Chapter 38: Toward the Authentic Being
The first question:
In which way does the modernized original mind become identified with the dust of the past knowledge and experience?
Mind is pure, and no impurity can enter it. That is impossible. The mind is just the buddha-nature - the ultimate. And when I say “mind,” I don’t mean your mind, I simply mean the mind where no I and you exist. You are the impurity. Just behind you is the original mind. You are the dust. So first try to analyze what you are, and then you will be able to understand how the original mind becomes identified with the past, with memories, with dust.
What are you? Right now, if I ask you what you are, you can answer in two ways. One will be a verbal answer, and in that verbal answer you will relate your past. You will say, “My name is this. I belong to this family or that, to this religion or that, to this country or that. I am educated or uneducated, rich or poor.” These are all past experiences, they are not you. You have been through them, you have passed through them, they have been the passage, but your past goes on accumulating.
This will be the verbal answer, but this is not the real answer. This is your mind arguing, the false ego. Right now, if you leave all of your past - if you forget your father, your parents, your family, your religion, your country, all which is accidental - if you forget all that is accidental and just remain with yourself here and now, then who are you? No name will come to your consciousness, no form - just a simple awareness that you are. You won’t be able to say who you are. You will simply say, “I am.” The moment you answer the “who,” you move into the past.
You are a simple consciousness, a pure mind, an innocent mirror. Right now, this very moment, you are. Who are you? Just a simple awareness that “I am.” Even the “I” is not needed. The deeper you move, the more you will feel just “am-ness,” existence. This existence is the pure mind, but this existence has no form; this is formless - nirakar. This existence has no name; it is nameless - anam.
It will be difficult for you to be introduced by this which you really are. In the society, relating with others, you will need some name, some form. Your past supplies you name and form. That name and form are useful. Without them it will be difficult to survive. They are needed, but they are not you; they are just labels. Because of this utilitarian need, the original mind becomes identified with name and form.