I finally got a good name for this blog — Unmind, and a good domain name to go along with it, unmind.net. In the About page I talk about the history of this blog and its name briefly.
I can think of a few good interpretations for unmind such as unconventional, critical and outside of the box thinking. Or it can be being irrational, illogical and dealing with matters of the heart. But there is another that I want to explore here.
Eckhart Tolle in his famous book “The Power of Now — A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment” talks about mind and thinking as the biggest obstacle to consciousness and enlightenment, the voice, the tormentor, “the worst enemy that continuously attacks and punishes [us] and drains us of vital energy.” The false and unconscious identification with mind gives rise to the “phantom self”, “the ego”.
He adds, “all the things that truly matter — beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace, — arise from beyond the mind”. “Love, joy, and peace”, which are “deep states of Being”, cannot flourish until you have freed yourself from the mind dominance.”
So we are not the same as and one with our minds. And further, to awaken and be enlightened — to experience love, joy and peace — according to Tolle, we must dis-identify and free ourselves from the mind.
The great Indian mystic and spiritual teacher Osho in his book “Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously” contrasts mind to heart and writes:
“What is your mind? It is all that you have known. It is the past, the dead, that which has gone. Mind is nothing but the accumulated past, the memory. Heart is the future; heart is always the hope.”
Another contemporary spiritual teacher who is local to the San Francisco Bay Area, Adyashanti, says: “… we are in a physical prison created by our minds. Until we begin to realize how confined we are, we will not be able to find our way out.”
The visionary Indian philosopher and author, Jiddu Krishnamurti, in his book “The First and Last Freedom”, gets into less romanticized and more rational explanation of mind. He talks about the problem of duality of ‘me’ and the thinker. He says “Love is not possible so long as there is the thinker, the centre of the ‘me'”. He believes that creative release comes when the thinker is the thought. He writes:
“It is only when the mind is empty that there is a possibility of creation; but I do not mean this superficial emptiness which most of us have…I am not talking of that emptiness which is thoughtlessness. On the contrary, I am talking of the emptiness which comes through extraordinary thoughtfulness, when the mind sees its own power of creating illusion and goes beyond.”
Note that this is beyond just personal gratification and bliss. Krishnamurti ultimately is talking about positive social change, which requires radical changes in our societies and of course changes within. There is much more to be said about this that is beyond what I intended for this piece.
I don’t claim to be enlightened, but I know that the enlightened few such as Tolle, Osho, Adyashanti and Krishnamurti, are onto something. Unmind for me eludes to what they are talking about. Unmind then is the act of freeing oneself from the mind. May we all be able to unmind and experience true and authentic love, joy and inner peace — enlightened or not. And may that bring about a better humanity for us all.