Clearing the mind (Q. 311)

Q: I come across a lot about clearing the mind….but if there is no person, no-one that can have a will of his/her own, surely a desire or will to clear the mind is a nonsense? The mind cannot be tamed because there is not a person to whom it belongs, someone with their own free will? Is that at all right? Surely a clear mind would only arise because it is the will of Brahman?

 A: It’s only nonsense once you know that you are not a person!

 Also, you have to be very clear when you are talking about Brahman. Strictly speaking, the term ‘brahman’ refers to the non-dual reality and, if you are using it in this sense, it is not meaningful to speak of ‘the will of brahman’ – brahman does not have any will; there are no ‘parts’ to brahman and there is nothing other than brahman.

 If you are talking about the person (appearance) within the world (appearance), then you have to refer to Ishvara as the ‘creator’ and the dispenser of body-minds in accordance with accumulated karma from past lives.

 You have to be clear in your own mind about this distinction because, for example, the Brahma Sutras uses the word ‘brahman’ in both senses and expects you to know which one is being referred to in any given instance!