“Mind precedes its objects. They are mind-governed and mind-made” (Dhammpapada 1).
First there is the mind. It is possible to view “mind” as both the machinery of perception we have been talking about and the consciousness which perceives the perception, the consciousness that is unconditioned and permanent–in other words, the spirit, the eternal Self. “The Self is ear of the ear, mind of the mind, speech of speech. He is also breath of the breath, and eye of the eye” (Kena Upanishad 2).
From this higher aspect of Mind all things proceed–in both the macrocosmic and the microcosmic sense. From the Mind of God all things are projected that are found in the cosmos; and from the mind of the individual are projected all that are distinctive to his life.
We are all co-creators with God, even though we have long ago forgotten that and attribute everything that goes on in our life as acts of God. From this delusion erroneous religion has arisen–religion that thinks it necessary to pray to and propitiate God in order for the “good” to come to us and the “bad” to be eliminated from our life. It is this religion and its false God that Buddha adamantly rejected and from which we must be freed if we are to gain any true understanding of what is really happening to us from life to life.
The need for true religion
On the other hand, we need true religion–the conviction and aspiration for the uniting of the finite consciousness with the Infinite Consciousness in eternal Being. The call of the self to the Self is the essence of true religion, and in that sense those who would turn from death to life must be thoroughly religious. Any god that is separate from us is a false god; the true God is the very Self of our self. Though distinct from us, He is not separate. We are eternally one with Him. But we have to realize that–not just intellectually, but through direct experience. And that experience is only possible in meditation.
Seven Important Lessons
All right: mind precedes its objects, which are themselves governed and made by the mind. This has profound implications.
1. Karma is the creation of the mind–is simply the mind in extension. Karma need not be worked out or fulfilled; the mind need only be changed, or better yet brought into complete abeyance. Then karma is no more and its attendant compulsions–including birth and death–no longer exist.
2. Our entire life experience is but a mirroring of the mind. If something is not already within our mind it cannot be projected outward as a (seemingly) external factor or experience of our life. So our life is our mind in motion. By observing it we can come to know what is in our mind, just as by running a film through a projector we come to know what is in it. If we do not like what is happening in our life, the solution is to alter our mind. People who like to tell of how cruel, selfish, dishonest, and disloyal others habitually are to them are merely telling us how cruel, selfish, dishonest, and disloyal they are–potentially if not actually. Victims are only victimizers in a down cycle. The moment the upswing comes in their life rhythms they will go back to victimizing others.
Action and reaction are purely psychological matters, the film in the projector–the light and sound on the screen being only its projection. Change the film and you change the experience. Since objects come from the mind they can only be compatible with the mind and therefore express and reveal its character.
3. All the factors of life are really only thought, attitude, and outlook in manifestation.
4. Study your life and thereby know your mind.
5. You are always in control, even though that control may be on an unconscious level.
6. Change your mind and you change your life. (Do not forget that mind includes consciousness.)
7. Mary Baker Eddy was right: All is Mind and Mind is All.
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