As you may know from following this blog, I sometimes ask you to examine where you actually experience the world. If you are like most people, you might assume that you are over here and the world is over there. But when you try the experiments that I describe here, you will be in for a surprise. That’s because the world that you are supposed to experience and the one that you actually experience are different. Once you try these experiments and catch the meaning of these words, you will know that the ultimate exploration is this inner exploration. And you will know that the sense of reality that seems to come from the world actually comes from a place that is right before your eyes.
So with this as an introduction let’s review one of the experiments that I often talk about so you can notice where you actually experience the world. For instance, let’s take the sense of sight. When you see an object where do you actually perceive it? Like a camera, the image goes through the lens of your eye; incidentally the lens turns the image upside down. The impulses from the image go through the optic nerve to your brain; from your brain the image reaches your mind and you see your mind. So are you seeing the world or are you seeing your mind?
Where you actually experience the world
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The same is true for your other senses. The sounds go through your ears, the impulses then go through the auditory nerve to your brain, and from your brain they go to your mind and you hear your mind. Even the sense of touch goes through the same process. Although things may seem hard or soft, hot or cold etc. you actually experience the sense of touch in your mind.
One of the jobs of the brain is to take the individual senses and put them together so it appears as though you are experiencing one contiguous world. Where do you actually experience this world? Is this a real world or is this a virtual world? You do not have to take my word for it; look closely and see. You will be in for a real surprise.
Now let’s take this experiment deeper
But with all of this being said, there is a weakness to this experiment and so I would like to take it one step further. The weakness is that is that it assumes that there is a separate world out there which you somehow experience in your mind. I want you to know that this is not what you actually experience; rather this shows the limitation of words when they are used in an attempt to describe that which supports the entire universe.
Your mind does not contain a separate you
Indeed your mind is not really limited to you. Your mind is really the “One Mind” that the Buddha described as the “Buddha Mind.” If you take the experiment that I described above further you will find that all of the parts that seem to contain a separate person in a separate world are just in your mind too. That means that like the world, your eyes, ears, nose, skin and tongue; your body, nerves, brain, DNA and any other parts that you can think of are just experienced in your mind.
No matter how detailed the list, you know about the parts that you think contain you, don’t you? If you trace them back to the place where you actually experience them, you will find your own boundless mind. For instance let’s say you feel an ache in your back. Trace the pain to the place where you actually feel it: through the nerves to the brain, and then to the mind, and you will find that you feel your mind. In the end you will find that nothing exists outside the mind; that everything you perceive is just your own mind.
Wake up from the waking state
This is best illustrated by a dream. This article seems so hard to understand that you fall asleep. In your sleep you dreamed up a whole new country. You asked the denizens of that country “Are you enjoying this dream.” They looked insulted and exclaimed, “What do you mean, this is our waking world.” One of the citizens was so upset that he punched you in the nose and that’s when you woke up. That country disappeared completely as if it never came into being.
But the thing that made the dream seem so real remained just the same. Indeed that whole country existed in your mind. The people, the animals, the trees and plants, the mountains and the rocks were nothing other than your mind. While the country disappeared, your sense of reality remained exactly the same, but now it is attached to the waking state. And now in the waking state I ask you to look at your experience carefully. Perhaps the reality that the world seems to have comes from you and not from the world. And you are nothing but the one mind that pervades the universe when it is present.
In the next blog we will present a few more experiments to help clear up your questions. In the meantime send us your questions and we will include our answers in this blog.
Here questions about this article or other things going on in your life are always welcome; you can write us at firstname.lastname@example.org. I love questions and try to answer them all in this blog. That’s because when you start to question limitation, you are on the verge of destroying it.
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