Home » Adi & Praja 163

Adi & Praja 163

| Contents |
Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Adi and Praja

Chapter 10

Issue 163: High and low

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.


(The Lower and the Higher mind)

7. The lower mind and the higher mind

When he woke up he was quiet. He had a clear perception about what had happened last evening. He understood now that his mind had all the aspects other people have – that there was nothing special about him, and that the type of mind he had was also present in all other healthy people. Basically it was the same mind with the same skills, but differently directed. He thought of it as ‘the higher mind’ and ‘the lower mind’, but they were like two sides of the same thing. The lower mind was directed towards the body, material things and physical satisfaction: food, possessions, sex, psychological craving, etc. It was close to an animal’s mind, but more potent, more intelligent, more powerful. It was that part of the mind one could choose for – the easy part, the lazy part – and most people choose that part. It would lead them to temporary fun and joy, and always subsequent suffering, loss, frustration. It could lead them away from justice and mercy, and even yield to cruelty. The higher mind was the intellect: it could direct itself toward understanding and stay away from desire. It would lead upwards, and though many hardships would have to be faced due to the living energies of old ‘bad’ habits and viewpoints, it could lead to God and paradise-like happiness.

Before this realization of yesterday evening he had seen the mind as something on itself: an instrument to see things clearly as they were. An instrument of logic and analysis and composition. Something he had completely under his control. But now he realized that, though the mind itself was neutral, it was of utmost importance with what one connects it. Mind was intricately interwoven with desire. If the desires were low and material, the mind would become blurred and lose its logic: it would always manage to bend in such a way that it fitted the desire, independent of good or evil. The desire could also be directed towards knowledge. This would only lead to knowledge, nothing else. One could become a ‘walking computer’ with gigabytes of information in one’s head. One could even direct one’s mind to God, or what one thought of God. But then it could never reach beyond the idea or the axiom of what God was. So mind alone, however clear and analytical, would not be able to lead you to God’s mind – it would always be limited by the preconceived idea, even if the idea was pliable and still moving (i.e. not yet crystallized). ‘There must be more than a mind’ in a human being – if we are God, if we want to become one with God, if we want to become a God. If not, even paradise would be an illusion, however intelligent and beautiful it would be.

‘Wouldn’t it be his task to lift thousands of people out of the illusion and suffering of their lower mind?’ thought Mustafa. What was he to do? He realized that his intelligence was of little use for the masses of people if he stayed in the desert. Perhaps he would find God in the desert and become a great mystic or poet. But would that help the unintelligent masses? ‘He should be an educator,’ he thought, ‘and point out to them that there was a higher mind. – But what is an educator if nobody listens?’ Even the relatively high lower mind that was cherished at universities attracted only minorities, perhaps ten or fifteen percent of the population. And among them, how many were there who studied the spiritual sciences, philosophy, religion, ethics?

8. The egoistic and the altruistic mind

One thing everyone can understand though is: it is the difference between egoism and altruism. This defines the lower versus the higher mind much better than desires versus intellect. By this simple distinction, everyone can choose between his or her lower and higher mind at any time: to do things from one’s heart – not by compulsion! – for the interest of others (the Latin word ‘alter’ means ‘other’, from which the word altruism is derived), and to learn to be happy for others (without a trace of envy). Or one can choose the lower mind, which is selfish, directed to one’s own profit, etc. This is the most important choice humans can make – and which each of us will make. Mustafa himself did not yet completely understand the significance of this – but his intuition told him that this was the best way to go.

Should he become a writer, and write about philosophy and ethics? Few would be interested in what he wrote, and even less people would understand him. But an e-book could be read anywhere and everywhere at all times. And it left people freedom to choose, independent of curricula of organized institutions like universities. So what he would write would become available for all serious philosophical enquirers free of cost, whether they had formal education or not. ‘Would it stand out shining above the millions or billions of things written on the internet? And if so, would anyone come across it and recognize its value?’ Anyway, he would see where life would lead him. The time for decisions had not yet come, he felt, but it would come.

‘Why was he so much different from the masses of people, who inherently had the same mind as he had, who had been created by the same, One and Only God?’ This thought created fear in Mustafa’s mind. Never had he thought of others in this way. He had always proudly worked within and on his own mind. ‘Had he done everything wrong? – Had he, by arrogance, missed the real destination of his life?’

Another question came to his mind: ‘WHY was he different, and at the same time not different from the others? Why did free thinking people make such different choices?’ Yesterday evening he had felt all the worldly attractions – he could have succumbed to them. ‘But why not he, while must others would have immediately jumped into that realm of desires and satisfactions and misery? Did it make sense that this delusion existed at all? Even that low world must have been created by God!’

‘Did these people and he himself belong to different races? Physically there was no difference: most people in his country had more or less the same skin color, features and hair styles.’ He came to the conclusion that there might be different phases in evolution – the one stage following the other. That would mean that he too would have been like these masses in the past. And that the masses of the future would be more like him: purely mental, and yearning for the spiritual. That thought gave him hope. ‘Human emotional suffering would not be forever. Even his own intellectualism would not be forever. Intellectualism also contains much suffering: doubt, confrontation with lack of clarity, meeting ones own stupidity and imperfection. Intellectualism could not be the final stage for humanity.’

Within decades all these people, including himself, would die. The stupid would never become wise. And even the wise would never reach God. What was the sense of it all? Was there something after dying: a hell or a paradise – as the Holy Book said? That meant that the stupid would be in hell forever, and that someone like himself would have to abide in intellectualism for ever. Would his paradise be like an eternal desert?’ Suddenly he wondered whether he actually liked that desert. Forever – that would be too long, even for a patient man like Mustafa. Deep within, still subconscious, he had sown the seed for change within himself. But as for now, daily life of the mind in the silence of the desert went on as usual, a mind stretching itself to the limit, taking new viewpoints all the time. Ever seeking satisfaction, but never getting it. True happiness was always ‘beyond’ The horizon never came closer.

9. The fantasizing mind

‘What was real of the creations of the mind?’ He thought about fantasy. A mind can make up unlimited numbers of stories. It could create universes where planets where square and stars had five points. It could even create stories that defy every logic – Like Alice in Wonderland – or a dream. In the Middle Ages people, including the greatest scientists and philosophers and religious leaders in those days were sure that the earth was flat. If someone came with an contradicting interjection, he would be mowed to the ground within minutes by their intelligent arguments. Yet … the earth is not flat, it’s a globe.

During his studies in comparative religion he had read that a 14th century man called Tsong-khapa, who is regarded of the greatest and most enlightened philosopher of Tibetan Buddhist culture and whose philosophical insights about the workings of the mind and transcendental insights inspire the greatest souls of our age all over the world, taught his pupils that the chance of reincarnating in a human body after one had died was not larger than the chance that a turtle in the ocean that would come to the surface to breath air once in a hundred years would stick his neck through a small ring floating haphazardly on the oceans of the world. No doubt the people of that country believed that from hear-say only, because in Tibet people in those days had no idea about oceans. Probably he did teach that to motivate illiterate people to seek enlightenment and lead a good life. But was it true? He must have known it wasn’t, literally.

Then, where to find the border between fantasy and reality? In the twentieth century everyone, including the greatest scientists and the pope and most common people, believed that all phenomena in the vast universe can be explained by matter-only: coarse physical matter which we can perceive and measure. Was that truth? and then what is fantasy? Serious doubt about materialism arose only in the twenty-first century among scientists and the masses – let’s hope the pope will follow, as long as there are popes. After a few more centuries people looking back to our times can hardly imagine how we could ever have thought a thing like that. ‘The mind has no ultimate criteria to recognize truth from fantasy,’ Mustafa concluded – ‘and is therefore useless if it comes to knowing reality.’

So what was he doing !? Sitting there in the hot desert, studying his mind !???

One can not just stop a habit. However, he had reached a point of no return. He realized that, still his mind went on.

10. The probing mind

‘Some things are more true than others,’ …

D a i l y T h e o s o p h y ©

O n l i n e