It is a pleasure to be here to share with you all some wonderful insights this week; I hope you all are faring well.
This week our topic focuses on something very common to all of us as human beings and living entities. As human beings and living entities we all have our five senses which comprise of the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and the skin. These senses are generally denoted by the sense of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. On their own they seem pretty helpful to our very existence here on earth and without them one would say navigating around our environment and our daily activities will be very difficult. The eyes help us to acquire information about our environment by creating images which the brain can decode and use to enhance our decision making, the ears help us gather sounds which are a very integral part of our existences, with our nose we pick up scents which we either appreciate or disregard based on their pleasant or pungent natures, and with the skin we feel sensations which are varied and range from heat or cold to many others.
Generally as mentioned earlier the senses on their own seem like the very base of our existence as we are so tied to them that if one sense stops working for a moment we are in so much discomfort. What we fail to acknowledge is the strength of these senses over us when we let them function at their own will without guidance. One may wonder how we can actually guide the senses when it seems like they are actually guiding us from a lot of dangers in the environment. On the physical level this is actually true but on a deeper level this is not usually the case. The senses do not however act on their own as they have a very strong connection with the mind. The mind can be described here as a pool for all the information the senses acquire and once these information’s are stored in the pool the mind begins to agitate the body to act on these information’s. One way to elucidate this is to take a little analogy of the how the eyes function in a way that might be very helpful; especially on our spiritual quest. The eyes see a very beautiful lady or a handsome man and it captures that image and sends it to the mind, the mind saves this image and begins to deliberate different ways in which this image could be used to satisfy the body. The more the mind dwells on this image the more the eyes want to see more of it and the more the body desires the numerous pleasures dictated by the mind.
So in all it is a step by step process, the mind cannot possibly deliberate on an object it hasn’t received information about from one of the senses. Thus the mind deliberates on what it is fed. Without any checks and balance the mind runs free and wild. It can be very turbulent and controlling it is said to be more difficult than controlling the wind. It is always on the move, always feeding us with something to do, deliberate or imagine due to constant influx of information gotten from the senses. When we find ourselves in such a situation where the senses and the mind are having a field day, the body tends to just follow whatever they dictate. The eyes see something, feeds it to the mind, the mind deliberates and tells the body to act and the body acts. The body however is free to act but not free from the results of its actions. The more the body acts on the dictates of the mind, the weaker it becomes and the more powerful the mind gets. The more powerful the mind gets the more difficult it is to tame it and the more difficult it is to tame the mind the more the body gets entangled in activities it engages in. This entanglement stems from the fact that the body is prone to engage in activities that are forbidden and thus it gets entangled in such activities.
This is where the Intelligence comes in. The intelligence helps to keep the mind on the right track by giving it the right and proper direction to follow irrespective of the urges of the senses to run after the sense objects. This intelligence is cultivated by acquiring higher knowledge with which the mind can be tamed and controlled. This higher knowledge by which we can actually tame the mind is gotten by constant practice of activities that are favorable to the disengagement of the mind from the senses and by detachment from these activities which are instigated by the senses. The intelligence is like the rider on a mad Elephant that keeps the elephant in check with his stick. The intelligence provides the mind with the right direction to follow by making it aware of the consequences of its actions. When the intelligence is lost, the mind is also lost and the senses take over the control of our bodies. Should this happen, we then become nothing but bodies who are totally directed by the dictates of the senses with no discrimination or purpose. As harsh as this may sound, many people function on this level of consciousness, where they act, feel and will on the prompt of the senses.
To also aid the intelligence in its efforts to subdue the mind we should note that merely acquiring knowledge without actually putting it to practice isn’t powerful enough to tame the mind. The practice of detachment from the activities of the senses and from their objects is very vital in establishing a sane environment for the mind. If the senses are constantly being bombarded with information’s from the objects then it is difficult to restrain the mind, especially at the neophyte stage. With time as the spiritual practitioner becomes more efficient in his attempt to tame the mind, he becomes less distracted by the impulse of the mind even in the midst of a lot of objects of the senses.
As a rule of caution, whether advanced or not whoever is on the path of spiritual quest should endeavor to limit his/her interactions with the sense objects as even at the most elevated stage in one’s spiritual quest there can always be backslides, or the risk of gliding down one’s path. Thus the intelligence has to be constantly utilized in checking the activities of the mind, by bringing it back when it wanders, by cautioning it when it brings up suggestions which are not healthy, and by feeding it with the right knowledge required to help it maintain equipoise.
I hope this dissertation has been insightful to all of you and I hope to bring you more interesting topics next week. Do have a blissful week ahead.