Buddha in the Mirror: Form is Emptiness, and Mind is Heart…

The mind should be like a mirror, reflecting everything and possessing nothing. Because no one really knows what the mind is. We only know it by its fruits, the fruits of a consciousness that is certainly important, however indefinable and possible unknowable. But that’s okay, because to define it is to limit it, and you know where that leads, roadblocks and dead ends and reasons to give up the search for meaning when that is at the heart of what mind truly is.

That much we know, and not much else, because the mind is as mysterious as the ways in which it expresses itself. But it’s always been associated with the heart, even before we really knew much, if anything, about the workings of that anatomical organ. So, that’s probably the best clue to what we know about it, that it was long considered to be the center of not only love, but consciousness, those two aspects of human existence considered to be inseparable, even when it was presumed to be located in that chest cavity which contained so many other important organs which were essential to life, specifically the lungs.

The importance of gray matter would only be known much later, much like DNA, so we must have been thinking: why would THAT be important? Everything important was seen to reside in that chest cavity, no matter that our primary sense organs were all located in the head. Buddhist citta makes no mention of any sense organ, to my knowledge, but Thai language quickly compounded that consciousness jit with the jai heart to make a compound jitjai which persists to this day, long after the scientific biological functions are well known.

So it is in popular culture, also, that love is somehow located in the chest cavity, regardless of all evidence to the contrary (the kids can stay. I won’t talk about genitalia, haha). But this is important, because love IS an expression of mind, not body, even before language came along to muddy the mix. So, now we associate mind (not necessarily THE mind) with cognition and cogitation and logic and symbolism, but that is all secondary. Mind is heart, and the mind’s quest is for meaning, not truth.