Opening a line of dialogue with one’s own mind was a common method of the ancient sages to detach even from one’s mind.
(a) Ponder, and mark the 2 or 3 most interesting teachings below.
(b) Mark the 2 or 3 basic changes in mind you need to effect now.
(c) Talk to yourself about all this. Start your inner conversation with
the phrase, “Oh mind, …” Practice this method and discover its
effectiveness as a way to transcend mind. Use it regularly.
“Now consider two important qualities, intellect and firmness of mind, from the perspective of the three guna forces of nature…
___ 1) Intellect, in this sense, refers to the higher mind (buddhi), which is beyond the worldly ‘intellect,’ closer to Atma, the True Self Within.
___ 2) The sattvic buddhi (the sacred higher mind) discriminates between Truth and non-Truth, Real and not Real, fear and fearlessness, action and inaction.
___ 3) It knows what helps or hinders spiritual growth and understands what frees the soul or imprisons it. This sattvic intellect leads one Godward.
___ 4) The rajasic buddhi also discriminates, but wrongly. This action-dominated intellect has a distorted understanding of right and wrong acts, and rationalizes that the ends justify the means no matter how selfish or hurtful.
___ 5) The (rajasic) intellect is capable of converting truth into falsehood and falsehood into truth. Greed, passion, and anger, cloud its vision. It stays mired in worldly life instead of guiding you upward.
___ 6) Finally, the tamasic intellect is wrapped in ignorance and enveloped in darkness. It simply cannot discriminate at all. Goodness appears bad to it, while evil seems good.
___ 7) The tamas-dominated intellect understands life in a perverted way and drag you downward.
___8) Firmness of mind (called dhrthi) refers to steadfast determination and courage on the spiritual path
___9) Sattvic dhrti (holy firmness of mind) is an absolutely unwavering devotion to the Divine, a deep resolve to move toward, and merge in God.
___10) This mind-firmness cultivates a strong sense of holy purpose through inner discipline and meditation. It turns life energy (prana), and all functions of mind (feelings, thoughts, and senses) Godward—and then firmly fastens them.
___11) Like the compass needle that points north regardless of the direction of travel, the focus of sattvic firmness never veers from the goal of merging in God.
___12) Rajasic firmness of mind, however, although it is similarly resolute, holds fast to desires for pomp, power, property, and prestige. If turned Godward, this firmness could lift you toward the Supreme, but as it is directed toward mere worldly enjoyment, it condemns you to repeated lifetimes of turmoil and pain.
___13) Finally, Tamasic dhrti is ‘firmness’ born of ignorance and lack of purpose. The result is a deadening inertia. In the absence of discrimination or understanding, the only resolve in tamas is to eat, drink, and sleep away one’s time.
___14) The tamasic person ignores the rest of life as if it were
a dream. – Krishna
Copyright 2006 Jack Hawley, All Rights Reserved (Enhanced Web Version 2017)