Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Some thought experiments and questions

When you move (walk, fly, anything), does your experience move, or is there just a sequence of different experiences?

Where is the location of your experience? Is it in your brain?

Suppose you were to move your brain, slowly, from your head down to your toes (extending all attendant connecting structures, like the optic nerves, of course). Would the location of your experience change?

If the brain can move without experience moving, then was it really located in the brain? Or is that nonsense?

If experience doesn't have a location, then is it a physical thing?

Have you noticed that it always feels like right now? Even if you're in a dream where it's 1885, it feels like it is "now 1885." Is there anything you could do to a brain to make it no longer feel like now? If the brain causes all experience, shouldn't this be possible?

Now imagine you're in a long-running (say, as many years as your current age) dream. In that dream, people's heads aren't filled with brains, but jelly beans. The neuroscientists (jellyscientists) show that when jelly beans are poked in certain ways, people respond like so-and-so. They triumphantly declare victory over the mind-jelly bean dilemma.

Haven't they thus conclusively proven that mind takes place inside, and is caused by, jelly beans? Are they correct?

Or does experiencing happen without being located in time and space, and without any guarantees about its physical origin?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Simply remain...

Patrul Rinpoche says:

Some great meditators, both male and female, think they are not able to recognise the nature of the mind and so they become sad and many tears fall. There is no need for sorrow. There is no basis for not recognising. Simply remain on the one who thinks he is not able to recognise the nature of the mind.

Ramana Maharshi says:
M.: If the thinker is sought, the thoughts will disappear.
D.: Will they disappear of themselves? It looks so difficult.
M.: They will disappear because they are unreal. The idea of difficulty is itself an obstacle to realisation. It must be overcome. To remain as the Self is not difficult.
D.: But I do not understand. It is difficult.
M.: This thought of difficulty is the chief obstacle. A little practice will make you think differently.
D.: What is the practice?
M.: To find out the source of ‘I’.

Note: in my understanding, the Advaitin use of the word "Self" (note: not "self") is equivalent to what is called "nature of mind" in Mahamudra and Dzogchen.