Can the mind commit suicide?
The mind cannot commit suicide, because whatsoever the mind can do will strengthen the mind. Any doing on the part of the mind makes the mind more strong. So suicide is impossible.
Mind doing something means mind continuing itself — so that is not in the nature of things. But suicide happens. Mind cannot commit it — mm? — let me make it absolutely clear: mind cannot commit it, but suicide happens. It happens through watching the mind, not by doing anything.
The watcher is separate from the mind, it is deeper than the mind, higher than the mind. The watcher is always hidden behind the mind. A thought passes, a feeling arises — who is watching this thought? Not the mind itself — because mind is nothing but the process of thought and feeling. The mind is just the traffic of thinking. Who is watching it? When you say, “An angry thought has arisen in me,” who are ‘you’? In whom has the thought arisen? Who is the container? The thought is the content — who is the container?
The mind is like when you print a book: on white, clean paper, words appear. That empty paper is the container and the printed words are the content. Consciousness is like empty paper. Mind is like written, printed paper.
Whatsoever exists as an object inside you, whatsoever you can see and observe, is the mind. The observer is not the mind, the observed is the mind.
So if you can go on simply observing, without condemning, without in any way creating a conflict with the mind, without indulging it, without following it, without going against it, if you can simply be there indifferent to it, in that indifference suicide happens. It is not that mind commits suicide: when the watcher arises, the witness is there, mind simply disappears.
Mind exists with your cooperation OR your conflict. Both are ways of cooperating — conflict too! When you fight with the mind, you are giving energy to it. In your VERY fight you have accepted the mind, in your very fighting you have accepted the power of the mind over your being. So whether you cooperate or you conflict, in both the cases the mind becomes stronger and stronger.
Just watch. Just be a witness. And, by and by, you will see gaps arising. A thought passes, and another thought does not come immediately — there is an interval. In that interval is peace. In that interval is love. In that interval is all that you have always been seeking — and finding never. In that gap, you are no more an ego. In that gap you are not defined, confined, imprisoned. In that gap you are vast, immense, huge! In that gap you are one with existence — the barrier exists not. Your boundaries are no more there. You melt into existence and the existence melts in you. You start overlapping.
If you go on watching and you don’t get attached to these gaps either… because that is natural now, to get attached to these gaps. If you start hankering for these gaps… because they are tremendously beautiful, they are immensely blissful. It is natural to get attached to them, and desire arises to have more and more of these gaps — then you will miss, then your watcher has disappeared. Then those gaps will again disappear, and again the traffic of the mind will be there.
So the first thing is to become an indifferent watcher. And the second thing is to remember that when beautiful gaps arise, don’t get attached to them, don’t start asking for them, don’t start waiting that they should happen more often. If you can remember these two things — when beautiful gaps come, watch them too, and keep your indifference alive — then one day the traffic simply disappears with the road, they both disappear. And there is tremendous emptiness.
That’s what Buddha calls ‘Nirvana’ — the mind has ceased. This is what I call suicide — but mind has not committed it. Mind cannot commit it. You can help it to happen. You can hinder it, you can help it to happen — it depends on you, not on your mind. All that mind can do will always strengthen the mind.
So meditation is not really mind-effort. Real meditation is not effort at all. Real meditation is just allowing the mind to have its own way, and not interfering in any way whatsoever — just remaining watchful, witnessing. It silences, by and by, it becomes still. One day it is gone. You are left alone.
That aloneness is what your reality is. And in that aloneness nothing is excluded, remember it. In that aloneness everything is included — that aloneness is God. That purity, that innocence, uncorrupted by any thought, is what God is.
From The Discipline of Transcendence, V. 3, Discourse #2
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Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt Who Is Watching the Mind?