I've been reading a book (by fits and starts) called Stillness Speaks, by the writer Eckhart Tolle. As coincidence would have it, it was featured on the recently released April issue of The Sun Magazine. What is to follow is pretty heady, I will caution you up front. This isn't a light read, for sure. :-) This has been a tough week for me and I simply don't have the energy for a new post.
The human condition: lost in thought.
Most people spend their entire lives imprisoned within the confines of their own thoughts. They never go beyond a narrow, mind-made, personalized sense of self that is conditioned by the past.
In you, as in each human being, there is a dimension of consciousness far deeper than thought. It is the very essence of who you are. We may call it presence, awareness, the unconditioned consciousness. In the ancient teachings, it is the Christ within, or your Buddha nature.
Finding that dimension frees you and the world from the suffering you inflict on yourself when the mind-made "little me" is all you know and runs your life. Love, joy, creative expansion, and lasting inner peace cannot come into your life except through that unconditioned dimension of consciousness.
If you can recognize, even occasionally, the thoughts that go through your own mind as simple thoughts, if you can witness your own mental-emotional reactive patterns as they happen, then that dimension is already emerging in you as the awareness in which thoughts and emotions happens. This is the timeless inner space in which the content of your life unfolds.
Prejudice of any kind implies that you are identified with the thinking mind. It means you don't see the other human being anymore, but only your own concept of that human being. To reduce the aliveness of another human being to a concept is already a form of violence.
Dogmas, religious, political, scientific, arise out of the erroneous belief that thought can encapsulate reality or the truth. Dogmas are collective conceptual prisons. And the strange thing is that people love their prison cells because they give them a sense of security and a false sense of "I know."
Nothing has inflicted more suffering on humanity than its dogmas. It is true that every dogma crumbles sooner or later, because reality will eventually disclose its falseness; however, unless the basic delusion of it is seen for what it is, it will be replaced by others.
What is this basic delusion? Identification with thought.