Om Namah Shivaya

The Instrument, Not the Doer

If you watch very carefully, you will see that whatever judgement the mind makes is completely limited to our physiological, biological survival. This is the animal nature of our being. Animal in the strictly technical meaning of the word anima – living substance. The mind is not interested in altruism or the search for truth. It is not interested in dissociating itself from the body and looking at the truth. If we let the mind take a decision, it will necessarily and naturally function as an adjunct to the physiological aspect of our personality. The mind advises us how best to survive in this world.

There is something absurd here. The mind’s effort to perpetuate the physical body is a contradiction, because it turns a blind eye on the fact that this physical life must come to an end. It is very difficult for the mind of most of us to appreciate the totality of life. It seeks pleasure but refuses to see that the other side of pleasure is pain. It desires success but refuses to see that success is bound to end in failure. It sees only one side and therefore it is partial, limited and the advice it gives is bound to be inadequate, limited and therefore frustrating. One who quite clearly sees this, also sees that the mind, being a self-appointed guardian deity of the body, conditioned by its own foolishness, is untrustworthy; and any action that springs from the mind or the physical organism is pure animal action, meant merely to preserve the physical organism. It is instinctive, impulsive and therefore futile, fruitless, blind and fragmentary, and must lead to frustration. The moment one is able to see this, faith in the mind drops. The wise man who seeks truth, firmly avoids taking the counsel of the mind.

But if the mind is not going to enable us to make the decision, what else does? How does an action take place? When we write a letter, we use a fountain pen, paper and the hand. The hand is propelled by the brain (the mind) and the mind itself is propelled by some unknown intelligence. The mind is but an instrument – the antahkarana, the inner instrument of action – and the instrument should obviously not become the doer! Hidden as the inner light in all these instruments is the jiva – the living, sentient, conscious spark of God, the inner light that alone sustains nature. Whatever there is in this whole universe is pervaded by this consciousness, and any action which springs from this inner light, the jiva or the spark of God within, is real action.