“To expound and propagate concepts is simple. To drop all concepts is difficult and rare.” – Nisargadatta Maharaj
Some of the ‘smartest’ people I know, the ones with all the acronyms and letters after their names and the framed, institutional placards on their walls, are the souls who suffer the most.
Suffering does that. The mind, which is the seat of that suffering, continually constructs new plans, programs, mantras, and life goals to dig its way out.
The litmus test for exposing such minds is relatively simple: Ask them to challenge those concepts and watch as they mentally check out, their eyes drifting off into space; or they practically jiggle themselves right out of their seat, so great is their agitation; or they become quite belligerent in the defense of their positions (that was my personal favorite). To the suffering mind it is imperative that the mental scripts be left in place – the sufferer clings to them like a life line in a stormy sea.
As a child I was considered too smart for my own good. The thinker, the seeker, the one forever in search of something I could never quite find. Those closest to me might still describe me that way and to some extent I would agree. But one thing is quite clear: My brain is never going to find peace.
As Nouk Sanchez notes in Take Me to Truth, if we look at what we really want – happiness – we discover that the sources to that supposed happiness are also the sources to our unhappiness. If money makes us happy, soon enough we will need more of it or we will moan and wail if we lose it. (Curious, isn’t it, that we pity the heroin addict for behaving the same way?)
Perhaps it is love that we seek, only to discover the honeymoon inevitably comes to an end and we still need to find a way to get along with this person we ‘love.’ Or it’s sex or fame or…. It’s never enough or we lose it or we never attain it in the first place (enlightenment, anyone?).
So to all you smart sufferers out there, give it up, your brain is never going to find you happiness. Come to think of it, that goes for the stupid ones too.
As Nisargadatta told anyone who would listen, the state of awakening is “the place where the intellect gets annihilated.”
How then, to find happiness, that ineffable state of bliss that supposedly is our true nature? Give up the self, the mind, the concepts.
How does your mind like that?