Sunday, May 22, 2016

(1) The Contemplation of the Objects of Mind in the Objects of Mind

Watch the following Thay's video on "The Contemplation of the Objects of Mind in the Objects of Mind" from 1:26:44 to 1:32:37.

The followings are excerpts.

And then the last domain of meditation, the last object of meditation is called the object of mind. Mind and object of mind. In science, people call it "nature". But in Buddhism, that is only the object of your mind. Nature, even that is a consternation, that is a galaxy, it is an object of your mind. It is not something independent from the object of your mind. This is very important in Buddhism. What you see, what you perceive is the object of your mind

In science, many scientists still believe that consciousness and the object of consciousness are two distinctive things, that there is a consciousness, the subject of mind is in here (the body) and is reaching out in order to understand nature, the world of reality outside. In Buddhism, that is the greatest mistake. That is called in Buddhism the duo grasping, double grasping, (la deux ?). 

And I think that if scientists listen to this, they may be inspired and they may find another way to approach the ultimate reality. In the teachings of Buddhism, the perception is made at least of two parts. This (drawing a circle divided by a line) is a try to analyze. This is a way of speaking. There is a "perceiver" (left semicircle) and there is the object of perception called the "perceived"(right semicircle). The technical term is the subject: (能?:主体), and the object: (所?:客体). And this (circle) is consciousness. And the consciousness is made of the subject and object. This (right semicircle) is called the "相分" and this (left semicircle) is called the "見分". The Sanscrit word is the "nimitta bhaga" (right semicircle), "darsana bhaga" (left semicircle). Subject and object

We know that in the tradition of the phenomenology, it is stated very clearly that consciousness is always the consciousness of something. So, if you believe that the consciousness is something that can exist separately from the object of consciousness, you are wrong. And these two parts of mind, they lean on each other in order to manifest. 

It is like this marker. When we hold it like this (horizontally), we distinguish left and right. And we believe that the left is not the right, the left can be taken out of the right and the right can be taken out of the left. And sometimes you want to remove the left or remove the right. Maybe you should use, you want to use a knife in order to eliminate the right but as soon as you finish cutting, this part (edge of cutting) becomes the right. Because if the left is there, the right is always there. You can not take the right out of the left. You can not take the subject out of the object. You can not take the object out of the subject. They lean to each other in order to manifest. 

(My commentary)
David Bohm, a famous quantum physicist, said, "The way we see depends on the way we think". And the Buddha's teaching is that the object of mind is the mind because it is the projection of mind. So, both of them said the same thing. But most people observe nature, or the outside world as separate entity, standing outside of it. However, the truth is that the outside world, or the phenomenal world is our mind, or our perceptions (series of notions in the brain). Therefore, the state of our mind is the key to touch the reality as it is. If our mind is calm, it can reflect the reality as it is, like a mirror. Meanwhile, if our mind is not calm like wavy water, it can not reflect the reality as it is. Therefore, in order to become one with the object, we need to have calm mind by stopping thinking.


Thích Nhất Hạnh