Confusion, dilemma and turmoil are the oldest problems known to mankind. The most powerful solution is that of common sense. By looking at the problem with simple awareness, there will be no stress laid on the inner space.
A story that helps grasp this idea better: There was once a student who wanted to major in Logical Studies. He approached a scholar of logic and asked him to be his guide. The scholar was apprehensive, but agreed to guide the student if he could pass the test. The student obliged, and the scholar put forth a situation. He said, “Two men came down a chimney. One man’s face was dirty, the other’s was clean. Which man washed his face and which one didn’t?” The student pauses and says, “The one with the dirty face, naturally”. The scholar shook his head. He said, “The man with the dirty face looked at the man with the clean face and thought his face was clean. So the man with the clean face washed his face, and the man with the dirty face didn’t wash his face.” The student was in awe and said he never looked at it that way. He asked the scholar for another chance to prove himself.
The scholar repeated his question. The student then said, “We just established that the man with the clean face washed his face, and the man with the dirty face didn’t wash his face.” Again, the scholar shook his head. He said, “The man with the clean face looked at the man with the dirty face and thought his face was also dirty, so he washed his face. The man with the dirty face saw him wash his face and so he washed his face too.” The student was taken aback. He pleaded for another chance.
The scholar obliged and repeated the question. This time, the student said confidently, “Each man washed his face “. Once again, the scholar shook his head and said, “The man with the dirty face looked at the man with the clean face and thought his face was clean, so he didn’t wash his face. The man with the clean face decided he wouldn’t wash his face either, assuming it was clean”. The student was now desperate. He pleaded for a last chance.
At this, the scholar put forth the same question. This was too much for the student, who said, “Why don’t you move on to another question?” The scholar then said, “All your knowledge of programming is clearly insufficient. Stop and ask yourself if it is even possible for two men to descend from the same chimney, one the a dirty face and another with a clean face”.
Confusion makes it harder to be productive. It causes endless mulling over and mulling over adds fuel to confusion, creating a vicious circle. Looking at the problem with nothing but simple awareness is enough to realize that the problem is hypothetical and any solution derived, no matter how “clever”, will be hypothetical too.
Keeping the Inner Space engaged in nonexistent problems and adding convoluted logical patterns is what can be called “Maya”. Finding solutions to these hypothetical problems and thinking of it as a worthy achievement is what can be termed as ego and BREAKING this pattern is INTUITION.
All it takes is a simple bend in logic for it to become a mess that reaches new levels of perversion. With just a little awareness, the line of thinking can remain straight and unnecessary patterns of confusion and dilemma can be prevented.