Thoughts that feel good in our hypothalamus and reticular activating system we call rational
. Thoughts that don't feel good we call irrational
. The gist of our thinking is more often determined by what we had for dinner last night than by any inherent quality called reason
. The most radical wisdom requires no thinking, no reasoning at all.
Reason is a hoax. For example, the invasion of Iraq felt good to millions of Americans in 2003. Thus it felt perfectly reasonable to bankrupt our economy, exhaust our military power, kill a million people, and hand Iraq over to Iranian influence. This idiotic scheme seemed rational
because thinking was simply a disguise for sweet feelings of revenge
in our primitive brain.
On the other hand, when Osama bin Laden sent us a message in 2004, explaining the reasons for his antipathy toward U.S. foreign policy, we heard it as the ranting of a madman. What he offered was to end the war if America fulfilled three conditions: show neutrality rather than prejudice in the Israel-Palestine conflict, withdraw military bases from Muslim holy lands in Saudi Arabia, and stop supporting oppressive Arab dictators. These were perfectly rational ideas, but not to Americans.
Here is a case in point for why, if we wish to survive, human culture must turn from the value of thinking to the value of Awareness
Neither reason in the cerebral cortex, nor emotion in the primitive brain, have anything to do with Awareness. Awareness is the infinite self-radiant space that was already here before the brain or the elements of this body were formed. And Awareness will be here long after human physiology has dissolved back into the cosmic soup.
Have you considered the possibility that you can shift your attention from thinking to Awareness?
You can relax from the tangled skein of your neurons, which is the primitive web of karma, into the pure space that pervades the atoms and the galaxies. For Awareness is never trapped in a nerve cell or contained in a thought, just as water is never caught in a net.
This very moment, as Awareness, you are already free. You are neither the mind, the body, nor last night's dinner. You are all-pervading clarity and joy.
The solution to our conflicts is Awareness, not reasoning.
Photo, Indra's Net, by Doug Benner: Link