the core

An enlightened being,
does not entertain mental constructs of self,
of her/himself or other beings as separate persons,
of her/himself or other beings as individual souls,
of her/himself or other beings as mind driven beings.

— freely, humbly and probably not very correctly translated and interpreted by the author of this blog

— * — * — * — * —

What can we know about something written thousand plus years ago. I see the words, I see they offer a road beyond separation, but everywhere I walk, hear, see, smell, feel, taste, think, desire …  I see nothing but separation.

I can deconstruct the concept I have of self in my head. But mind is doing that to itself. It could claim victory, but it knows it isn’t victorious at all. The deconstruction is just another mental construct, replacing self by not self.

I can remove the boundary between human and animal. I see how my dogs behave as humans do, walk, hear, see, smell, feel, taste, think, desire … I see a mental class, I am an animal.

I can remove the boundary between the kingdoms of biology. We are all cells. Even bacteria. We replicate. I see a mental class, I am life.

Virus and Cancer also belong here … The demarcation line between life and not life is impossible to draw. All life is matter …

Matter is aware of the forces of nature … me too, I am awareness … mentally, at least.

So I mentally constructed a concept of ‘no boundary’, creating yet another boundary by doing so ….

Positively cynical ??? (ty lb333)

Wilber talks about the hierarchies to get rid of the flatland I found myself in — back to zero … mind will never unlock the mystery.

— * — * — * — * —

The core of the diamond sutra is to be found in the beginning of the text.

The last stanza of chapter 3 is often translated as follows:

“If, Subhuti, a bodhisattva holds on to
the idea that a self,
a person,
living being,
or a life span exists,
that person is not an authentic  bodhisattva.”

In sanskrit it sounds like this:

“Na sa Subhute bodhisattvo vaktavyo
yasya atma-samjna pravarteta,
va jiva-samjna
va pudgala-samjna
va pravarteta.”

where samnja translates as ‘a notion’,
atma(n) translates as ‘self’,
sattva as ‘a being, a creature’,
jiva as ‘a soul’,
pudgala as ‘an individual and its ego’ or as ‘a person who is a slave of his/her desire’

yasya can be translated as ‘of which’

pravarteta is a conditional conjugation of pravart
and could in this context be translated as ‘would be constructed’

(I used the following online dictionary

Thus I humbly interpret …

An enlightened (wise) being, (as bodhisattva translates), should not entertain mental constructs of self, of being a separate person, of being an individual soul, of being a person driven by mind …

Pictures by bvdb (whoisbert) august 2014 – @home – Canon Ixus HS230 – IMG_7795

10 thoughts on “the core

  1. These very same thoughts went into my journal this week. How do I divorce thinking? How much silence and isolation do I need to be in touch with That That Does Not Think?

    • For me identity is the key; limited ‘isolation’ seems only important during certain periods of existential crisis, … but for longer periods it might have a negative effect. I had mystical experiences in a busy restaurant how odd that might sound. Silence is often on a packed commuter train, and sometimes in a well known forest … 🙂 Thinking does not stand in the way, but circular thinking does. When ‘thinking’ is nothing more than the ‘google-in-my-head’ it is not much different from listening to birds — when the ‘google-in-my-head’ starts to comment on itself, or commences a long dialogue with ‘self’, then silence is gone. When it says ‘there’s a beautiful mushroom/landscape/music/… ‘ that kind of thinking is part of silence.
      Identity is a habit. Identity causes suffering. With age I’ve become softer on ‘me’ and ‘mine’. When surrounded with siblings and family I can afterwards look back and check my own identity-meter 🙂 that has only gone down a little. If you think you’re enlightened, go and live with them for a month …

      • Hi Bert,

        I could add the following as a point of discussion, though we may perhaps succeed only in complicating matters which have already been dealt with in your own translation of the texts and my gross and further simplification. Anyway, here we go:

        The seeker of ‘spiritual enlightenment’ necessarily conceives of themselves as an un-enlightened subject – a personal entity of selfhood. This personal subject attempts to acquire an impersonal object, such as God, Moksha or Nibbana. The self-entity subject seeks to absorb into, realize or acquire God, Moksha or Nibbana, as an object of knowledge, or vice versa. The whole construct is predicated on one erroneously imagined category magically morphing into yet another. This is not to say that God, Moksha and Nibbana are erroneous or imagined, but that subject and object are.

        So, the whole of the seeking construct rests on what ultimately is a false dichotomy of subject and object. The seeker’s mind cannot conceive of anything other than that which is some juxtaposition or combination of these two categories alone. Any third possibility is inconceivable, and must remain a paradox to the mind conditioned to conceive in the categories of subjectivity and objectivity. Until the paradox (the third possibility) is actualised, then the seeker remains in a pernicious trap of believing in the possibility of what will always and forever remain a mythic telos.

        All best wishes.


        • But if the unity is realised, why would the seeker continue to believe in the subject/object? Only the seeker’s mind might remain confused trying to explain what happened. Or perhaps that’s the entire point of both our explanations. Or perhaps I misinterpret your last sentence.

          • If the unity (your word) is actualised, the seeker is no longer a valid category. There are two reasons for this:

            Firstly, because the former entity of the seeker had sought an answer to a question which knowledge now knows, beyond doubt, was always wrongly posited. That is to say, the whole conception of seeking was flawed as there never was any possibility of the personal subject ever acquiring, realizing or absorbing into an object of knowledge (such as God, Moksha or Nibbana), or vice versa.

            Secondly, because the category of the subject (or selfhood), is seen and understood as a mental construct alone, and not as any instantiated actuality. It is a mind-created entity existent so as to perform functional differentiations as to the ordering of the senses and volition, but nothing further. It is not what it was thought to be, which was a fixedly enduring agent of volition and ‘receiver’ of experience.

            You are right, what you call ‘the seeker’s mind’ (although it is no longer regarded as such), is indeed ‘confused’ or perplexed by the introduction of what I called ‘the third possibility’. To the thinking, reasoning mind, what is seen is apprehended as a paradox.

            For example, in the initial occurrence of this actualisation, although it may be starkly obvious that a revolutionary understanding has arisen, the mind may attempt to make sense of it in the only terms it knows, perhaps like this: ‘The world (including this body) and consciousness exist, and yet are identical.’ Such a statement is paradoxical; it retains the categories of a (loosely) subjective consciousness and the differentiation as to objects of otherness; all this, whilst simultaneously making no phenomenological distinction between the two.

            This is just my take on things Bert, and as far as I know, it is peculiar to me in that it is not a standard mode of explanation, or one I’ve heard expressed in like terms. This doesn’t matter of course, and indeed I tend to be more than a little sceptical when I hear people make claims, or give indications, that they are ‘enlightened’ (oh really?), and do so in clichéd and hackneyed terms. It rather indicates that something is amiss to me.

            All best wishes.


            • thank you, Hariod, for sharing these interesting thoughts … I will have to reread this in a few days to see whether my mind can do something with it. For the moment it expresses its ignorance, something I have called ‘the unknowing’ in posts one year ago or older. Have a great and wonderful week.

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