October 9, 2020
Your Mind is a Cheap Car Wash
Some call it a “natural high”. For ten minutes, the mind is free from uncertainty and worry, and everything makes sense. I am lively and invigorated,. The world around me is colorful, flavorful, and full of possibilities. Meaning becomes self-evident. Purpose becomes self-sustaining. Passion becomes effortless.
“Free your mind”, “Empty your mind”: It is unfortunate that these ideas have become meaningless clichés. The idea within these statements is worth holding on to: There is nothing more important to our quality of life than our ability to separate ourselves from our delusions.
“We shape clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside
that holds whatever we want.
We hammer wood for a house,
but it is the inner space
that makes it livable.”
-Tao Te Ching
As a problem-solving entity, the mind is like one of those gas station car washes you can drive through. Every problem is a dirty car. A problem is supposed to enter the mind, be solved, and then leave the mind so that there is space for the next problem to get dealt with.
In all actuality, the mind seamlessly transforms itself depending on any situation. It is an opera singer when opera needs to be sung, and a car wash when a car needs to be cleaned. The empty mind is creative, intrigued, and inexhaustible. The only thing that matters is that we make our minds available to the reality surrounding us. The creative ways in which the mind will transform that reality is a manifestation of our soul. I can think of no more sacred process than a human’s ability to express their truest self, but every anxiety that preoccupies us throws a wrench into this process.
Misery easily fills the mind. It floods in every direction. It poisons a listless body.
How can we ensure our mind can be free and open? We have to look back to that “natural high.”
It is often the result of good exercise, good food, or good lovin’. Our spiritual health is rooted in our physical activities. A healthy body is the only thing that can produce this feeling. A healthy body is the only thing that can house an empty mind.
Spirit courses through the spine. Emotion churns in the guts. Care beats in the heart.
The body must be healthy in order to allow these things to flow through us, so that no cars get stuck in the “car wash”.
When the body is forgotten, our creativity is forgotten with it, and everything becomes a chore.
There is another word for emptiness inside the mind: it is called “inspiration”. And so, all of our physical work comes with one goal: To fill us with inspiration, so that we might have space for something more.