December 5, 2017

The Illusion of Control

The mind has the illusion that it can control the things. One day, Ramana Maharshi made an observation to Annamalai Swami. He said, "People come here, make their salutation and stay here for a while. However, during the time they spent here, they act as if they were in a kingdom, in which they feel themselves like kings. They forget why they are here and want to act as if they were real kings, as if everything here existed to serve them. They want to be the boss here, and then they say, “Let's do it like this... Let's solve this, do that”. Then, they look at me and say, “Well, the Master could do this or that, could go throughout the world carrying his message.” People forget why they are here; they want to reform the Ashram and want me to change!"

Something interesting for you to observe is the illusory need for the mind to make things happen the way it wants to happen. You carry this illusion in your mind, but you must observe it. For you, happiness will come when things will happen as you expect them to happen. Whether it is inside or outside, you will always wish something from life.

What do the Sages know that is so simple? It is that life moves the way it is. Life sometimes will offer you suffering, which, in fact, is only its movement. Life does not care about you! You are not important to it! It happens as it should happen, but you interpret it as suffering. Sometimes you notice that life offers you suffering, but that is your false interpretation of what happens. In other moments, it offers you satisfaction, pleasure and fulfillment, which are also a false interpretation of what happens - it is a particular, a personal way of seeing what happens.

As long as you are expecting something from life, you will never be happy, you will never know Happiness, because the concept of happiness you have is related to satisfaction and pleasure that are accomplished and achieved in what happens, in what is presented. However, it is not always like this, because life does not live up to your expectations every time. Most of the time (not to say always), just because you do not exist, although you feel so important in this belief, life will surprise you negatively.

However someone may say that the Universe is conspiring to you - which sounds very beautiful and romantic - this is just a fiction; it is one of those phrases that the imagination has created and, behind it, you hide yourself, listening to talks about positivism, acquiring this thing so infantile that are the teachings about self-help.

It is proper to the mind, in its ingenuity, seeking to be taught, and it seeks it in the teachings of how to help itself to be succeed, to achieve some goal, to feel good about itself, and then it cannot ever call it happiness.

You never have one side of the coin without the other one. The nature of the mind is dual – there will never be good without bad, right without wrong, happiness without unhappiness, pleasure without pain. So, you cannot expect anything from the external world or you can expect anything, but not a positive and definitive thing, such as permanent happiness, permanent success... The success of today is the failure of tomorrow; the pleasure of today is the pain of tomorrow; the happiness of today is the misery of tomorrow.

Real Happiness does not come from life, it is not a thing coming to you. Real Happiness is an overflowing of your Being! It is not a thing that comes to you, it is something that just comes out; it is not a thing that comes to you, it is something that goes from here to there [inwardly to outwardly]... It does not come from there to here [outwardly to inwardly]. The mind wants to do the right thing, but it wants “its” right thing, which is not so right, because it is tremendously mistaken since its root. If the misconception is in the root, in the trunk, in the stem, in the branches, in the leaves, then you will find the same mistake in the fruits. The fruit of the mistake is the own mistake, of the confusion, the own illusion.

Everything you have received from the culture has coming from the mind. Culture is the mind and is inside that duality, inside this dual experience. This dual experience of the mind is truth and falsehood, pleasure and pain, right and wrong, good and bad... What it is born from the mind is part of itself. There is no Wisdom in the mind - there is much knowledge, but not Wisdom. Knowledge and Wisdom are different things: knowledge is cultural, Wisdom is existential. You have to go beyond the mind! Knowledge is dual and Wisdom is non-dual, because in it there are no opposites. In the knowledge, in the culture, in the mind, you always find the opposites and their contradictions.

My recommendation to you is: go beyond culture, knowledge and what you call "life", which has “deals” to offer you. Thus, Happiness is possible, because Happiness is not cultural and cannot be born; it is neither a fruit of knowledge nor can rest in it. It is something beyond the known; it is not part of the mind... It is beyond the mind and, therefore, it is beyond these opposites, the duality. So, it does not come from the outside; It comes from within.

When I say "within", I speak about the Nature of Being, the Nature of the Ultimate Reality, the Absolute Reality, that which is indefinable, indescribable, nameless.

Therefore, Meditation is beyond the mind, which is beyond the opposites. Meditation is the access to this interiority and is beyond this so-called "life" that makes offers to you. Perhaps, it might be the very own Life that is beyond opposites, but not what you call "life", because you call "life" what happens outside. What happens outside only happens, without the concern of "someone" interpreting it. Thus, we are facing Real Life and, in this sense, it is Happiness. However, if what we see as life is what happens, because we have expectations about it, then we are already in a false interpretation of what life is, of how it happens, of how it is.

The Non-dual Wisdom, beyond the mind, beyond the opposites, which is Meditation, is Happiness. It is not circumstantial, apparent, does not depend on what happens or what seems to happen externally. It means that you do not look for anything, do not expect anything from anything, from anyone, anything. You remain with what it is, without judgment, without comparison, without rejection and without acceptance.

So, you are beyond the mind, and that is to be beyond that "life" the mind knows. Bring Meditation to this "life" you know (which is the life the mind knows), and then it dissolves, disappears, and Happiness becomes present. It will not come; it will sprout... It will come from within the very own Real Life.

* Transcribed from a speech in a face-to-face meeting on July 2017
in the city of João Pessoa, Brazil. Access our agenda and schedule to be with us:

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