Creation and the mind
In our current society, the talk of creation is endless. There is the creative work of the artist, the poet. There is innovation in the technological world, inventing more and more gadgets, weapons. There is also a creative living, in which one encounters the new, the fresh and surprising aspects of life. So one may go on endless adventures, toy with endless gadgets and entertainments, mountain beyond mountain, skill after skill, in pursuit of something new.
What do we mean by the new? Can the new be brought about? Is there a path, a practice, a routine which might give birth to the new? Because a sense of freshness is quite necessary in life. Psychologically, we are aware of the daily boredom and routine, of countless repetitions and walking the same paths over and over. This is how we work, how we train, how we study, how we do most things in life. So we are caught in this boredom. Therefore, creation is a quite important topic, but do we know what is the creative, what is the new? If we are caught in illusions, then we might be deceiving ourselves, caught in miseries, a prison of our own making without even being aware of our imprisonment.
What is the new? What is creation? There are the inventions of scientists and charlatans, different techniques, things, which we purchase or practice. When I am bored of my work, I go watch a show. When I get tired of a bag, I buy a new one. New clothes, fashion, computers, phones. We know this kind of new. In our daily boredom, we experience the new through purchase, the market, in which a million new things are designed and produced every year. So this market activity is really a kind of drug. We might ask ourselves, are we addicted? Are we addicted to the sensation of a brand new dress, shoes, screen? Are we using that high, that heightened sensation to offset our daily repetitions? We work day in day out, month after year, and we are so terribly familiar of the end, don't we? In the end we die. And there is so little creativity in this life, so we escape, don't we? Through the market, we can temporarily offset our boredom, but its gnawing presence hangs around us, so we are never totally free of it.
When we are aware of how terribly bored we are, and how terribly attached we are to the drugs, the entertainments, the new products and designs, we must see this deep trap. This work is a trap. So what do we do? Do we go out of this trap, and seek some other lifestyle? We might quit our jobs, and go traveling, climbing mountains, visiting countries, and in the end what? Isn't it still this boredom that drives us? Without this boredom, why would I need to seek the new, or what I think is the new? And do we move out of one trap to go into another? Because this ceaseless activity of pursuit, in the form of traveling, alternative lifestyles, spiritual practices and so on, is fundamentally the same as work, is it not? In work, we repeat, achieve through repetition. In our so called new life, we still repeat. Visiting one after another place, practising one after another technique, yoga forms, meditations, and so on. We are still caught in this routine, but only in a different form, different name. We can call it new, revolutionary, but it is actually just a modified continuity. Why? Why do we move out of a prison just to go into another? Who is the prison-maker?
So, if one has been through all that, and hopefully one hasn't, one must ask oneself most seriously, what is the new? What is this qualify of life that is not boring, repetitive, old? And to investigate this matter, where do I look? I am the actor, the maker of decisions, am I not? So must not I look at myself, investigate myself, to see how I make decisions, how I act, and to see what is the cause of this mechanical, old, continuous net in which I am caught?
And I see that to make any decision, I must think. I deliberate over matters to choose something I think is the new. So now, there are two things involved. First, how do I decide? And second, why do I think something is the new? To the first question, I see that it is closely related to the second question. I obviously choose the new because I think it is new. So it boils down to one question, what is the new? How do I know something is new? So I look at my life. I look at my activity in the market, and I see that I compare the new products with the old ones I have. I see in the new products this shiny quality, this untouched quality, and these qualities I can only conclude through a comparison with the old. I already have an image of the old in my mind, and I compare that image with what I see. And in other aspects of my life, it is the same. I quit my job to go to another country, because I compare my surroundings, my culture, with the new ones I am going to, and I see that the new ones are unfamiliar, exciting, fresh, and so on. So through comparison, I see the new. And when I see the new, either a new product, a new person, or a new lifestyle, I decide based on my judgement of the new.
But, can the new be compared with the old? This is a question I haven't thought about. It seems to me that the new can only be known through comparison. There must be an awareness of the new for the mind to decide based on the new. And this awareness of the new is this process of comparison. Yet, through comparison, I have invoked the old. In the mind is always the image of the old, of tradition, the past, memories. So the new is always related to the old. Yet, when the new is related to the old, is it new? This question is quite strange, and I haven't considered it before. But I want to continue my investigation, because I have been through countless boredom and routines, and I say to myself that is quite enough. I shall go to the very end of this investigation to see what is the new actually.
So I see that I must know what the new is, in order to recognize it, and then to use it in my decisions. But, isn't what I recognize already the old? Isn't what I know the old? Which means, my memories, my knowledge, my images of myself and the world, are all the old, the tradition, the past. So, how do I know the new is the new? Is it because the new is something which I already know? I see that I already know what is new, and what I know cannot be new at all. What I know is always already old, in the past. So what is the new? Isn't the new something I do not know? I see this is a very significant statement. That which I do not know is the new. So I can never be aware of the new. The moment I am aware of the new, it is already the old. This process of comparison is like a spider's net, which brings anything new down to its pattern, therefore it becomes dead, static. Whenever I compare, I already see the new in the lens of the old. This process of comparison is like a screen, through which my perception is always distorted by the old, by my memories, my images, my thoughts. So, I see that for the new to take place, this movement of comparison must cease.
This is a discovery. I have found something new in my investigation. Yet, how am I to stop my comparison? It is so tenacious, so routine, conditioned. It seems that the very mind is conditioned to compare. It seems that the very movement of the mind is comparison. Do I wipe out my mind?
Yet, I also see, that the new is constantly taking place. It is when I am not aware of it. The new is not within my consciousness, my mind. Yet, in my life, I have encountered many strange things, of which I have no memory to compare to. My mind then panicked, and tried to make sense of strangeness through bringing it into its net. My mind is the net. And it is quite a necessary function. The mind needs to know in order to function in the physical world. So this process of comparison is not my enemy. Yet I desire that newness, that freshness of life which I have myself prevented from happening. Yet, that newness isn't far away. It isn't something to be found, because it is here every moment. My whole concern, then, is not with finding the new, because whatever I find is still something I recognize. The new can only happen, totally without my seeking of it. Therefore, the new is in the instant. It can only happen instantly. Any process, any path, any practice is only the denial of the new, because it is only an exercise of the comparison process. What I recognize is always old. That which is beyond recognition is totally new. So the new has no relation to the old. My concern is with my mind, is to instantly perceive, without any process, any determined practice. That instant perception is open to the new, which is indescribable. To describe the new is to deny the perception of it.
So, what is creation, an action which brings about the new? I see that this question is not valid. No amount of action can bring about the new. The new can never be brought about. It is beyond the mind, the human consciousness. Without this activity to bring it about, it is. And that is the beauty of the new, of creation. Creation is effortless. Creation requires no thought, no memory, and it does not necessarily result in an expression. And to live a life in creation is to live an effortless life, is to let the beauty of the new flower so naturally without any intervention. The mind can only intervene, act according to the past. It is much more important to do nothing, than to do something. In this emptiness, of inaction, creation is the very movement of life, so life is imbued with its effortless, peaceful, and total energy.
And then, the mind can operate sanely, harmoniously. It understands its function, its limitation. The mind can only operate in the field, the net of the old. So let it operate. But the mind understands that it can never bring about the new, so it ceases to bring it about altogether. In an instant, creation shines forth. It has no form, no sound, yet it is the very sound of life. Without it, the mind cannot be, nor can any existence. A mind which has completely understood its nature is the mind in creation. And only then can the mind honestly and deeply say to itself, all is sacred.
What's on your mind? Discuss...