Look at your hand. Who is looking? This body that you call your mind, that you call “you.” What are you looking at? You are looking at your body, which is you. So, a thing is looking at itself … But here is the point to consider: looking is a distance sense. Looking is for detecting others. So when this body uses its own distance-sense that is meant for looking at others, it starts seeing itself as an other. Thus, mind is born. Mind is when the body misapprehends itself because it is looking at itself with the distance-sense meant for looking at others. In this mess the original bodymind begins to experience itself dualistically, as a mind with a body, rather than as a unified bodymind. Duality is born and so is the illusion of separateness. To collapse this duality, to return to undivided state, look at yourself with an inner eye, a non-distancing sense of vision.
I’ve been reading about mind and body for two decades, about how they are not two, but one. But this thought above crystallized so clearly just today, just this morning. For the last week or so I’ve been practicing how to bounce a soccer ball. So this morning I walked out into my backyard, took my shirt off to enjoy the brisk morning air, and started practicing. At some point I looked down at my chest and thought “chest.” And that’s when it clicked: eyes (that belong to the body that also sports this chest) looked (not at the soccer ball on the grass) but at its own body and this body – while looking at itself – through the distance-sensing/other-detecting eyes – saw itself as the other. And the thought that you read above crystallized as it did. It was instantly clear to me – the living, thinking body – that mind is, indeed, a myth. UG Krishnamurti got it (with his “mind is a myth” meme). Spinoza did too (with this “mind is the very idea of the body”). And now it was my turn …
Kick this thought-ball around yourself for a bit to see what emerges.