Butterflies have wings and fly; we have a mind and our thoughts soar. So far so good. The trouble crops up from trusting that our thoughts get us somewhere real. Any resulting belief easily leads to difficulty. When you believe the dream is real, nightmares are more likely.
Granted the mind can drive us crazy, but it isn’t really the mind’s fault; it is the trust we place in the mind’s thought. We believe that the cover we see is the whole book of reality. You can avoid much of this by simply viewing everything that you see as a symptom of the deeper shape that has no shape, as chapter 14 hints.
People’s thoughts reflect their innate nature and center around these common areas: sports, politics, work, relationships, food, sex, physical beauty, health, and so on. Again, so far so good. Our suffering occurs as soon as we put all our emotional marbles in our favorite thought basket. Chapter 71 points out this common error…
To know yet to think that one does not know is best;
Not to know yet to think that one knows will lead to difficulty.
Even acknowledging this, what can we do? Do we have any choice over how much trust we place in thought? Trust is a curious thing; you trust something, e.g., people, actions, knowledge, beliefs, etc., until you deeply, intuitively realize your trust was misplaced. This comes down to having a visceral emotional experience, and not just understanding the principle idea, although that is a good place to begin. Plant the seeds today; reap the bountiful crop of emotional peace tomorrow.
This may not make any sense to whom who read, but I’ll state it anyway. Sometimes what we see is not what we have. Consciousness can be illusionary in our own mind whether it is within, without, and/or neither. Is consciousness an existence of itself, or are we the provider? Look and you may find, then again, the finder is who? Are you the seeker, the found, or none of that? To remember a Confucian thought: the hardest thing of all is to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if there is no cat.
Good to hear your take on this. Like you say, “the thought”, or rather the vision (i.e., feeling, ‘big picture’, intuition, etc.) come in a moment. Converting that ‘forward yet backward’ point of view into the ‘forward only’ grammar that speech centered thinking is one hell of a challenge. Why do we take up a challenge that is essentially futile in the end? A social need to communicate(*), and that’s not futile (as long as we don’t expect too much).
Boy, ain’t that the truth! It is being aware of this that makes consciousness such an adventure for me. On one hand ‘models’ pop into mind, on the other hand I know they are ‘not it’. That creates some potent irony.
(*) The other arts are not any more successful at communicating ‘it’, or so I’ve found. The deeper I reach, the more murky like muddy water ‘it’ seems to become.
I can only see in front of me, not behind. When I look behind I can see behind but do not in front. Vision is limited (to 180 degrees or so?). The mind creates a model of reality inside itself. The mind’s model of what is in front holds while we look behind so we (falsely) believe we know what is all around us. But the model can get stale with time. That’s why we have to keep checking our car’s mirrors when driving, so we can update the stale data in our models.
Also, the eye has a fovea (a small point of sharpest vision) The whole rest of vision is no where near as sharp. When the fovea observes an object, the mind’s model is updated and the fovea moves to observe something else, but the object in the mind’s model (and the not so sharp parts of the eye) hold the information about the object observed similar to, as if it were still being viewed directly (when it is not).
Our models in our minds are staler than we know.
George Box said “…all models are wrong…”
When you said above “Trusting in what you think will lead to difficulty”, this is the thought that came to my mind. (The thought came quickly. In less than a second. Yet it took me 20 minutes to type this…)
And pigs fly!