The human mind has a constant need to understand. Whatever is going on, it tries to understand it better by creating thoughts about what is happening. We become addicted to thinking when we unconsciously become identified with this need to understand things from a mental point of view.
But is it real understanding that the mind creates?
Understanding Without Thinking
If you listen to someone talking, you can understand them without thinking, unless it is a particularly complex situation. Thought is not needed to understand basic language. After the conversation has ended, a voice inside may ask, “why didn’t they ask anything about me” or “why did they say that in such a strange tone”, then the need for “understanding” builds momentum, and constant thinking takes over until the mind finds an answer. But it rarely does find an answer. If it does, it is just a limited understanding, since it is coming from a limited viewpoint.
So much of our thinking about useless things partly serves the desire to understand things better. If we understand things better, we feel more fulfilled, less burdened by the need to understand, and we can move through life easier, with a better understanding of the world.
But whatever understanding we believe we have through thought, is usually wrong. It is at least limited in some way, based on fragmentation, personalisation and usually past conditioning. Even what many regard as “Scientific Truth” one year, is disregarded and disproven the next year, when everyone then believes some new idea to be “Scientific Truth”… or even “Truth”.
Don’t Try To Understand Anything
As an experiment, don’t attempt to understand anything at all. The world, yourself, other people, situations, actions etc – leave it all for a moment. Don’t try to understand it, it does not require you to.
Then there emerges some space inside. A situation arises, and even without thinking, you know what to do. Understanding becomes non-conceptual. If you are at work, the same can happen, without strain. You don’t abuse your mind by supporting its need to try to understand every single thing it wants. Instead it is just a subservient tool to the intelligence that gives rise to it.
Most of our thinking actually helps us to understand things less. Our constant labels and interpretations remove us from reality, and into imagination. If you simply look, simply listen, you can view things cleanly, directly. This same looking, with the addition of mental interpretations, turns into: “That’s a nice tree. Oh look at that bird standing on one of the branches”. A mental dream is formed. A bird does not call itself a bird, and a tree does not call itself a tree. It is not actually “a tree” – this is just something we made up.
If you really look at “a tree” without calling it anything, you may see that you have no idea what it is. All you think you know about it is what you have been told, or what you have thought about after observing its mechanics. But what actually is it? The term “a tree” is just a noise, but this “tree” is not a noise. Everything we can perceive can be viewed in the same way. We actually don’t have a clue what anything really is, but because this scares the imaginary self, we just make up loads of stuff to fools ourselves into thinking we know what’s going on.
We are so accustomed to treating thoughts as reality, that we genuinely believe we know what everything is, and who other people are. Instead of seeing other things or people as they are, we immediately label them with names and our opinions of them, based on past mental reactions and interpretations, or even energetic responses. The usefulness we have for language has completely taken over our entire inner experience, and everything has become separate and split up.
A deeper understanding of reality is there when the mind is not trying to understand through thinking. Thinking just adds more layers, more stuff to analyse. Let your basis of understanding be non-conceptual, without the compulsive need to understand or have the answers. Be comfortable with not knowing, not understanding anything. Then if thinking is required, it is just naturally there without even your intention. When thinking is not required, you are not its slave.
Just looking at objects you can perceive rather than trying to analyse them means you can sense the life-force in all things, the inner essence that is the same as you – in all things. It is naturally there when you do not assume you know, and you do not wish to understand, what anything is. This is a paradox – wishing to understand less, you understand more deeply.