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Adi & Praja 162

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Adi and Praja

Chapter 10

Issue 162: The devotional mind

The analytical and compositional mind alone can lead us around for ‘sightseeing’ within our own preconceived universe, just as mathematics and logic can within their universes, but it can not transgress its own limits. Impulses from something more essential than this type of mind are needed to grow spiritually. And these impulses can be acquired by yearning for them. This yearning might be called ‘devotion.’ It is the innate desire to understand, to grow, to crush limits, to realize oneness with God.

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(the devotional mind)

4. Devotional mind

So Mustafa, who had so much analytical training, and had read so many books, now became consciously aware for the first time of the existence of a devotional mind (these activities were indeed motivated by his devotional mind, he realized now). He had never cared much for devotion, because devotion was usually performed by unintelligent people in religious places or before altars or in superficial prayers, hoping that God would give them something for free. God gives nothing for free, because everything is already there for free. Humans much develop themselves by their own effort towards recognition of what they had already been given. They had already been given everything that God has, or rather is: because God is in everything everywhere. So inherently humans are already gods. If people pray devotionally for getting something – well this is just philosophically impossible. But if they devote all their good thought and actions throughout their lives towards recognition of deeper truths, and to sacrifice to God by giving all their energy and skills to the divine side of the universe, they more and more become the God that they already are in latency.

People can devote their mind; but they can also devote their actions, their influence on others by what they say, their inherent wish to do good, their feelings of beauty and subtlety in art and nature to God. In this way, in a natural way, their thoughts, actions, words, ethics, morality, artistic splendor come closer to the divine essence, the Heart of heart within each human being. And without devotion? Nothing happens. One goes around in circles within the limits of one’s own mind and feelings. ‘Devotion is a natural intuition within the human consciousness,’ Mustafa concluded. In simple words: whatever you do, do it for God, for the Highest, for the indivisible Perfect. Then God will shine forth. And you yourself will become a shining god. You become an inspired artist, scientist, thinker, worker, benefactor. Mustafa was now intellectually convinced that belief in God was a necessity for progress in science and culture. He had left the stage of mere intellectualism in his life.

But Mustafa’s dualistic mind was still in full existence and health, and was continuously triggered by the ‘habit-energy’ of all past educations in different societies since perhaps hundreds of thousand of years. So it didn’t last long before a doubt arose within this mind: ‘But what if you devote yourself to the wrong thing, especially with fervor while you were thinking that it is the right thing (a phenomenon often seen in young people who were grasped by some political or religious ideal)? Then, devotion could bring you to hell – you might be serving the devil ! So devotion is very dangerous if you have no inner distinction between right and wrong. But what is right and wrong? It is itself a product of the imperfect analytical and compositional mind! Mustafa had felt elated first, but now fell down to depression. He found some consolation in the thought that even a terrorist would be rewarded for his good intention, if such had been his or her original impulse. But nevertheless, much harm could be done by mistaken judgment. Before one can practice true devotion, one has to overcome the doubting mind. As long as there was doubt, there was fear, and as long as there was fear, there was doubt. This looks like a mental stalemate. How to break out of it? Who could you trust nowadays? Could you even trust the holy scriptures? Even holy scriptures seemed to contradict each other. Was there any teacher who one could trust – ultimately the teacher himself was working within the same doubtful mind – even though he might pose otherwise.

5. The intuitional mind

‘O my God,’ he thought, ‘How can one overcome doubt?’ ‘By faith,’ answered his own brain. ‘But what if I can not feel secure about what to have faith in?’ ‘You can,’ answered the other side of his mind? ‘How?’ he asked. ‘By following your intuition.’ ‘Do I have intuition? – I think I don’t have that.’ ‘You have. Didn’t you study Plato.’ ‘Yes, I did?’ ‘What did Plato say about intuition?’ ‘Well, he said that one has an innate recognition of what is true, what is just, what is good, what is beautiful.’ ‘That is the clue,’ answered the mind. Even though your analytical, compositional, materialistic mind can find no solution, you have the faculty to recognize the beauty within phenomena, things, thoughts, beings; even if you can not mentally decide about right and wrong, you can relate to your genuine conscience (not your added, social conscience). You can ask yourself: ‘Does it ring true?’ ‘Is it just?’ (does it cause suffering to others or not?) – does it harmonize with genuine (i.e. not acquired) ethics? – you may involve your analytical mind here. Does it reflect transcendental, divine beauty?

‘You remember from your cherished holy texts: God is merciful and oft forgiving. So in whatever you do, do what is God worthy,’ he said to himself.

Being still imperfect, humans can make mistakes. We will make mistakes, even with the best of intentions. But we can do our best – that is always in the right direction – in the direction of becoming fully awakened gods – consciously one with God. Without imperfection we can not make choices. Without choices we can not grow. Once we came from God, once we will return to God. Once we were animals, and will not return there, because once we will be gods and have overcome the illusions of which animals exist. And then, after that, we will become greater gods, and so on into ‘infinity’ (whatever that is). It is all within God.

It was completely clear for Mustafa now: ‘One needs intelligence, pure, diamond clear intelligence. One needs devotion to Truth, one needs faith in Truth, one needs intuition from and of Truth. All these things are inherent in human nature. All these faculties have to become totally pure. They were pure in their original divine nature. God can not have produced anything impure. The apparent impurity, in fact the illusion of impurity, is something God gave us with a purpose He knew. It came from His Mercy. Yes, our suffering comes from His mercy! Suffering is an illusion, a label stuck on our experiences by our doubting mind – because it must doubt to bring out something hidden: a divine, non-dual, perfect, self-conscious True Mind.’

Basically Mustafa, in the silence, in the desert, with nothing but his own mind to talk with – had found real religion. He had found the Path, the inner path towards God, towards himself. Now it was a matter of walking this path. The time of sitting there and meditating was drawing to an end.

6. The Devil?

One big question still had to be solved: ‘All this was so obvious: there was mind, their was Mind, God, Intuition relating to God. Why then, was the world a mess, why were most people ignoble in stead of noble? What was the distracting factor within the mind, and why? Was it because the Devil was just as real as God? No this was not possible, because that would mean duality – and duality was not with God, so there could be no Devil on the level of God. Duality is a property, a distinctive property of the human mind, perhaps of the mind of many deities – but not of God’s wisdom. Duality is the very reason why there is a ‘difference’ (i.e. the illusion of difference) between the human and the divine mind. A devil could therefore only be a production of human fantasy.’ This is what Mustafa deduced logically from his unshakeable insights, his axioms. In Universal Truth there could be no independent devil. But then: it is obvious that there is evil and pain among humanity. How to explain?

We have already discussed that there is a distinction between people who turn towards God, and people who turn away from God. Why? What made them choose the last? Mustafa could not understand why people went the opposite direction of what was obviously the right direction. ‘Why people acted and thought evil instead of good? Did such people have another type of mind? Were they predestined to evil? Could they not make the other choice ecause of predestination?’ But this conflicted with Mustafa’s idea about mercy – the key property of God. ‘Then, he thought,’ people must have two minds at the same time, or two sides to the same mind: a consequence of the minds own dual nature?’ ‘Yes – it’s the mind inherent dual nature. Why?’ Mustafa tried to recognize this dual nature concerning good and evil, towards or away from God, in himself. Did he have that negative, evil, materialistic, selfish side also?’

He soon discovered all these aspects in himself. There were moments when he longed back to the city and student life. Why did he not just enjoy, smoking water-pipes with his friends? Why had he been so arrogant to think that he was better than they? It had an attraction, but he didn’t yield to that desire. Why did he care more for a wasp than for his mother? Was he not being very selfish? Did he not create suffering to his parents, his friends, his family? Did he do anything what the society regarded as useful? Why had he never given in to his carnal desires, why had he never made financial profit, why had he never cheated a tourist? What was good, what was evil after all? Was stealing evil? In all nature all animals always stole – they never asked permission, nor did they wait politely for what would be given to them. If he would live like that, he would be happy, and he would not have to bother and worry himself about God or the workings of the mind, or Ethics. Economically ‘evil’ was much more profitable than ‘good’ – though it was told that God would punish the evil souls later, after death – but there was no proof of that. So better: carpe diem – just do what you like to do today and don’t worry about tomorrow! The only thing you could be sure of was matter. For seeing matter, no doubt, discursive or analytical mind were necessities. It was just a matter of enjoying it.’

‘When Mustafa had connected these ideas with his mind, doubt really began. Perhaps all his earlier thought were illusions, false creations, devilish creations putting him alone in the hot desert while others were having luxury and fun. By sitting in the desert he made his own life a hot hell – born from an idea that ‘God’ would reward him, in some way, with a paradise after death. Everyone would die, whether good or evil. Maybe there was nothing after death. No existence. Then, why not enjoy as much as possible during life?

Doubt and desire filled Mustafa’s mood. ‘Why had he chosen this way? Because it was ‘good?’ Then, was it not evil to choose the good for himself? Had his motivation been pure, or had it only been a trick of hidden evil, selfishness, haughtiness?’ He had never been so sad and confused in his whole life. ‘Where was God now? Why didn’t God stop these thoughts, and tell him what was right, what he should do, whether he should go on this way – or start a whole new life in frivolous society? If God were everywhere, he would also be in fun and frivolity, wouldn’t He? Then it wouldn’t matter what one did. God was there anyway, and was all-merciful anyway. Yet it was written in the Holy Book that God would destroy the unbelievers, and help the believers. Wasn’t that a contradiction? What about the Neanderthals, tens of thousand of years ago, who probably hardly had a mind? Were they destroyed? No, not at all. They had just gone extinct according to natural law. Other, more intelligent people such as Cro-Magnons just were fitter in the process of natural selection.’ He was pretty sure now that the Holy Scripture was mistaken in many things – that it was just a product of human fantasy. Only hours before it had been his only real psychological grip – he had trusted it, even though the mind on itself could not make final conclusions about trustworthiness.

It was time to sleep. Hopefully he would see things clearer tomorrow. The sound of his ruminating camel worked, as always, as a lullaby, and within minutes all was forgotten, and he dreamed of his mother taking him to the river as a small boy, teaching him how to swim.

When he woke up he was quiet. He had a clear perception about what had happened last evening.

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