This whole ground consciousness and latencies or latent imprints is totally fascinating. That information comes from deeper study of Tibetan Buddhism which is really, in my humble terms, the study of the mind and the nature of reality. They say that the imprints are not the experience itself, but more like dormant seeds.
I think about wildflowers when I think of dormant seeds that are not receiving the right conditions to bloom. And yet, when they do (especially in the northeastern part of the country where I currently reside), they do not last long. The summer sun and rain bring the conditions for the blooms and then in the fall and winter, they are dormant again.
I think the comparison to wildflowers is an okay or and adequate association in that these imprints are positive, negative or neutral depending upon whether they originated from a positive, negative or neutral thought or action.
Some things grow in summer but do not contain flowers—some contain thorns or brambles. As weeds and wildflowers grow, so go our own imprints–positive, negative or neutral. And we are creating new imprints all the time–reality.
I really like comparing psychological, spiritual, philosophical aspects of ourselves to nature. The natural world is a fertile ground for this type of relating.
Anyway, we are told by the Tibetan teacher (s) (the Rinpoche) that these seeds or imprints are activated with experiences in the here and now. Those everyday types of experiences in life are then activated like the Sun and water and soil conditions activate the wildflowers in the summer.
And here’s the kicker!
These activated imprints are what give us the impression of solid reality (it is all energy vibrations and reflections in actuality and a quantum physicist will agree that a table or a wall is nothing more than very faSt moving neutrons, electrons, protons. Horray for physics! Anyway…
Back to latencies…. these are associated with external sensory experiences and give rise to the belief in dualism. What that means is a belief that I am separate from other or interpreting everything in terms of “I” and “other”. It is these sensory experiences provided by the dormant seeds come to bloom (so-to-speak) that give rise to a sense of individual ego or separation from All That Is. And then we create actions based on that belief in dualism that create more and this is how we go round and round in the world of illusion.
There are those who believe that if there is a self that it is a conceptual stream of consciousness that receives these latencies and projects them as external phenomena.
Just consider that a moment as you contemplate your reality! your life! A stream of consciousness projecting latencies! And in every moment we are creating more latencies based on how we respond to any ‘now’ moment! Mind blowing! 🙂
Well, it has to be extremely more complicated than this; but what if it’s not?
Sense organs (eyes, ears, nose, body) receive input and then process and transmit it to the brain–and when reading the word ‘input’, think energy vibrations. The mental consciousness receives something like, “red, round, moving to the left, sharp edges” and then interprets it.
When you think that this has been going on in our stream of consciousness for eons of lifetimes, consider the amount of latent tendencies we have stored which create our reality as we experience it!
No wonder we have developed a belief that external objects are solid and real… and no wonder we perceive what the latent tendencies tell us, which is that the external phenomenon is solid and real rather than empty.
Psychic residue containing diverse thoughts rooted in past lives creates the forms. The mind is transitory (fleeing, passing through, temporary, brief, in flux and in movement)–such is our life . And eternal reality is actually nonexistent.
Conventional Reality vs Ultimate Reality
But then again, conventionally it is, meaning that conventional reality does exist. Especially when you think of explaining to your landlord or mortgage holder that your external reality does not it exist and therefore you don’t need to pay your rent or mortgage!
We have all agreed upon this reality due to these latencies and karmic actions and therefore conventional reality exists but ultimately, as just explained, it does not. So it’s a paradox that the Buddhists call “The Two Truths”.
One reason I believe all of this is that of my personal experience of it in meditation is just as has been as described by the Buddhist teachings and long before I read the Buddhist teachings–so, therefore, I know the truth of this via my own meditative experience. Not intellectually.
There is what the Buddhist call shamatha meditation and this will show you the true nature of reality as one turns to look at one’s mind directly.
Well, enough for now. Understanding these latencies and even just a wee bit can help a good deal in relieving ourselves or releasing our grasp on our attachment s and aversions.
Contemplate this and fear dissolves and aversions become laughable and attachments, too, seem ridiculous.
And the last word in the paragraph above reminds me of the brilliance of the scene in the Harry Potter movie (The Prisoner of Azkaban) when the witches and wizards in-training worked with the spell to transform the Boggarts. The word of the spell used was “Riddikulus”.
(A Boggart, by the way, is a shape-shifting non-being that takes on the form of the viewer’s worst fear.)
The image to the left is the result of a wizard student projecting an image of his grandmother onto a Boggart ,transforming the professor he fears into a comical image of his grandmother.
Learning about the mind and nature of reality from the Buddhist perspective helps us to transform our own Boggarts realizing they are no more than mind projecting latent tendencies… what transforms a Boggart after all is humor, laughter! (according to author J.K. Rowling anyway)
So, keep it Light!
Aspiration: May this post help someone in cyber world who comes upon it at a time of need to help ease suffering, enhance happiness and renew their sense of freedom and true liberation!