Anda di halaman 1dari 13

Our minds are all we have. They are all we have ever had.

And they are all we can offer

others. This might not be obvious, especially when there are aspects of your life that seem in
need of improvementwhen your goals are unrealized, or you are struggling to find a career,
or you have relationships that need repairing. But its the truth. Every experience you have
ever had has been shaped by your mind. Every relationship is as good or as bad as it is
because of the minds involved. If you are perpetually angry, depressed, confused, and
unloving, or your attention is elsewhere, it wont matter how successful you become or who
is in your lifeyou wont enjoy any of it.
Most of us could easily compile a list of goals we want to achieve or personal problems that
need to be solved. But what is the real significance of every item on such a list? Everything
we want to accomplishto paint the house, learn a new language, find a better jobis
something that promises that, if done, it would allow us to finally relax and enjoy our lives in
the present. Generally speaking, this is a false hope. Im not denying the importance of
achieving ones goals, maintaining ones health, or keeping ones children clothed and fed
but most of us spend our time seeking happiness and security without acknowledging the
underlying purpose of our search. Each of us is looking for a path back to the present: We are
trying to find good enough reasons to be satisfied now.

Truly wanting him to be happy made his happiness my own.

I had ceased to be concerned about myself. I was no longer anxious, self-critical, guarded by
irony, in competition, avoiding embarrassment, ruminating about the past and future, or
making any other gesture of thought or attention that separated me from him. I was no
longer watching myself through another persons eyes.
The moment I could find a voice with which to speak, I discovered that this epiphany about
the universality of love could be readily communicated. My friend got the point at once: All I
had to do was ask him how he would feel in the presence of a total stranger at that moment,
and the same door opened in his mind. It was simply obvious that love, compassion, and joy
in the joy of others extended without limit. The experience was not of love growing but of its
being no longer obscured. Love wasas advertised by mystics and crackpots through the
agesa state of being. How had we not seen this before? And how could we overlook it ever
Twenty percent of Americans describe themselves as spiritual but not religious. Although
the claim seems to annoy believers and atheists equally, separating spirituality from religion
is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. It is to assert two important truths simultaneously: Our
world is dangerously riven by religious doctrines that all educated people should condemn,
and yet there is more to understanding the human condition than science and secular culture
generally admit. One purpose of this book is to give both these convictions intellectual and
empirical support.
The word spirit comes from the Latin spiritus, which is a translation of the
Greek pneuma,meaning breath. Around the thirteenth century, the term became entangled
with beliefs about immaterial souls, supernatural beings, ghosts, and so forth. It acquired
other meanings as well: We speak of the spirit of a thing as its most essential principle or of

certain volatile substances and liquors as spirits. Nevertheless, many nonbelievers now
consider all things spiritual to be contaminated by medieval superstition.
contemplativewith which to discuss the efforts people make, through meditation,
psychedelics, or other means, to fully bring their minds into the present or to induce
nonordinary states of consciousness. And no other word links this spectrum of experience to
our ethical lives.
Although the insights we can have in meditation tell us nothing about the origins of the
universe, they do confirm some well-established truths about the human mind: Our
conventional sense of self is an illusion; positive emotions, such as compassion and patience,
are teachable skills; and the way we think directly influences our experience of the world.

Ceaseless change is an unreliable basis for lasting fulfillment. Realizing this, many
people begin to wonder whether a deeper source of well-being exists. Is there a form
of happiness beyond the mere repetition of pleasure and avoidance of pain? Is there a
happiness that does not depend upon having ones favorite foods available, or friends
and loved ones within arms reach, or good books to read, or something to look
forward to on the weekend? Is it possible to be happy before anything happens,
before ones desires are gratified, in spite of lifes difficulties, in the very midst of
physical pain, old age, disease, and death?
We are all, in some sense, living our answer to this questionand most of us are
living as though the answer were no. No, nothing is more profound than repeating
ones pleasures and avoiding ones pains; nothing is more profound than seeking
satisfactionsensory, emotional, and intellectualmoment after moment. Just keep
your foot on the gas until you run out of road.
00:00:00,110 --> 00:00:05,960
the term higher consciousness is often
used by spiritually minded people to

00:00:05,960 --> 00:00:09,349
describe important but part of reach
mental states

00:00:09,349 --> 00:00:13,969

hindu sages Christian monks and Buddhist

ascetics all speak of reaching moments

00:00:13,969 --> 00:00:18,200
of higher consciousness through
meditation or chanting fasting or

00:00:18,200 --> 00:00:19,430

00:00:19,430 --> 00:00:23,720
unfortunately the way in which these
spiritual people discuss their states of

00:00:23,720 --> 00:00:28,40
higher consciousness has a tendency to
put a lot of secular types on edge

00:00:28,40 --> 00:00:32,870
it can also found maddeningly vague and
wishy-washy touchy-feely and for want of

00:00:32,870 --> 00:00:34,820

a better word annoying

00:00:34,820 --> 00:00:37,910
what on earth do these gurus really mean

00:00:37,910 --> 00:00:40,819
we deeply sympathize with such
frustrations not being by nature

00:00:40,820 --> 00:00:44,750
particularly attracted to the inevitable
or the mysterious

00:00:44,750 --> 00:00:48,590
however it seems that the idea of higher
consciousness is in fact a very

00:00:48,590 --> 00:00:52,910
interesting one which has nothing
inherently to do with spirituality and


00:00:52,910 --> 00:00:56,839

can be defined simply enough in strictly
rational and secular terms

00:00:56,840 --> 00:01:01,70
this is how we see it as human beings we
spend most of our lives functioning in

00:01:01,70 --> 00:01:02,960
states of lower consciousness

00:01:02,960 --> 00:01:06,710
well what were principally concerned
with is ourselves our survival and our

00:01:06,710 --> 00:01:12,48
own success narrowly defined ordinary
life rewards practical an introspective

00:01:12,49 --> 00:01:15,770
self-justifying outlooks for the
hallmarks of lower consciousness

00:01:16,520 --> 00:01:21,470
neuroscientist speak of a lower part of
the brain they call the reptilian mind

00:01:21,470 --> 00:01:26,690
and tell us that under its way we strike
back when we hit blame others quell any

00:01:26,690 --> 00:01:31,280
straight questions that lack immediate
relevance fail to free-associate and

00:01:31,280 --> 00:01:34,700
stick closely to a flattering image of
who we are and where we're headed

00:01:35,420 --> 00:01:39,560
however that rare moments when there are
no threats or demands upon us

00:01:39,560 --> 00:01:43,460
perhaps late at night or early in the

morning when our bodies and passions

00:01:43,460 --> 00:01:47,800
comfortable and quiescent we have the
privilege of being able to access

00:01:47,800 --> 00:01:52,990
the higher mind what your site is called
on me o cortex the seat of imagination

00:01:52,990 --> 00:01:58,449
empathy and impartial judgment will
loosen hold on our own egos and ascend

00:01:58,450 --> 00:02:01,900
to a less biased and more universal

00:02:01,900 --> 00:02:06,280
casting off a little of the customary
anxious self-justification and brittle


00:02:06,280 --> 00:02:11,500

pride in such states the mind moves
beyond its particular self-interests and

00:02:11,500 --> 00:02:12,610

00:02:12,610 --> 00:02:16,480
we start to think of other people in a
more imaginative way rather than

00:02:16,480 --> 00:02:20,829
criticize and attack with free to
imagine their behavior being driven by

00:02:20,830 --> 00:02:25,120
pressures derived from their own
primitive mines which they're generally

00:02:25,120 --> 00:02:29,80
in no position to tell us about that
temper or viciousness

00:02:29,80 --> 00:02:32,470
are we now see symptoms of heart rather
than evil

00:02:33,10 --> 00:02:38,19
it's an astonishing gradual evolution to
develop the ability to explain others

00:02:38,20 --> 00:02:43,390
actions by their distress rather than
simply in terms of how it effects us we

00:02:43,390 --> 00:02:47,589
perceive that the appropriate response
to humanity is not fear cynicism

00:02:47,590 --> 00:02:50,920
aggression before ones when we can
manage it

00:02:50,920 --> 00:02:56,290
luck at such moments the world reveals

itself as . different a place of

00:02:56,290 --> 00:03:00,290
suffering and misguided effort full of
people striving to be heard

00:03:00,290 --> 00:03:05,599
lashing out against others but also a
place of Tennessee long beauty touching

00:03:05,599 --> 00:03:10,518
vulnerability fitting responses
universes sympathy and kindness one's

00:03:10,519 --> 00:03:15,140
own life feels less precious want to
contemplate being no longer present of

00:03:15,140 --> 00:03:20,149
tranquility once interest to put aside
and one may imaginatively fuse with


00:03:20,150 --> 00:03:25,700

transient or natural things trees the
wyndham off clouds or waves breaking on

00:03:25,700 --> 00:03:30,709
the shore from this point of view status
is nothing possessions don't matter

00:03:30,709 --> 00:03:35,329
grievances news their urgency if certain
people could encounter us at this point

00:03:35,329 --> 00:03:38,569
they might be amazed at our
transformation and our newfound

00:03:38,569 --> 00:03:44,119
generosity and empathy states of higher
consciousness are of course desperately

00:03:44,120 --> 00:03:45,409
short lived

00:03:45,409 --> 00:03:49,489
we shouldn't in any case aspire to make
them permanent because they don't sit so

00:03:49,489 --> 00:03:54,349
well with the many important practical
tasks we all need to attend to but we

00:03:54,349 --> 00:03:58,459
should make the most of them when they
do arise and harvest their insights for

00:03:58,459 --> 00:04:03,169
when we require the most higher
consciousness is a huge triumph over the

00:04:03,169 --> 00:04:07,99
primitive mind which cannot envisage any
such possibilities

00:04:07,99 --> 00:04:11,540
ideally we'd be a little more alive to

the advantages of this higher mind and

00:04:11,540 --> 00:04:16,969
strive to make our oceanic experiences
somewhat less random and less clothed in

00:04:16,970 --> 00:04:19,970
unnecessary mystery

00:04:23,70 --> 00:04:32,849