The Kingdom of the Mind – (Part I, Essay VI)

Our greatest enemy is ourselves. The one we must fear is our self. This is true both individually and collectively. It is true of both man and men. We all have our goals and desires, but our own follies stand in the way. In our life story, we are both the protagonist and the antagonist. We strive toward a goal and simultaneously hold ourselves back from it. It is our inherent contradiction. It is the seed of all wars, big and small.

In this war, we grow confused. We become lost in the jungle of our mind, blinded by the fog. We lose ourselves. We lose sight of our future. Our desires erode into contradiction. As we lose who we are, we lose our purpose. Our life loses purpose. And so we wander aimlessly through the foggy forest, lost and blind. We can only see the immediate, but all ahead, all behind, all above, all below, is hidden behind the fog. The sun sets and darkness descends. Tonight is a new moon, and storm clouds hide away the stars. In the dark we are truly blind, and know not where we are.

How can we keep our eyes fixed on the sun in the dead of night? Only a fool looks at a sun that isn’t there.

By our judgement, we will weigh the scales of the world, of our hearts and minds. We will find balance, and through that will we rise from our confusion. The fog will fade, the clouds will dissipate, the sun will rise, and we will find our way back along the beaten path.

But first we must stare within ourselves. We must avert our eyes from the external and reverse them into the internal. We were born with two sets of eyes. One set for seeing around us, the other for seeing within. Close the former eyes and open the latter. Stop looking at the cards of others’ hands and look at your own. Weigh them through the power of your judgement. Choose your cards. Take the ones you want to place. Now look across the table. Look at your opponents. Look at yourself. Now you may peek at their cards! By your will, you must win this match. Place down your cards and take what is yours from the pile! But keep in mind, this is all in your head.

Be vigilant; your opponents will attempt to deceive you. They will bluff. Call their bluff! They will try to tip the scales of your judgement, make you choose and place the wrong cards. Your opponents do not play clean. Make that their folly! Expose their tricks and see through their deceit, by that will you win! But remember, this is all in your head.

The stakes of this game are higher than any other. Your own mind is on the line. Everyone at the table wants a piece of your mind, everyone wants to take it and make it their possession. This is why you must win. You have found yourself, he sits upon the table! But he is chained! You must gamble away his chains. You must win! But remember not to be deceived. Remember, it is all in your head.

I have travelled through the foggy forest for years, by night and day. I have endured the blackest darkness, basked in the brightest sunlight. Always I was searching for the path. Always I was searching for myself. I looked around me in the forest, but couldn’t see through the fog. I looked above, but clouds hid the sky. I looked below, but the undergrowth tried to trip me and pull me down. I found a cave that led below. I entered the darkness and stumbled my way over hidden rocks, feeling along the walls that enclosed me. There I found a dragon. There I found myself, chained by the undergrowth. I fled, and eventually I came out the other side, emerging into the light. I found myself in that cave. I found him in the forest too. In the sky as well. In the light and in the dark. In the fog and the clouds. Standing tall among the trees and shrivelled among the undergrowth. I was searching for myself within myself. It took me so long to realize that, and that was my greatest folly. Then I looked to the sun, and basked in its light. I climbed the tallest trees to get closer to it, but no tree was tall enough. I came down and retreated to the mountains. I climbed the highest peak, but no mountain was high enough. Then I descended again, down into the cave, and slayed the dragon within. I played cards in the dark with the cave dwellers, and won myself back from myself. I freed myself from the undergrowth, and climbed again up the highest mountain. I stared at the sun and the sun stared at me. Then I became the sun, and stared at the world. By my light, I saw all that lie on the surface. I saw the path that I must take, the road of my desire. I could not see what dwell below, but I knew it was there. It’s always there, I realized, and learned to live with it. This world became my kingdom, ruled by the light of the sun. The cave dwellers became my subjects, subservient to me, to the sun. My virtues rest upon the throne, my vices bow at their feet in obedience. Now I control myself. I rule the kingdom of my mind.


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