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Saturday, December 24, 2022

All Pervading, All Penetrating

 In Buddhist meditation, deep reflection on true nature of things should include meditation on the “I” as a body with form, name, life, and consciousness. Consciousness makes it possible for the “I” to be conscious of the “I”.

A component of “I” (the big and universal) is its own consciousness because without it “I” (the small, particular) does not arise. Conversely, a content of the consciousness is the “I” it is illuminating.

I do not know the purpose of life in general. But the purpose of consciousness is to help the individual life in which it operates to live. That means consciousness helps the “I” relate to the external world to survive through the mind and sense organs and organs of action. That means desire is a crucial inherent property or character of the mind. To survive is to eat and breath and not be eaten by someone else.  Survival instinct requires the individual to be curious and explore.

Exploration and curiosity are part of seeking a mate also. But that is a different story.

Exploration may yield something useful to survive which means hope is part of it. But exploration may not yield anything useful to survive but may land the “I”, the individual, in danger. Therefore, curiosity is always tinged with caution and anxiety. That is how the “I” learns to survive by trial, error and memory of past events.

In the process of taking care of individual needs to survive, the individual forgets that other individuals are also struggling with the same realities of life and living. The individual also forgets that the construction of the external world is the creation of the “I”, not the external world as it is, in its “suchness”.

Since “I” am partly made of my own consciousness and since consciousness arises in “me” and since the particles and energy I am made of pervade the entire cosmos (sarvavyapi) and also pervade every part of my inside (antaryami), why not consider my body as similar to a mud pot immersed in water, as had been suggested in the Vedic thoughts. The water inside the pot is the same as the water outside. When the pot breaks, the water remains as before.

Or consider myself as the wave, as the Buddhist teachings say. The wave is the water. The wave is a transient thing with a form. When the wave disappears it becomes one with water which was its base. 

At the core, everything is made of particles of matter and the associated energy which they carry. Reason does not lead us to a primordial cause, because if there was one, where did that come from? How can something come from nothing? Can there be a causeless cause? Since scientific studies suggest that the cosmos we live in and experience are made of particles and energy which have been there eternally making up the unseen aspects of the universe, why not call that particle-energy combination as the Brahman or whatever name any culture wants to call and merge with that? And why not concentrate on the present moment which is part of that eternity?

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