Symptoms of an Abnormally Normal Mind
Normally, the mind is like a monkey jumping from the branch of a mango tree to a guava tree and then to an apple tree. Well, such an orchard does exist in the minds of all of us. There are thoughts related, thoughts unrelated; thoughts coherent, thoughts incoherent; thoughts necessary, thoughts unnecessary. Strange are the purposeful and futile wanderings of the mind; strange are the reasons it coins to convert futile into purposeful. It is difficult to agree with a philosopher who says that human beings do not utilize even 20% of their mind; I think that the figure should be 5%!
Voluntary and Involuntary Thoughts
There are thoughts that you desire to have in the present moment; or the thoughts that have an immediate coherent relevance with the current thinking process. These thoughts will be called voluntary thoughts. And, there are thoughts that have either an incoherent or no relationship with your current voluntary thoughts. They will be called involuntary thoughts. They are either about past or future.
You are listening to your favorite piece of music and suddenly you hear your neighbor’s dog barking. This prompts a series of thoughts related to barking of the dog, your relations with your neighbor, your past duels and so on. You are now involuntarily lost in your neighbor and his dog instead of voluntarily listening to the music. Your mind may invent one-hundred-and-one reasons to support your loitering, but the fact is that you are tied tightly by the chains of your past or future. Wherever there are the chains of the past, chains of the future shackle you as well, and vice versa.
The mind habitually tries to flee from living in the moment. Due to the momentum of the past, it starts worrying about the future or brooding about the past and does everything to bring you out of the present.
Normally, thoughts make the thinker unaware of their presence. When thoughts are present, the awareness of their presence gets lost; when the awareness is awakened, the thoughts fade away in it. Many times, loss of awareness is so complete that there occurs the loss of memory and the inability to get back the awareness. Even while trying to remember the past thoughts, we are unaware that this process is being carried out.
Normally, the first extraneous thought, which gives rise to a chain of incoherent and coherent thoughts, arises due to an inherent sense of incompleteness, insecurity and restlessness. Lacking something, or rightly put, feeling of lacking something, gives rise to grasping and rejection, liking and disliking, desire and aversion, happiness and misery, ups and downs and all such dualities. It is not the objects, but an inherent hollow in the mind requiring objects to fill it up, that causes all the dual, irrational feelings. This innate hollow hides behind almost all the first thoughts.
Normally, one’s hold over of the dualities mentioned above is too strong to be softened by any reasoning—especially in the long run. The mind has a strange nature of forgetting anything that rationally tries to fill up its vacuum. It does not want to give up the insecure and incomplete inner environment it creates for itself for some queer and bizarre reasons; sometimes for no reasons at all!
Normally, mind suffers from the bouts of ups and downs in rationality and emotions. Not only during a short span of time, say a day, but also over a longer duration, the mind suffers from fatigue, inertia, depression, and boredom, followed by their opposite positive qualities.
Normally, mind does not understand the fact that it dwells always in thoughts of the objects and not in the objects themselves. It has a strange whim that it thinks it dwells in the objects and not in the thoughts of the objects. It is the innate vacuum that is the actual culprit. The feeling of insecurity and incompleteness is so acute that it shrouds the clarity completely.
Normally, the other thoughts are about the past or the future, having no immediate reason to be there in the mind. Even the immediate perceptions tie themselves around the chains of past and future.
In all these seven points about the nature of mind mentioned above, the most important single word used is ‘normally’. The normally abnormal and abnormally normal qualities of the mind are not to be taken as our fixed assets (or liabilities) that we have to somehow tolerate within ourselves because we have no other choice. If we were forever stuck with these ‘normalities’, there would be no such thing as meditation, or mind elevation. The normal has to be made abnormal and abnormal normal. All the negative traits can be discarded and all the positive habits can be gained. The only prerequisite is the sincerity and unrelenting diligence to achieve a transformation of the mind. By steady practice, it is possible to achieve a state of mind when you are completely mindful of all thoughts and all actions being carried out.