Stronghold 21Feb 2010
So should we talk about? No self. Alright. Well... What exactly about so? It seems almost unreachable. Almost unreachable. Well let's see if we can't make it reachable. Okay. So to understand what it means to say that the self that you think you are doesn't exist. But place of again is to examine What are the characteristics of the self that you think you are? In order to understand the truth of this statement. Or for that matter to satisfy yourself that it's mistaken. You need to you need to be clear on what is the self that you think you are and you need to test test that, you know, do...
Is is that real? Do those characteristics six actually exist? No. So let's look at the self that we think we are. I mean, there's some very basic things pretty much universal about the self. Each of us individually has all kinds of attributes that we identify with ourself, which we can call our Ego cell for our personality, you know. Well I am the smartest and that handsome number. You know, or are the other delusions that we carry. And every the other day of the ugly is turn the. I was deserving duality.
Yeah. So one of the things about the notion of self that is is universal. What we're talking about here is the natural, spontaneous intuitive view self that is common to human beings everywhere across cultures and anything else. And universally human beings feel like they are a single unitary self. You know, there's only one of need living in here. K. Is that not true? I mean we we don't usually think of the south as us and we, you know, he he even rulers that refer themselves in the royal us you know, Think.
Their perception of self is that there's just one. And the other thing we naturally to believe is that it's been the same continuously. It's an enduring cell. It as far back as we remember yesterday last week, you know, we are the same self. And we expect to be the same cell. So the second quality is one of this... It's an interior a single enduring set. And there's a little bit more that we can say about this. Now because How long does this self endure? That is the question. And if we refer once again to intuition, The natural spontaneous intuition of human beings seems to be that this cell has a a finite limit.
It hasn't been to it. But this is also something that makes us very uncomfortable and disturbed us. And so as human beings, we tend to spend a certain amount of time, thinking about the end of the self who we think we are. But what Before we move on to the next characteristic of the south. I just want you to reflect and really I'm inviting you to satisfy yourself that this is true is that at the level of natural intuition, your natural intuition is actually based on all of your experience and everything you see is that there is probably an end to this self.
And that that was struggle with that. The third characteristic of the south in addition to the single and enduring at least for some period of time, whether it's forever or just No there's a limit somewhere. Is that the self that we feel what we are is definitely separate. I, myself myself. I'm separate from you i'm separate from the things around me. And as a matter of fact, this is almost definitive of the self concept. It is a division of the universe of all that exists. Into self and self. And it is that boundary that separation that is whether we're consciously aware of it or not is always operating in our sense of self.
Right. But intuitively spontaneously, you've never questioned that. Right? I'm separate from those trees. And if I bump into it, it hurts my body, which also aren't kind of separate from. And I'm definitely separate from other people who may generate motivations either to to harm me or to to me, you know, if there's always that sense of service. So these are the characteristics who that we assume. So deeply, we are a single permanent or inviting separate self. And then there's two other spontaneous intuitive assumptions have to do with the functions of this self.
This self is the experience. It is everything that happens happens to this self. Everything that seen is seen by the self heard by the cell. Thought by this self felt by this zone. At right at the corner of your b, your notion itself is the south as the owner of experiences. Alright? And then the Other function is of course, the doe. I am the doe. I'm the one that makes choices. I make mistakes, you know, I do all kinds of things. And it's very, very... That that's that is as deeply embedded as anything else.
And when you go to question, the validity of i believe in the south. This is one of the things you're gonna confront. Even if you start to be persuaded that, well, maybe the self think I am doesn't exist, But but who's doing this stuff that. Anyway. Right? Are you saying the witness isn't part of the self? Now I didn't say that, but let's back up and it very steep restate that are you saying it sounds to me like you're saying the is not part of themselves. I'm wondering whether that whether Okay.
Because in in... There are different ways to define self. There there's a way to do it so that the witness is a part of that because the self being this one Mh. Okay. In in that sense or the witness being the observer mh of that the self that is the... Our dealer, the the our experience or Okay. Now we speak of the witness truly as the witness. You know, and there there's a certain level of detachment that we can experience in our observations. That is not what is technically known as the witness or.
On but in your meditation and a profound stillness, where there is the observer that is unaffected by anything that's observed and un changing. That there still is a very subtle vest of self in there. Most of the characteristics have been dispensed with the one that remains is that witness still experiences a subject object reality. Right. The witness is the witness of if is arriving. And that is that's still that characteristic of second there. To to... That stage is a stage toward enlightenment getting past.
It's a sage and they first and i my yeah leaking man. Okay. So anyway, these are the characters this... So you start off with saying, okay. I'm being told that this is this is the self I'm being told does not exist. Okay. Let's look let's look at the social and historical and which this statement was made. Okay? Twenty five hundred years ago in India, there were already thousands of years of intense intros philosophy and meta taking place. And these questions have been raised and identified and dealt.
And there really two predominant views and... And to this day and in the rest of the societies and where always see that when people examine the intuitive notion of self. On they tend to go into one two different directions. No. First, when when somebody examine logically, Carefully sounds logically, the proposition itself is single, and you're separate. Then, they say, well, you know, that means that this self would have to be un caused and heat eternal. Because we'll be getting lived. Yes. Yeah.
So, you know, and but that doesn't fit with... I mean, the logic... The logic of the philosophers already taken us outside. Round with our intuitive perception. The will examine and and say, you know, things like well, if the self can change, then if if it can change as a result of external factors, then you know, it can't really be separate, You know, like okay can't be calls it's gotta be caused and so on and so forth. If it can change, it must be made up of parts. It can't be single. It can't be unitary because as it can change some price after stay the same either project change and so on and so on.
So logically, somebody looks logically at the Intuitive idea of the self, which they did, and it apart. And they found that it it raised contradiction. Now, you can resolve all those contradiction if you say, the self when you take the second characteristic of enduring this, and you make it eternal, you know, self originated eternal. Because that that solves all of the other problems, you know, Then what changes isn't it the self? Myself is always same. I'm sorry you look for this permanent of you eternal.
So. Of course, also, you can solve the problem by depositing some supreme power, which has the ability to bring this kind of self into existence. So the notion arises out We take the intuitive sense that this enduring self has in hand And we say our all of our other notions of self are correct. That one's in a state. It's a it's a this is a a self that is eternal. These two philosophical approaches are known as annihilation isn't, the one that that it says No. The intuition is right. Everything else gonna work trans self must come to an end as well.
Those really the annihilation. And then there's the attorney list to say, well, it seems like it's that way, but it can't be. And of course, Because it's in conflict with intuition, what we have to balance intuition help with his faith. So we need a system of beliefs. That accounts for the contradiction between what logic says it has to be and what intuition says it is. And this is the origin of all these different religious belief systems. And of course, they take the forms that we're familiar.
One form is that, yeah. It's an eternal self dodge sheds body takes on a newer. And this goes on and on forever. Problem with that, is all these rebirth means and red debts. Another view that has been built into voice system as known. This life is, like This is like a a a test. And, you know, at the end of this life, there is some sort of eternal existence in a completely different form at the end of this slide. And then the third view that's come up is a combination of those it's just... Well, we go round and around and around.
Until we find the secret of getting out. And then the self exists internally in another front. Now do you recognize but for well covers all the different religious systems. They're all different forms of eternal. And they are all systems to provide a basis for belief that contradicts the intuitive sense we have of of imp. The other view annihilation, accepts that accepts all of our intuitive perceptions of the self. That it's a single cell that it's an enduring cell. That is a separate itself, and also that it doesn't lapse.
Right? And that's called annihilation. It's there are different forms material is a kind an it. It doesn't question that we are the self that we feel like we are. So The problem with annihilation isn't is that it leads to a view that has come to be known in western philosophy as nihilism. But essentially, it says the whole thing is absolutely meaningless and pointless. Dear I am a conscious sentient being. Stuck in this absolutely meaningless universe. And that is nihilism. Somebody who becomes a knee if they have a strong personality, well, if this is all there is, and it doesn't mean anything that anything goes.
Right? And of course, the the fascist of Europe and or twentieth century were about n. Most nih don't want people to know their neal. Because people sense that the god are not constrained by the kind of moral and ethical limitations that religion ring. And they sense the power. I think, you know, the the Italian Mo, you know, if there's no limit to what they'll do to make you do what they want, then they're terribly fearsome. Right? This is true. Needless easily become totalitarian, because there is absolutely nothing.
In their mind to rest restraint them from doing anything you know, to satisfy themselves. So the wilt power tends to rise by of neo. But not not all near have a really strong personality. Other Neo the other direction that Knee to is one of cy, depression despair, withdrawal, and any neo that's how they manifest. And... But The interesting thing is that when we look at history, cultural history, we find that there are a lot of people who are who declared atheists, which means that they essentially annihilation.
But they don't seem to manifest either of these forms of nihilism. They don't manifest either of the will to power. Or the cynical withdrawal. And as a matter of fact, they've made incredible contributions to to art and to literature into science and mat mathematics and so forth. So But they... But any annihilation basically recognizes that if there is... This whole thing is meaningless, and therefore from my life to have any meeting at all, I have to create it myself. Either I can create a third right or I can create meetings through my work.
Which can be hem humanitarian or otherwise. So this gives you kind of an idea where things are going. Now at the time the buddha, was was began his own spiritual exploration. There were several forms of eternal list, and there were several forms of n. Are not or around annihilation I should say. Not. Summer in near, but anyway, several forms of annihilation message. And these were two extreme that. Right from the beginning of his teaching, he pointed out that that he was avoiding. What he did was something radically different.
He said maybe the whole intuitive notion of the self is wrong. Not that it's completely right. Leading to an annihilation or is that it's all right except for the notion of imp leading to eternal, but he said, maybe the whole idea is mistaken. And i I I don't know if he raised that as a question or discovery that. Reason it to other people think about him. Anyway, But from the point of view of what he did, he questioned the entire intuitive view hold of what we think himself is. And now at first glance, this same frightening and un.
And this is the reaction most people after to it. I've always have, you know, for a long hundred very hesitant slowly bring people around to talking about no self, because it's not what people can understand and want to hear. And the reason for that is because we believe so firmly in ourself that to be told there is no self. That's interpreted basically the same way annihilation is. I believe I'm a myself And to be told, it doesn't exist. This the same thing as be being told that it's going to be destroyed.
You know It's not really the same thing, but it feels that way. But the interesting thing that comes out of no self if you go into, because it has just the opposite effect. It provides you with more serenity and peace than the doctrines of eternal ever can. It provides you with more compassion for others than can arise from annihilation. You know, when you see everybody else saying they're existential flight as yourself. It opens the way to discarding other natural spontaneous intuitive interviews that are holding us back.
So to be able to let go, of this notion of the self that we think we are actually has a very wonderful and powerful effect. And that's that's really what makes are important. It is at the very heart of the entire buddhist doctrine. You know, if you look at it, more more important more central more essential than any other part of it. Overcoming the belief and the self that we think we are marks the first stage of enlightenment, the stream entry. And overcoming even that subtle sense of being a separate self.
Marks the final stage would become in our high. So there can... We can't really choose anything more important to look at. In Buddhism. Okay. So now you said self seems so unreachable. Okay. The way to reach it is through investigating these characteristics and satisfying yourself whether or not, they truly describe the situation that actually pertains or whether or not they are delusions. So, you know, the divide and conquer approach, break the problem down into manageable pieces and attack it a bit at a time.
Now, when you do this. The first thing you have to do is you'll think about it and get clear in your mind where you're going. And you can listen to me or other people or you can read books that present you with the logical rational explanations. You have to incorporate that into your mind and your way of thinking. So that you know, the arguments in favor of, you know, they're being that the self not being single. And you you make those into your own arguments. So intellectually you're satisfied that yes, it makes sense that the self that I think I am.
Isn't single un underwriting ind individual. Doesn't have these characteristics that I felt like it had. Alright. And the same thing with the other characters if you attack them one at a time. You stand on the shoulders that those have gone before you. You take their logic, but you don't just stop with taking their logic. Do you have to make it into your logic? Now this gives you an intellectual basis to work with. The next thing you have to do is to begin to satisfy yourself of the truth of this.
Experiential. You'd have to test it against your ordinary everyday experience over and over again. And you have to penetrate into it deeply when your mind is clear and focused as it is in meditation, and you reflect, you know, is the kind of self that I have assumed evident and and both meditation and data life, The more times they you'd have the experience of saying, u aha, it's it's not really here. Or i. The the other view actually makes more sense. Or the other view holds in this. The more times you have that experience of testing it.
The the clearer it will become and it will begin to... It will begin to change your intuitive view. That's where you want to get to. Your problems come. That, you may think all you want and read all you want about no self, but when you walk out of the Darn hall and something happens, The mind acts out of that natural intuition that I am a separate enduring, you know, single self and this is happening to me, and I've gotta do something about it. That is problem. And the only way you can change that is to change the way your mind works.
At a deep level. So that when you walk out of a dha hole on something happens, you don't lose i'm not really the time self, but I think I am. And the things that seem to make sense on the basis of that assumption, don't necessarily really make sense. You know, including whether I should feel this way whether I should react this way. Then you're on the way to overcoming the the the dissolution that you have been attract in. So anyway, the difference between another really important difference between what the buddha suggested as opposed.
To the other ways of approaching the problem, but that have been so common is that eternal requires faith Buddhism requires no faith. It's come and see for yourself. I'm telling you that if you look for something with these characteristics, you are not going to find it, but don't take my word for it, go and look for yourself. And if you do go with yourself, you'll not only discover that that's true, but it will change the way your mind works, and it'll will change and may weigh your mind works in such your way.
That it will they liberate you from suffering, and it will open up a whole new way of being. So but back to the problem of it seems so unreachable. You have to take it a piece at a time. Now And philosophers have picked apart. The view of the south quite thoroughly. And I know over a diamond mountain you've got to read all that. And you it had the same effect in you that it does the vast majority of most people. It does not have the least effect on your sense of self or even much effect on your intellectual belief in the truth of your intuitions.
Most of those aren't philosophers. And. And most those aren't gonna really have the whole way the world changed by somebody presenting some argument that they can't be one and it can't be many there exist. K. I did that every doing anything for. And the buddha had never presented those kinds of argument. And the Buddhist teaching it was always down to earth real life, you know, Look at yourself. Examine yourself. What are you made up up? And he usually, when he began to talk about what an individual was, he would make reference to the five aggregates that we cling to.
Hunter kinda. The down punch kind the the five aggregates that we claim to, which would be the most accurate english translation of the phrase. And his is one particular way of looking at who you are and accounting for everything that you experienced about being a being. It's it's not the only way of dividing it up. And it doesn't have to be, you know, and somebody else can divide it up into to four six or eight or ten. And might alter the categories I'm. And that's not the point. So matter had one of the things that I'm really interested in now as if the buddha himself actually came up with this particular five aggregates, or if he inherited it from the Scholars that preceded him.
It's not it's not really important whether he did or not, except that when understood properly, it does it it does thoroughly encompass all what we experience as an individual as a being. In which case, it would be just another sign of the brilliance of the mine that came up with it if one mine came up with it or otherwise, it would be the sign of something that evolved through a series of deep investigations right. By real people. But the idea of using the five aggregates as an approach to the investigation itself is it once you're clear on what you're looking for?
Then the second stage is you identify all of those things that make you up that's to five aggregates. And then you can search within those five aggregates. To see if to to see if what you're looking for is present in any form. Was ae now. Now if it isn't... You just say it's all five? What's that. Why would you just say it's all five together? Oh well, then that's what think you look for it all five together and see if that... They're. If you see... See if you find the self that that I mean, that's why the first step you have to be clear on what it is that you're looking for.
K. Okay. If you're looking for yourself that's single, you're gonna have to give up the idea of single if it's made up of five aggregates, because that's a huge number of things. Right. That's it, you know, Okay... Single this is out. Let's scratch single mess. Okay. But we'll hold on to enduring and we'll hold on to separate for the time but Separate not true either in the sense that the physical aggregate includes internal and external all all options objects. Mh. That I can see. So very, I've got, like, a huge definition of self.
That's right. Well, what's... Yeah. That's right. But but you're doing the right thing. What you do is you keep looking and you say, you know, what what you're gonna find is is one by one, you're gonna have to scratch off with few characters scratch off unitary and replace it with multiple and diverse. Thank And you're gonna stop to scratch. Each one of these things, you're gonna have to scratch it off and replace it with something that accord with your real experience when you exam it, that is the process of discovering no cell.
And no self is covering self. I'm discovering that there's no self single separate You're discovering that you are not the self that your natural intuition has sent. Mh. Okay. You're not going to discover that you don't exist. That would be nonsense. Because there is something that exists. Right. Right. Yeah. You know. And and unfortunately, that's one of the things that people sometimes mess misunderstand that is Oh, that means I don't exist. That's kind of a dead end conceptually. Although Although the more you eliminate the assumptions about who you are, then the closer you get to that point where when you totally eradicate the arbitrary boundary that distinguishes self from not sell.
Then, there is then they're no longer exists at all anything to which the label self can be attached. It doesn't change the fact that there's a wave the ocean, but you can't separate their way from the ocean or from the water. It seems like it'd be more useful to discover that there really isn't anything that's not so. Mean that's the way it feels to... you know. Say there's no... I mean, you gotta do reality. You've got no that you got self and then everything is not self, and it seems me, and it seems like everything itself and there's nothing that's not so.
Well, and i is one approach it's taken. That is that's the The down itself is the approach is that Not that you discovered there's is no self, but you discover the true self, which is... Which is B, which is everything. Okay. Okay. So, yes. Conceptually, it's an it's another way of arriving at the same point. Mh. Right? There's no not self. You know. And and personally, you know, the the Atlanta and and the Buddhist approaches, they they they get you to the same place. You know, and and they're completely valid.
Then the people can qui about well, the methods more detailed and easier to follow on buddhism as and and you know, there there are various things pros and cons that are set. But in terms fundamentally, know, the The concept of no self is empty. And so is the concept of divine itself. So they're both empty, which means that they both work too. About. Right. But you get the idea that using the system and the buddha developed. But this is your front that you stretch out your your assumptions. And and these are the main ones that I for you.
But in the process, you'll discover, subtle and subtle essential assumptions that like that. And it's the same thing. You you know, what it turns out would be is is a process of testing the assumptions that your mind has been operating on un up to this time. And letting go of the ones that fail a test And hanging on to the others, although you might continue to test the others as well, if anything that indicate to that you know, they need to be tested for... I mean. Right? So this this is how you...
This is how you approach it. So you have to understand what you're looking for. Because if if you haven't defined the self that you're looking for, then you don't... you know, I lost something in the bedroom over there later. We didn't go find it for me. Well what is it? Just something. I'll have this Bro color is it. You know? So you have to know what you're looking for. And then you have to know where to look for it. And that's that's the role at the five. Aggregate play. So you need to understand the flight aggregate.
And I'm And that's something we've talked about before. But it's such an important part of the investigation of of cell. That it's it's always worth revisiting. Could you find those again for us? Yes. For the five aggregate sense just what I was about to do and Thank you for asking, sir. You dial yeah Good intuition. Yeah. They are four feeling, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness or awareness is is word that I would prefer, but it's usually called consciousness. So those are the labels.
Like any other label it doesn't tell you very much and kinda to look inside the box. So form. Now the the buddha spoke in a language using ordinary daily terms. He didn't define special words, you know, like a scientist would make up a new brand new word and say this is what I mean, Everywhere he had ordinary everyday new meaning. And Ru, Ru referred to what we would call the material universe physical reality. And as an individual, if we're talking about an individual, of course, our body is physical We have these two parts to ourself that we part again of our natural intuitive perception of south that we can consist little body in a mind.
One is physical. And one is non physical. It's mental. And so root accounts for the physical play. So what you consist out is a physical aggregate, on body and a mine, and we can sub dividing the mind for sake of convenience. And the the vision that the buddha use was this? He said the mine is conscious of things. And what it is conscious of is are the perceptions that arise. The line contains with it a vast aggregate of mental formations of mental constructs, all the thoughts and ideas the emotions that are generated in response to various thing.
All of our beliefs and everything like that. It's a huge category. As a matter of fact, perceptions are also meth constructs but they've just been separated out to be observed separately. And then feelings is the other metal. His feelings are also a trying to mental construct. But what do he mean by feelings? It can be confusing in English because by feelings we don't need hearing in touch think, but doesn't mean that. A matter of fact, that's when you get down to it. Feeling is simply the the hit he donna or effective quality of an experience.
You know, there word he. Okay. Or affected. Very simply. You there are three kinds of feeling, pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral, or if neither pleasant. Right. But three kinds of feelings. So it's an aggregate without a lot of different parts, but it's a very important aggregate. Because absolutely every single experience you have. Sensory or mental or otherwise is a accompanied by a feeling. Being pleasant, unpleasant or needed us or unpleasant. And, of course, in the further analysis buddha did.
Of the... What's called that dependent origin. He shows exactly the role that field plays. And triggering creating and leading to our making things real in our minds our cleaning attachment. And our actions. So it is separated out because it plays such a crucial rule. So in addition to the material aggregate that's the body. We have the aggregate of feelings, which actually there are three feet general types of feelings, but he divides an up into five. And this is very important to has a lot of relevance to other things that he taught.
He distinguished between the pleasant feelings arising from the bodily census and pleasant feelings in the mine. And likewise pain arising from the bodily census and metal paint or sorrow suffering grief. All these other kinds of things. So really, we come up with five five different feelings. We have physical pain, metal pain, physical pleasure, mental pleasure, and neither pleasant more unpleasant. Which can be either. Sure so that's the fine. Okay. Now this is what he says this is what makes you up.
So you have to examine that and satisfy yourself. Because if it's not a complete picture, If there's some part of what you are as an individual it's not included in this, it's not gonna work. Right? To add If you don't understand it correctly, it's not going to work. So you have to understand it well enough. To satisfy yourself that indeed, this encompasses everything that I've ever experienced as an individual And if it doesn't, you're gonna have to revise it or understand it differently or give a project entirely and they'll have a beer.
Okay. So Let's examine this. What happens is you experience by means of the physical senses, Thanks. Consciousness That's one of the aggregates. We'll take a sensation arising as an object. And then from the mental formations will be created a perception. Okay. So you see something or you hear something? But the something isn't in what you see and what you hear. It's constructed by the mine to account for the visual imprint. Or for the auditory. So that's the perception. So have an experience or a perception.
And there are feelings associated with this. There are feelings associated with the initial sensory contact. And there's also feelings associated with the perception. And they're often the same. Something feels good since early and the idea that the perception of it is also pleasant. But not always, it can happen that something feels good, but because of other associations with it, the perception of it triggers a negative feeling. For use a dislike and unpleasant this. So this also becomes important as you go because recognize that the mental pleasant and the physical present don't always accompany the same initial adapted.
They often did they most often do, but they don't always for instance in music is that for, Well, yeah. That was somebody who something physically is painful but experience please. But it produces a kind of mental pleasure. Yeah. And many different examples of that thing? Somebody you really don't like comes up. Behind you and strokes your shoulder in a pleasant way. The sensation. Oh that's all good. Not you. I and you can have up all times in example anyway. So now the the consciousness aspect of it is yeah.
It's it is consciousness of. It's consciousness of an object. And as a matter of fact, you know, I I have spent so many years trying to find a way to use language to adequately convey some of these things and there is... We treat we treat all these words kind of vaguely in terms of their meaning and we had words that seem to mean mostly the same thing. And so I've been hoping to find some way to use words that we already have. Again a specifically defined way to clarify flight thanks. I'll share this with you not because you need to adopt it.
But because maybe it can help you to to see the to understand the problem. But I like to use the word awareness to me anything that registers on your nervous system. Whether you're conscious of it or not. So you see i made awareness in consciousness into two different things. So you can have conscious awareness, and conscious awareness or sub subconscious awareness. You know, you could regard subconscious awareness is something that you could be aware of or perhaps you can be aware of what you're not.
Right? And conscious awareness, of course is is not only is something registering on your nervous system, but that very elusive element of consciousness is there. So anyway, what is being referred to in this aggregate of consciousness? Are the kind by kinds of awareness or six kinds of awareness that are associated with the physical census and with the awareness of mental objects. And so the way I find this, and I think that you will find it too is if I said eye consciousness is different from here consciousness.
It's saying well, I don't know. If you say so. But if I said visual awareness is different from auditory wearing. You'd said, yeah. Absolutely. Right? And that's why I think awareness, captures the essence of what we're talking about here a little more clearly. Because it said that this aggregate consciousness consists of six distinct kinds of consciousness. Consciousness or... But awareness works. It's if we say six to same kinds of awareness, depending on which bodily sensor they're associated with or whether it is awareness of something is rising in mind, i thought emotion.
Okay? So anyway, these are... Yeah. This is what makes you up. In this moment in every moment. What is present is sensations. That's the aggregate form. And one of things you'll notice here is that we're already leaving behind materiality itself. Because how do you know a material world exists? Well you base your assumption of a material world on sensory information. And you do the same thing when you're dreaming too. K? You assume the tigers there because you see it in your dream. So let's not take a chance of making yet another assumption.
But just because we see a leg in a hand that we really know our body parts. Yep instead, let's stick to what we really know for sure you're actually inexperienced really, I have sensations corresponding to having lag hand or saying things and except for it. Okay? So we have simplified materiality and the bodily aggregate to simply those bodily sensations. Which give rise to the notion of of the world antibody. Okay. So what you consist? You have sensations. That's the aggregate form, You have awareness as those sensations, out of which arise perceptions.
Right? You have that vast aggregate of mental formations, which is responsible for those perceptions that have arise. Memory traces of previous experiences, you know, thoughts, associations, everything else. Your emotional reaction to us going on all of that is that's the stuff story in in your mind. And then associated with each experience, you have... You have a feeling. Pleasant unpleasant. So this is what's being presented as this accounts for everything that you are, see if you find anything missing from the picture.
So that this would be your job down. Is to satisfy yourself that you're that you can understand why why the buddha would say that these five value gets account for everything that you are as an individual. Everything that you can ever remember having been. And everything that you can reasonably foresee yourself thing is going to be some combination arising out at these aggregate your debts. Mh. So that's that's the basis for the explanation. Then you have to go and you have to start looking at your sensations, at your feeling, that's your perceptions.
So hard to look at mental formations directly you only get to see the ones that rise up as perceptions. But you can certainly you can certainly examine intros and tell what kind of mental formations seem to be operating, know. And and the different kinds of awareness. And you look in there for anything that you can eat that... Either anything was in that, but you could attach the characteristics of the yourself too. Or if you could attached it to the totality. Now really if the outset by saying that all that you are as an individual is these five aggregates is saying that the totality of these is somehow going to account for everything that you have erroneous as to a single permanent minute separate experience or and endure.
Because if you could... If you could if you could account for what you previously previously as to your intuitive sense of self with less than that, than you would need by aggregate she only need four. So indeed, the totality is necessary to account for everything. But the whole point is you can account for everything, and you will not find in any of the things that you're looking for in the form. That that you expect to find them. The most remarkable part is, of course, the two functions of the self which is the the owner of experiences and the origin of actions.
And that does come as something it was surprising and that is kind of hard to to grasp. But time. I've been having experiences lately while I'm working. Mh. Well, I'll be with a patient and I will like why I'm observing myself. I'm hearing myself. I'm that I don't feel like that self It it doesn't feel like dis or anything like that. But but it it's interesting because I'll here myself. I will follow my logic. I will see my personality. I will see how the person i'm working with is responding to that.
And yet, it's almost... It's not like I'm on top of it observing, but I'm Okay. It feels like about... Okay. It feels like I'm out of myself, but not like when somebody has a near death experience and they're Mh outside, you know, an out body it's not how of body experience it, but it's an out of self experience. It's... Yeah. What it is is it's a reflective awareness of what's going on in your mind. It's intros awareness. So what's commonly referred to if you if you read some of these books on meditation, it's what's referred to as mindfulness.
To be mindful means to observe, you, you know, you're having a conversation with somebody in some part of your mind is noticing what you're saying, why you're saying? Mh. You know what the... What the emotional drives what but the game that you're hoping for by saying this person particular goes is or or so on and so forth. That's my. Oh. That's intros everywhere. And that that's a good thing has a huge payoff. You know, it's just... Everything starts to make sense. As you have the opportunity to see yourself in that way.
I mean lost in your illusion itself. Mh. So it's a it is actually a a prerequisite are really carrying out the investigation but I'm proposing to you. So in addition to understanding what you're looking for, and understanding where you're looking for it, you have to have the ability to look for it. You have to have a certain degree degree of of focus and clarity of mind And the ability to invoke that line for. The hardest thing about mindfulness is remembering to be mindful. Yeah. This was not consciously directed by me.
And I almost... It occurred and I observed it. Yeah And that's, you know, that's the best way the best way is if you start to be mindful all over the time. That just is naturally there. In the meantime, If ever you... If if if you can learn to recognize when you're not being mindful and be mindful. And that's very hard to do because, you know, it's like you you can't... Hey, you know, talking remember what you forgotten. Right? But we condition our minds. Actually, this has to do with the whole thing about not so.
You imagine to somebody in there in charge. You're imagining of somebody that can't remember to be mindful. That's the most amazing thing about. There isn't. There's all different mental processes. And what you can do is you can train one of those mental processes to just get so that it always triggers the mindfulness thing. You you can't remember to be mindful, but you can train one part of your mind to to So it's it's trained like a a a dog that bark every time there's a noise outside. Where, like, muscle be married.
Well, and... Yeah. Yeah. But it's not... You know, and you only frustrate yourself when you assume that there is an eye that's capable of doing things. You know, say close your eyes to meditate like we're gonna do in a few minutes. I know it's been a long time. But yeah. Sit down to meditate. I am going to focus my attention. Well you can't there's no u to do it. But your mind can, and there's different parts of your mind interacting. And some of them wanna do something else. And some of them think this idea of paying attention to the meditation object is a good one.
And so we, you know, what it is, it it's a it's a process of of getting all these different parts. Of this not needed to yourself. To come agreement. What we're gonna do for the next forty five minutes And then making it habit it. And and so then, you'll get to enjoy the loser experience of oh, well, I just sit down and, you know, close my eyes and and I meditate. And you can take all the credit for, you know, you didn't just know you to did it. Okay. Any other questions for stretch and benefits.
Hey I guess I wanted ask you but sync. Couple weeks ago, on the Sunday I came up and I picked up a hitch striker, and brought them up to, know, part the about halfway here from from my end. And He just... He was funny he just kinda... He had said about two words to me. And when we wanted to get out, He just opened the door he got out he away. Didn't say thank you or have a nice day or anything. Which caused me to go? Well, why did I pick him up? Did I pick him up so that he would appreciate what I did is So I was trying to step away from it and see what my, you know, response was to that.
So I picked them up again today. And his name is Stone, and he knows all of you guys about. Hey. Those all of you guys and these tri leg gran Oh yeah. You you live over here with these two women and one is still living there and the other one shirley broker her hip and yeah... And so he just, like, opened up. And it was so nice. And I'm on the phone with a friend of mine. And and and I'm talking with her about an issue about organizing and and and and and, you know, different ways to proceed things so you don't feel overwhelmed.
And that And stone sitting on... And and I did not think this guy had much he came out with some of the brightest responses to only hearing my end to the conversation that was right on. For what was going on. And and so I ended up praying all the way to the church this time And and I had this really neat experience, and it didn't feel like an accident. Alright. And and I guess... So I have these things happen, and I get a sense of the one ness of all of it. Mh. That it it... It all seems like part of something.
Energetic attraction. Is it? Checking like that. Yeah. I don't know. I don't know. Your your sensitive one this is justified because it is an ind matter fact that you are the result of every single thing that ever happened in the universe prior to your coming end to being. And if any of it have been different, you wouldn't have been here. And every single thing you think say or do is going to continue to have effects for so long as as the universe. So How could you be anything. Right? Don't. Thank you.
And you should try to all the. I nice. Okay. Well, that's that's good.