Likened To A Clump of Clay

Shown a clump of clay, you would have ignored it, nor even take a second look, not to mention keeping it. But when mold into different shapes, you would have loved it, valued it, or even kept it. Such is the deception of delusion. Unrealized, craving brings specialness to the world. Delusion is not you.

The valuable paintings found in this world are just blobs of colors, the ancient precious priceless pots are just clay, stories are just fanciful ideas. The music you hear are sounds made up by odd-shaped objects. Everything being experience thru all the six-sense doors are well-deceived by delusion making it feels there is a “you” that love and hate for a little while, born and die and have to struggle, suffer or happy.

Such is the nature of the world where delusion breeds, where shapes and forms are valued. But they are not stand alone realities except dependent on its material. Not seeing this truth, craving held it on tightly for what was originally valueless.

In this way investigate all the experiences one can ever have, all the mental activities or processes one can ever lay hands on, with unbiased or prejudices – love, hate, anger, joy, loneliness, superiority, anything for that matter – and one will be joyfully shocked to come to realize they are only minds, all mind made they are. And what is mind? Empty in essence by nature, impersonal, impermanent and nothing satisfactory, likened to the valueless clay.

What are you going for?

Cause & Effect Misperceived

Many, if not all, experts in the field of brain and mind conclude that there is no such a thing as mind or consciousness. To them, it is the brain activity. Thinking is a brain activity. Feeling is a brain activity. Even knowing, to them is an effect of a brain activity. Why are they concluding it this way? It is because of the limited view of what they can notice or measure via instruments. The mind cannot be measured except thru what can be seen occurring in the brain, hence the conclusion that the brain is the powerhouse of everything.

This view is seriously flawed in the sense that they are giving priority or specialness to the body parts, missing what is extremely important, which is the mind. It is likened to emphasizing or glorifying a company instead of those behind the scene that makes the company possible. It is like saying the company is real. And the people in the company is the product or result of the company. Does it make sense?

In this way, the cause and the effect are being confused. The cause has been taken as effect and the effect as the cause. And this wrongness is not uncommon in our daily lives happening. It is like saying my spouse or children stressed me out. They are the cause and my effect is suffering. We always see situations, people, or even places as the cause of our unhappiness or happiness.

That’s why we look for people, for places, for holidays to fulfill our need for happiness because of the idea those are the causes to affect our wellbeing (effect). We want our spouse in a certain way. Our boss to be nice. Our children to be clever. Our employees to do well. Forgetting the very crucial and important point that the cause is not “out there”.

If we think the cause is outside to affect our wellbeing, we will chase after and need to do a lot to make that possible. But if we know the cause is within us, we just need to take care what is within, the rest will take care of its own. We will still do what is necessary in this world but it is from within to without, not the other way round. We speak not to impose, we speak because we are clear in our minds. We do things not because of the world. We do because we know it is beneficial for our mind. We advise not for other’s sake but because we knew clearly it is for the mind where the very source is. In the same way, we do not do because we know it is not beneficial for our mind. Our mind comes first. The world is an effect. This understanding can only take effect after a cyclic process of right information (sutamayapañña) leading to right investigation (cintamayapañña) and finally right realization (bhavanamayapañña) to how delusion works.

To see the outside as the cause is the result of projection, an error of a misperception, a false view. The see the world as an effect of our perceiving mind, is an extension. A view that enables us to have an understanding what is taking place around us. Thus, what A Course In Miracles points about projection and extension is according to the truth, a fact, not presupposed by assumptions.

All mental sufferings are the result of projections whereas where there is extension only peace can be its effect due to Right Understanding as its cause.

Only in this way true peace can be possible. Only in this way true freedom can be a reality. Freedom or peace from outside causes is more like a gratification, an addiction, for pleasures, rather than peace or freedom. Gratification is not freedom but bondage but somehow being tricked to believe as freedom upon being gratified.

Body or Bodhi?

Do you wish for a body or a bodhi? One is physical, the other, err… mental. Not really mental though, but since it is from the mind doorway bodhi arises, lets assume it is mental first. So which do you wish to have? You can’t have both except one. More accurately, you can’t really “have” both, except inclining towards either one of it.

But what is bodhi? Bodhi is just another word for awakening. Not the kind of awakening from your sleep or slumber. More than that. It is awakening from the dream state of who you think you are now; yes, while you are awake just as you are reading the text now. Uh? Yes. You think you are awake now. Well, as in any dream, you may think you are awake until you woke up from that dream. Until then the dream is not known as a dream but “real”.

Well, if you get what I mean, then back to the early question – body or bodhi? First, a body is what you already have – growing, and later aging, is its intrinsic nature, no matter how you may want it to be otherwise. Illness, disease, deterioration, weakening, hormonal imbalance is what you have to get used to in time to come. Heat and cold are what it has to adjust and address. It has its own nature of hunger too and also you have to relieve it when nature calls. You have to clean it, no doubt, otherwise, the smell coming thru can be pretty unbearable. Consider not brushing your teeth or bathing for a while! It is also. host to uncountable bacterias, worms, viruses and funguses.

Time and again you have mistaken the body for you. Hence, your body shape is extremely sensitive and important to you. As you look into the mirror, what you see you think is you. Sometimes you like the body, sometimes you don’t. Obviously, it is to show you that the body is a different entity since you can choose to like or dislike it unless you think the body is you and that you like or don’t like about yourself. So the question you need to get it clear is – the body is yours or you? The body is yours or the body is you are both two different sets of view. What about considering another new view – it is neither you or yours?

This new view can only occur when both the two earlier views are being challenged, investigated and observed over a period of time thru awareness, without bias conclusion.

Once both views are being debunked and demystified, you begin to notice clearly the body is just a body, neither you or yours. Yet, you may say that is just another view, no different from views promoting the other two experiences. So what makes one think the latest view is right and the other two wrong?

This question can only arise if we didn’t realize the difference between believing and understanding. Belief can be questioned, investigated and challenged. Belief can be overturned if it comes face to face with honest inquiry. Whereas understanding is not a belief. Understanding arises due to a long investigation without biases. It is opened to inquiry and test. Understanding or realization is a result of noticing realities, hence it is an indisputable fact.

These realizations or right understanding of the body or mind, unraveling its reality instead of the delusional concept of me, I, or mine leads to bodhi, overcoming the false idea that the body is you or yours.

So body or bodhi? Both have different consequences. Different realities except one is false, the other true.