What is Truth?


No valid plan for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.” – Alan Watts

 

In yoga philosophy, there are four functions of the mind. Manas (senses) which is where the sensory, processing mind lives. Chitta (consciousness) which is the storage of impressions. Ahamkara (ego) where our “I-maker” or ego is. Buddhi (intellect) where we know, decide, judge and discriminate. You can think of these four functions as spokes of a wheel and at the center of the wheel is the hub that directs energy out to the spokes. That hub is known as atman or the self in which we observe from. As we observe our actions and speech it reveals the underlying thought process in the mind. It is this observing of actions and speech, that we observe the inner process of the mind at the same time.

Alan Watts in his “Veil of Thoughts” series discusses how and we mistake symbols for reality, and he argues that civilization may be a misguided experiment. He offers an observation about the way in which abstractions have become more powerful than the realities they are referencing. He further talks about how we can become “unbamboozled” from these ways of thinking.

Thought is a means of canceling truth….we are living in a state of total confusion between symbol and reality.” – Alan Watts

Alan Watts suggestions are:

1.) Thoughts are largely symbolic, and not necessarily true.

2.) Symbols create and contain abstractions.

3.) The separation of self from the environment is uncomfortable but ultimately the illusion.

4.) Reality is difficult to define because it is ever present, yet ever changing.

We can only experience reality by bringing our whole consciousness into the present moment.- by allowing our minds to unconsciously respond to the present as the trees respond to the wind- without hesitation or thought. This is meditation!

The principal activities of brains are making changes in themselves.” – Marvin L. Minsky

Truth is inconvenient- How do we navigate the pain in the ass place that happens over and over again in everyone’s lives? What happens when we don’t listen and instead stick our head in the sand? How do we manage desires, ego, and thinking errors?  When you understand why you feel nervous, annoyed, hassled, driven, blue, or inadequate, those feelings have less power over you.

Yamas in yoga are moral disciplines and Satya means truthfulness. The Upanishads teach us that we are not three-dimensional beings but multi-dimensional beings that have five kosha body’s or sheaths. The Kosha sheaths are the Physical Body, Energy Body, Emotional Body, Wisdom Body and the Bliss Body. This is the healing model from which Yoga Therapy works from.

Ultimately, happiness comes down to choosing between the discomfort of becoming aware of your mental afflictions and the discomfort of being ruled by them.” – Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

 

Resources:

Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hanson, PhD. With Richard Mencius, M.D. https://www.amazon.com/Buddhas-Brain-Practical-Neuroscience-Happiness/dp/1572246952/ref=sr_1_1/133-9015475-7796041?ie=UTF8&qid=1517346873&sr=8-1&keywords=buddha+brain+book

www.alanwatts.org

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