The droning mind that never stops its constant noise is both the effect and the cause of much unhappiness. Our efforts to stop the droning thoughts then produce yet another layer of suffering. The habits, inhibitions, obsessions, and addictions that plague us are not really out of control. It is our minds that are out of control. Our minds are driving us mad.
They say that a mad person is out of her mind. But really the psychotic is someone who cannot get out of his mind, and whose mind morphs into ever more weird and paranoid thoughts, images, feeling states, hallucinations, voices, all hopelessly out of control.
Yogis know all this, and focus on gaining control over the mind, stopping once and for all the drone warfare of the ego. In fact, yogis define God as the state of mind in which all thoughts have stopped, and only pure awareness remains. It is that simple. A mind that is free of the droning chatter of constant stupid self-defeating thoughts is bliss.
But how can we accomplish this shift of mental functioning? How can we learn to control, master, and transcend the mind? Some yogis prefer breathing techniques, others focus on a routine of physical exercises. Still others use mantras, devotional singing, ritual and prayer. But all these methods lead only to temporary cessation of thinking. The mind returns, usually with a vengeance.
How to silence the mind permanently and completely? This is the rare attainment that is called in various traditions such names as Liberation, salvation, redemption, Buddha-consciousness, Christ-mind, Atman, the state of grace, God-consciousness, or divine presence. The great sages of India, like Ramana Maharshi and Ananda Mayi Ma, who are admired for their serenity, their wisdom, their illumination, their spiritual power, and their goodness, are those who were able to live entirely in inner silence.
It comes down to this. Nothing need be done, but only that the ego mind be renounced. Is it a choice? Do we have the power to be silent? Or must the shift be gained through struggle and long practice? Is it an accident, a matter of karma, or God’s gift? How can we bring this about?
It turns out to be very easy to accomplish, given one condition: that we want it wholeheartedly, above all else, with no other priorities in front of it. Love is the power that liberates. The open surrender of the ego mind to the Supreme Love that is the Absolute Self is immediate illumination and realization. Nothing more is required. Once the surrender is complete, without residue of resistance or a last-stand egoic effort of appropriation of the divine energies for its own aggrandizement, liberation is achieved.
The ego is only a state of divorce of consciousness from its Source. There must be a reunion, a second wedding. The word religion means a new marriage. Yoga also means union. So let consciousness at least get engaged with Being. Let the next dance of Shiva and Shakti begin.
From the perspective of non-duality, it can be said that liberation is always already present, and therefore that there is no true liberation, nor union, because there was never any one real who was not liberated to begin with. But from the phenomenal plane of separation and suffering, of egos at war, ruled by the passion for ignorance, denial, and sin, the attainment of liberation seems real indeed, and a priceless refuge from the inferno of inferiority feelings eating away at every ego.
Once lack is revealed as Emptiness, as the clear unreality of the ego, its pathologies and its world, and once Emptiness of ego is recognized as the Fullness of God, the joy of the cosmic joke unfolds as the bliss of the Absolute. Once consciousness consummates its union with the Source, the Wholeness of the All returns to Being.
May you join in the joy of this supreme sacred wedding we call the world.