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November 16, 2006


There are two kinds of mind: those which are ready to surrender and those which are not. Insanity is a mind which has created an overwhelming amount of suffering for itself. Suffering is created by the mind and is the result of the mind trying to be in control of anything but itself. The only thing that the mind can be in control of is itself, nothing else.

Any mind that has not fully surrendered control, suffers. Some suffer more than others. The mind creates a model of the world and when the world matches the model the mind feels in control. When the world changes the mind feels out of control. If the world changes, an unsurrendered mind, unaware of its own nature, will go to almost any lengths to reconcile the world with its existing model.

This is why people kill, lie, and manipulate. Stop a persons mind and they will become peaceful. I heard a story about a monk in the east who entered a prison and taught voluntary meditation classes to the inmates. The ones who turned up sat each day and watched their breath. Watching the breath stills the mind. After several hours the inmates began to cry and to regret their misdeeds.

The mind has a sense that it is a part of everything; it vaguely remembers what our true nature is and it tries to approximate that through thought. It creates an ever more complex model of the world and an ever greater conception of itself as part of the world. The mind acquires possessions, reputation, and knowledge or the lack of them; these things is uses to support its model of itself and of the world. The unmastered mind is the anti-soul. People say that they see evil in the world; there is no evil in the world, only evil in our minds. The devil is an unmastered mind.

When the structure of the world falls apart, as it always does eventually, the mind goes into a tailspin. The mind loses the foundation for its reality and becomes very fearful; suffering increases suddenly and rapidly.

When suffering reaches a certain threshold, the mind's conception of itself being destroyed becomes so real and compelling that the mind begins to implement that view of the world. The mind decides to end suffering by destroying itself.

This is how insanity or suicide happens. This is a fork in the road. On one path, the mind either kills its vehicle, the body, or almost completely disconnects from reality. On the other path, the mind kills itself; it surrenders; it accepts its powerlessness, it trusts the body, and it trusts reality. The meaning of life is in the body, in the heart.

When the mind denies the body, the body tries to assert itself; the body shouts louder and louder to be heard and the mind has to think deeper and deeper in order to ignore it. This is how suffering begins. The mind is always trying to minimize suffering but also to stay in control; these are conflicting objectives. Every time the mind finds a way to reduce suffering while staying in control, hurting others or creating a more complex model, it creates conditions for increased subsequent suffering.

The more intelligent the mind, the longer it can last in suffering. It finds all kinds of ways to avoid surrendering. But all minds have the capability to understand what is written here and to surrender. Every mind has a needle strong enough to untangle the knot which it has tied. Every mind can imagine the glory of freedom, of taking its place in the family of things.

People often turn to religion when they reach a crisis point because it gives their mind a model which enables them to feel in control enough to reduce suffering to a tolerable level. Like drugs, religion temporarily delays the final decision but makes the final level of suffering even greater.

When a person is criminal, on the edge of insanity, or suicidal, they are ripe. They are suffering so deeply that they have compelled themselves to make a choice. The solution is not to lock them up, punish them, medicate them, restrain them, teach them to mood alter through posture or breathing, or to guide their thoughts to positive things. The most skillful action that can be taken is to coach their mind to surrender. Once a mind understands the two paths it will always surrender and then everything mentioned above is no longer relevant.

"Duncan you are amazing. You explain things so clearly and completely. Even things I 'know' about, you clarify! What a gift." — Trish (Thousand Oaks, California, USA)

"So true Duncan ... Sometimes looking at your emails helps me get through what is rather a hard time!" — James S. (London, UK)

"[this] is brilliant and resonates one hundred percent with my own experience." — Elizabeth (Peacehaven, UK)


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