Thought going where it doesn’t belong… Thinking about things that thinking was not made for… I think Krishnamurti first made me aware of the fact that thinking is a tool that has its place but in the course of human development thought became perverted. Who was it that said “language is a virus from outer space”? I don’t agree, and it was probably said to make a point, which is that we have lost our sense of the true value of thoughts/language.
This amazing skill is, for the most part, allowed to run on auto-pilot unconsciously. Sometimes I see thoughts arising in myself and others and I have the impression of swamp gas bubbles surfacing out of the depths, bursting at the surface and releasing their stench.
Sages have said that silence is the perennial language which is interrupted by words. I wouldn’t stop speaking/thinking yet, but I get what they are pointing at. Words/thoughts that are sourced from that Silence or the Tao are an expression of the essence of life and otherwise are not more than swamp gas bubbles bursting in our faces.
Zen points me to the spontaneity of human expression when one’s mind is not doing a double-take on what is happening. Then there is natural purity of expression, just as it is. The mind does reflect happenings around me and then it moves with those happenings. When human fears enter the equation we want to look at what is being reflected and acted upon – so there is reflection on the reflection, and this ties things up in to a knot.
Life rolls out smoothly and even when turbulent it keeps on rolling out. Then the mind wants to stop the rolling out dynamic of the universe and double-back on itself: life as mind doubling back on life that was a moment ago. But what it then sees is only the shell, the ash of the movement that happened a moment ago. In the bargain this movement twists the whole strip of life that was rolling out so smoothly and tries to get it to stay put so it can look at it and be sure all is ok so that the mind can approve of how things are going.
No wonder that self-confidence is lost in the process. Looking at my nose in the mirror and trying to imagine if that girl will like how it looks has to make me insecure. After all, human bodies are pretty unusual, don’t you agree?