Many people can reminder visiting the school library as children. The brain of the library was the library card catalog (old school used paper cards). The index catalog contained all information available in that particular library. The catalog was also the central information portal for a network to other libraries, publishers and stores. There are many people that wish to “stop thinking”. The desire is to reduce the number of thoughts in the mind; thus allowing space. This space nurtures conscious awareness. Meditation is becoming more and more popular for this very reason.
The confusion for everyone lies in using the “mind” to attempt a state of non-thinking. We can logically conclude that this is next to impossible. Using the mind to reach a state of non-thinking is similar to what Albert Einstein once said about problem solving: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
We can practice going beyond the mind. Sounds absurd, but what does this actually imply? The mind is always processing information. You are confronted with countless thought impulses each moment of your existence. How can a person make the thoughts stop? We cannot; this would be impossible. The mind could be compared to a Library card catalog. This library index catalog can always be accessed; but it is not always necessary to gain access to it!
Library Catalog and the Mind
Do you remember how it was in the school library with your friends? My class had a free period three times a week. We spent this free class period in the library. We could use the opportunity to browser the library card catalog leisurely or to research material for other classes. Now these two examples are closely related to the mind usage options that you have during any situation. The mind is access by the part of your (self) that is not of the mind. This is the seer or consciousness that is “already” beyond the mind. Consciousness; in an aware state, is susceptible to all aspects of the mind. Consciousness then “becomes” the mind during thought or emotional interaction between the two (consciousness and mind).
The school librarian was strict with us during this free class. We were only permitted to use the index catalog when we truly intended on using the information on the index card. This information was in the form of a book or magazine. Now to shorten this article considerable we can say that reaching a state of non-thinking or total awareness can be done in the same manner as using a library card catalog.
This simply involves realizing that the mind is “always thinking” (50,000 to 70,000 thoughts per day equals 35 to 48 thoughts per minute. There are perhaps 10 from these 48 T.P.M. that are significant; meaning they have a practical purpose for our existence. The other 38 thoughts are literally mind produced trash. However it is not that these 38 thoughts are truly needed or unneeded. They are simple products of the processes occurring through mind and bodily interaction with any situation. It is important to understand that (the mind does what it does.) The significance for practicing awareness, meditation and enlightenment lies in recognizing that you (self) determine what you do with these thoughts.
We can use the image of a card index catalog to practice non-thinking. The key to this practice is awareness; this intertwines with “being in the now. Consider the mind to be an index catalog. Your true “self” is responsible for browsing the card catalog and for choosing or disregarding any given card (thought). It is that simple. It is true that this takes practice but it is obtainable for each person.
Best wishes to everyone