The idea of the open mind has been responsible for much misdirection on the spiritual journey. It has even been used as an insult: “You have such a closed mind.” The truth is that a closed mind is one of the most powerful tools for accelerating spiritual growth, and for that matter any development at all.
Developing a closed mind is about developing inner control. By learning to close the mind to many opportunities, the mind learns to focus on just those opportunities that are of value and meaning. Instead of embracing everything and its dog, we become critical of what is worth embracing and what is not.
This requires not just judging aspects of reality at face value, but also investigating “what works.” In other words, while we may not consider certain experiences to have value, we may not be able to get out of dealing with them anyhow. A true critical mind must acknowledge this and recognize that conscious growth is as much about directing our evolution as it is about understanding where we are right now.
The closed mind is what grabs all the loose ends and draws them together. Without a closed mind we will allow everything else to be as it is, but we will fail to integrate these aspects into our own purpose and direction.
A closed mind is the mind that enables us to resist those things which would lead us off the path of truth. It is the mind that is vigilant to what is of value and meaning. Dedication is the essence of the closed mind, for it is dedication to a cause or direction which puts this value above and beyond other aspects of reality. Commitment too is congruent with the closed mind, for it is commitment that focuses purely on the goal ahead, remaining unattached to all that is of lesser priority.
By filtering out what is of no use to our main purpose, we refine that which is of real power and value. Concepts and ideas develop into techniques and abilities. Metaphors and theories become actions and realities. Each aspect of the closed mind offers an opportunity for opening at a deeper level. It is the same depth that an Olympic athlete earns when they decide to dedicate themselves to their art, forgoing many experiences that others of our world would have. It is the same depth that an adept at metaphysical manipulation gains when they shut themselves off from distraction in order to hone their skills.
The more passionate and inspired we become about a direction or purpose, the more that we choose to become dedicated and committed. This is a law of the universe. Following this law is what allows us to experience deep and real meaning in our lives. In the beginning it is learning that closing or opening the mind is not about right or wrong, but rather about appropriateness. Through the course of development from beginning to mastery, we come to understand and experience that there is in truth no absolute closure or openings. Each closure presents the opportunity for opening and each opening closes other doors. The closed mind is a choice to halt those experiences that we believe limit our development and to maximize those experiences that would support and accelerate us. In the end however, this will ultimately lead to a continual inner opening, deeper and yet deeper, until all the openings are occurring within the field of our truest meaning and purpose.