The Mind Illuminated archive

Stronghold October 24


Sunday 10/24/2010

Automated transcription

Does anyone have anything on nearby? That's George. Chad, we were talking in our group about the five advocates. Yes. I wonder if you could you talk about them. Maybe summarize them. I I would be happy to. I I hope you just sort began rattling on and saying the same things that I often say About. Maybe you could help me to address more specifically the things that may be of special interest or particularly yeah, problematic into your mind or someone else's when we discuss them, it's they seem to be easier to understand first, the the first aggregate, the potty.

Think could be the most straightforward and easy to understand that we are not our body. Mh. And this seem to be the the the easiest and the second one was that we are not our feelings. And those feelings were common feeling like hatred desire And as I understand it, the the the idea behind the whole meditation of the five aggregates is to think about these things and and realize that those are not really you or mh. But that they're that they support the Ego evolution that we We're often consumed with.

The next one was after feelings was I think it was first perception. Mh. And perceptions was a little more difficult. But it's it seemed to involve not only perceiving things like perceiving a statue, but then using what you remember or what you have experienced in the past to attach I think a neutral story to that object. And that's where we left that one. And then and the fourth was car in nature. So if I look at that statue, and I perceive it, well, that's that's perception. But the next one, I think it's mental formations.

The the fourth is called mental formations. I look at that statue. And there's a potential there to create a mental formation. I could say, gee... I I wish that statue were mine. Mh. And that would be great. What I could say. I don't like that statue. And that would be a version. And so that's where the car seems to come in as number four. The mental formations. And the last one was the hardest one to understand. And that just I recall what's the Missed. Yes. Thank you. And that was that seemed to be.

I'll it's so hard to understand I can't even recall how we discussed it. When we decided it was. Maybe that's the one being at the most helpful. Because perhaps because often when people discuss it or think about it in these terms. It does seem to them that they're finding a self in consciousness. Would that be kind of stumbling block on that one? That... Okay. If I'm not my body, I'm not my feelings and perceptions and medical nations. But, hey, I sure seemed to be my consciousness. Kind like the the strongest and the the most pervasive type of thought.

Well, that's that is the one that's a assembling block. When people are trying to understand the the teachings of no sales emptiness of south. Intellectually, This is the point of which their their intellectual analysis can often fall down. And it did a very famous example of that in the sutra is the the Beak named Sat, interesting that that was his name society. But in the Sat had been saying had been arguing was other members of the song that that and and and basically teaching people himself that it's consciousness.

That is what is reborn. It's content and that the implication of that is that there's a self in consciousness. And this was the the... That he was doing us was taking to the to the buddha and so the buddha approach sat. And he said is this true that this is where you've been saying and and sat Totally respectfully believing that he had correctly understood the teachings says yes said. And The buddha gold him and says you foolish man where on earth did you ever get the idea I never said anything like that at all.

And that's that's very illustrative of the problem. Because over and over again for twenty five hundred years, this is where most people tend to to fall down, even people who had the profound realization that we associate with by stream entry, can afterwards, rationalize and analyze it and come to the conclusion that that consciousness was what remained and that's the their true nature of this self is a consciousness. So it's it is. It's it's a very difficult one to overcome. But if we go back to the five aggregates, and if we go back to what is the the cell that we're discovering doesn't exist?

I think we can make it clear and get passed out. Our analysis needs to be a little more. You know, in Ana para sutra, the second sutra supposedly lead at the buddha tie. The first one was turning of the wheel to the five companions that he had practiced with. Prior to his enlightenment. And then after that, the second teaching he gave him was that it was a teaching on that And what we have to understand, is that entire sutra can be repeated in short period of time. Yeah. The zoo is itself tell us that he spent several days doing this teaching, during which he would teach continuously while one of them would go off and and gather ohms for the rest of them.

So there's a lot of information, it's not present in that sutra itself. And that sutra describes looking at the five aggregates and saying, Do you find the self aggregate or form? Do you find self in aggregate of feeling so forth? So If we take only the information that that sutra gives us, it doesn't really give us enough to come up with a meaningful analysis. And I don't know how many of you looked at that sutra. No this is this is the The the Ana not sutra and not long clara. So well, anyway, it it doesn't matter.

But if you do, you will come away with the feeling a very unsatisfied feeling that this is supposed to be the the profound reputation of the existence of the hotline of the soul, it leaves you feeling I didn't do a very good job. But if you look elsewhere in the situation and find out what else, what else bears on this things that may have been a part of that teaching they were not recorded in that particular sutra. That begins to make a lot more sense. So if we understand the nature of the self that is being refute.

On the or the soul as it's presented and and the judeo Christian, Islamic sphere. Or the self has is normally perceived by probably by most people that as we'd all be very familiar with the concept of self as it exists in western thought. All three of these ae on the whole and the cell share. Certain characteristics that are precisely what's being refute in the doctrine of no self. And what those are is that we regard the self as being first of all, singular one. I have a self. I don't have two cells or twelve cells or fifteen cells.

I have a cell. There's a feeling of certainty that when whatever it is that I'm talking about, maybe really hard to pin down grasp and analyze, but I have an certainty that it's one thing. Secondly, is myself has been the same self. It may... There may be changes that take place but they are at a more superficial level. They are at the level of there an an advent level. But the core self I'm the same self that I've always been for as long as I can remember. And then here is this is the crucial one.

This is the deepest one. This is the one that is the hardest to let god is that I am a self because I am separate. There is what is other and there is self. And this this in fact, until we reach the stage of an Our hot, we have this inherent sense of a separate self. Even after we've dispensed with all of our other illusions, and even though we know that the self is not genuine the way it appears to be to our minds. We still will have that feeling of being a separate self. And this is all we also find this in the sutra as we find.

It's a beautiful sutra name doesn't come to me at the moment, but it is spoken by a a non return. Somebody has reached the third stage of enlightenment england is not yet an our high. And he's he states very clearly that although he knows the self to be an illusion, and though it's clear to him and every experience. He still has the feeling of i, me and mine. And until that is gone, he knows he's not truly. That's a sense. That's really... When we get right down to it, That is what's most definitive of the idea self.

Is it there is this division of all that is into two, self and other. Separate. The idea of separate nuts. So this is what is being refute are these three things that there is something that there is some thing that can be identified itself that that thing is un changing. And these two will be the easiest to overcome. And third is that that self has it it is a separate existence. It has a a self existence. So that's what we're trying to review here. Now it's also in order to do an analysis of this doubt.

Because this is a tough... I mean, this this is the toughest to understand the amp emptiness of self. This is This is the core of the whole dha to realizes. It's it's the... It's the greatest challenge, and it's also the greatest victory once we've done this. So we can't rely upon a superficial sandy school description of the five aggregates to do this part. We have to really understand it. How could The buddha have used this as a teaching tool saying, this is a complete and total description. Of the individual.

There is nothing lacking when I described these five. And that that's the only way it works in this analysis. Because one of the things you have to satisfy yourself is that there is absolutely nothing. Two, myself as an individual or any other person has an individual that is not completely and totally included in these five aggregates. Because until you've satisfied yourself of that, there's no point in really looking to see if any or all of those aggregates provides the answer to what is itself.

Because of course, if you don't find it or seem not to find it, it will appear that that therefore proves to you exactly the fallacy that we're trying to nail down, which is that there is immaterial, non substantial, non tangible, non sensible, soul or essence or self. Okay. So to do this analysis and come to the conclusion that we're invited to come to, we first have to understand the definition of the five aggregates. Clearly enough that we are satisfied that this is indeed a completely comprehensive description to see what I'm saying there.

This is really important. Because the whole exercise is futile. So we have to look... And like i say, we can't use simplistic. We we have to look at everything that is said about the aggregates and the switches, I understand. How the buddha was using this as a teaching tool. The aggregate form, rip. Group conduct. If we say that means a body, we're we're not going to get very far. We have to understand that the body what we're calling the body, is only known by names of sensations. And it is a perception.

Based on mental formations. So to say my body you've already you've manufactured an idea in your mind, and you've already already dressed to it and cl to and made it into a reality. So to understand this aggregate we need to look at it and say, okay. Well, I not just doing that on what basis is my mind doing that. My mind understanding there on the basis of sensations. Visual sensation is the most dominant and as human being. So if you close your highs, then I have a body because I feel i have the feelings of my body.

And as a matter of fact, the entire idea of a universe at all of any is based on the mines el of explanations for sensations that are arise. So the form is something if you open your eyes and you see the shapes and colors and so forth, that's something. What is happening here is sensations are are being something is activating a sensor organ sensations are remain generated. And the mind is constructing something as an explanation of those sensations. And so what we call form which in its broadest meaning, refers to all materiality, the entire universe of matter and energy as we have studied it in Western Science.

And as we experience it as the world and as our body as a part of the world. Right? So really, the world is essentially an extension of the body. Because we imagine that we have a body and we have senses and because of the senses of our body, we're able to detect the presence of the world. And so he comes as conclusion that there is a world and the body is part of that world and it serves as the interface between the world and the mine. That is what the aggregate to form is referring to. So form is sensation.

In in and of itself, it's the arising a sensation. We could look into that more deeply, but maybe because we don't have a lot of time here. You know, I wanna basically get to the point of your question. But the aggregate form is sensation and everything that we imagine that exists based on sensation. Feeling? Feeling you I think you mentioned mentioned anger and things like that. These are not considered feelings in the Buddha dha. Those belong to the aggregate of mental formations. Feelings, retina are the subjective experiences of pleasant unpleasant and neither pleasant or unpleasant?

Or president president or neutral. And these feelings arise in the mind and, of course the next four aggregates that we're discussing, Dealing perceptions, medical formations and consciousness are all belong to the nam division that the division of mind. Feelings arise in association with sensations, when there is a sensation, it is accompanied by the feeling of pleasant and pleasant or a neutral feeling. The same thing is true of mental objects. I thought a memory whatever when it arises will be accompanied by a feeling.

Provided pleasant, unpleasant or or neutral. So in some of the descriptions given for the aggregate of feeling, it's spoken of as consisting of three. And others it's spoken of consisting of five kinds of feeling. Pleasant feelings based in the physical pleasant based in the mental unpleasant that is physical or mental on the fifteenth. Neutral fee like neither plus or unpleasant. So that's what feeling is. In terms of a comprehensive description of what makes up the individual account for sensations, or which leads to everything that the mind creates from sensations, feelings, which are there's a quality that by including neutral feeling has to be present in every conscious experience.

And we go to perceptions. Perceptions are They are the product as mental nations. And what you said adequately, I think address that. It is because of our previous start experience that we When a particular sensation or group of sensations arise, we perceive it as person, which or a tree, that were of a bite of spaghetti whatever it is. Those are our perceptions. This is what consciousness takes as the object. Consciousness does take sensations as the object. Is only in deep states of meditation that we that we can actually experience consciousness of sensations because it's followed instantaneously by a perception has been manufactured by the line.

So basically, everything that we're used to experiencing is a perception. Everything that we see in here. And the qualities of our mental objects as well. These are all perception. Then he very accurately described the aggregate of mental formations as Karma, this is where true Karma lies. If every perception you have is the product of your previous experiences. Basically, everything that's ever happened to you before potentially contribute to every perception because you you recognize something as a car because of all of the other cars in Car like things you've experienced during your life.

You will... The perception of car will be accompanied by pleasant or unpleasant feeling or neutral feeling. Dependent upon your previous experiences with cars. And one car may elicit a pleasant feeling and another one pleasant feeling because of that. So everything you see is coming into ten upon this aggregate of mental formations. This is all of your storage experience. This is your karma. This and this is what Karma means. Everything, everything that we do think say everything that happens to us is incorporated into this aggregate of mental form formation.

And then every experience that we have is the nature of that experience is to by that aggregate as not nations. So this is the seat of Formation. It is in any thought, idea, memory, in emotion, this is where anger comes from and anger and mental formation. Joy happiness, all of these things are... Well happiness is a feeling. Joy is mental formation that gives rise to happiness. All of these things are mental formations. So that's dang. And now that brings us to the only thing that we have left The constant ac individual is the subjective experience of consciousness of something.

I'm conscious of the sensation i'm conscious of the perception that arises the result of that sensation. I'm conscious all of the feelings. I'm conscious of my thoughts of my ideas of my emotions. So Is consciousness of a fifth aggregate is is the aggregate of consciousness of objects, the subjective experiencing of objects. So if if through your previous familiarity or my discussion if you can come to the place of being satisfied that indeed, there is nothing to this person that I am, but is not included.

Within that. There never has been, and there never will be anything that cannot be accounted for entirely through these five. Then you're ready to do the next day to analysis. Any anybody like to make any comments or ask questions? Well, I will be able to say this very good because of my not non familiarity with the English language, but at the end of the heart sutra, some translations say may the two purposes and in the one that I'm familiar but it's a comma of self and other and and others come up.

We now forgotten that we accomplished something called the. Maybe the two purposes comma of self and. So now so So now I understand even people have told me I'm understanding me wrongly. When I say when I believe that it says to me the two purposes. There are two purposes. Mh. This... You feeling that you have got yourself of self and others. It. That is those are two purposes. We are accomplished. While people are trying to tell me that I'm understanding it wrong. And if you said a two two there are two purposes two purposes of self and other without that comma, be what is the word for full companies.

So I I would like your opinion about that. What does that... Are you familiar with that kind of an ending to that? Translation of that search. When we say that things... Yeah. It's just for you? Yeah. No. I know. But. It's a about group there that we had in order and got this, you know, thing that we read sounds. And I you not put familiar over that sort of statement. That... Comes at the end of their version of adopt that. It's not coming to my mind, so. I don't know two possibilities one is that it's peculiar to that version and that's a version that I'm not familiar with or the other possibility is that Well is actually three.

Another is the the particular translation that you're saying is not the translation that I familiar familiar with That's why it's not registering as an a aha with me. And there... The third possibilities is that I never struck me is something that was worth puzzling over. Sorry. Don't remember it. In the grand scheme of things. Is there a purpose to this conception of self and others. It's usually that that that's around by that that's no good. You don't think in terms where there are as the self and others.

So. Okay. But to me that is such a lucrative of everyone tells me I'm understanding it from. That there is the two purposes that two purposes in in your scheme of fields. That that that people feel the data cell. And that there are others help and others. Quickly. Could it be a good thing in the kind of things that that so that that is not a bad thing to be believe that. Well, let me address that directly. And i have nothing to do with whether or not... Yeah. But this is in as a yeah. Closing line in the heart sutra trip.

No. It is a fact that we have an overwhelmingly powerful predisposition to perceive ourselves as a separate self. Right? And so you ask yourself that being the case. And is universal. Does that suggest that has a purpose? Yeah. Well, it most certainly does is. Why on earth with something so powerful and so per pervasive exists if it didn't have a purpose. And, you know, If you look... If you look at different kinds of organisms and their behavior, you'll see it may be hard for you to perceive then earth worm has a sense of the self in the times that we're talking about.

Or to plant does? Or it a single celled organism does? But Not here it... And it's just our subjective interpretation based on our observations. But as you move as you move towards organisms more like ourselves at some point you're starting... You're going to start saying, u, the behavior of this entity suggests to me that there's some degree of this sense of self we're talking about, And the closer we get asked the stronger gets. Right? And so you say, well, that must serve a purpose. Just as everything else that I see in any organism that I examined, it exists because it has a function.

It's serves a purpose. It plays a role and that role is of a nature that it has perpetuated itself. So you know, of course, of course, the sense of self and other has a purpose. I need, you know, The description I often give is if you didn't have the sense yourself, you'd never be able to keep your laundry separate from somebody else's. Right? Doug we expand that everything everything that we do. The the sort of, you know, every system of logic is based on some axiom that is accepted a prior and everything else follows from that.

Right? The logic of the kinds of beings we are is based upon the presumption of separate sulfate. And this is what permits our survival and reproduction and evolution. This is what accounts for all of the different ways that we behave. It has a very real purpose. Human beings, with the potential to achieve spiritual growth as spiritual awakening and some degree of spiritual to undergo a stage of spiritual evolution beyond that of biological evolution can't only do so. Because in the course of biological evolution, this sense of self with the things that follow naturally from it has been so powerfully developed.

What follows from the itself? As soon as you divide the world into cell and other, that boundary That that boundary, that's a very important interface now. Because the self needs to be cared for its destruction prevented. So any sort of harm to prevent it. So as soon as there is a mind with the perception of self hood, then desire and aversion operate out of that. There is a self that needs to be nurtured. Nourished. It's an needs met. Protect it. It needs to be protected from harm. It needs to be protected from anything that could interfere with its continued existence and of course programmed into us very powerfully is also the need and desire to to reproduce ourselves.

And so we find desire and a version grow directly help cell. So not only the self serve purpose So does desire in a version. So people who would look at the dha teachings and say, oh, desires a aversion bad, sense of yourself bad, big mistake. Well, you know, I mean, that that's not very realistic. We could not exist if our predecessor did not have progressively stronger and stronger sense self. It began with the first the first large biological molecules in a c that gathered around themselves a membrane to separate to separate the their contents from the ocean that surrounded from.

The first cell membrane That was the beginning itself. And that's... And without that process, we would not exist. There would be no beings, capable of spiritual evolution, have had that self not exist. And as itself became more complex, and as it developed might, and vol intention, then it necessarily developed desire and aversion craving. Claiming attachment, all of these other things. So, yes. Absolutely. It has a purpose. And the buddha was quite capable of surviving and the world, and all enlightened beings are capable of surviving in the world.

Despite the fact that they no longer have this inherent sense of self. This is really we... This is what disappears we're told when somebody comes in our. And this is no fully enlightened being. No buddha. Has the inherent sets of self. But they have a mind that still allows them to function in the world. Keep their laundry separate from somebody else feed themselves, protect themselves from from dangers. But they're no longer functioning out of the compulsions of desire and inversion and the reflex cleaning and attachment of of the mind.

That that is set aside. Now the mine still continues to function. So So I don't have a problem with. I don't recognize that line, but makes perfect sense to me. It is speaking how about. The emptiness, the fact that and nothing exists in the way that the line perceives it. That's that's the whole essence of the heart sutra is that not there is no body, no i no ear. You know, None of this, this is all projection of the mind. Right? But even though it's all empty. And even though we can come to a place of perfect understanding of that, of course may the purpose may the function, made the necessary function of self other be fulfilled.

Well of course, I would have said that myself as I was writing to heart richard. Yeah. And it's significant that it comes at the end of art sutra mh. Where are all those other things are being. Right. So... Yeah. So thank you for asking that question. No. So so when other people tell me, I'm just there shouldn't be a comma there and that it's it's not what I say this because i I think it's one of the most beautiful statements in all of the buddhism of the i've experienced may there two purposes of self of of a self and of there being others the a companies.

And it's so beautiful to me and yet i've mental because of that comma there, i'm understanding it. Wrong. Both. They don't have commas in Poly Sounds. Does it anyone else have anything that they want to to say or combat? So we can go back to the other part of this if you not to, which one really actually came close to in this last discussion. What happens then you examine the five aggregates in search of any one un changing and separate itself. Well, One of the things that that you will find logically is that the aggregates are aggregates, and there is no component but any of the five that you can identify as a yourself.

There is no particular aggregate in itself that you can identify. As yourself. But if you even if you did, you'd no longer have a single self because the components of any aggregate are not slowly changing. And the same thing would be true. If you said, well, the the whole five aggregates is is the cell. But you see... And this is what the Buddha said. He said, a person an individual. That which you call yourself, is nothing more than those five aggregates. And in those five aggregates, you don't find the thing that you want to cling to.

We we want to create claim to our precious self. We want there to be a soul, something that can't be defeated by the dependent nature of everything. Something that is not composed of parts something that is truly single. Something that is not subject to change. And what you'll find you look at the switches over and over again, the little phrase that lets you know when they're residing the sutra that that Sara, whoever it is, has got it and figured it out. They say over every. A aha, that which arises due to causes and conditions by surely pass away.

There can be no continued no permanent on changing entity every everything thing is due to causes and conditions. And everything changes. As a matter of fact, deeper we go. We find well there is no thing. You know, as the fifth patriarch of Zen you know, probably his most famous statement it's repeated so often is that ultimately, there is no thing. There are no things. Thing, thing is predicated on the same idea so. That somehow, there's something that is separate and independent of that which surrounds it.

Even temporary thing. He suppose a separate. And and ultimately, there is no thing. There is nothing but process. Everything is absolutely totally interconnected. So there is no separate one. Can be no un changing thing. And so with the more deeply look into the five aggregates, the more Profoundly we can satisfy ourselves intellectually that indeed, this notion of self that arise spontaneously and is so dear to our eyes has no foundation and logic and it cannot be true. Can't be there. Now let's go Let's have a look at the consciousness one because that was that's the one that calendar.

Because you can say, okay. You know? And there is a a sort of spec argument that says, well, consciousness is not one thing because there's eye consciousness and ear consciousness and mind consciousness and those consciousness. But that's I don't believe anybody except an a naive e person who's just really eager to be satisfied could accept that as a satisfactory answer. Because in your experience, but you call consciousness, you find that although it may be differentiated according to the object that it takes.

Behind that as a consciousness it's the same in every instance. And so you would say oh, okay. Objects with consciousness are different. But consciousness, that seems to be something that's one. That seems to be something that's un changing. And That's not a problem. It's still not self unless it's separate. And This is where we get to the experiential level of it to really understand. Because the mind always categorize and compartment and creates separation. And so it's going to keep separating my consciousness from.

And this is where is this is where we live in the place of lonely isolation. And this is what makes us desperate to have something that we can point to here. I am my own private separate consciousness. Regardless of what else there is in the world and who else say is gonna world. And and when I think of that being lost, it's still staying it's fear deer producing. It's, you know, the horror of it. That that this this consciousness that I am should cease to exist at some point. And so we cling to that.

And this is why even when somebody has a pure consciousness experience, as a result of spiritual practice, they can... Afterwards take that as the affirmation. That's the real self. This pure consciousness. And when they reflect that there was no self in that pure consciousness, then they do. As their predecessor and as the Buddhist predecessor did, and they say, u aha. So there is this ultimate consciousness. And I am my true nature, my t self is this ultimate consciousness. Now this is the point at which This this is truth, but it's also illusion.

It is truth. That ultimately there is no separate nest. And so this consciousness cannot be labeled as mine and so separated out. And as a matter of fact, for the same reason that these i in here in those consciousness is are differentiated by their objects, not by their estimates. My consciousness in your consciousness are not differentiated in their essence. Because if my consciousness, we're in your mind, It would seem exactly the way it should be and it would see no difference at all. The the sense of i and everyone of us is is going to be exactly the same.

That's the pipe that's true and what we call such, his, the ultimate reality what? Lies beyond the empty projections of the mind is only one, absolutely totally interconnected, holographic single, not consistent in parts. That is true. And conscious that we call consciousness is inherently a part of that. So that's the truth part of it. Where it becomes a fa is that because we continue to experience our consciousness of separate, we may get into a soul. And that's where we slip into loosen again.

And this will happen right up. Till the time you become our. And you can speak as a non retainer has as a his name, I can't remember he did and say, although I know it's not to be true. I still have the experience of my of I me and my. But indeed, what we... What does not exist in that aggregate. Of consciousness. What what the aggregate consciousness is is an aggregate of individual moments of consciousness, each of which is defined by not just by its object, but also by the sense organ by which the object is known, which our perception of is rooted in all the other collective perception.

So as long as we are perceiving ourselves as this separate entity, we are going to experience that consciousness. As being separate, but we can examine it and see that there's no grounds for that separate. You can reflect, you know, as I just invited usually would... With this consciousness be different if if it found itself, you know, in in your mind, and it would not. There's no reason to believe it would. So if there is no, There is no separate consciousness. And this is another one of these false paths that's been taken out is to take the continuum of becoming as a known in a terrifying system bali longer or the stream of consciousness or the Of Vision and try to make these into itself and that's been done many many times.

But it reflects the same misunderstanding. Clinging to the sense of being a separate consciousness. We claim to the idea that well maybe when this body breaks down, this separate consciousness will reappear and a new body, and I'll get to start all over and I'll still be meet. See this in there, we've regenerate all the idea singularity and un changing continuity and separate. But it's all imagination it's all make. If we understand the way things truly are, that this consciousness is not a part of a larger consciousness, it is a manifestation of such.

Then you know, I am you in another lifetime. I have every one view in another lifetime. And everything being that comes after this body breaks down is going to be a rebirth of this consciousness. And every being that has ever experienced consciousness before this five aggregates came into existence is a previous is a previous life. Got now. The quick say, that Like when it's the body is said the molecules kind level and the a appear different bolt. That it would be similar Way. It's very similar to that.

Yeah. But we know that and what we call matter. You know, we experience the world realistically of this matter and there's mind. And if we look at... We studied matters much more than we studied mind up till now. You studied mattered very thoroughly, and we've satisfied ourselves up, the matter that makes up our bodies, the energy that makes our our body doesn't cease. You know, the physics tells us matter is matter in energy or neither created nor destroyed. You can change from one to the other, but but they're not created or just destroyed...

They just change form can move around. So we we can see that for what we perceive this matter. And now more recently, we've discovered through our investigation matter that everything is totally interconnected. You know, the the experiments that have shown that electrons separated by huge distances, something happens the one of them that's reflected immediately and what happens to the other. All matter is totally interconnected the idea... Of another idea that physics has has verified very thoroughly.

Is that that nothing can operate independently of everything else. And if anything changes, the slightest thing changes at any point in time. Everything is affected by it. One physicist by the name of, described that as the imp order, basically saying the universe holds, everything that has ever happened is implicitly unfolded in what is. And that as the universe continues to unfold, everything is implicitly, everything that will happen is implicitly present Now not getting into a discussion of, but physics is telling us that what we probably mattered is not created to destroy.

It only changes form and moves from one place to another. So your body, If we look at your five aggregates, we look at your body, we know that all of the parts that your your body when you die, they become parts of something else. The same thing the energy. Even more deeply that, we know that every single thing that you did in the course of your life, down to the very thought the pass through your mind and the brief instant has ramifications. It's connected to what went before, and it has inevitable consequences that will perm everything.

Down to the the tiniest little thought in an instant. So we know this is true of your body. We know this is true of your body. Now because we perceive the world is consisting of two different things, mind and matter this allows us to worry about well they mind is different. Mating mind does not partake of the same. Interconnectedness, all pervasive. I'm un, i'm onboard this this un and undying nature. You've heard those words in the buddhist teaching. Maybe mind doesn't take part partake that and this is frightening to us.

And then we want to cling to the idea of an individual's skull when we want to grant to an individual soul. The qualities of being un and are dying. But we don't need to. If we just simply say that, well, As both philosophy and science tell us, everything that we call mind seems to be potentially red reduce to matter. And then the philosophers epi epidemiologists and the buddhist of the medieval times, you know, and the and people like that, say, no. No. No No. No. Everything we call matter is ultimately red reduce to mind.

So we moved from dual to two kinds of. That there's only one stuff and it's all matter and what we call mine is just something that matter does at sometimes. Or we go the other direction hey no. No. No. No. It's all mine. And matter is just something that mind imagine. But how about we go to non dual? Which is that, a, there's only one kind of stuff. Sometimes we perceive it as matter, and sometimes we perceive it his mind. But it's not two different things. And it's not. We don't reduce one to the other and throw the other out to window and then worry about or it's taking my precious mind and reduce it to nothing but stuff, you know, leave that all aside.

The other side of dual is not monet it's non dual. There's only one stop. Everything that we've learned about either of the ways that we tend to perceive this stuff as matter of mind must apply to all of it. Since it's only one stop. If that's the case, then everything we know about matter must apply to mine. And therefore what you experience has your mind is no more separate than the matter that makes up your body. It no more comes into being or goes out of being than the matter and energy to make up your body.

That it is the product I've been connected to absolutely everything that has happened in time proceeding and it is in the same way as totally connected to everything that happens in the time that follows. This is the true implication in that no cell. Well, Tell me why you think. Does that make sense to you? Yes excuse me. Did you say forward? For my transfer. Did you say? Or did I... I I didn't say paul no. Yeah. Maybe I'm can ask you this question have you know, this this problem or question of Id mine Can that be understood as being neither good nor bad in the light of that that the pin imagination that in the process of dependent or intonation.

The Iv and my mind, is just a phenomenon Mh. Of of dependent of of emptiness. It's not something that is there in an absolute way. It it is just... It just proceeds from the process. Oh whatever is happening at that moment. Yep. You can you i'd certainly say that. Yeah. First of all, one of the things that you said right? The beginning that is really true. There is nothing inherently good or bad about any of the phenomena that are arise due dependent including the idea Behind me in mind. Or the sun of craving or anything like that?

It's only bad in the realm sense. It's bad in the sense that it produces suffering in us and it causes us to act in a the way that produces suffering and other and others. And so at the at the relative level, craving is very bad and because creating arrives out of the sense of self, we can say that this sense of self is a bad thing, but only in the limited relative sense, not in an absolute sense. Because I mine and craving have no absolute existence. They are merely manifestations. And body itself is desires or since he won't stop they won't cover buddha until he has...

Until everybody is achieved realization. Mh. And isn't that a form of this, which which hopefully is not. But we use the same English word for that. Yeah. We use the same... But it is it is not a desire based in craving because doesn't arise out of comp. Hana, which is the word that we translate it's craving. Refers to comp. Actually, it's literal the meaning before it took on the specific meetings it doesn't buddhism was first. You know, and if you have not had any water for two days, you have a comp.

You can't think of anything else, but finding water. You know, that's very powerful comp. So but the desire we use the same English word desired and we're not saying that that we're not only saying not saying the desire that other beings awakened is a bad thing. We're saying that it's not even it's not even the same kind of desire as the desire that arises out of trading. But even the desire that does arise out of craving, is not inherently bad. As a matter of fact, it has done much good. We exist because our predecessor experience desire rising out of brady.

You know, the little furry things that we're running around beneath the feet of the dinosaurs. If they didn't have craving and aversion, if they didn't have desire and inversion, then we wouldn't be there. That's what it's what led to let to us. So can we say that even that is in inherently? Read that? No. Can we say it it's un hold? We can't say that the manifestations of craving in a deer or I have leaner, you may Not know that to have a something. But, anyway, can we say that That is an also thing will know because of deer and I have leader in the state that they exist, they it's the only way it can survive only way they can function.

So in that sense, it's very wholesome for a deer to have desire. But a human being does not need it. That's the interesting thing. We are unique. In that we can dispense entirely with training. We can go beyond desire and inversion. We no longer need desire version. So we can say that for a human being, desire inversion are un. Because there's something more wholesome that can take its place. And all of the same purposes going back to all of the same purposes of self other can't be fulfilled in a human individual.

And the absence of of craving an attachment to self. And so that's what's wonderful about what we are and what we can do. Say something I'm not too show. I've recently listened to a conversation between the lee noble. I'm sorry. Have trouble N o b l e? No. L Steven Bet test in in france itself somewhere. And Steven bachelor make the point that with want to answer certain questions. Mh. Like what the end mind being one up two you know, afterlife life or whatever. Nature of reality. And. Thought that you know, the first teaching was really the genuine teaching and a there later onward where additions and second of talking of emptiness or editions later on.

And she will be taken that. But the buddha basic message was to just just directed at people, just to make them better or better human beings, but to it says those questions are not conducive to the search or enlightenment. Least fall. And so you do want to speculate that? Well, I agree exactly precisely with the statement that you just made that Speculating on those questions was not conducive to the enlightenment. Of his followers. We are totally different. And so we don't you know, we can make a lot of erroneous conclusions.

If we don't recognize that we are we are very different than the people that followed the buddha. Education was very rare at that time. It speculated that the buddha himself may have gone to a university, That was a few hundred miles from where he lived because he was the son of a very wealthy local ruler. He was in in the very unusual position of being able to do that. Otherwise, education was not particularly available Was limited mostly to the Bra classes. And most of the education that they received was in the Bra philosophy.

Merchants, the education they had was in business and they learned to use arithmetic and things like that. And what we see for example is that the buddha as as is often said, taught in different ways, different people depending on their capacities. And you have to keep in mind, the range of capacity these that he was confronted with, which would be very different than a range of capacities that a modern teacher. The buddha was alive today it would be quite different. So on the one hand, he taught there was no self.

On the other hand when somebody said. So so so just died and he lived this way. So what's going to happen to him and the buddha would answer them. In terms that provided a message that we're used to that person, but may have stood and and may seem to contradict this teaching of not self his teaching of rebirth instead of rein and things like that. He'd give an answer to this sounded like, oh, he believed in rein, just like all the other romans do. But you have to understand that he knew that there was no point and and trying to explain to this person, you know, instead, let me answer this person's question in a way that will be helpful to help.

Yeah. And that's... That's why he did. So a lot of the things that d Buddha said to his followers and his time, there would be no need to say to people today. To keep that in mind. Steven Bachelor. I think, you know, i digitally read his book confessions of a buddhist atheist. I highly recommend that. You may have read his book then the buddhism of that beliefs. Yeah. Well confessions in buddhist atheists is very good because it's largely his own personal. Sorry. And story is that He spent so many years first a Tibetan monk and later as a Korean zen monk and then later studying all the Biden teachings.

And he kept having the same experience. He be told all of this stuff that Tri he might to make sense of it and believe that he kept coming back to... This sounds like exactly the opposite of what the buddha was teaching. And years. A lot of ideas. A huge amount of the buddhism that's come down to us has not just been distorted, but it's been clipped a hundred and eighty degrees. And so he has become a skeptic a very serious skeptic. And it's very interesting hearing his story. But as a skeptic, he doesn't know the whole truth yet.

And the wonderful thing is Steven bachelor, keep searching, so we can hope that he will find. Find the truth. And it's wonderful that he's sharing his skepticism and his inability to swallow a lot of these beliefs that are presented as being teachings to the buddha because they're no. And we need to know that. In order as western to understand and assimilate this incredible teaching, which in my opinion is really the the one real hope that we have for human beings on this planet to to perhaps continue and instead ourselves is to understand this one true teaching to.

Well I'm not saying it's only true teaching in the world but I understand. The true teaching that underlies all of the different distorted messages that come down to us. The very important thing and I hope that Steven Bachelor persevere and that he discovers the answer that awaits him. But in the state he's in right now. He's mostly focused on what he's been taught on what he recognizes as being inconsistencies and predictions and what is not acceptable to an educated rational person? But as he got any problems with her for noble truths.

I... I'm not so familiar but for noble truths that that is that is the true stuff of it. The nice thing about that is that and all if you just... If you if you just grind that out, the way the buddha pot it, it is... It it demonstrates its own truthful. To you experiential. Yeah and... Can't. You you you can't. Well, The thing is well, anybody can very quickly satisfy themselves of the the first two truths. The third truth. In the second truth the buddha invites us to when you experience suffering, look for its roots and craving when you find its roots and cream, let go and see what happens.

And what happens is you let all of it and it's gone, and they come back a moment later, but you say, well, It's really true. All of this suffering comes from my mind's ideas, the story, my mind tells about the way things are. Now i have it is let go of it, and and the problem disappears. Now the third truth that there is a an ultimate and permanent him to create. That takes a little longer. But this is the point of even bachelor and any of the rest of us person here. We will demonstrate from ourselves that in fact the third trees is the case.

And we are offered the fourth truth, the eighth old path. As a means to achieve that. So I know there's nothing about the four noble truths that you can dispute. There's nothing about the doctrine of of Ana sonya attack that you can dispute. As a matter. If Fact Modern, western science and modern western philosophy both over the last one hundred and fifty years have demonstrated conclusive rationally intellectually the truth of both sum and ana emptiness and No cell. And you'll find this if you look and and and the libraries.

All cognitive science, neuroscience, epi technology, ph, you know, they the apex of modern, philosophy, and science agrees completely with the buddha. That Yep. Sun Is that and implied in the four number twos. A kanban one say that philosophy or the doctrine of dependent origin and Sun is something that the Buddha. Oh, presented as something like the buddha thought, but didn't. Oh, they really definitely target. You see what he the the... If you look at the... If you look at the turning of the wheel su where the four noble truths are presented, you will not find it, but it's implicitly there.

You can... As I said, these two sutra that we have from as meeting were these five companions, took a week of talking all day in all night. And yet, you can recite both of those sutra in probably half an hour. So obviously a lot. Right? It is implicit in the four noble truths. All we need to do is look at the buddha out teaching to see. K? It he says the cessation of craving is the cessation of suffering. The permanent cessation of craving. That's the sort of noble truth. And everything else teaches you find over and over again.

Craving is rooted in the in a self. And so we find that It's implicit. It's not explicit. But the fourth... He says everywhere else so you can't achieve, you can't experience the third truth until you have until you have transcend the attachment to and belief and himself. You said that I don't know how many hundreds of thousands of places. So we would have to say yes, that's definitely implicit in the four noble truth. And if we try to understand, what does that mean? And, of course what some people think, they have become annihilation is on.

Means that I don't have a soul. So when I'm die, I cease to exist, but that's not on that time. The soul that you talked about never did exist, hasn't existed never existed never will exist, can't disappear can't be lost because it's an illusion. If you understand that, then you understand emptiness. And this was the hardest empty this is to this day the hardest emptiness I understand is the emptiness of a mind's projection of self. He also taught the emptiness of perceptions, but he didn't put so much emphasis on it.

Those who came after him put a lot of emphasis on that because it's easier to understand. It's easier to grasp. You can understand the emptiness of phenomena while you're still clinging to the emptiness of cell, but the emptiness of phenomena can help guide you to challenge your assumptions and eventually discover the emptiness of. So because Ana is undeniably implicit and the for noble truths and because emptiness is the essence of ana, then you would have to say that both Sun on plus and the four noble truths.

I think the distinction between Sun and on a time really the way that comes down to us is is something that came much later. Because I think the buddha himself didn't feel like it was that important to dwell on that distinction. Ana, as you see ana top presented in the sutra and the Buddha own worries. He was saying the selfless of everything. Well, that is Sun talk. Right? And we say that everything is the devoid of a self nature and that is sonya utah. So he was teaching soon you talk he just called in on a time.

He's got like it seems that he didn't feel like there was a need for two different words later on to avoid confusion. Other and enlightened and teachers said, let's call this sun utah and this ana so that we can talk about them without confusing ourselves. So we've been talking for a while here you may restless and need to take a break. Maybe you want them to to meditate. This has been a very I think a very important discussion we've been having. I don't know how many people's cherished beliefs.

I've tried enter the mud so far. So when we take a break, you can go to the washroom room, you can stretch things like that. We'll come back and meditate. But I don't want to leave this discussion in and complete state. So why do you... Anything that's unresolved or as I said, if you have some chairs beliefs that I tram on very thoroughly. Fix that clearly in your mind, and we'll we'll have an opportunity to talk about it more a little bit later. Okay?

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