Much as we might like to think of the mind as nimble, creative and vital, it is not. Mind is a coral reef – dense, solid, and unmoving. God is the ocean – vast and unbounded, an eternal, ecstatic dance of love. Despite the fact that the reef of the mind is surrounded and infused by this joyous celebration, it has no part in the dance.
Mind’s sole action is to secrete thoughts. Just as the tiny coral polyp animal secretes calcium, the mind squeezes out thoughts, simply performing its function. Consider it our ‘thought gland’. And as the polyp builds up the coral with more and more secretions, the mind builds on thoughts by secreting them again and again, repeating and polishing and cementing them.
In this way one coral polyp and a few zillion of its closest friends and relatives – each producing a modest calcium secretion – can accumulate to become the Great Barrier Reef. And a thought secreted here, a thought secreted there can in time create the Great Barrier Ego. Yes, every thought, and every idle moment of idle thought, adds up! And as the polyp’s secretion encases the tiny animal, the secretion of our worldly thoughts traps us. We construct a dense, limited and false definition of self; we live in it and we call it us.
Who we are is not the reef at all; we are the lagoon enclosed by the reef. We are the soul enclosed by the ego. The soul is our nimble, shining, vital identity. That solid, concrete ego is not going to take us anywhere. Or at least not where we want to go.
Where does the soul want to go? Back to the Creator. Where does the mind want to go? Out into the creation. Maharaj Charan Singh says in Divine Light:
Our brain’s reasoning can properly value and understand things that are known through the physical senses, and even then it fails sometimes. God and things of God can be understood by the soul alone, and intuition is the eye of the soul.
As the lagoon water alone can experience union with the sea; the soul alone can experience its oneness with God.
The wave of the ocean that is the Master washes down upon us. His vitality recharges and inspires us. He tells us that we can indeed experience oneness with God, and the way to do this is to meditate.
Meditation deconstructs the barrier reef of the mind. Simran not only halts the daily accumulation of mental secretions, it chips away at the great mass. Shabd, God’s divine music, simply dissolves the reef of our ego and allows the ocean of love to rush in, cleansing, revitalizing, and reuniting us with its current.
O benevolent Lord,
from you has proceeded the Word,
and from the Word has sprung the whole creation.
You are Truth and Beauty, ever in bliss.
Jap Ji: A Perspective