Slow my mind by Joseph Gilbert(Photo Credit: Joseph Gilbert – “Slow My Mind”)

The Cross is a torture instrument which many men bore upon their shoulders on the road to crucifixion. As I sit here overwhelmed by the merciless mechanical chattering of my brain, it occurs to me that I’m being tortured by my own mind. I feel that I’ve always been the victim of this torture instrument, carrying the agonizing mind on my shoulders like a cross.

"Cristo Portacroce" - Girolamo Romano

“Cristo Portacroce” – Girolamo Romano

How can ‘I’ be a victim of my own mind?’” I wonder, am I crucifying myself?

Have you ever noticed that we carry burdens that we aren’t aware of carrying until they happen to fall off our shoulders? It’s like white noise on the television set, or the ever humming a/c in the room. The mind is full of background noise that I didn’t know was affecting my quality of Life, my very Being, until it suddenly became still for a while.

White Noise by Darren Millar(Photo Credit: “White Noise” – Darren Millar)

Maybe there are lots of people who walk around carrying the burden of their incessantly noisy, ever complaining, ever judgmental minds without being aware of its ‘fine work’ hammering nails into the palms of their hands. There’s suffering, a general feeling of unease. There is anxiety, fear, and depression, but the source of that suffering isn’t quite clear. One might mistake the source of their conflict, blaming it on some external physical condition or circumstance, or more likely, blaming ‘others’. Maybe there are lots of people who are unaware that they’re walking the road to crucifixion. But who is making them walk? Who is making them carry the cross? Who is going to crucify them?

In my mind the cross appears as the most recognized symbol of torture, and Jesus as the one best known for having taken it on to ‘wash away the sins of the world’.

What ‘sins’ do humans have in common? What makes man ‘sin’?

"Cristo Crucificado" - Diego Velazquez

“Cristo Crucificado” – Diego Velazquez

As my mind continues its barrage of thoughts and projections and wants and desires and likes and dislikes and worries and fears and so on…it’s clear to me that Jesus’ suffering on the cross represents the suffering of all humanity at the hands of…

(The Voice emerges and asks the question again just to be sure: “Who created that instrument of torture? Who forced you to bear it? Who led you down the path to crucifixion? Who is going to nail you down and hang you up?”)

…humanity itself. The human mind, deeply conditioned, fragmented, and running on automatic pilot is the root of all so called ‘sin’. The heaviness of the cross is the madness of the human mind which is reflected in the kind of world which we have created, a world which continues to breed fear and hatred, despite any and every social, political, economic, or technological “evolution.”

It’s difficult to walk a torturous path without subconsciously wanting to blame or torture others…but what about ‘conscious suffering’?

In “Living a Life of Inner Peace” (Disc 2 – Attention),” Eckhart Tolle speaks of Christ’s Crucifixion as it relates to human suffering and ‘salvation’ through acceptance:

“You need to come to an acceptance of the forms in the Now even if they appear limiting. Accept first and then see what happens, then they change. Accept first no matter how limiting it seems. The ultimate limitation is the cross, the crucifixion. The cross –  how can one accept being crucified to a cross? Can’t accept that! But this being that is you, ultimately each one of you, accept it. The most extreme form of limitation, torture instrument, the cross…not MY will but THY will be done…whose will? The ONE, the will of the ONE who brought this event about, and the torture instrument suddenly became a symbol for the divine, and you don’t need to be a Christian to understand that…the greatest limitation, when totally accepted becomes the opening. But it may be that you don’t need that much suffering any more. You’ve had enough.”

Yes, it’s my mind which interprets every circumstance as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, ‘easy’ or ‘difficult’, ‘bearable’ or ‘unbearable’, ‘fearful’ or ‘joyful’. The fact is that “thought” is the form that my cross, the ‘torture instrument’,takes. Paradoxically, I’m both the mind and the one being tortured by the mind. I’m the cross and the bearer of the cross. I’m the crucifier and the crucified. But is SEEING this FACT alone enough to end suffering? How does one stop the self fulfilling prophecies that lead down the path of crucifixion? Can the pain of crucifixion itself ‘become an opening’ for transcending the nails being driven into the heart and soul by the mind?

Accepting the limitation of my form and the condition of the present moment depends on the state of my own mind which usually sees only what it wants to see, what it’s been conditioned to feel, reducing the value of LIFE to the mind’s interpretation or “what I believe”. This, friends, is torture because what I believe is that life is meaningless.

Blind - Priscilla Santana(Photo Credit: “Blind” – Priscilla Santana)

How can I stop believing that life is meaningless unless I stop believing that life’s meaning can be defined? The mind doesn’t seem interested in Truth, but would rather pin it down, restrict it, narrow it down to a belief system ever hovering between up and down, left and right, black and white, yes and no, this and that.

I repeat: What about conscious suffering? Can ACCEPTANCE itself BE the CONSCIOUS ACT required to transcend the human condition?  Is Acceptance an ACT that is independent of the mind’s automatic pilot?

Maybe I can transcend the burden of crucifixion by accepting, with every fiber of my being and without blame, the needless pain that the mind inflicts upon itself. Maybe I can find “an opening into space” by fully surrendering to this moment which I believe is so burdensome, knowing that it’s my own mind which creates the burden.  I so badly want to stop resisting the present moment!

The mind resists what IS, and wanting in itself is a kind of resistance, a conflict that exists only in the mind. Better meet this moment with eyes wide open and give up every desire. To transcend crucifixion, I must accept crucifixion. Only then will I stop crucifying myself.