How Does This Sound?
As ordinary human beings, we are governed and controlled by our thoughts and emotions.
Maybe we start to ask the questions; “What am I doing? Why are we here?” Is it merely to entertain ourselves, or is there something more? We may decide this is a spiritual question.
Having dismissed the wealth of entertainment, we decide to follow a spiritual path. If the path is a path like Buddhism, then we are introduced to the polluting effects of thoughts and emotions – in fact, the negative emotions are called ‘poisons’. Here, we have to be very careful about who we listen to, because we can become stuck in the idea – a programme – that emotions are bad and that we have to apply a complex system of antidotes, exchanging hatred for compassion and so forth.These antidotes never actually work as they merely hide the emotions, which will resurface.
We may find we have acquired a set of doctrines which has the effect of pulling the wool over our eyes, beguiling us into believing that we are now ‘good people’. Fortunately, there are many levels of understanding, so this acquisition of ‘goodness’ can display itself as ‘smugness’ …
Just because we call ourselves something or follow a path, doesn’t mean that we have changed. We have merely swapped appearances: that’s all.
If we are fortunate we may come across the pointing out instruction into the nature of mind and ‘get it’. Then change starts.
Once we genuinely know the nature of mind – unpolluted pure consciousness – then everything that occurs within that mind is seen clearly, immediately and spontaneously. This includes the so-called poisons of negative thoughts and emotions which, when seen clearly, result in wisdoms. Recognition is simultaneous with the arising of phenomena, which cannot be separated from pure consciousness itself: thoughts and emotions are an expression of pure consciousness. One reflects the other like a mirror; they cannot be separated.
Of course, we fluctuate depending on the degree of our familiarity with pure consciousness: we keep being pulled back to impure consciousness – and the desire to look ‘pretty’. 😀
While resting in pure consciousness, any expression will have the quality of pure consciousness as we refine this realisation. This expression is love in action. Pure compassion. Pure empathy.
How does that sound?
We need to practise moving in and out of pure consciousness to see the difference: take an situation or person you really do hate, and push this idea as far as you can: “Grrrrrrr! Grrrr! Grr! G … ”? The feelings become pointless and evaporate. It’s a fantasy. One has been drawn into impure consciousness, and at the moment of recognition, one is released. All the while, pure consciousness watches on. The “Grrrr” no longer has effect, and we go straight from “Gr …” to “Aha!” When these emotions arise – as they will do – there is a recognition of the difference between impure consciousness and pure consciousness.
Who said that we shouldn’t have thoughts or emotions? It is interesting that the emotions are introduced as ‘poisons’ … Psssst! Be very careful who you listen to!