Let’s pretend there are at least three levels of mind.
The first level of mind–let’s call it Everyday Mind. This is the stage where our personalities play. Mind has created an overlord called “ego” to direct our stage performance. Ego constantly runs around with its loudspeaker announcing “Stage left!” or “Stage right!” It tells the characters what to do, how to think, how to move, what to say.
Ego likes to keep the audience engaged, so it insures we’re enthralled by drama or comedy or entertainment. It really attempts to be a good director. Its favorite plot involves creating and attempting to improve scenes. It often pits characters against one another. It builds expectations and dashes hopes. Of course, it also often wants a happy-ever-after ending, so it runs frantically around attempting to fix the imperfect play, trying to make it better, polishing up all the flawed characters.
Most of us live in Everyday Mind, thoroughly engaged in the stage play, completely forgetting that other levels of mind exist simultaneously. That it’s possible not to live totally identified with the director, the cast, the small stage and the applauding or booing audience.
Another level of mind exists hidden in the wings. Let’s call this Forgotten Mind. What lives in Forgotten Mind? All the feelings and thoughts and impressions axed by the director as he molded you into your specific character. Everything not acceptable for the range and scope of the production.
Not only do the hatcheted parts of possibility live in Forgotten Mind, deep resentment, anger, fear, nervousness and confusion also simmer here. It’s a powder keg of repressed emotions brewing just beneath the surface of the gay song heralding the birth of the Movie of You.
Let’s call the third part of mind Whole Mind. This is the part of mind which produces the play, although that may be stretching the analogy. It isn’t intimately identified with the play, although it deeply allows and loves the players. It exists beyond–and encompasses–every movement, every dance, every birth and beheading.
Whole Mind is eminently available in every second of our play. It underwrites every score. It loves indiscriminately. It embodies the deepest peace, and sometimes the highest bliss. Heck, it embodies everything, including tying your shoelaces. It holds you as you weep, as confusion threatens your beloved character, as your lover lies dying.
Whole Mind shines always awake, like a sun that never sets. It embraces paradox without blinking its eyeless eye.
We’ve all sampled Whole Mind. It’s not just the realm of the enlightened sage. When we fall in love, when we finish a big project, when we stare in awe at a mountain range–for just a moment, an hour, a day–we’ve briefly forgotten the play. The director is snoozing in the corner, forgotten.
Then, so often, we find ourselves back in costume arguing with Aunt Sue or trying to figure out why so-and-so behaves so despicably, or perhaps bored to death because our play isn’t meeting entertainment standards, let alone winning an Emmy.
A thousand paths exist between the minds (including No Path). Many of us discover the sweet ripe plum of Whole Mind and decide to ditch the play, run out the door, and bid adieu to that crazy director. Yet, to our chagrin, there’s often no leaving the stage. The stage follows us. The director is delighted that he’s now employed a “spiritual” cast member.
The Quest for the Holy Grail often begins in earnest as one meets the dragons and demons in Forgotten Mind. So much fire-breathing energy exists in this level of mind, that it’s vital we travel down hedgerows and through emotional valleys and up rocky mountains. Whole Mind invites us to reclaim the forgotten ones. The weeping ones. The ones so scared of silence. The ones who feel rejected. The one’s who don’t know what to do next.
The journey through the wilderness of the mind is not for the weak of heart. Like the lion in Oz, courage exists. So does vulnerability. They marry in that wilderness–the warrior and the coward. The one who wets her bed and the fearless sage.
Whatever happens in our life is Whole Mind’s invitation to realize itself.
And what exists in Whole Mind? Why bother to search for that Grail? Why seek?
I could tell you a hundred reasons, but that would just make me another director of your play. Let’s just say: your very wholeness seeks itself. Or: the play is clearly seen to be yesterday’s drama. It’s not who we truly are. And perhaps the desire to learn what we truly are ignites a passion which brings together simply everything.