The mind is centered in the past.

He explained he was a 44 year old CEO of a large corporation with much responsibility. His energy was one of agitation caused through stress and impatience. He talked quickly and his mind was running at the speed of light with myriad thoughts cascading his consciousness. He thanked me for agreeing to see him and then immediately told me that it was a nearly an hours drive through the city traffic to visit me here in the countryside. Two hours driving (with the return journey) plus an hour with me equaled a total of three hours, which apparently was for him, quite a sacrifice. Indeed I was honored! I asked him to sit quietly for a few minutes.

R.H. I am losing my wife!

C.G. Is she ill?

R.H. No she is in perfect health - no... She wants to leave me.

C.G. Why did you ask to see me? I am not a marriage counselor. Surely you can only lose possessions can you not? I'm afraid physical relationships too are impermanent. You can in reality only "possess" the unchangeable.

R.H. Since our two girls left home, Carol's changed - she's fallen into the new age movement. Gone completely bananas. The house is filled with crystals, oil burners, angel statues, new age movement C.D.s. - pictures of these weird gurus - She's now into meditation sessions, goes to yoga practice - and I've coped with all that - but now she's talking about leaving and setting up her own home "to find her own energy". Charles I'm desperate. I have many employees under me at work - the stress of all this will effect the company as well as my health.

C.G. Please I have compassion - I know what you will be going through more than you realize, however what do you want of me?

R.H. I read your book on wealth creation and was most impressed, as were my colleagues, but it was the higher levels that nabbed me and haunted me the most. You seem to cunningly play with our egos and slowly shatter them.

C.G. Mmmm - the fruit will fall when it is ripe. It is not I but your inner teacher - the sad-guru that is prodding you to wakefulness.

R.H. Perhaps that may be true, but I thought if I could understand where my wife is coming from - I could join her at least in understanding - and perhaps save the marriage.

C.G. You fear change when change is inevitable. Fear is always of the "unknown". The mind, which is centered in the past, is grasping to hold on.

R.H. I want my mind to understand so I can cope with this turmoil.

C.G. It appears that that statement is it in a nutshell "I want my mind to understand so I can cope with this turmoil". Am I correct? Do you wish to inquire into this at a deep level?

R.H. Yes absolutely. If I can understand - I can conquer the problem.

C.G. Mmmm indeed. Let's see. The "I" this "ego I" that "wants" - does it exist in itself or is it a product or creation of the mind?

R.H. I am centered in the head - I can't help it. I cannot distinguish between these two "I's" you speak of. You see, to me, I am my mind - my brain.

C.G. Surely you know that that cannot be true. You can lose your mind but still exist. You can stop your mind by controlling the thoughts and still exist - so surely sir, you cannot just be your mind. Rather than fear change, one can see these events as mere passing clouds. Some clouds that pass over are lighter and the sun shines through - others are dark and heavy and look bleak but they are all just passing clouds. You the observer on a hillside can merely observe them come and go and stay completely detached. This is all beyond the mind but the real you still exists.

R.H. Ok I take your point and I'll work on that. Deep down I suppose I do realize there is a difference. I get the feeling that if I let go and surrender - my whole life will collapse and have no meaning - it's so damn scary.

C.G. You are but a fish in a fish tank and someone comes along and offers to take you to the ocean. Your fish tank is self-created but safe as long as you don't allow your-self to yearn for the ocean and freedom. Can I say that freedom - freedom from the known - freedom from the unknown - freedom from fear of this unknown - can be exciting as well as scary? Ultimately change is always for your higher good.

R.H. As you spoke just then I had a breakthrough - my wife is seeking this real "I" you speak of - hence her strange behavior.

C.G. Possibly and if you love her you will celebrate the fact not fear it. However shall we move on?

R.H. Please - I am beginning to "get into this!"

C.G. "I want my mind to understand" After the word "I" you mentioned "want". Want is desire and desire can only spring from the mind or the false "I". The real "I" does not "desire" but remains a detached observer to the drama. The real "I" is unchangeable and permanent beyond time and space. Desires on the other hand, come and go like the passing clouds we spoke of. Desires are the mind hopelessly trying to fulfill itself - like a snake swallowing its own tail.

Liken your true self as a huge and brilliant diamond. Each thought and desire that the ego mind produces deposits a memory spot of dust upon the surface of this diamond. The problem is that the accumulated effect of this memory dust is that it eventually completely hides the luster and brilliance of the diamond. The mind then, rather than being a useful servant to the true self becomes the false dictator or master.

R.H. How do I reverse this process? You seem to be centered and I on the periphery - how do you do it?

C.G. It is not a question of "doing" - it's rather "non-doing". Once you observe that the mind is the roadblock nothing needs to be done. You must understand the nature of thoughts. Thoughts and memory (the ego mind) are always of the past - you cannot think in the now.

R.H. But as you speak I am thinking "now!"

C.G. No there exists a gap - a space - between the real and the unreal. Imagine you are sitting in a beautiful forest setting. The birds are chirping, the gentle stream meanders over the rocks and through the rushes. The trees dance poetically in the breeze and everything is perfect. You are relaxing there on a rock merely observing. Taking in the beauty. You are one with nature in the "real" sense. Then the mind begins to take over and dominate. "Ah this is beautiful" you say to yourself. "So peaceful". Then the thoughts begin to cascade and once again take control.

So first in this process is pure observation - meditation - if you like. Then the mind - a separate process altogether - draws on past memory and conditioning and makes a comparison and judgment - "this is beautiful" - "this is peaceful". By the time the mind connects with the observation, a gap has occurred. It is not instantaneous even though it seems so. Of course these thoughts are no longer the real as they are centered in the past and the past is dead. The magic of the moment is no longer. This gap may be a spilt second or decades but the gap exists.

R.H. I think I follow. Can we ever think without comparing or judging?

C.G. Excluding intuitive thoughts which is another subject, all thoughts are judgments and comparisons by their very nature. You cannot think "the new". When the mind attempts to comprehend the new it draws on past conditioning and deciphers the new through the old.

You mentioned that your wife "has gone completely bananas"! Isn't that comparing and judging her against the wife your mind told you that "you had" in the past. Another may observe your wife and may judge her as a spiritual person on a spiritual search. Can either you or this other person see her as she really is?

R.H. No in that sense I guess not ..... It all seems so complicated.

C.G Or perfectly simple - if you leave the mind out of the equation.

So where are we. "I want my mind to understand" We are up to "my mind". Who is the "my" that is claiming it possesses a mind. The mind of course. So "my mind" is the mind saying it has a mind. Are you beginning to see the folly? The mind is saying that it desires (mind) that the mind should understand. By "understand" it really means it, (the mind) wants to remain in control, does it not?

The problem is that change is inevitable - the mind, which is merely an accumulation of past memories and dead thoughts, cannot possibly remain in control. Hence the conflict. Your real or higher self knows that you should surrender to the real and the mind is urging you to remain in control. This inner conflict will create your nervous breakdown not your wife's newfound spiritual quest.

R.H. So you are saying that the problem is within me and not my wife.

C.G. I prefer to say that the answer is within you, as all answers are. To shower blame on your wife and set yourself up a the perfect victim role is certainly not the answer. Carol may, until recently, been living her life for, and through, her children and her husband out of a sense of duty. Now your daughters have left home she may be desperately trying to find herself. Perhaps you may consider that to say she has "gone completely bananas" may be a trifle unjust to her and to yourself.

I noticed tears in my guest's eyes and thought it might be a good time to exit to make a pot of green tea and leave him in solitude. I chose not to bring up the subjects of possessiveness, control and jealousy directly - and hoped that he would work through these mind insecurities as he discovers his real self. To live separately for a while is not such a tragedy and can indeed be beneficial, but oh.. to think of the woman you love possibly sharing her bed with others while she is trying to find herself needs true detachment.

R.H. May I take the cassette recording with me so I can re-play on the journey home.

C.G. Of course - that is why it is recorded.

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