The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

realjannaweiss

The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

THE NATURE OF MIND 51

1. The nature of mind is just too close to be recognized. Just

as we are unable to see our own face, mind finds it difficult to

look into its own nature.

2. It is too profound for us to fathom. We have no idea how

deep it could be; if we did, we would have already, to a certain

extent, realized it.

3. It is too easy for us to believe. In reality, all we need do

is simply to rest in the naked, pure awareness of the nature of

mind, which is always present.

4. It is too wonderful for us to accommodate. The sheer

immensity of it is too vast to fit into our narrow way of

thinking. We just can't believe it. Nor can we possibly imagine

that enlightenment is the real nature of our minds.

If this analysis of the four faults was true in a civilization

like Tibet, devoted almost entirely to the pursuit of enlightenment,

how much more strikingly and poignantly true must it

be of modern civilization, which is largely devoted to the pursuit

of the cult of delusion. There is no general information

about the nature of mind. It is hardly ever written about by

writers or intellectuals; modem philosophers do not speak of it

directly; the majority of scientists deny it could possibly be

there at all. It plays no part in popular culture: No one sings

about it; no one talks about it in plays; and it's not on TV. We

are actually educated into believing that nothing is real beyond

what we can perceive with our ordinary senses.

Despite this massive and nearly all-pervasive denial of its

existence, we still sometimes have fleeting glimpses of the

nature of mind. These could be inspired by a certain exalting

piece of music, by the serene happiness we sometimes feel in

nature, or by the most ordinary everyday situation. They

could arise simply while watching snow slowly drifting down,

or seeing the sun rising behind a mountain, or watching a

shaft of light falling into a room in a mysteriously moving

way. Such moments of illumination, peace, and bliss happen

to us all and stay strangely with us.

I think we do, sometimes, half understand these glimpses,

but modern culture gives us no context or framework in

which to comprehend them. Worse still, rather than encouraging

us to explore these glimpses more deeply and discover

where they spring from, we are told in both obvious and

subtle ways to shut them out. We know that no one will take

us seriously if we try to share them. So we ignore what could

be really the most revealing experiences of our lives, if only

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