Talks with a seeker who has dived deep into the Teachings – Part 2/9

Question: I understand that spirituality purifies the mind. I can see that witnessing prevents further clutter in the mind, but does it also purify existing clutter?


Answer: In fact, first it purifies the existing clutter.


Question: How so? What is the mechanism?


Answer: Up until this point, we have been operating blindly according to our conditioning. When we begin to operate as the Witness, it introduces fresh conditioning. For example, let’s say there was someone in your life who annoyed you and you disliked. The Teaching tells you that this person is acting based on their genetics, conditioning, and history, none of which were in their control, and this is simply the way they were made. Acknowledging the truth of this, the light of understanding illuminates the cluttered space in your mind that doesn’t like this person for who they are, and you see that this person could not help being the way they are. This understanding removes the sting of doership in that particular relationship, and you start witnessing that relationship more objectively.


So then, what happens to the clutter in the mind that accumulated during your lifetime? The thinking mind uses the clutter as fuel to generate continued thinking, judgment, blame, malice, and envy. When the Teaching transforms your perception of what is really happening, and witnessing begins to occur, it dissolves the clutter and calms the thinking mind because it removes the fuel.


Question: So then, once you start witnessing it must accelerate this process.


Answer: When witnessing starts happening, you start becoming less and less involved in all the drama and stories of life. In turn, this allows witnessing to happen more and more often. All of a sudden, you realize that you have begun living in the present moment, just like you read about in books and hear in Satsang. This happens without you having to do anything to be the Witness. Instead, the thinking mind, which was previously running in a multitude of directions, no longer does so. When the thinking mind doesn’t behave like an octopus with its tentacles darting all around and becomes quiet, the presence of the Witness emerges and you begin living in the present moment. That is the grace of the Teaching.