Everything in nature has unique forms of expression, whether animate or inanimate. Water, for example, may be experienced as a lake, an ocean, a river, or a waterfall, all of which are different manifestations of the same basic molecular structure. Whether there is an observer or not, nature never ceases to be expressive. Even atoms, with their orbital structure of electrons revolving around a nucleus, are beautiful expressions of energy. From the exhibition of the raw power of volcanoes spewing molten rock to a tender flower petal, everything in nature is a display of a coagulum of atoms of varying complexity. Just as atoms are the building blocks of matter, thoughts function as building blocks of the mind and our personality. Our mode of expression is dictated by our thought patterns and how we interact with them. From a physical and physiological aspect, all human beings are similar. However, each individual is unique and this originality starts with how we express our thoughts in words and actions.
We may not be privy to knowledge about where thoughts come from and where they disappear to, but we have a seat on the table when it comes to contributing to its contents as they pass through our conscious mind. We primarily drive content creation within each thought. What we identify with as our likes and dislikes are reflected back to us in our thoughts. Like a painter who has forgotten that it was his hands that created a painting, and may pass a judgment of jealous dislike at that painting, we judge our thoughts as if we did not have a hand in the makings of its contents. By watching the door through which a portion of our awareness enters and exits from any given thought or a train of thoughts we learn a lot about the workings of the mind. The fraction of our total awareness that is associated with any thought may be used as a trojan horse to get into and be a ringside witness to how thoughts operate and how we are so easily ensnared by them. Just like the orderly functioning of the human body depends on the microscopic structure of each cell, the mind as a whole is linked to how each thought functions. Freedom in the true sense is living and enjoying life while seceding from the organized structure that is blueprinted in the mind.
As far as we can tell, humans are the only living species able to not just experience the surroundings but also interpret information in a meaningful way. Despite this extra feature that is proprietary to the human species it has not contributed to a significant level of inner peace, and birds and animals seem to have a more peaceful existence. It is not animals and birds who are turning our green planet brown. Animals kill other animals for food and this relative cruelty of the act of killing not just satiates hunger and propagates a species, but also functions to balance the ecosystem as a whole. This mechanism is inbuilt into nature’s design. Nature cannot fully account for the unpredictability of the human mind. When humans harm or kill one another, there is upheaval and unpleasantness generated that reverberates long after such acts, whether they are localized or on a global scale. With the power to influence or shape the destiny of the world with the flick of a thought, humans carry immense responsibility as de facto custodians of the planet.
A war is best fought in the misty clouds of one’s own mind against negative tendencies, emotions, and feelings. Only when a thought of harming someone arises, can a corresponding action be potentially carried out. If the harm is dealt with at the level of the thought and is not given a chance to be expressed in the world, the external conflict would be greatly reduced.
Human beings harming one another in the name of war or an ideology regardless of who is right or wrong inflicts deep wounds that are seared into the minds of people and are passed down generations. On the other end of the spectrum are the saints, poets, and philosophers who attempt to “kill” and eradicate hatred and division through their thoughts expressed in words and actions. Scientists “kill” ignorance through their scientific discoveries and life-changing inventions. In a way, they are the ones who truly unite human beings, although it may happen indirectly. The iPhone is an example of a life-altering invention. It is now hard to imagine a world devoid of smartphones. With hundreds of millions of smartphones in circulation, there is a good chance that leaders in various capacities at loggerheads with one another may be talking into similar phones.
A thought may be compared to a smartphone. Just as phones connect with other phones wirelessly, thoughts communicate with other thoughts, and messages are passed. The “social media” of the thought world like the real world, is a magnet for negative news and such news from one thought can spread virally throughout the mind in an instant. For instance, an “incendiary” thought lobbed into the mind which provokes the emotion of anger can in an instant, burn down an inner abode of peace carefully constructed through painstaking hours or even years of practice. With “one” awareness, the mind collects millions of views through all the thoughts that are infected with a fast-spreading negative emotion or feeling. Just as it is harder to propagate a piece of good news or an inspiring tale compared to negative news, it is hard to suffuse the mind with positivity. Negativity is absorbed very quickly and we have the urge to express it immediately. But it takes a lot of effort to digest and express positivity.
The power of imagination is frequently used to create a whole new make-believe world in the mind, built “brick by brick” with hand-picked thoughts. The mind, in general, operates in highly contextual environments. Forgetting that we are the planners, architects, construction and maintenance workers when it comes to what goes into our thoughts, the mind is often maligned as a burdensome source of misery when we lose our peace of mind. However, when good feelings are experienced as pleasant thoughts express their contents, we are quick to embrace the same mind as our own.
Unlike various forms of matter, which have a more consistent mode of expression, the mind is highly fickle. A flower, for instance, can be defined by its characteristic fragrance, color, and texture and is uniform for a particular species of flower regardless of where it grows. The mind cannot be defined in similar terms. Those who have made lasting positive impressions on the human psyche lasting generations may have spun a deeper thread that connected with the masses at a level far more subtle than the logical mind.
The undercurrent of inner expression is overwhelmed by the surface current of the mind, and if we are able to override the turbulence at the surface the connection between humans will be far deeper and stronger than what it is currently. Expression through the mind requires a reason and a suitable season. The time it takes to “reflect, resonate and resound” postpones enjoyment and what is then experienced is a fraction of the joy hiding in the aggregate of all the moments leading up to that point.
When we let our habits and mental conditioning dictate the manner in which we present ourselves to the world, our expressions over time become predictable and “stale”. Even we become bored looking the same habitual expression of the mind, as a result, we are constantly in search of fresh experiences. The secret to becoming more consistent and predictable in our expression yet maintain spontaneity, freshness, and beauty is harnessing the power of the deeper state of being that stands apart from the mind.
This subjective state from which we can observe the mind cannot be explained logically, but is very easily experienced. As this power of subjective awareness filters through the mind, it is expropriated by the mind and used for its expression. Creating an arbitrary backdrop that hides the deeper subjective being within all of us, a persona is constructed and all expressions of the mind are linked to it. That prevailing persona becomes the operating system and the “source of life” which warrants that we protect it at all costs.
A more spontaneous expression that bypasses the mind is colloquially referred to as “coming from the heart”. We know anatomically there are no “expressive centers” lurking in the heart, it is a metaphor for expression that emanates from the inner awareness that has not been contaminated by mental conditioning. A constant accompaniment of expression from the heart is love. This expression of love is not unique to humans, there is an undeniable bond of love that is expressed in other species of life as well, as evidenced by the protective tenderness with which a lioness cares for its cubs. Regardless of how humans deal with one another, the expressions of Mother Nature are consistent with creating an atmosphere where all life can thrive. We find it difficult to enjoy whatever the mind may express to us and to make accommodations for others to express themselves safely and freely. Imagine Mother Nature’s difficulty in making room for all species of flora and fauna to fully express their inherent beauty.