Emptying Your Mind and Becoming Zero


by Jayaram V

To deny knowledge, experience, the known is to invite the unknown - Jiddu Krishnamurthy

We are afraid of this total destruction of the known, the ground of the self, the me and the mine; the known is better than the unknown, the known with its confusion, conflict and misery; freedom from this known may destroy what we call love, relationship, joy and so on. - Jiddu Krishnamurthy

The known breeds sorrow and love is the freedom from the known - Jiddu Krishnamurthy

So, at first, to begin with, one must be able to get out of the ego. Afterwards, it has to be, you understand, in a certain state of inexistence. Then you begin to perceive things as they are, form a little higher up. But if you want to know things as they really are, you must be absolutely like a mirror: silent, peaceful, immobile, impartial, without preferences and in a state of total receptivity- The Mother

The factors which contribute to your success in worldly life are your will or intention, knowledge, intelligence, determination, competitive spirit, individuality, confidence, pride, adaptability and self-esteem. At the basis of all these are your desires and attachment. Together they determine your success and shape your life and destiny.

When you turn to spiritual life, the same factors become a major impediment to your progress. If you have led mostly worldly life and turned to spiritualism later, you will have to fight some of the toughest battles in your mind and body to overcome your old habits and past attachments. It is not going to be easy because you have to overcome many hurdles to bring a complete transformation and reorientation of your thinking and attitude.

To be successful in worldly life you have to clutter your mind with a lot of knowledge and information. You have to cultivate specific ways of thinking and acting and learn to manipulate people and situations to your advantage. You may have to compromise truth and values and indulge in deception to achieve your goals. Spiritually it is a huge sacrifice, fraught with many dangers to your spiritual Wellbeing and the prospects of falling down into sinful worlds.

The world respects you in proportion to what you have or what power you can exercise in society. If you do not have either, chances are you will be ignored. This has been the case with civilization since the earliest times. It may not be an exaggeration to state that we might never know the world's best and the greatest who lived in the past. The world knows about only those who manage to catch public attention by creating a positive frame of reference about themselves. Therefore, I do not consider history a true measure of humanity's true greatness but its ignorance, prejudice and shortsightedness. Look at some of our world leaders today whom we elect to offices and whom we often decorate with the highest awards. Some of them do not deserve to be anywhere except in prisons.

All this changes when you enter spiritual life. Here, the rules are different. The first qualification to enter this path is you should own nothing and you should not strive to achieve anything. You have to set aside everything you know, you want and you desire. You must willing to let life happen to you rather make it happen. In other words you are qualified for spiritual life if you are empty and if you are nobody. Hence, you cannot be a truly spiritual person unless you renounce your past and your worldliness. It is also why your guru who initiates you on the path gives you new name and an ordinary dress. On this path you cannot make deals or seek favors. You have to care more for others and use your abilities to heal them rather than worrying about your comforts and suffering.

In spiritual life whatever that keeps your mind and senses distracted does not help you to enter the deepest core of your being and experience the eternal calm. Hence, you are advised to withdraw from the modifications of the world to suppress the modifications of your mind. You have to literally enter the emptiness of your mind and prolong the silence between your thought to find your purest state of equanimity, stability and balance.

When your senses are quiet, and your mind is at peace, resting and relaxing, when your thoughts are asleep in the lap of silence, and when your emotions have retreated into some quite corner, you will find Him in the silence of your heart and in the oneness of your being.

You will find the true center of your being and the source of your existence in a state of utter emptiness only. To be able to enter that consciousness you have to become one with the space in you and around you. You have to live and conduct yourself as if you do not exist, as if you do not matter and as if you are a mere spectator in life. You will be denied that experience if you show even the slightest interest in achieving a goal or fulfilling a desire, however noble they may be. You have to renounce the free will, desires, intentions, attachments, hopes, anxieties, worries, virtues, sins, duality, your past and future. If you can look at yourself without expectations, and if you can empty your mind of all that belongs to you and represents you, and if you are willing to let go of everything that you owned or intend to own, then you will be qualified to enter the realm of your inner Self and become one with.

Such is the sacrifice spiritual life demands from every practitioner. It does not matter to which religion you belong. For all path the basis rules are the same. It is when you close the doors upon one world, the door to the other world will open. Until then, you will be a weary traveler in search of peace and happiness.

Practical suggestions

The following suggests are useful to prepare yourself for spiritual life

1. Minimize your expectations from yourself and from others

2. Cultivate detachment and humility

3. Stop thinking and acting as if the world owes you and exists for you

4. Respect other's right to live and exercise their freedom and will

5. Embrace what you dislike and detest

6. Avoid speaking highly about yourself or campaigning for yourself

7. Prolong the silence between your thoughts

8. Speak when necessary

9. Do not try to correct others if they are wrong unless it is going to effect their lives.

10. Do not try to defend yourself if others criticize you even if they are wrong.

11. Use your suffering to cultivate compassion towards others.

12. Practice non-injury and other virtues.

If you can practice them sincerely and frequently, you will cross the first hurdle, which is your ego, and bring a reorientation in your thinking and attitude. From being the center of the world, you learn to accommodate others as part of your learning process. It will help you later when you advance farther on the spiritual path.

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