Common Ghost in the Shell

Do you not notice that your mind and body is all you can ever experience, and not further than that? Even the “body” cannot be directly experienced except for the sensations which can be felt. The shape, form, and color of your “body” can only be seen by your eyes, hence perceived by your mind. Seeing and tasting are different senses altogether. The same goes for hearing, smelling or touching. From these bodily senses, mind or consciousness takes effect – which is what you are experiencing.

Anything further than these mindbody experiences is a mere construct, a fabrication of the mind/consciousness. Unbelievable? Surprised or shocked? Do you not notice this ordinary, yet simple truth that has always been such?

Take for instance, food. The food you eat can only be experienced as sour, sweet, bitter, salty or savoury – all through the tongue, which is a part of your body. But the tongue on its own cannot taste; taste is experienced by the mind. Thus, you can only experience what the body is able to sense, not the food itself. Whereas the kind of food that can be seen by your eyes arises through another bodily sense altogether, not through the tongue which is only for tasting. But the eye itself cannot see. It takes consciousness to see, hence it is called “seeing consciousness”. In other words, your experience of what you see ‘out there’ is actually nothing more than the mind’s perception or interpretation of experiences. You can’t really experience the world except through your mindbody’s experience of the world. Even quantum physicists are now debating whether there is even anything outside of consciousness, or mind – but that is not where I wish to delve into right now.

It is as if you are always one moment late in every sense – the mind experience first, only then you come next into experiencing what the mind experienced, never before the mind. More than that, you can never experience the world directly, except what the mind tells.

So what’s the big deal? Big indeed, if you come to realise deeply this simple fundamental truth. You just can’t take your life for granted anymore. Not in the sense of what or who you are but what can be experienced moment to moment is all happening within you realtime in your own shell of your mind – you are experiencing the mind, not the world. Think about this – when you judged someone, you are experiencing the entire thinking mind, not what is on the person. When you don’t like someone, come to realise that “that someone” is actually your own mind thinking, with “anger” as another mind experience, all within the consciousness of the mind. That’s what you are, every moment, when any experience comes up.

So who or what are “you” really? Do you not notice the mind can know “you” since “knowing” is one special function of the mind. Notice that when you have in mind “I know who am I”, it is actually a thinking mind? Either thinking about your past or the body. In short, the mind is like a big dream, where “you” is another fabrication within it. Be baffled!

And if you are not interested in investigating this, or have totally forgotten about this simple reality, your interaction with the world becomes real, as in any dream state, until you finally awaken from it.

A Gift of Miracle of Understanding

I was back in Penang last weekend for Qingming and an unusual event unfolds in my mind that I wish to share here. While waiting at the premise for the event to end, I noticed a guy on a bike came calling out for help. In most usual cases, I will just either ignore the plea of that person or maybe moved away from it. Due to the many unpleasant stories of the past which my mind buys into, I will always be in doubt whether those cases are genuine or not.

But this time round I noticed the doubt in my mind and instead of ignoring him, I gave the guy a sum of money as his plea to support his family. He requested for more and I am certain the amount that I gave is what I can offer. As I moved away from him, I noticed from afar a sweeper of the temple waving at me not to give. That instant moment I noticed a tiny guilt arising in my space of what I have done. This is the usual scenario that most of us would have encountered each time when a good deed is done and someone intercepted us with another idea and changes our mind of what we have done.

Somehow in that moment instead of regretting, surprisingly, understanding arises in the mind, showing me very clearly that this very mind that I experience has two potentials – generosity and stinginess. They are impersonal potentials – not me or mine. I can’t even give credit as “me” at that moment when understanding arises. They arise out of different conditions – there is just no right or wrong attached to it – except that one feels loving and the other unloved. In the past, the attention will be on both the persons – one seemingly ‘cheated’ me and the other ‘good samaritan’ advising me. In this way of viewing, they became my target of attack or defense. In such situation, it would have felt ‘so right” to make another right or wrong and make myself either in bitterness or self-blame. Often than not, pride arises thereon – doesn’t matter whether it is superiority, inferiority or equality – all are just defilements in pursuit. Whereas when understanding arises, it is no longer about anyone outside of this mind. Not even about “me”. It is about what is potentially in the mind that can ripen according to the situation.ovingnl

I can never imagine such profound potential for understanding that can arise in the mind. It is pretty amazing how such gift can take place without me needing to think it out by myself – even if I can, it is just a dishonest coverup of what I am hurt about. In the past, it would have been either right or wrong. It was such an unusual occurrence as compared to all such similar past experiences and I am just thankful that wisdom has done a good job out of it, instead of delusion taking precedent in that brief event. From this learning, if we take the initiative to be interested in our own mind, instead of targeting bodies, often then not, an unexpected gift of miracle is given. Each time wisdom never fails to show again only when there is a willingness to learn about our own mind.

The World but A Thought Creation

Thinking that you know and
Knowing that you think
Is not just a reversal play of words
But a matter of two different worlds

Of black and white
Of true and false
Of correct and error
Of mistakes and forgiveness

“Why he acts like an idiot”
Is true to you as you judge him
Not realizing thinking about him
Is what makes you think you know

Even asking who am I?
Needs a thinking to know you
Making you a product of thought
But not a knowing

You have confused knowing and thinking
Thinking knowing is not knowing
Knowing thinking is not thinking
Both are different worlds

Only then can you come out
Of this maze of deception
That makes you think you exist
But is just another thinking process

Who then are you
Of thoughts streaming thru endlessly
A make believe that “you” exist
And as such “others” too there are

Whimsical fragments of delusional perceptions
A world somehow comes to be born
And “you” an image, an imagination
Of streams of consciousness devoid of self

What then is thinking?
But tiny mad ideas occupying the now
Every now, every moment
Making a make belief “I-am” conceit

“Now” was never once a now
Of ideas of thoughts coming going
Occupying the central stage
Of a pristine backdrop of Unchanged

You and me were never born
Not to mention we all dies
For we never existed even once
No one here, no person to live

Beginning or end are mere ideas
Of meaningless time perception play
The truth is what It is
Beyond thoughts, beyond change

So trust not judgments
Or opinions, or comments,
Giving you a false hope “knowing”
“Thinking” that “you” “knows”

KNOW then what is taking place
As to aware how the mind tricks play
Of formations born endlessly
Of meaningless impersonal ideas

So long as “you” is felt
Any moment any time
With “other” opposite of “you”
Certainly, a tiny mad idea is running wild

Donald Trump, Adolf Hitler
Mother Theresa or Steve Job
What do you Think?
Made up by thoughts the very you

Wakeup, wakeup, please
So that this world would come to end
Without “you” needing to die or born again
With a Now Knowing taking a central stage