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17 June, 2009

Empty Mind: Is it Devil’s Workshop?

It is said that If a falsehood is repeated again and again, it appears as truth. A big example is the mere existence of this phrase “empty mind is the devil’s workshop”, let alone its identity as PROVERB. You may rise your eye brow first, let me explain why you need not.


Let’s see the first two words- empty mind. What is mind packed with? With the stream of unceasing thoughts. So the straight meaning is that thoughtless mind is the devil’s workshop. What a thrill and bless to acquire such state! Certainly the devil can not stand there to continue his workshop. If there is no tools and business to do, how the workshop exists!


Being little liberal with the proverb, redefine the words empty-mind as state of mind with no especial business to engage with, the state at which we can feel our mind as being bored and seek something to engage with that kills boring. Then, is bored mind the devil’s workshop? Plainly speaking yes.



With gross classification, mind is in three states; grief, happiness and the intermediate - neither happy nor grieve but bored. Grieve or pain never weaken a person, they rather strengthen. Without grief, a thrill of insecurity, restlessness of some unknown challenge, we seldom grow. However, the bored mind finds the situation boring and seeks something to escape from it. Out of curiosity we practice many things which later becomes the habit. All the addictions and the bad habits and their psycho-somatic effect are what we welcome during our boring state. I like to acknowledge that The matter that describes US best is not our career, actions or belief, but our choices and the motives during the free time of the unengaged mind. At that state we seek something pleasing and embrace the quick source which unmistakably happens as the Devil.


But in deep, the devils is not outside. Neither it is binding us and making victim. It is within us and nurtured by the energy we feed as INTEREST. Perhaps the following story better describes it than the many logics.

Junaid was going through the market-place of the town with his disciples. And it was his way to take any situation and use it. A man was dragging his cow by a rope, and Junaid said ’Wait’ to the man, and told his disciples ’Surround this man and the cow. I am going to teach you something.’

The man stopped – Junaid was a famous mystic – and he was also interested in what he was going to teach these disciples and how he was going to use him and the cow. And Junaid asked his disciples ’I ask you one thing: who is bound to whom? Is the cow bound to this man or is this man bound to this cow?’ Of course, the disciples said ’The cow is bound to the man. The man is the master, he is holding the rope, the cow has to follow him wherever he goes. He is the master and the cow is the slave.’

And Junaid said ’Now, see.’ He took out his scissors and cut the rope – and the cow escaped.

The man ran after the cow, and Junaid said ’Now look what is happening! Now you see who is the master; the cow is not interested at all in this man – in fact, she is escaping.’ And the man was very angry, he said ’What kind of experiment is this ?’ But Junaid said to his disciples ’And this is the case with your mind. All the nonsense that you are carrying inside is not interested in you. You are interested in it, you are keeping it together somehow – you are becoming mad in keeping it together somehow. But you are interested IN it. The moment you lose interest, the moment you understand the futility of it, it will start disappearing; like the cow it will escape.

Are you feeling bored? it is the precious gift, an inner space created to feel ourselves. Watch your impulses to choose as an escape.

Bored + aware = God’s workshop.

Bored + unaware = Devil’s workshop.

What do you think?


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  1. No workshop = Awareness

  2. Anonymous18 June, 2009

    gud one

  3. What a writing, we are habitual of repeating some old sayings without pondering about it and without ground analysis.

    You are right, if the mind is empty, then it's empty. how can a devil be there??.

    You are successful of giving new definitions to old sayings and inspiring us to re-think about everything that has been taught to us.

    Well Finally I ALso think that
    Bored + unaware = Devil’s workshop.

    But....can boredom and awareness exist together??

  4. A very good post!
    Before going into "bored + ..." thing, I would like to emphasize on why we get bored? in fact, we get bored when we feel like life has no purpose. we should not lead a life just by going from today to tomorrow and without having any purpose. Boredom may stop us from meeting our ambitions. It may make us unhappy and tired.

    So being 'aware' is like finding a purpose of life. Like Dilip ji has pointed out, I too doubt if boredom and awareness exist together?

  5. I think you were bored when you wrote this article. And now you've spread the disease. Now I'm bored. :(

  6. the proverb refers to laziness

  7. I've been bored lately... I could think of a lot of things to do, I think of a lot of things, but everything, every effort, seemed a lot more futile to have been done everytime I think about it. And it sucks to be no longer as carefree as I used to be.

  8. Proverbs are not to be taken literally. It's wisdom transcends words.

  9. "El aburrimiento denota falta de imaginación o pereza incurable."