The mind is like ice to truth and fire to lies

The mind is meant to serve as a tool for us souls to perceive the world, but it is often the greatest obstacle for us to perceive the world. Here’s how. 

The mind is like ice to truth: Ice blocks the flow of things. When the relationship between two people is icy, their mutual communication gets impeded, if not blocked. Pointing to ice’s blocking nature, ice-breakers are the names used for strategies to connect with new people. 

We need to break ice not just for outer communication with others, but also for inner communication with ourselves. Our mind often becomes like ice for truths it finds unpalatable. One such prominent unpalatable truth is the insubstantiality of sensual pleasures. Because the mind is strongly attached to sensual pleasures, it ferociously resists any truths that militate against its frantic pursuit of pleasure. 

The mind is like fire to lies: Forest fires are infamous for spreading rapidly, uncontrollably, destructively. Similarly, whenever the mind hears any rumors or gossips or even glamorizations of sensual pleasures, it becomes like fire, spreading those half-truths and untruths both internally and externally. Internally, the promise of sensual pleasure consumes our consciousness, leaving us with no room to think of any higher truths. Indeed, once our mind starts believing the lies about how immense and irresistible sensual pleasures are, it burns away our scriptural knowledge and our spiritual inclination, thereby propelling us on the path to self-destructive indulgence.

Given the mind’s resistance to truth and receptivity to lies, how can we protect ourselves?  By cultivating the regular discipline of studying scripture, irrespective of how we feel. Thus, we can keep open in our consciousness at least one steady channel to timeless truth. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (03.43) declares that we need spiritualized intelligence to conquer our inner self-destructive desires.

Think it over:

  • How is the mind like ice to truth?
  • How is the mind like fire to lies?
  • How can we protect ourselves from our mind?

***

03.43 Thus knowing oneself to be transcendental to the material senses, mind and intelligence, O mighty-armed Arjuna, one should steady the mind by deliberate spiritual intelligence [Kṛishna consciousness] and thus – by spiritual strength – conquer this insatiable enemy known as lust.

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