Two friends were watching on as a flag flapped around in the wind. “It’s the flag that’s moving”, said one of them. “No, it’s the wind that’s moving”, said the other. They could not decide amongst themselves who was right, so they decided to consult a Zen master who lived in their region. They went to the master and explained the story, saying, “please tell us, is it the flag or the wind that moves”? “It is neither the wind nor the flag that moves”, said the master, “it is the mind.”
Ramana Maharshi refers to the mind (ego) as a “phantom” that rises up from the Self during waking state, and disappears back into the Self during deep, dreamless sleep. It is also that which is completely obliterated on the attainment of Self-realisation. In consciousness (Self) there is no form; just pure being. All objectification is a product of mind, and all movement takes place in mind, which is a projection of the Self. Consciousness is constantly in motion, therefore objects rise up and fall away again. Like the millions of waves that take form and then become immersed once again in the oceans. When you gaze upon the beauty of a landscape, all you are actually looking at is consciousness (energy) existing at various levels of vibration. It is the mind that interprets and objectifies these vibrations, and projects the form perceived as landscape, which is seen by the eyes.