This is IT for me, you know? Contemplating the nature of the mind and reality makes it all bearable. No. Not right. Much more than bearable; it makes life a total celebratory event.
You see, we all think (or feel) that we have our own personal single mind that is so very real because it experiences and recognizes things. Yet, how often (if ever) do we stop and examine those experiences that the mind thinks are so real? Break them apart, open them up, see what’s there at the core–do people do that?
Trauma or crisis can help us contemplate this type of thing (or not)–happiness too; any intense experience. Many times doing that drives us to addictive distraction instead of some level of enlightenment and joy. But if we really examine the experiences that the mind is having and we do so carefully, and we really contemplate this experience that this mind has and we look for that mind that has this crisis or happy experience, we cannot find a single thing! Not one single thing but a blend of many components that we call “consciousness’. It’s NOT YOU!
Here’s what I mean–there is no solid mind or self at the core of the experience or no real experience-ER. I know, it sounds crazy if you’ve never thought about it but give me a chance to explain.
Consciousness has many various components–parts! You know like a car, a vehicle has many components, parts–engine, tires, frame, door and so forth. Is not our mind and our consciousness the same? Consciousness has awareness of visual objects (forms, shapes, colors) and then there is awareness of sound, touch (tactile consciousness), taste consciousness and all these are separate parts or functions of the mind. It’s like the car analogy–separate parts, gas tank, gas pedal, speedometer, steering wheel and so forth.
Consider the experience of anything for a moment–it doesn’t have to be crisis or trauma. Anything. Happy experience let’s say. If we consider that each type of consciousness recognizes a particular field of experience (sound awareness or consciousness recognizes sound and visual consciousness is aware of shapes and colors of forms)… if we consider this as part of any experience we see that each of the types of consciousnesses function in an independent way from the others.
So the mind is a blend of consciousnesses and not one single unit or not one single, unitary thing. Rather it is a compound object just like the car, the vehicle.
There are said to be six consciousnesses and in some books I’ve read there are eight. And one of those eight include the consciousness which clings to the notion of EGO or “I”. And another consciousness that is part of what we think of as “me” is called ground consciousness — and I wrote about this a week or so ago.
The ground consciousness stores information from all other levels of consciousness and accumulated past lives. You can see how this level of mind would easily support the idea of an individual identity called “me”. It would seem so ‘real’ but it is a grouping of consciousness; a grouping of experiences.
To explain further, it is fairly easy to grasp that the visual consciousness perceives objects–that’s the potential of the visual consciousness. If you look at a red cloth, you see red. If you look at snow on a mountain, you see white. We are able also, quite obviously, to see things in succession–first seeing one thing and then the next with one thing disappearing and the next thing appearing in consciousness. So visual consciousness is multiple and successive and has the potential to see many things at once and so is not single or solitary or one thing. Nor is it one single solitary unit of time.
Even if we could isolate a single solitary unit of time, it would only occur within the framework of ongoing consciousness because awareness is never static–its fluid. So every moment has to relate to a previous moment and a future moment—meaning, it is not any more singular than we ourselves are. The future moment is the present being the past in relation to it. Yeah, I know that last sentence is pretty deep; but the point is that time is not solid, solitary and static and neither is consciousness and neither are we!
There is no single unit of identifiable reality in either the external world of appearances or in the subjective mind. Even space does not have a fundamentally real, inherent existence. Space is not a compound, and does consist of various parts like the car or like our mind. Space is not a thing–it seems to exist but it is the negation of a particular appears of anything else. Even the space in a room only exists because of the walls–take away the walls and the space that you thought existed in the room is not there and only depended upon the walls around it to appear as if it existed.
So the whole point in this blog post brings me to the point of liberation–even if I can’t fully understand it all in a way to describe it in words; in an experiential way I’ve known this truth from meditation… it’s all true.
For example, in a contemplative meditation last evening, I tried to find… well, I asked, “Where is Joy? Where am I located?” It took less than a nano-second to realize I’m not my body and once you get past that basic truth, look for the location and you will find it’s everywhere! And now here! and nowhere!
And this, my friend, helps me to chill-ax (chill out and relax) and to see the humor in it all…. appearances are empty forms! And again, quoting the Beatles once more, in the Strawberry Fields song, “Nothing is real; and it’s nothing to get hung about.”
DEDICATION: May this post help another in a way that is in divine order when they come upon this post–for this is my true intent in writing it today!