Thursday, March 20, 2008

Managing Hurt...

This is something Swami Chidananda sent - as usual his timing is impeccable! (More on him in

When a blade hurts us physically, there are medical means to heal the wound. Let us consider here psychological hurt, and see what can heal the injury.
This topic is of utmost importance. All spirituality is essentially about being free from hurt. When our mind is totally cleansed of all the scars of the past, that itself is moksha, liberation. The root cause of hurt and of its continuation is one and the same in the cases of other common psychological ailments such as fear, worry, greed and jealousy.
We say, “I am hurt.” The wise ask us, “Who is hurt? Who or what is that ‘I’ that is hurt?”
The entity that is hurt is a conception of I. Many thoughts, born of memory, build this concept. If I have enjoyed fame and name for years, there is a large bundle of memories of all that and I carry a ‘me’ that expects special regard and attention from others, who are common men (and women) in my eyes. When I do not receive any special consideration, it hurts me. Even in the case of a relationship between just two people, it is the attachment to memories that keeps certain expectations arising and, when they are not fulfilled, there is hurt. Go anywhere in the world, you will soon be caught in the net of expectations. Spiritual centers are no exception. You expect the so-called gurus to constantly pay attention to you; what is more tragic, some (unripe) gurus seek attention or continued admiration from a good number (if not all) of their followers.
A mind that expects nothing cannot be hurt. Such a mind is an empty but alert mind.
We cannot go far by merely deciding not to expect. Willpower is a charming aspect of mind’s capabilities, which actually is utterly incapable of blessing us with true freedom. Intelligence and willpower are poles apart when it comes to how they influence the human mind. The former is born of total seeing while the latter breeds on partial consideration. With willpower, we may win battles but are sure to lose the war. Its glories are short-lived and it puts no end at all to any human misery. Will power gives us energy in a chosen direction and helps us achieve tasks but we are back to square one very soon. Intelligence removes basic misconceptions and leads us to illumination.
We need to give up our hurried ways that often border on panic, and take a dispassionate look at how we think. What drives our thoughts? Does a certain self-image act as the basis of all our reactions to situations? Is this image closer to facts or is it sustained by fancies?
Do ideas of ‘what we should be’ have a great power to shape our thoughts? Is the fact of ‘what we are’ on the back seat, helpless and hapless?
True intelligence is the ability to see through the games that our own thoughts play. It is about gaining basic understanding of how the machinery of thought functions within us. It is not a matter of generating great thoughts; it is rather made of insights into the structure of thought.
Self-observation, carried with intelligence, dismantles all the images in the mind. The walls of the hall then shine brightly without the clutter of too many framed pictures upon them. Such a mind comes upon silence. It has transparency. Old hurt leaves it and new hurt cannot then be.
Swami Chidananda
Monday, March 17, 2008

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