The usual, or sensual mind, is always seeking experience. Its primary source of this "food" needed to sustain itself is the unconscious chain of reaction that constitutes mechanical, associative thought.
The hunger this nature has for this food is that with each reaction there occurs within it a certain contraction that is both painful and pleasurable for it. Pleasurable because this contraction creates a momentary sense of self, a "false" self created from being in opposition to what it considers. The painful aspect of this contraction is that all such actions cut off, or isolate, the nature in experience of it -- which becomes a source of suffering for it -- in that this same nature also longs to reach a state of wholeness.
While experience may serve as the path to self-knowledge, still it remains the lesser half of the path to self-knowing. Self-knowing is not experiential. It has no one apart from itself. It does not take place in time.
Self-knowing requires risking the self that fears being no one; a "risk" that becomes an inevitable choice once the seeker sees that all pursuit of experience, whose root is secret self-confirmation, is powerless to bring an end to his sense of isolation and loneliness.
Following are 9 insights and instructions to help you begin placing your wish for true self-knowing over the experience-seeking sensual mind.
The mind that asks what's the best use of my time seeks forms of familiar stimulation (which it calls being industrious) so it never considers that what would be best for it would be to quietly explore its own self-induced desires.
The mind that asks what's the best use of my time is trying to hide from itself the fact of its own essential emptiness.
The mind that asks what's the best use of my time wants to be, and in its own agitated effort to become fails to see that for it to exist at all proves that Something already is.
The mind that asks what's the best use of my time will willingly pour itself into a thousand meaningless actions rather than see, once, the futility of its own pursuits.
The mind that asks what's the best use of my time excludes, by the limited field of its own perception the possibility that, in reality, there exists no time outside of its own point by point considerations, and therefore ... that there is no place to reach, no separate self to complete, and so ... nothing to do.
The mind that asks what's the best use of my time can't consider that the best use of its "time" would be to see into the unconscious movement of its own thought process as it creates not only the question of its own "best use", but also the self it needs to search for the answer to its question.
The mind that asks what's the best use of my time sees being alone and unoccupied as states having no value, to be avoided at all costs, because its only system of self-evaluation requires the ongoing presence of the opposites.
The mind that asks what's the best use of my time is a mind in pursuit of those sensations produced by time; i.e., the sense of running from one point to another (from thought to thought) for the sense of self that this movement of time creates.
The mind that asks what's the best use of my time seeks experience, and because of its own conditioned nature is unable to see that what it really wants is: the unexperienced -- a state of itself that cannot be sought.