Α7. The introspection of the mind.
A few minutes ago the mind returned from the battlefield of the material world and now sits down and attempts to surrender surrenders to the climate of introspection. He has not forgotten his yesterday promise. My urgent adjuration sounds still vibrant in his ears; its echo accompanied his activities during the whole day today. This time it is completely impossible for him to ignore it.
He reviews the written questions once again. He overcomes his resistances, just by means of taking no notice of them, until he totally forgets them. He consciously withdraws from the world’s swirl and starts working again. He examines carefully the sequence of the thoughts and the flow of the associations which were triggered yesterday by the injustice he underwent. In this way he will be able to find and give me the answers I requested yesterday.
“Why do I dread neediness and poverty?” The mind points out which latent association follows the thought about the even-tuality of poverty and draws it up to see the light of truth: “Poverty means for me misery, loneliness, loss of elementary amenities and many practical difficulties in my relationship to the world. But what panics me most of all is the idea that I will prove to be inefficient, unable to obtain those goods which so many other brothers have proved to be capable to conquer and enjoy. Hence, I conclude that my problem is not the survival itself; this can be indemnified one way or the other. My problem is my obsession of competitiveness and my need to prove to all my brothers that, indeed, I do have value. That is to say, I try to base my happiness on my social eminence. This is a phobic association which has already lasted some decades.
“Why do I not bear failure? Yesterday I failed to convince the ‘opponent’ that I was right. I was defeated and this I do not bear, not for the defeat itself, but because failure means for me proof that I did not do it well and hence I am of zero value. This is one more association which has haunted me for some decades.
“Why have I been addicted to the easy solution of fugue in front of every difficulty?” The mind notes his immediate pursuit of shelter in a mouthful of food, in order to fix the energy on the throat and the stomach and remove it from the head, as he can no longer bear it there. In Greek the word for “gluttony” is “λαιμαργία” (laemargia), which means “idleness of throat” (laemos = throat, argia = idleness), that is to say through the delight of the throat I pursue the temporary idleness of the mind and the heart. My ancient brothers who created the words must have known something more than I do… “This is but one more link of the chain of my haunting associations”, admits the mind now and continues: “I failed; hence I have no value, which means that I will miss the joy of being admired. Let’s find then in the delight of throat another joy as substitute”. One more association of some decades, full of lies, fugue and pain and with immediate aftermath the guilt feelings. This is a familiar recipe for misery.
“Why do I not bear injustice?” The mind remembers how intensely the injustice drowned him yesterday. “A brother did not want to believe me by any means. He regarded me as a liar, in order to satisfy his own anguishes, but I took it for a personal rejection and lowering of my value. This is also a confined one-sided association of decades, which considers only my problem and not the problem of the brother who wrongs me.
“Why do I become aggravated whenever a male brother and fellow traveler in the struggle of breadwinning belittles me, taunts me and does not let me speak? I froth out of fury like a defeated cockerel; I envy him, as if with this defeat I lost all my manhood and my value as a man-chaser-conqueror. This has been the association of my thoughts every time that a male brother humiliated me, since I can remember myself. This is one more drowning mental association of some decades, full of insecurity and with no trace of understanding and spiritual broadness.
“Why do I not bear to accept the chagrin which the defeat induces me and instead always prefer to pretend that I am perfect and untouched by human passions? Because, as soon as I feel the chagrin, I think that again I did not manage to remain detached. This inner defeat annoys me even more than the previous one which came from outside, because it proves my incapability to be constantly happy, whatever happens. I feel again unworthy, because I do not manage to enjoy the triumph over my passions. This has been a dominating mental association of self-condemnation since many decades. As if my passions were not enough burden for me, I also have self-condemnation on top of it.
“Why do I dread so much the grim future of slavery and do not believe that one day I will cast off my stubbornness and fixed ideas? This is, indeed, a real danger, but why should I dread it so much? Is just the misery of slavery for the rest of my life which threatens me or is again my need to prove my value, this time by achieving freedom? While I look inside myself, I find that both are true in the same degree, but, if the latter would go, then the former would become simpler and easier to handle”.
 The mind felt stressed, while he put into himself the idea that he “attempts to surrender” to the climate of introspection. He immediately recalled other times when he had unsuccessfully attempted to surrender to a beautiful situation or picture, such as a walk in nature, for example. The mind realized that the attempt is the problem. So, he simply removed attempting and surrendered to the yesterday’s nice climate of introspection. By this simple and successful experiment the word of my Master was once again confirmed, who used to say that “attempting” holds the mind “at the temptations”, that is to say to the human passions. In this particular case, the attempt reinforces the mind’s resistance against surrendering and brings the opposite from the intended result.