Category: Mind


4 Characteristics of mind


Mandtao was in some sense a follow-on from the Treatise of Zandtao but at the time I was not clear why. It was connected to a notion of man but I wasn’t sure how. It was also connected to science as it began with Bruce Lipton’s epigenesis. So in some way it could be man and science.

It began with unity – ONE planet, and as well it began, following Bruce’s examples, with questioning all that the system called knowledge. But it kind of stuck on ONE planet.

Then I clued into Tan Ajaan, and began to look into mind. Understanding mind is the essential to understanding man, and as science hasn’t got to first base on mind it is no wonder that science is such a mess; effectively the search for knowledge has become a tool for the procreation of financial profit. Scientific method has typically disappeared out of the window as BigFood politics has determined that we need not consider the consequences of messing with Nature’s genetics. Why is understanding mind key to this? For me ONE planet is sufficient to say that science needs to be in harmony with Nature. But what about those who consider man above Nature, where can that come from? This is where understanding self comes in. Self is a mental construct. It does not exist so why do we think it exists? Because self seeks survival, promotes itself, and moves beyond its position in Nature. So this mental construct’s raison d’etre is to promote self-importance irrespective of what happens. Greed promotes self, and greed is the dominant human characteristic in the destruction of the planet. Self on a planet-wide scale is a description of our planetary troubles, and anatta, no-self, is the solution – on a personal level.

Previously I would have used greed to describe this situation but self is much more accurate. Attachment to self produces suffering. Whilst the search for increased profit at whatever cost is the most obvious consequence of self (normally seen as greed), self justifies this in terms of family and other such sensible rationales. If others are
doing it to help their families I may as well do the same – self-interest on a small scale. This does not show the destruction self creates. Why? My family is your family is you and me, we are ONE planet – unity; self has created separation, self-interest and then destruction. It is the separation that is the beginning of the suffering and destruction, greed is not the first step.

In the inner journey to world peace recognition of self as not existing is the first step. Yesterday I described the meditation that led me to asking “where is I?” To counter this as a proof that I does not exist it would be easy to say that I asked the question. This is where understanding and some Buddhist theory of mind helps. There was a feeling there was no I. It felt like I was a perception. There is a natural function of mind to question, and I only starts to occur when consciousness attaches to the perception. In Buddhist theory these four recognitions of self can be seen to come from vedana, sanna, sankhara and vinnana – possibly translated as feelings, perception, mental formations and consciousness.

This is not strong in me. Whilst I am not stretching to fit into the theory, I know because of the way it happened in meditation, I could not convince a sceptic – nor could I convince the doubter in me. This anatta awareness is hard, if it was easy we would all have it. And squeezing into theory is not good for proselytising. It is necessary for the theory to be internalised and lead to an external understanding that can clarify it for others, otherwise it is just dogma. Time will tell.

I began asking about mara. Shamefully I don’t now the Buddha’s gospels well, but somewhere it says that he battled with mara under the bodhi tree. Now temptation is a very real problem, look at all the kilesa that arise from self. But how is it real? It comes from self. Self wants to exist, and if we become tempted into an action of
self then that is self-existence. In other words temptation is self tryng to create itself through temptation. It is part of mind that wants to create the separation of self so it creates temptation. Nature does not tempt. There is what Nature has for us to do, and there is what self wants to do to actualise. If there is that recognition then self has a problem to exist. It therefore tries to tempt. I have no idea how this fits in with the Buddha’s battles with mara, but if I can’t sense the devil it does not exist. Apart from quenching suffering this is the only other Buddhist axiom.

So mind is a sense that has four characteristics – vedana, sanna, sankhara and vinnana; these characteristics or aggregates make up the way the sense works. In excess this sense becomes self but if we live according to Nature the way Nature intended there is no self. And world peace.

Blogs:- Zandtao, Mandtao, Matriellez.

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It is clear that Bruce is extending his arms to understanding but does that mean that science is? Furthermore does it mean that science has left behind its baggage or even that Bruce has left behind his science baggage? At this point I can only ask.

However for understanding to fit into science there is much that has to change with science, and if we limit our understanding by that which science is willing to accept we miss out on much that is genuine. Cowtowing to science is restrictive. In the first part of his book, The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz described how our conditioning changes us and fits us in. We agree to accept the conditioning that parents provide in the home, teachers in school, and the keepers in religious institutions. Significant in this agreement is that we accept science as knowledge, and often measure our intelligence by benchmarks developed from this knowledge. Whilst I believe that the primary purpose of our school system is to prepare the 99% for wage slavery, it is an important secondary purpose to inculcate the 99% into the acceptance of the restricted system of knowledge that we have come to know as science. We agree to both these purposes because we have accepted that society has developed with the interest of all the people at heart. Whilst I have never accepted this I am pleased to hear the progress of the Occupy movement who in general do not agree with either of these purposes.

Rather than cowtowing to science with its dubious masters, what about starting from Nature? Where else better than the sea? How many seas are there? One with many names. It moves in and out, in and out, its motion is fundamental. At any point in the sea that point moves in the direction of the tide, but in addition that point would become part of a wave. The sea is a unity with dual attributes of point and wave.

Now what about light, through light we can see – it has a functionality. How does that light function? Some of physics would describe that light coming from a point source, and yet other physicists describe light as a wave motion. Through calculation we can determine that light has a speed, a speed at which the point emantaing from the source would be travelling.

Suppose we ask what is light? We get no answer, we only get a description of properties. What is electricity? What is sound? Again no answer, simply a description of properties. Can we not describe as fundamental properties of all a point and wave duality? So rather than not having a description which is the scientific position now, we start with an axiom that in all aspects of life there is motion or momentum that is both point and wave. This is not too distinct from established physics where the principle of conservation of momentum applies ie continuous motion.

So if we start from the sea, axiomatically we might start differently but quickly we join with established science through momentum. Point and wave as fundamentals is also accepted as scientific, but in both cases we would not describe them as axiomatic because the scientific framework is different. Science starts by postulating building blocks that it calls atoms. But then through scientific method the nature of those fundamental building blocks has been refuted, and yet science patches over this. It does not say let us re-examine our framework.

And with Bruce we have another fundamental axiom of biology exposed, that of genes controlling life. What do we have instead? The gene as a blueprint. Cells contain genes and protein, and this protein has receptors which receive information as signals through the cell membrane that then cause the genes to actuate. Where do these signals come from? Life in general.

What about man? Compare this with man, s/he has a blueprint. Through perception of what happens around her/him signals actuate the genes, and if there are no signals no actuation. Man, cell. The same process, is this unreasonable? But what if we start with man? Man is conscious of life through mind that perceives. Where does the mind get the perception, through signals that happen as a result of perception and these signals get passed to the brain to the cells. So the question is not where is the brain of man, the brain is a known physical central unit that transmits the signal to the cells in the body. The question is where is the mind of man, and here we have point and wave. The mind centres on a point often seen as resting in the heart, and yet through perception mind spreads out from the point as waves to perceive through the centres including the skin, the cell membrane of man.

There is no inconsistency with this new science and what can be considered from religion, however the framework is different because of the axioms. Yet the axioms of science have been exposed as false. There is no fundamental axiom concerning what is light, sound or electricity. There is an unresolved position concerning the building bliocks as to whether they are masses or energy, and in biology the central dogma is an empty shell. We are expected to cowtow to science not because science is based on axioms that then produce a well-integrated body of knowledge. No the agreement is that we accept science as our knowledge system and not question science’s inconsistencies.

Starting from life as motion which is both point and wave we have an axiom that meets easily with established science and prevailing religious knowledge – back to Bacon.


I have just finished watching the Biology of Perception at the question “what is the brain of a cell?”. This clip explains where that question came from:-

As you have seen Bruce demonstrates that the gene does not function as the command centre quite simply because removal of the gene does not leave the cell inoperative. So Bruce quiote sensibly asks where is the brain of a cell? I was not satisfied with the answer but equally I am not satisfied with the question. The brain sends sigmals to the parts of the body in order for those parts to act, but does the brain make the decision? I would claim not, the mind does. The mind interacts with the brain leading to the signal being sent along the nervous system.

Let’s return to the cell. On a physical level a cell consists of gene and protein. Now the gene is a blueprint which is protected by protein and the gene is activated with an appropriate signal that removes the protein-protection. The source of this signal is not the gene. Now Bruce argues that the signal comes from our beliefs but as he would say there are too many empty black boxes. How is that signal reaching the cell? The nervous system. If it is belief how does that belief create the signal? How does the belief become part of the nervous system?

These are important questions because they are asking about the nature of mind, its relationship with the brain and where does energy fit in with all that? At the moment the answers are not clear to me. But I am beginning to see mind as a sense. Where is the mind? This question is not asked in the West with sufficient vehemence. Mind is accepted as a philosophical hot potato which is hypothesised and dismissed with ease. It is an academic toy that these pretend seekers of truth enjoy grappling with whilst enjoying holding their seats of fame and fortune. But understanding mind is the crux of happiness in life. In the Treatise I investigated how improving the mind leads to happiness, but I never asked what is mind? Now I must ask.

Now we have sense-perceptions that come eyes, ear, nose, throat and our bodies touching, these are known as the 5 perceptions. In some way I want to consider the mind as a sixth.