- Bob Ginsberg
Why the Biggest Obstacle to Enlightenment is Our Brain
Can We Achieve a Spotless Mind?
I was recently watching a video clip on social media that showed an adult orangutan caring for and cuddling two baby tiger cubs. There seemed to be great joy shared by all three, with an abundance of frolicking, snuggling and what appeared to be genuine care and affection. In fact, the orangutan had evidently observed the animal sanctuary workers bottle-feeding the cubs, so the orangutan decided to take over the responsibility of bottle-feeding as well.
I am sure that you have seen similar videos featuring seemingly incongruous relationships among the animal kingdom exhibiting love and affection. It brings a smile every time. When I watch such things it brings to mind what needs to be missing for such love to occur. It seems there must be certain prerequisite absences, such as freedom from conditioning, filtering, political correctness, religious bias, educational or cultural influence, patriotism, judgment and greed. These are all part of human behavior, but blissfully absent in the animal kingdom. Of course you might argue that that there is plenty of killing and fighting within the animal kingdom, but this appears to be purely survival related and part of a grand design. It’s sad to watch, but such behavior is instinctual as opposed to learned human behavior.
I am reminded of a segment I once watched on TV about the “Wolf Pack Kids.” It involved six brothers kept prisoners by their father in a New York City apartment for their entire childhood. Although they never stepped outside their apartment, they were home schooled by their dedicated mother. The brothers occupied themselves by watching movies, memorizing the lines, and often acting them out in their own apartment production. Eventually one brother found the courage to escape the apartment, ventured for the first time into a new reality, and the other brothers soon followed suit. I was touched and intrigued by watching the boys absorb all of the first time experiences. While I witnessed their pure innocence as they took in the various sights, sounds, and smells of this new reality, all I could think of was that their unique perspective was an elixir – a magical formula that if we could bottle would change the world.
Which made me think, what if we had the ability to once again become a blank slate, unaffected by all of the learned baggage and transformed back to pure mind and inherent intuitiveness?
In this thought experiment I imagined that I was in a war torn third world country and came upon a person in need of help. In my present state I would see the person in need, then my brain would start running through all of the possible repercussions of offering assistance, and then I would take the appropriate course of action. The analysis part of this process is the key to understanding what makes us all different from one another. After seeing the problem, the person in need, the following thoughts might develop based upon my orientation: What type of assistance am I qualified to offer? Will the person be open to my help? Is this person part of the oppressing or oppressed group in this country? Might I be shot by someone who does not like me assisting this person? Might I catch some disease by working with this individual? What’s in it for me? These or other questions would then result in what action to take, if any.
On the other hand, if I were once again a blank slate, I would simply see the problem, react instinctively, and help the person in any way that I could. Since I believe that our true nature is based upon love, compassion and the knowledge that we are interconnected, there would be no other choice. I can now hear those of you who are thinking that this is faulty thinking because we need our brains to act as a reasoning mechanism and filter for our own safety. This is certainly true in today’s world, but in my thought experiment safety would not be an issue. One’s best interest is not an issue in a society devoid of greed, corruption, self-interest, religious persecution, discrimination or intellectual elitism.
I doubt I will see a world in my physical lifetime where becoming a blank slate would be practical. However, there is a place for this now when we contemplate the possibility of life after death. All of the above mentioned preconceived notions are the same obstacles that stand in the way of recognizing what our ancestors once knew. They were aware of the true nature of consciousness, and such knowledge was not given a name or label. They intuitively knew of the vast web of interconnectedness that always was and will always be. They did not recognize the dimensional barriers that today perpetuate the feeling of separateness and feed into materialism.
Yes, the mystical traditions that persisted for tens of thousands of years came close to extinction many times due to religious doctrine and political greed, but they always reemerged. They keep rising to the forefront, and why do you think that is? I believe that true knowledge and wisdom are too powerful to extinguish. I believe that we will always gravitate back to our roots of love and compassion. It is somewhat ironic that, in this time of technological supremacy, that we should yearn to become blank slates. However, I submit that it is necessary for our continued survival.