I AM THAT – Talk 3b – Desire and Fear are based on Memories
Desire and Fear are based on Memories
Questioner: We shall repeat the question we began with: between life’s source and life’s expression (which is the body), there is the mind and its ever-changeful states. The stream of mental states is endless, meaningless and painful. Pain is the constant factor. What we call pleasure is but a gap, an interval between two painful states. Desire and fear are the weft and warp of living, and both are made of pain. Our question is: can there be a happy mind?
Maharaj: Desire is the memory of pleasure and fear is the memory of pain. Both make the mind restless. Moments of pleasure are merely gaps in the stream of pain. How can the mind be happy?
Q: That is true when we desire pleasure or expect pain. But there are moments of unexpected, unanticipated joy. Pure joy, uncontaminated by desire – unsought, undeserved, God-given.
M: Still, joy is joy only against a background of pain.
Q: Is pain a cosmic fact, or purely mental?
M: The universe is complete and where there is completeness, where nothing lacks, what can give pain?
Q: The universe may be complete as a whole, but incomplete in details.
M: A part of the whole seen in relation to the whole is also complete. Only when seen in isolation it becomes deficient and thus a seat of pain. What makes for isolation?
Q: Limitations of the mind, of course. The mind cannot see the whole for the part.
M: Good enough. The mind, by its very nature, divides and opposes. Can there be some other mind, which unites and harmonizes, which sees the whole in the part and the part as totally related to the whole?
Q: The other mind – where to look for it?
M: In the going beyond the limiting, dividing and opposing mind. In ending the mental process as we know it. When this comes to an end, that mind is born.
Q: In that mind, the problem of joy and sorrow exist no longer?
M: Not as we know them, as desirable or repugnant. It becomes rather a question of love seeking expression and meeting with obstacles. The inclusive mind is love in action, battling against circumstances, initially frustrated, ultimately victorious.
Q: Between the spirit and the body, is it love that provides the bridge?
M: What else? Mind creates the abyss, the Heart crosses it.
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
I Am That
Item 3. The Living Present
Item 3. (b) Desire and Fear are based on Memories