Buddhist Dharma Teachings Chapter 4
Wednesday 17 March 2010, by
To carry on with the wisdom side of meditation. In emphasizing how one practices there has to be the two parts of it to make it a full practice. On one side is the active expressive side which is love, and the other is the receptive or intuitive side, the wisdom side. The two together make one’s full practice. In talking of wisdom, initially I introduced the subject matter by talking of the theme that all of the universe is a reflection of our own projections in the sense that the material universe around us does have what you might term a state of being. In one sense we completely fail to see that but rather only see what we project there. The first of the lectures emphasized that and by various examples and things, we touched on that point. We won’t go into it more other than to say in looking at the world around us, we inevitably do categorize it or place it in the way we had experiences. So really it is easy to see that the world is a projection or the reflection of our own mind in the sense that the true nature of the object is very difficult to come through because of our preconceived conceptions, our biases that we have in regards to objects.
The second important aspect is to realize the abiding nature of reality in the sense that, one of the emphasis of buddhism is to not elaborate, not to exaggerate the world around us. It is very important that we gain what is termed a realization into the pure or abiding nature. In this way, when we are talking of the nature of things, you can never really differentiate the nature from the very objects themselves. So if we do talk of the nature, don’t ever make it in your mind that that nature is something with any object, the nature is the object. That is why we term it the nature of the object. Don’t somehow separate the two. When you think of the pure nature, the abiding nature, the natural nature of any phenomena, that nature has to be with the very object, not in any way separate from it, and secondly, that nature is pervasive for all objects.
And so though we might identify one object, for example my watch, the pure nature of my watch, in identifying that nature, that nature is then applicable to all other objects. And if your mind was fully realized of that, in that way then, you would automatically see everything in it’s pure nature. In an unelaborated or distorted manner, you would see the all the world purely, purely for what it is. In that sense then, when we speak of the nature of the universe, the nature of the world around us, it’s important that we appreciate that one. It’s the very nature of the objects we are perceiving. And secondly that nature has to be something which is not fiction or elaborated or exaggerated or laid upon those objects. But rather, is the nature. If we investigate them, that is the way we perceive them to be.
In developing this, we start to develop what we term as a wisdom conscious. And that wisdom consciousness then becomes the way that we understand how we are working in the world. And of course, the way you are working in the world is the other half of it which is love. And the manifestations of the love from within us in regards to our relationships to people around us.
There is what is termed the king of logics by the great saint Nagarjuna. It is the emperor of logic, the main logic. It says if you understand the interdependence of things, you understand their very nature. In one sense if you say you understand their interdependence then you could say you negate anything standing alone or separate. What is trying to be said is: If we look at how our mind works we always separate things. For example we have ten people in this room. We are all separate. We really feel that we are. Like "Damn, I’m not like her and she is not like me! " Or consciousness really separates, isolates things very easily. It’s spontaneous. You could almost conceive it as being natural. And in that way we have a strong sense of isolation, separating all the components of the world around us. In some sense we feel that we are isolated from actually having to be part of this room. And how we could validate that is we could get pissed off and walk out the door! You could make your statement by walking out!
But that is the mind which is still looking in a very isolated and individual manner. And it is not really understanding the nature of it’s own existence. In thinking of it, it’s really important that the words be understood in the sense of : Existence is the way we are existing. The way all things are existing.
The statement says "If one understands the interdependence of the universe, one understands the true nature of the universe." Interdependence then, and this is coming from the texts of India, although I like to sort of take it to modern science a bit because it helps a great deal being we have that understanding, interdependence means nothing stands independently or truly or inherently existent. And by that is meant there is no object which can stand all on it’s own. And in in the way we say truly existent means : that if you were to analyze it, it would end up that you would definitely say "This is a Truth! This is it!" That if you were to look at an object and identify it and then you would say "This is it. And this is all it is." And if anybody else looked at it, this is it. So this is a true object. It has a true existence. That is one way we would have to be able to come up with as true existence.
Or if we term it as inherent existence, inherent existence means that the existence of that object is inherent in it’s own being. That is the second way. Another way to say it is self existent. Self existent means that object has it’s own self existence. It is self existing. If you understand that it means independently existing.
Normally we thing about everything as being independently existing, self existent or truly existent. Think about it. If you walked to you car. And you get into your car, your car is an object sitting there, yeah? And you start it and off you go. And when that car breaks you will leave it and go away from it. So obviously it is a separate entity from me. It’s not anything like me. It’s not similar, or part of me. So we somehow feel we can break from it. Same thing as we can leave this room and that is the end of that!
In so many ways we have this sense of being isolated and all other objects are isolated. In wisdom consciousness you have to negate that sense of isolation. Interdependence actually has another way of appreciating it which is to say that all things have their causes and circumstances. If things are interdependent, it means things have a relationship. And so then all things have cause and effect relationships.
In reappraising the nature of the world around us from an experiential from an actually involved way of being with it, we would have to say, one: The nature of the world is interdependent. We can understand that. Like I am interdependent. It’s obvious. I inter relate with the people around me. I actually interrelate with the environment, I have to breathe the air, interrelate with the heat because I have to depend on the heat to maintain my existence. I am interdependent in so many ways. If we think of it, we are interdependent with the universe. Nagarjuna did not have access to that information and presented it a different way. We can appreciate it very immediately. Our whole physical being is totally inter related, inter dependent with the world around is, the world is inter related with the solar system, and so on.
I can delve into that and we can say yes, we are inter dependent. We can understand that. But actually we should understand it even deeper in that we are cause and effect interdependent. In the sense that it is obvious we are interdependent in the sense of the cause of our existence is the air we breathe, the warmth we can experience which has the effect that we live. But even our very being, the stream of our consciousness is cause and effect in the sense of how we... It’s said in the Buddhist context that our being is a stream of moments of consciousness. And those moments of consciousness are very minute, but each moment gives immediate birth to the next moment. These moments, then also allow for change. For example right now I am perceiving you and with the moments of my conscious energy changing on the stream of continuity changing, I can focus on Pat or Herman or something like this.
It’s said that each moment of consciousness produces the next moment of consciousness as new data or new inputs come. Either be it that there are internal prejudices or internal feeling, or it is external information or external impetus comes in. Then that creates the next moment in a different way, and the next and so on.
Our stream of being is also an interdependent phenomena. It is interdependent. It is interdependent with the stream of the moment and also interdependent in the sense of how we have thought, how we have related to the world in the previous moment has created this moment and will create the next moment. From example how you grew from when you were young, the imprint of your parents, brothers and sisters and all these things, were part of our whole interdependent evolution. Now the only point that buddhism would make is that there is no way that whole stream of continuity arises only out of semen and blood or chromosomes and like that, but rather there is the previously lifetimes’ energy which comes and interdependently mixes with the chromosomes which gives birth to life. So life itself is not just on the chromosomal level but also have to be life energy which then gives each individual beings it’s life continuity.
For this evening, when we do the meditation is to just allow yourself to think of the interdependence versus the normal isolated idea sense of consciousness we have. That we are isolated beings. That when you leave here you have left. And if you never wanted to come back, then that is it. It is cut. That sort of idea which feels that everything is isolated and separated which we have quite strongly in our mind. It doesn’t take much to bring that sense of independence and self existence which we feel as an emotion. But if we delve in to it, it has no real foundation. It is a false consciousness.
And to help over come that normal false consciousness we have functioning, then we have to meditation which is working to counter act that and in that sense to bring about a wisdom consciousness which has the appreciation of interdependence of our physical existence, and also the interdependence of our emotional mental existence.
This lecture was transcribed by T Vd Broek and is originating from Daka’s Buddhist Consulting.