Investigating our grey matter

grey matter

I have a dear friend who is a Scientist, and I am sure the title will peak his curiosity. But I will dispel any misconceptions about this content immediately, and assure you that the only science that I apply here is that which I have learned through my own direct experience.

Grey matter is a major component of the central nervous system which resides in our brain. And it has occurred to me that perhaps our brains have the ability to view things as grey instead of black or white. But isn’t black or white how we typically view everything?
Perhaps this happens more often than most of us realize. But it likely begins the moment we awaken in the morning. We might walk into the bathroom and feel the cold tile, thinking how cold it is this morning. When in reality, the tile is cold and are feet are simply feeling this sensation. Rather than making a black and white judgment, we could simply observe that the floor is cold.
This lack of grey area continues thousands of times a day in our mind. We think about people we like and those that we dislike. We think about being hungry and being full. We make moral judgements on most everything we see, read, and hear. Our eyes, smell, taste and touch continue to evoke judgements as to what is bad or good, liked and disliked, wholesome or unwholesome, agreeable or disagreeable.
Barely a moment goes by that we are not making these black and white choices. So where do we find the grey matter, the middle path of non-judgement?

Perhaps we begin by realizing that grey means it doesn’t matter. We really don’t need to take sides or make judgements at any time in our lives. This only occurs because of the untrained and unskillful mind. Most of us having spent most of our lives believing that we have to take a position, and that it’s only natural to have likes and dislikes. Easily accepting this as part and parcel of a human nature.
But human nature has proven to produce genius, great humanitarians, and also serial killers and rapists. Our nature is really the discipline that we cultivate in our lives to become whatever we are right now – constantly changing, evolving, and decaying.

It is extremely easy to continue as judge and jury, because we have done this for so long. But I offer the option of using the grey matter analogy. Beginning with yourself first, drop the judgement. Let go of the idea that you are good or bad, fat or thin, right or wrong. Let all of it become grey and without judgement. Let it be replaced by the peaceful acceptance that we are each capable of with practice and increased mindfulness. Test this for yourself, and test it the next time you see someone who you harbor hard feelings toward. Drop the stories and see that other person as simply a person. Another human being, just like you.