Sun Wukong was pressed for more than five hundred years at the foot of the Five-element Mountain, but after the Tang Priest took the post away from the top of the mountain with “OM MANI PADME HUM”, he was able to break out. It seemed that the weight of the post was more than that of the Five-element Mountain, so what was the post and how did it have such great power? Some people cannot be crushed by great hardships or difficulties, but when their hopes are dashed, they will collapse easily. Some people who are unaware that they have a horrible disease can live happy lives every day, but once they find out the truth, they become paralyzed from the knowledge.
There was a young boy in my village of about eleven or twelve years and every time he crossed a bridge on his way home from school, he would scream with a pale face, even in the daytime. We eventually discovered that the reason for this behavior was that he had overheard some adults in the village talking about ghosts without heads residing under all small bridges. People’s casual words controlled his thinking like a spell.
The above are extreme examples. In fact, our thinking is more or less confined by some incantations. Consider the eight kinds of suffering described in Buddhism:
- Encountering enmity and hatred
- Separation from a loved one
- Inability to attain what is pursued
- the Five Aggregates
These all result from our conventional thinking, but none would exist if we would embrace unconventional thinking.
All laws, regulations, concepts, ethics and behavioral rules, authoritative theories and sermons, religious regulations and rituals, scientific theories and methods, and exemplary models and habits are magical powers that constrain our thinking.
These magical powers benefit the maintenance of social stability greatly, but they also bind our minds and ordinary people can never be freed from them any more than fish can be freed from water.
What are magical powers? They are informational waves that restrain people’s thinking. When their energy is greater than the energy of our own conscious informational waves, then we are controlled by them. Thinking is a magical power; thinking of god, Buddha, great people, and great scientists are all magical powers which ordinary people can do nothing about unless their wisdom and thinking abilities exceed them. Thinking seems to be invisible, traceless, and illusory, but it can actually change the developmental directions and forms of objects, transform the intangible into the tangible and the tangible into the intangible, and interfere with a person’s conventional thinking.