A Deeper Look Into The Mechanics of the Mind – Part II

By Thomas Herold in Beliefs on June 6th, 2007 / 2 Comments

There is a beautiful incident in the life of one of the wisest kings of India, Raja Dhoj. He was very much interested in wise people. His whole treasury was open only for one purpose – to gather together all the wise people of the country, whatever the cost. His capital was Ujjain, and he had thirty of the country’s most famous people in his court. It was the most precious court in the whole country.

One of the greatest poets of the world, Kalidas, was one of the members of the court of Raja Dhoj. One day a man appeared at the court saying that he spoke thirty languages with the same fluency, the same accuracy and accent as any native person could, and he had come to make a challenge: “Hearing that you have in your court the wisest people of the country, here are one thousand gold pieces. Anybody who can recognize my mother tongue, these one thousand gold pieces are his. And if he cannot recognize it, then he will have to give me one thousand gold pieces.”

There were great scholars there – and everybody knows that whatever you do, you can never speak any language the way you can speak your own mother tongue, because every other language has to be learned by effort. Only the mother tongue is spontaneous – you don’t even learn it, really. It is a result of your whole situation that you simply start speaking it. It has a spontaneity. That’s why even the Germans, who call their country “fatherland” – most countries call their land “the motherland” – but even the Germans don’t call their language the “father tongue.” Every language is called a mother tongue because the child starts learning from the mother. And anyway the father never has the chance to speak in the house! It is always the mother who is speaking; the father is listening.

Many in the court of Raja Dhoj took the challenge. The man spoke in thirty languages – a few pieces in one language, a few pieces in another language – and it was really hard! He was certainly a master artist. He was speaking each language the way only a native can speak his own mother tongue.

All of the thirty great scholars lost the contest. The contest continued for thirty days, and every day one person took the challenge and lost it. They would guess, and the man would say, “No, this is not my mother tongue.”

On the thirty-first day . . . King Dhoj had been continually saying to Kalidas, “Why don’t you take up the challenge? Because a poet knows language in a more delicate way, with all its nuances, more than anybody else.” But Kalidas remained silent. He had been watching for thirty days, trying to determine which language the man spoke with more ease, with more spontaneity, with more joy. But he had not been able to find any difference, the man spoke all the languages in exactly the same way.

On the thirty-first day, Kalidas asked King Dhoj and all the wise people to stand outside in front of the hall. There was a long row of steps, and the man was coming up; as he came up to the last step, Kalidas pushed him down. And as he fell rolling down the steps, anger came up–he shouted.

Kalidas said, “This is your mother tongue!” Because in anger you cannot remember, and the man had not been expecting this tactic to be used in the contest. And that actually was his mother tongue. Deepest in his mind, the recording was of the mother tongue.

One of my professors used to say – he had lived all over the world, teaching in different universities–“Only in two situations in life have I been in difficulty in other countries, and those are when I was fighting or falling in love. In those times, one needs one’s mother tongue. However beautifully you express your love in another language, it is not the same, it seems superficial. And when you are angry and fighting in somebody else’s language, you cannot have that same joy . . .” He said, “Those are two very significant situations – fighting and loving – and mostly they are together with the same person! With a person you are in love, and with that same person you have to fight.”

And he was right to say that everything in a language that you have learned remains superficial–you can neither sing a beautiful song nor can you use the real four-letter words of your own language. In both cases, it remains lukewarm.

The mind certainly is a mechanism for recording experiences from the outside, and reacting and responding accordingly. It is not you. But unfortunately the psychologists think the mind is all, and beyond mind there is nothing. That means you are nothing but a collection of impressions from the outside; you don’t have any soul of your own. Even the very idea of the soul is given by the outside.

This is where the mystics differ. They will agree absolutely with the contemporary scientific research about the mind. But it is not right about the human being’s totality. Beyond the mind, there is an awareness that is not given by the outside, and is not just an idea – and there is no experiment up to now that has found any center in the brain that corresponds to awareness.

The whole work of meditation is to make you aware of all that is mind, and disidentify yourself from it. When the mind is angry, you can realize that it is simply a gramophone record. When the mind is sad, you can simply remember that it is only a gramophone record. A certain situation is pressing the remote control and you feel sad, you feel angry, you feel frustrated, you feel worried, you feel tense – all these things are coming from the outside and the mind is responding to them. But you are the watcher, you are not the actor. It is not your reaction.

Hence the whole art of meditation is to learn awareness, alertness, consciousness. While you are feeling angry, don’t repress it; let it be there. Just become aware. See it as if it is some object outside you. Slowly go on cutting your identifications with the mind. Then you have found your real individuality, your being, your soul.

Finding this awareness is enlightenment – you have become luminous. You are no longer in darkness, and you are no longer just a puppet in the hands of the mind. You are a master, not a servant. Now the mind cannot react automatically, autonomously, the way it used to do before. It needs your permission. If somebody insults you and you don’t want to be angry, then you don’t become angry.

Gautam Buddha used to say to his disciples, “To be angry is so stupid that it is inconceivable that intelligent human beings go on doing it. Somebody else is doing something and you are getting angry? He may be doing something wrong, he may be saying something wrong, he may be making some effort to humiliate you, to insult you – but that is his freedom. If you react, you are a slave. If you say to the person, ‘It is your joy to insult me, it is my joy not to be angry,’ you are behaving like a master.”

Unless this master becomes crystal clear in you, crystallized, you don’t have any soul. You are just a phonograph record, and as you grow older your recording goes on expanding. You become more knowledgeable, and people think you are becoming wiser – you are simply becoming a donkey loaded with books.

Wisdom consists only of one thing – not of knowing many things but of knowing only one thing, and that is your awareness and its separation from the mind.

Just try watching in small things, and you will be surprised. People go on doing the same things every day. They go on deciding to do something, and they go on repenting because they have not done it; it becomes a routine.

Excerpted from Emotional Wellness by Osho Copyright © 2007 by Osho. Excerpted by permission of Harmony, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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2 Responses to “A Deeper Look Into The Mechanics of the Mind – Part II”

  1. Smitty Says:

    I appreciated this article. As usual, the lessons here are relevant.

    I have been reacting to fears of past ‘failures’ in previous relationships, and came extrememly close to running the other way instead of going forth with my marriage tomorrow.

    At some point yesterday, after being filled with anxiety and tears, I ame to realize I was reacting to memories and playing a record, if you will, of something that is no longer pertinent to my life now.

    Thi article reminded me of that realization and I’d like to thank Osho and Dream Manifesto for the reminder.

  2. Koco Says:

    I appreciated this article. I’m just beginning to understand the ideas being set forth, here, but I find them fascinating, and I believe they are true. Finding spiritual truth has been my quest for a good portion of my life, and I’ve looked down many a path seeking it.
    For myself, one thing that I am absolutely certain of, is that gratitude is a very powerful tool in my walk. Life just goes smoother when one is in a continual state of gratitude. I sing praise to God in song and in my heart, especially when things threaten to go badly.
    I like the answer Bautam Buddha has for those who would insult him (in the article) ‘It is your joy to insult me, it is my joy not to be angry.’ He must be in a continual state of joy and gratitude to find such a peaceful response to one who would attempt to enslave him with hurtful words! Very profound!

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