society as something external.
I hope you are not thinking that way. The feeling that the world, the society, is something external is an illusion.
But most people's life is conditioned to this illusion. Therefore, the mind no longer feels it is an illusion.
And when one is pointed out by someone else that this is an illusion that society is something external, one is shocked; one can't believe it.
Because the mind is always conforming to this collective illusion, collective consciousness, and in that conforming and imitating, the mind feels secure temporarily, which is another illusion.
And the mind does not want to see that it is an illusion because when the mind sees the fact, it has already stood alone, which is totally in opposition to a state of mind that is always confirming and imitating.
Do you observe this in yourself? When the mind is confirming and imitating, the mind doesn't want to acknowledge the fact.
The mind is running away into the crowd for a sense of being together verbally, which is another illusion.
And when everyone is doing the same, such a world becomes a mess, so chaotic, so turbulent, so confusing.
An ancient Chinese saying is that one stops the ear to steal the bell. It seems that this is taking place everywhere.
I stop my ears, I can't hear the bell, but the bell's existence is there.
To really observe ourselves and understand ourselves, one must be earnest and honest.
Don't stop ears. Don't deceive yourself. Just look and observe in aloneness.
Aloneness means that the mind is free of all influences, outwardly and inwardly.
The mind has accumulated so many conclusions, ideas, and views, and the mind keeps replaying them to re-enhance them. Can the mind be free of all of those influences, so the mind is alone? And only in aloneness, the mind is capable of observing and learning.
And when the mind is alone, there is no me; there is no self at all. Where there is the self, aloneness is not.
Because this concept – the “me”, the self or the ego or whatever – is the consequence of the numerous influences, outwardly and inwardly, which is a unitary process.
And for most people, their life is self-centred; the whole living is based on this concept called me, so the mind always sees everything from the centre, which is me. Everything is being filtered by this concept of me, based on my preference; I like this, I like that, and all kinds of peculiar idiosyncrasies.
Where there is me, there is conformity and imitation because that's the source of the security of me, isn't it? The “me” craves security, and the “me” can't stand alone. It always wants to find a tribe to join in, to find the crowd to get a sense of being together.
If one goes to a coffee shop, restaurant, or another place, there are so many people. They are chattering and talking with their close people or friends, but the mind is also taking pleasure from that sense of “being together”.
So you see, this concept of me is always corrupt; it can't stand alone; it always refers to other people’s opinions or accept other people's opinions or agree or disagree. But the mind never looks.
This concept of me, which is already so deep-seated in this world, is full of fear.
And the mind wants to conform and imitate to have a sense of security, but this whole process is dependence. And the mind depends on something so changeable.
This collective consciousness of society or the crowd is so changeable. Do you notice that?
When the “me” depends on that, the “me” can't really see it is so changeable, but the “me” feels the consequence.
Only when the mind stops conforming and imitating, which also means that the mind stops seeking, this centre, which is called me, is naturally disintegrated.
And in that state of mind, it is capable of watching. When the mind no longer conforms and imitates, the mind is alone. And only a mind that is in aloneness can come upon what is true in the living, which leads to the ultimate clarity and certainty.
But when the “me” is there, the “me” is always holding onto something, always conforming and imitating for a sense of security or certainty.
In that state of mind, the mind can't touch upon the truth because the truth makes the mind panic when it so craves security uncertainty by confirming and imitating.
So from certainty, the mind ends up in uncertainty, but when the mind stops imitating and confirming and stops seeking, it puts itself into this uncertain state.
The mind is looking and observing. In this state of mind, it will find the ultimate certainty, which is totally immutable.
So here comes the difficulty of one to go into oneself. Can one put oneself into this uncertainty, which means the mind stops confirming and imitating?
Stay with the uncertainty. Stay with your fear. Don't run away into other escapes, but the mind is looking and understanding in uncertainty.
Can't mind stop following any authorities? Most people on this planet have numerous psychological authorities to follow, medical, political, scientific or whatever, even the language, the words, the conclusion -- they are all authorities.
Can one put away all of those things? So the mind can observe in aloneness. This means that the mind must face this temporary turbulence when the mind puts itself into this state of being uncertain.
Only in that state is the mind observing and learning and finding out what is true, which will bring about this ultimate, unshakable certainty.
But the mind must stand alone, never run away, never escape, and stay with this temporary uncertainty when the mind negates all the authorities and all the influences, when the mind stops confirming and imitating, and that's the freedom, isn't it?
Freedom must come first, and it is up to you to do it. And if you are really serious, you can do it immediately, deny the “me”, negate the “me” totally, negate all the influences, just look in uncertainty, see what you'll get.
But now, if you still want to hold onto something for a sense of security, you are still wandering forth and back at the door. You haven't gone into that yet.
So this self-enquiry demands attention, demands sheer action. You either go into the door or not, but when you are so craving certainty and security, you just stay put and don't go into it. And all the issues, all the sorrow, all the travails continue.
You might have gone to different gurus, different religious groups, different practice groups or whatever, but the fact that you are still sitting outside the door.
And it is up to you to go into it, just walk into it. You don't need to think about courage. Courage is another thought but just take sheer action now; take sheer action at each moment.
So you must see clearly that it will always come to a moment when you must act. Act or escape; it is in your hands.
Can the mind stand alone? No matter how busy the environment is, can the mind stand alone to look to observe?
When the mind is doing that, when the mind is finding out for oneself what is true, one becomes a light to oneself.
And such a light can cast a light very far away; it is beyond any verbal things. It is there.
And only when you are a light to yourself can the darkness be totally dispelled, and the meaning of this existence is there.
But all of those are now being described by the speaker verbally, it is you that come upon the truth for yourself by diligent observation and sheerly acting.