The Mind Illuminated archive

TCMC 5 May 2011 (2 of 2)



 

(Would you like to write a short summary of this audio? or create a transcript? We need your help! Please leave a comment below and we’ll get in touch with you. Find out more about volunteering.)


Automated transcription

Okay. So as a bunch of you know, Tomorrow Night song at night. And oftentimes just parted for every time there has been a song night, there's always been a owning, which is about, you know, a certain creative aspect and and a chance for the community to kind of then if something from its different members in different kinds of ways along the lines of what this place is about. And so I'm a storyteller. So can ask me to do sacred storytelling for this something in insomnia and I... I'm very excited about my favorite kind of storytelling.

And so that's tomorrow and Night And tomorrow and Night the storytelling will be a whole life forty five minutes or so sessions. So the story will be much more like. But what I'm doing beforehand and his little story teaser little taste of little bits mini sacred stories that Have picked up along that way. And so this is a story that I picked up from a storytelling named Joel is in Jewish story, and I think it's very beautiful. And whatever I tell stories, i he's an old tradition where I begin an end by saying cri and the listeners better.

So if everyone will change a deepgram and hour? Correct? So one night, a rabbi i was studying with his disciples. And it was a certain ge holiday known as s. Where the tradition is, you stay up the entire night studying for studying sake of text. And you know, judaism is is very specific in about rituals. So whenever it comes time to sun down, which is the beginning of the Jewish state all these details are done when does sun down actually begin, which usually involves being able to see three stars in the sky.

Now the rabbi I was sitting there in the students he the to them. And he said listen, guys, you know when sun down occurs when the day begins at nightfall. But the question I have for you is, Windows the morning begin? When is the long nights finally over? Students. They never really thought about this because they never usually had to. They were usually sleeping. And the first students in Ida, the beginning of the day, the long night is over when you can only see three stars left in the sky. And the rabbi was like, very good?

But no. And so the student thought about thought about the phone. He said i. I know. When you see the first raise of the sun breaking over the horizon. Grab shrugged did he said very pretty? Good now. And so the third student thought thought thought he said, I know I don't. The long night is over when you can distinctly make out the lines on the palm of your hint. Rabbi i said very jewish answer. But no So the students turn to the rabbi, they said, randy tell us then. When is the lawn that over?

We kind of leaned back. And he looked each one of them in the eye. And he said, The long night finally over when you can clearly see your neighbor's space. And no that it is your own. That is beautiful. If I had heard that story before. Yeah. There's always that cross poll. There is. That's... It's just... So so wonderfully true if if everybody has it. Colombia. Okay. Well, So with that wonderful. What next? What would you like to talk about. Yes. For that partnership. Yeah. It's a really confusing subject the study it detail whenever I had gotten a little bit more to and I just soon to get constant confused.

So I'd like to hear your second on it take the everybody and. Yes. Could could you make your question be a little more specific or give me or or just tell me a little bit about what you have heard maybe that you're having... Do you have questions about? I could, but I'm curious to see you would explain Karma in general. To us. And, you know, I mean, she beyond cars and effect just in in a little bit more detail than that, but I think you know, I I I've had periods where I've tried to think of Carmen as like, less thing and other times one line screen that can and, you know, I've tried a personally different things so I may get confused as to how to think of the seat that going now and also time, you know, the right of of different actions and is a confusing subject.

There are of different things but or. So general maybe explanation would be... It started thing. Billing Well, Karma is about causality. And the word literally means action. And actually, some of the things that seem so obvious to us now. We're always really obvious to people. For example, newton was the first one to really clearly describe the way that things material things interact in the world. And you probably heard new. Law every action produces an equal and opposite reaction. Which when he said that, it was...

Very it was a very carefully bought out and mathematically elaborate explanation for the way that physical objects interact with each other. And you know, that... And that it's sort of clash example is that, you know, an object strikes another object the momentum is transferred in it it the second object takes off in get some direction. With a velocity that's a reflection of the amount of energy that that was transferred from one object to the other. And when you look at that, you don't immediately see why somebody would say equal an opposite?

They don't look people opposite. Right? But if you examine the objects closely, But you take example, billiard your ball. When the two impact each other, they become deformed. And if you look closely enough, you'll see that the sequence of events that leads to the two bolts going in different directions. Is composed of a series of equal and opposite reactions. And this was a really profound sort of understanding from the point view physics. It has allowed sensitive us to make kind of enormous out of sense out of what happens in the physical world??

When the doctrine of car first came about? Of course people realized that things were constantly related. And they seem to about been trouble when they would see things that seemed not to be immediately positively related to something happening at the same time. And so the obvious idea causality in the world that every every reasonably intelligent thinking being being perceive was extended to somehow account for things that seem to happen there from an ethical or moral point of view didn't seem to be reasonable.

Like why do good things happen to bad people and why bad things happen to good people, for example. It seemed that the world of causality didn't include this kind of moral ethical dimension to way we they should. So the way this was dealt with philosophically was to take a preexisting existing idea, which was based in the traditional v world view. Which was that people were reborn when they died. They take on a new body and be. Rein. And that the most important thing for a person to do was to fulfill their duty from the point of view of society at that time who was a much less individualistic kind of society than we have here.

And the most... Everyone had a place in the society, it had a way there were supposed to be a they had responsibilities that they were supposed to perform. And had their duties. Everyone had their place. Have the idea have thrown out that Doing everything by by doing by fulfilling your responsibilities and life in the best possible way. You cause yourself to be rein in a desirable state, maybe a wealthy high flask podcast cast family. For example, whereas if you didn't fulfill your duties and responsibilities as well as you could out, you might be rein in a for low cast family or perhaps even as an had or either time would be.

So... K actually, this had its roots and something even deeper, because part of that data tradition involved the Bra cast performing rituals. This this comes from some far distant point in time where where it felt like in order to ensure that the rain fell that insects didn't need the crops that, you know, good thing happened, bad things didn't rituals had to be performed to involve sacrifices and the bronze were the ones who were empowered to carry out these sacrifices. And the actual roots of this moral idea causality, lay in the idea that the perfect performance of ritual was necessary to assure for the society that that the rain would fall on the drops.

The good things what happened that diseases wouldn't happen all of these other kinds of things. So this roots were in the linkage between a kind of magic the linkage between the the exact precise correct performance of ritual and bringing about some kind of result in the world that benefited to come community as of whole And then, of course well people could pay the problems to perform rituals to assure that that that themselves and their family would be very successful. So this is the background where the doctor car comes from.

By the time, the buddha was born, But the common belief and rein, that the the the belief in rein is very widespread. Very common. And the explanation for the things that happened in the world that seems and immoral not to make sense. Had count to be explained by using his principal for karma. So why was somebody born into that circumstances as well That's because they... Because of bad actions that they performed in their last life. Why were people who did evil things in the world able to enjoy the fruits of that?

And not suffered. Well, they didn't really because in their next life, they would they would re the fruits of their un hold actions, their evil actions and they would suffer. So this was a belief system that had existed for a long long time. On the buddha of this far. He spent a lot of time trying to But his goal was to achieve awakening freedom from suffering, which nec him to developing some deep profound understanding of the nature reality. And so he looked into his own line and he looked at the world very closely.

And he saw there indeed everything was constantly connected. He saw that that in fact, everything was causal connected in Although it didn't appear to be necessarily at all times, everything was intimately constantly connected. The way that we look at it now, he had an insight it was completely valuable at his time. But in our time, we take granted. We take it for granted. That when something happens, we can trace all of its different causes and conditions back and we even now those of us who think about it enough and studied a little bit.

Realize that everything's interconnected and actually, when something happens, it... It's causes ram out and go back in time and eventually, you know, touch everything to one degree or another. But this was a completely new idea that the Buddha discovered yes how as a truth that that causality was universal. And part of his legacy is the but links of dependent where he's explaining. The way causality works in the individual line. So he realized that the doctrine of Karma in essence in terms of being, a a universal theory of causality was correct.

But he realize that the interpretation of it that been put behind Was flawed. And there there a sutra where a bra comes and asks him because he'd been teaching us in the Problem heard desk. According to the beta teachings the problem was familiar with. Everything that happened to you have for some kind of moral component to. That if you became ill, it was because of some immoral act had committed either earlier in this life or a previous line. And Le buddha realized that That wasn't true. When this problem came says and have a question anybody about this.

He said, no if a person becomes ill, there are many times of causes he described the kind of worldly causes that we're familiar. Like. You eat the wrong food or, you know, the different circumstances that can't cause a person to the account deal. And other places he elaborated on this a little more clearly. Basically, he identified different levels of causality. And he placed the ethical and moral level of causality has being the fourth in a hierarchy And he showed... He explained how these different levels of were related to each other.

Were linked to each other. And then he used the commonly used term And the idea, he is the word Karma, which means action to describe this fourth level of causality. Now the first level is basic material physical causality like billiard bottles bumping into each other. The second level of causality that he defined is what we would call biological that. Oak trees grow from acorns and not from other kinds of seeds. And that the characteristics of the offspring reflect the characteristics of the parent.

And that in fact, all of the... There is a kind of causality he could see that the entire world of living things. It's interesting. Yeah. Since you could say he had a sort of precedent understanding out what we would now describe as Dna and inheritance, genetics and biology in that sense. So that something was what it was due to the biological causes and conditions that and it was. Which in turn grew out or emerged from physical causality. And amongst living things, those that are sentient, those that take in information and act on information, exhibit a level of causality, we might call mental causality.

Well, he did current mental causality. Now some of the later writings that got started it and mental Causality was made into psychic powers, That's not the way it was originally chilly. Intended. It was basically a rabbit has a certain kind of mind and behaviors and a particular kind of what. Hawaiian has a different kind Behaves in a different way. And people have a kind of mind, but they do and much of the behavior of people can't be understood on the basis of that. So there's this whole level of metal cost.

Cats theory level, which Certainly, I we would probably call left psychology. And you can see where rises out of the biological level of which is based in the material level of causality. The fourth level is something that he presented as being unique to human beings. And used the word karma. And where he uses it in handling the searches, it's very interesting house phrase. Because Karma literally means action in the language that was spoken in that day. And in an ordinary statement, that a person would make, you know, on the street or in an interaction, they would use the word Karma to mean action in the same way we do.

But it also had the second meaning of being the specific actions that produced moral consequences if not in this life and another line. So the buddha used that word, but he said, When I say action, I need intention because all action arises out of intention. Okay. He's talking about something that's unique to human being. Wizards probably don't You can think of them in terms of using up the karma they arrived and blizzard with. If they don't create a lot of new karma as lizards. Right? Human beings are different though.

We generate intentions and we act out of attention. So we speak out in our intentions. We even think as a result of our intentions, and this is how he elaborate that. He said that every thought everything you say and everything you do arises out of a unique kind of network process that that we have translated as put word in English and intention. So he's saying Karma is intention and the fruits card they would pop is the result of the intentions that we generate. What that means? Is that the person you are today, this incarnation The one started when you woke up this morning.

The same thing. It's characterized. By all of the things that you did in all of your previous incarnation most recent one yesterday day in that day before yesterday, and last week the last month for last year and so on. We are continuously creating the person that we are. Through our mental activities, specifically our intentions and went on to define the moral aspect of intention by saying, that intentions that arise out of desire and aversion and ignorance produce un hold results. Every time your mental processes produced and activity or our produce a mental activity even if you don't speak, even if you don't do something as a result of it, just having that mental state and just having those thoughts.

Conditions who you will be in the future. And if it comes out desire and inversion, then the cognitive person that is gonna cause you to be in the future is a kind of person who is going to tend where intentions that arise how the opposite of these out of generosity wisdom, are going to create a person in the future who is a a wholesome nature and it will experience less suffering. So this was the buddha version of the old car theory. The... If you look at this you if you look at how this applies to the kind of situations that the old current theory was intended to explain.

A person does evil translate. Why don't bad things happen to them can return? But this is saying is that if un intentions were behind the Evil acts the person performed, Then as that person evolves in their life, they're going to be pump a person. Prone to more suffering. And I think this is something that agrees with our experience and what we see in the world. I don't know. I that's because it's here. So we're not... Is no need to invoke some kind of magic. And there's no need to say that if you are suffering in this life, and it doesn't seem like you deserve it that it must be because of something that happened in a previous life.

Which all is related to the Buddhist teaching about what is suffering anyway. You know, pain is inevitable, Suffering his optional. How is suffering optional? Suffering occurs as a result of as a result of the arising of desire in version. Suffering is an extreme form hope dissatisfaction, but every sort of dissatisfaction comes from wanting things to be different than the way they are. And so when we practice green, we make ourselves into a kind person will experience more desire in the future.

And you know the nature of reality is such to that the more the more desire you experience, the more unfulfilled desire you're going to experience, therefore the more dissatisfaction and suffering. So there's a direct relationship there in all of these things. So That was the Buddha idea of Karma, which fit in with everything else he taught. He also taught that there was no self. Is self. That the self that you think you are is an illusion created by your mind. What am on you? And he said, you are the five aggregates by which he meant.

You are your body, your feelings, your perceptions, your mental constructs and consciousness. You are nothing more than that. Those five aggregates are all cause determined, just like everything else in the world. They are imp they are subject to passing away. And that is what you are. You as an individual are these five aggregates there is no permanent of abiding soul or self. That somehow is owning this five aggregates or writing on top of it or any other way that you want to imagine it. And what happens to this collection of five aggregates is all causal determined.

I all of these different levels of causality. Physical level you do things physically are going to reap consequences out that. You build something you you have you destroy something it's scott. You plant something it grows in biological, all these different levels of causality that we experience in our life. But the person that we are is continuously being created by how we react to our experiences in the moment. So Cargo from the buddhist point of view is not about what happens to you. It's about who get happens to.

Which also explains to us why the same thing can happen to two different people. One person percent suffers extremely, the other person does not. Because it's not what happens is who it happens to. Course a lot of this has become very confused over time since the time of the buddha. And the most common version of Karma that you'll find in Buddhist teachings is the va version of Karma that preceded by many hundreds thousands of years. Diversity to do that. But that one presents to the minds of modern people like ourselves, a lot of challenges.

Who is it that's keeping score? Or what is it this K score? Or where is this score kept? And and how is it when we... As far as we can tell the universe is just like they said, causal determined and we find that we have the ability to track back from any of them and see if specific causes. So if you do something on Monday, and something happens to you on Friday, we would expect to be able to trace that back and it's very difficult to do. Then if what is happening to you now is a result of something that you did in a previous lifetime.

This is when It means that confronts educated, western people, when being introduced to Buddhist teachings on Corona. It's this gap. How just work. Well, actually, the same problem. Was encountered by intelligence people a along long time ago as well. Gave rights to two different. Versions of buddhism existing side by side, which western scholars have identified as the the great buddhism and the lesser buddhist is the verse also buddhist and then the village of buddhism isn't. They... The buddhism to be found in the higher reaches of their Dates.

And the labor version the buddhist. So the simple idea of Karma is what you find in village buddhism, late buddhism so what's the lesser tradition Whereas if you go to the greater tradition, you have an understanding of karma is consistent with everything but buddha taught. And so that's another topic that we can get into. I don't know that we have the time to tonight. But what is it? That is passed on when you die and to him is of Capstone. Now the stream of consciousness you mentioned, This this is an invention to serve two purposes.

One purpose is to try to account for the the mystery of where this... Where all is bookkeeping a stored. The other purpose if serves is to comfort people to feel really uncomfortable the idea that the buddha was really saying that they don't have soul. So that's the two purposes this getting consciousness idea. Again one of the, there is follower about by name exactly. Interesting name considering what Sa means, but anyway, by the name of Sat, and he ponder upon this. And it's an example in the sutra of the stream of conscious this idea of being presented.

He went around telling everybody. I know what it is that is reborn. I know it is it's recurring attorney. It's consciousness. Well, so lady went and they told to buddha about that. He said, you know, sat going around and tell everybody, you know, and making a sound like you say this. That what is reborn what passes on from life and another is consciousness. And so the rest of the su is a very long thorough skull day. Chewing out though. He got got same. Where did you ever hear that and or such came?

So the stream of consciousness idea is is another one of those things that has evolved after the time of the reboot. It's not part as lose as original teaching. But it's necessary If you... If you don't have a grasp of the deeper implications of what the buddha taught. Then you'd have to generate something like this to explain what seems to have been said. And so that's the reason that these things have been generated. Like i say, I don't know there's really time to go into it. I know it's not...

Oh, I do know. Who's not bye. Takes us for the question. If we don't have some kind of eternal soul, it there isn't some some separate cell somehow outside of these five aggregates. Then What is there? And the whole notion of self is based on separation. Buddha taught that everything is imp. That doesn't mean that even mountains wear away and even star grow cold. Although it can be misunderstood to me there. That is the most superficial level of being permanent. When you penetrate it deeply enough, and imp means there are no such thing as things.

There is only process. And then when you look at it finally enough, you only find change. There is no change. At all not even temporary. Everything is changing. And so this is one of the basic truth city Taught that everything is imp, which when it's fully understood, means that The thing that we perceive is a projection of our mind. Our mind is dividing up the totality of process into separate components, which it identifies as discrete things and cling to with this kind of thing, this is exactly what we do to ourselves.

We are process, but we're not just we're not separate isolated process. The notion of self, which inherently includes the separation of self from other, that's where is flawed. There is no separation, the process that we are is not separate from the totality. So when there is no self, This means there is no separation from the whole. Which means and I I know this is something that We require a lot of discussion collaboration. But it means that in a very real sense, You were in a previous life, month that ever lived before you were born.

You will be in a future life. Every whoever will be. And for that matter you are everyone else Yeah. Life like the story that jordan told us. When you can see yourself, and another eyes, then that's when the long dark night has ended. This this is the salvation that. Is offered by the buddhist teaching. Is that all of our pain and suffering comes from the ignorance of believing that we are separate. Just being separate, it's in itself is a cause of suffering. But then when the mind conceive of the as separate from the rest, the boundary between the the rest becomes a battlefield.

And the war is on, I am going to try to manipulate every aspect of not self that I can't in order to produce this by pleasure satisfaction stability for my perceived self as I can and to prevent any sort of harm injury cane so forth it. And so that describes the human condition and imagine cell at war with the world motivated by desire and inversion and living in an ongoing state of greater or lesser suffering. It's always suffering it just becomes more just executing becomes left. The answer that the buddha Taught was to overcome ignorance.

First of all, you need to weaken the power of desired version on your But then when you overcome the ignorance of believing, but you are separate, when you have the ignorance of believing the way your mind projects things, that you are a separate self in a world of separate objects, which you are inevitably with. When you realize that that is not true. They you are liberty. When the mind stops functionally from that paradigm, it doesn't generate suffering in the same way. This wisdom that replaces ignorance ignorance.

And so that. Imp is our easiest path to understanding the way things really are. It leads us to understanding that our mind is projecting things as being a particular way. Fitness itself, as I said is a rejection of mine. Then the attributes to the things that the mind imagine These are the result of our mental processes, which are our mental constructs. That's one of the five aggregates our natural construct. Those mental constructs are the result of all of our previous experience. Every situation that we've been at, something happened to us.

We reacted to we responded to and what the form that our reaction took molded into we subsequently are. And so this is the way that Carla call us is you to see the world in a particular way? So when you see something and say that ugly, Ugliness is not in the thing. Even the thing is not in the thing. It's all in your mind. It's all a projection. When you say goodness, wonderful when you see good people, bad people always think it's all coming from your mind. And mind is producing what it is producing in the moment because of the way you've have conditioned your mind in the past.

And the whole secret to this path is to alter the course of that conditioning. So that you make yourself into a different kind of being in the future. You make yourself into A buddha. You alter your condition conditioning moment by Robot, to become the kind of being who has in mind that doesn't perceive things in this way of self and other. So that is called that's the second of the fundamental insights or treats that we gain from the practice, which is an time and sun. It is no self and happiness.

So we start with imp and we discover the truth. First of emptiness of other things, that's the easy one. The hardest line is to discover the emptiness of self and to give up the attachment to the cell. But when we do, when we do, we realize that clinging to these illusions can produce only suffering and we understand a third characteristic of him and existence the way it's not, which is suffering. So we to to understanding permanent, hampton emptiness, selfless, and the nature causes of suffering.

This this is the path to wisdom. And you are while you are due to your task conditioning. That. As you've got a time machine, you can't change it. Good news, who you will the become is entirely up to you and you have the tools to work with. To become in the short term something to experiences less suffering in the long term to the a person who has transcend all suffering. The sense of that you offered? The sensor of. Simultaneous t. Simultaneous. Yes. Yes. That we all already are everybody. Suggests but one person getting enlightened wouldn't would be everybody waking up.

And it doesn't appear to be working that way. Well, actually, If you expect for one person that have like that, everybody will your right. It doesn't. But every person that becomes i why again that it enlighten everybody else to a certain degree. It brings in a step closer. But that still sounds like time. Exists. Well, and and time is one of those things. That is an illusion. Once again, how somebody twenty five hundred years ago could understand this Was amazing. But modern physics and philosophy tells you.

Time. The way we perceive it, just like everything else is generated by mine. So when I followed what you said, although I really have some struggle articulating it. It sounds like there's not gonna be a timeline where we have successive birth we already already all are. And that means if we're all connected, then one person waking up would wake up the rest of us, and you say yes. And no. Well, The thing is that you're still looking at it on a temporal point of view. Yes. I'm sure. Which is. So if if I become in enlightened today, then everybody else should the kinda like you.

Either right away or at least a few minutes later. Right? And at least at least in a i blink. Yeah And and yeah. What we see is that somebody who comes on lot me here somebody becomes in, like they're somebody becomes i'm like there. Actually, what we see if we look at huge the history of human beings, is that there is an increasing degree of wisdom compassion all the things that we might call h us, present amongst, human beings in the world. Although might be sometimes hard to appreciate that. But if you look, back in time carefully where you realize, things even a little louder or a lot year than there now and like the general trend.

It may they up some downs with general proven. So... But the thing is that there's another thing the people who understand this will say, which is really confusing. He that... Well, actually, you're already out and like... Yeah. I've heard that one. And That's true. The only thing that's not true is when you say, okay. I can set it needs I don't have to do anything. Oh boy. Because look Because the you that is being experienced, the self of the mind is generating is still suffering. So what about backs sliding?

I mean, we're all rushing toward this... I wanna be a better me. And even if I'm not a meet, but but I can look back and and Well, let's put this way. I have experienced suffering that turned me into a rotten human being for a while. And I had to get over it. Right. And there's... So we can back slide. But we can back from everything. Yeah. So So this wonderful forward motion of I understand there's causality. I know that I must behave in a virtuous way. And then Boy, I'm sure gonna get even with salt.

In the description of of car. That's acknowledged that you make... You you make a good car and you made bad karma on how there's some karma you baked that reinforces other karma that you made. And there's some cargo that is counter daylight that reduces the impact or even per prevents so karma my friend ever. You like. So yeah. This is recognized And well, you know, you go forward and you go back and and you know, it scares the daylight out of me that I'm gonna back slide but I'm not Oh yes. And you're absolutely ready to be scared about backs sliding.

I mean you know, I love be a mindful person. And for a long time, I was taking it for granted how well my own mindfulness was And in the last seven eight days, I realized how much of my mindfulness, I lost through being tired Namesake. So yeah. You're going to back slide. Be afraid of it. Okay. Appreciate now that Got that the way Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Well, it's it's eight twenty nine. Have a whole minute to take as many other questions. Yes. Maybe next time you can all this relates to for intention.

Because, you know, if there is no such thing as the light then where intention it is the one of cell We discussing mentioned a little bit when we talked about how we make choices. Yeah. And I'm just looking back that... Exactly. Yeah. That's exactly what we were talking about. Was it the last night we were together? Anyway, two weeks from ninth let's fit that into this because that is very true. You know, that there all these different levels of understanding of thing. So one level of understanding is that when I say action I mean, intention.

But when it go to a little deeper, or who's doing the attempt? Does that mean I have free will and I could in spite of everything being costly determined he's i, could i... Do I have the free wheel to intend? Something different than what has causes. Yeah. That's really good question. That that's excellent kind of question. Wonderful things to be thinking about? These these are the questions you'd feed to have. Speak are the important question fact. Not who is I am my last life. These are the important questions now.

Because this direct relates very directly to understanding the true nature of reality who you really are and how you fit in with everything else. Yeah that's what you wanna understand. Well, thank you very much. I enjoyed that.

You can edit the title and description of this talk to help us organise the content and make it better searchable.

Edit talk