A student writes:
I’ve noticed long ago that mind was making decisions before I even knew about them. Something very complicated seems to be going on.
Lama Shenpen responds:
Yes, it is complicated if you try to analyse it but actually, it does all it does with perfect uncomplicated ease – all-of-a-piece, nothing can be separated out and yet we try to step outside of it all the time to try to grasp or own or secure or avoid it but it’s all-of-a-piece – mysterious and yet obvious and liberating – already liberated – strange, strange, strange, marvellously and endlessly strange!
I wonder whether it is easier for us, knowing something of physics, which confirms the ancients got it right, about atoms and their mysterious ways, such as being in two places at once; being both atoms and waves; and now we are told there is some 97% of everything so-called ‘dark matter’ about which we know nothing beyond it cannot be perceived and yet for reasons I don’t understand, scientists are sure exists.
It is fascinating isn’t it? There is still more that the ancients got right and our intuition gets right that is beyond science because science tries to know from a view point outside of what it is trying to know – that limits it good and proper – it will forever find increasing detail and more ingenious ways to describe things and use their knowledge to do stuff – but it’s all in the direction away from the point really.
For ages I wondered how we could be sure love is the basic glue for every sentient being, yet today I heard of experiments which show that very young babies prefer characters who behave kindly in little stories they witness. That reassures me a lot.
Yes we hardly need scientific confirmation of this do we? If scientists told me love was illusion and was useless I would not be interested at all.
And perhaps I am just beginning to realise something of not being born nor dying, in that mind cannot stop and start; it must continue, again in an unfathomable way (at least to me).
In principle it is indeed unfathomable – if it is measurable it is not it, it’s a description that falls short of what it is trying to describe.
I cannot understand how consciousness ‘gets into’ a baby, so why not believe it is somehow always there?
Yes – it makes more sense doesn’t it – it is so strange isn’t it – it’s so hard to work out what it means to say this is my body – all the bits are clearly not me – they are replaceable – but it’s not true to say it’s not me or mine – it is clearly something to do with me! Body means something more than the bits.
Emptiness as the whole of everything, seems to be very like ‘mind’…
It is mind – mind is emptiness, emptiness is mind, they are not different. Two names for the same thing.
Lama Shenpen is teaching on the theme of Insight into Emptiness this year. For details of upcoming online teaching events and retreats visit www.ahs.org.uk/events
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