Look deeper. Look elsewhere.
Letters from Leopoldo Giordania to Arturo
Arturo, mind is not in control of mind. We spend our lives believing in control. We talk to each other as if aware and purposeful, but are we really in control of anything? “A mere heap of conditions this, where no being can be found.” That is another of the things the Buddha said. Consider the words mind and thinking. To me mind is much larger than thinking because it acknowledges the thinker and what the thinker is engaged with through the senses. We think, but owning a thought is for your father’s intellectual property lawyers and the courts to decide, not for us to take seriously.
There is a very practical element where we are responsible for our thinking, but actually what we think is just a position within mind, a spec no larger than any given star in the sky, on any given night. It is easy to come to this understanding, so try it. For a few minutes each day try to grasp the enormity of all the things you COULD use mind to explore. Mind is vast. Mind is limitless. Mind is right now!
Move in mind to investigate mathematics, physics, prayer, astronomy, languages, history, philosophy or nothing grand at all. Cooking. Consider whether you need new shoes or if you can help someone who needs shoes. There is no limitation on WHERE you can focus thought, only that you should attach thinking to only one point at a time, the present.
We are responsible for where we position thinking within mind, but there is no limit to where in mind we can place our thinking. You are the shepherd. Picking the next thing to reflect upon is like picking which of your ten thousand observations needs attention. Past and future are transfixed. At any given moment, Arturo, we are in command of only so much.
Thoughts do not arrive fully formed. Each thought carries with it the predicate of what we thought before, and the unfortunate capacity for cynicism, extraneous emotion, distraction and confusion. Each is short-lived and requires concentration or repetition to stay in focus. When we feel clear and certain, we are probably deluded. Often when confused, it is because we are confronted with some difficult problem and are not confused at all, just working our way through ambiguity toward an understanding or solution. Trusting that any single thought is in control of other thoughts is folly, and yet, with concentration we can sustain delusions for a lifetime.
Ask yourself. What thoughts would be in your frame of reference if you’d been born a thousand years ago? Maybe you would plan to appease Zeus? What will people be thinking about, and what problems will mind solve years from today? We work on, and are worked upon by, the sea of thoughts and impressions that surround and spring from us.
Even as I write to you, I wonder. Why? Who am I to talk like this to you, a young man with unlimited potential? Maybe it is because we share an understanding of many strange and wonderful ideas. We share mind. Our thinking is aligned on more than a few important questions, because we share a place in time and many experiences. It is as if we have reached an understanding on all things, but what is it about understanding that leads to questions?
We talk about so much, but are in control of very little, just busy repeating what we like to hear about our situation and what we believe is important. We are not in control of our thinking. It is more likely that thinking is in control of us, and for that reason, it has come time to throw out what we have come to believe is true and begin the greatest search of all. It is time to set aside the set of ides fed us by a thousand years of thinking, and by your father. God moves on, Arturo. It is time for us to move on, too, and look elsewhere.
There are secrets in this manuscript that set us apart. You and I together have embarked on a great journey. In time all will be revealed.