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no-mind: nothingness and no thing-ness


"do you mind?" one must have been asked this question in context with some anticipated positive response from one. in all likelihood, not knowing the issue a positive or negative response would not have manifested until the question was asked. so, too, one's "mind being made up" simply refers to the fact that correctly or incorrectly one has envisioned the anticipated outcome about which one has taken a side one thinks to be favorable or least harmful to one. a mind that is made up is but a reflection of a cultural pattern upon the mirror of sense organs.

the zen -- attention -- of no-mind is not non minding or the aware mindedness, but that there is no such thing as the mind as the master minder. no-mind is not a noun, it is the absence of thought mistaken for minding. minding does not happen in and by itself. for, minding is subject to the cause and effect, each in turn becoming the other. there is no minding until after the fact, real or imagined. just as one does not mourn the death of someone in a distant place until after receiving the news.

nothingness, when thought about becomes an object, and an object has a form that can be perceived through senses. thus nothing becomes something tangible in thought, and the thinker struggles to visualize what is not a visual object.

this nothingness or the absence of objects, both material as well as nonmaterial like thought, is an integral aspect of existence of elements forming things and beings, from the unfathomable cosmic expanse to indiscernible minute atoms. what distinguishes each one of them is the nothingness around their individual form. without the surrounding nothingness between them their individually distinct different form and motion would not manifest.

it is this nothingness that, though indescribable is nevertheless experiential, not only in the philosophical or theoretical pursuits of knowledge, but in the day to day motions of existence. there it is called the sense of quench or satisfaction. there, too, it serves the purpose of distinction between an action and non action, such as drinking water and stopping the act of drinking water. the satisfaction signifies the completion of the act pursued, whether it is the act of a deep passionate kiss or eating a hearty meal or of an act pursued.

this absence of thing, being or thought is different from the objectified sense of emptiness or void. objectified it generates craving for the desired object the absence of which is felt as the verily defined vacant space, like an unoccupied room to be let or an ad for a desired mate, maiden or man, who matches one's description of the missing object. it is but an objectified sense of emptiness that occupies the hearts of lovers and minds of the learned in search with a posthumous description of nothingness. it is the "writer's block", or composer's discarded sheets of paper, sketches of artist's struggles to compose, ballerina's practice in front of the mirror. it is the poor man's desire. it was martin luther king, jr.'s verbal: "i have a dream." it is the 'american dream' of the 3rd world's educating young.

this objectified nothingness is the world of illusions, the maya. it is the culturing of the perceptive senses to strive to see what is not there. it is instilled in the young in the form of upbringing as the schooling that occupies a fourth to almost third of one's life in objectifying and defining this nothingness selected from the syllabus. then one spends the second third of life chasing the objectified nothingness that one wishes would quench the thirst, the sense of fulfillment. and then one sees it as a wasted effort, for it did not generate the desired feeling of achievement. it only magnified the sense of the objectified emptiness, the failure. the vacant room nobody rented.

then one begins to consider those avenues one had heard about, but not to be believed, the spiritual world, the land of enlightenment, liberation. the problem there is that it, too, is nothing but a fine worded description of a make believe object to occupy the nagging sense of void. in the judeo-christian it is sought as the stay in heaven, and in the eastern concept it takes the form of void with which to fill the sense of emptiness. the lifelong mission of mother teresa did not fill that void she was led to believe would be occupied with god; and after "sixty years of talks" krishnamurti is said to have commented that "nobody got it".

now this is strictly a problem of the middle and upper class living. it is a living in which there is no justification of having most bodily functions connected with the limbs and organs, including the brains. it is the abstract notion of fear of others to ward off which one strives to assert power over others. it requires to create a self-image as saint or ruthlessly strong person. love and respect are the forms of this fear. but natural biological body is not that image, nor would it change its physical form to match the image. so one has to create a stage-like existence for the image: the script, the costume and the set. and wearing that image one would act out the described role. but behind the curtain there is no image as there is no one to see it. and the sense of emptiness returns.

no-mind is nothingness, or the freshness of the new. it is lost in anticipation, for that which is anticipated is a time spent in thoughts of meeting the known. like waking up in a new day only to resume the yesterday or do it all over again. it is the repetition that makes the living as if on stage. it is the improvisation that is a poor try to improve on someone else's successful performance. and in so doing one misses out the experiencing the newness of each moment that life would bring when lived without anticipating to measure up in others' esteem.

creatures of the wild live with the new. their upbringing is not knowledge based. give and take in the ecological world maintains a conservative balance based on need. no matter how successful a previous forage or hunt for food does not form a pattern to repeat. berries and worms do not pop out from the same branch and from under the same leaf for monkey and robin to pick in the manner a soda pop wending machine or a packaged food picked up from the shelf of a supermarket does for the humans. creatures of the wild are perceived to be free because they have no inhibitions created by man in the forms of custom, culture and law.

natural law is not a law but rather the very nature of everything or being. manmade laws conflict with the nature of things. and even then, there is no one manmade law. there are as many as are the nations, and in each are the different cultural groups based on race, religion and wealth. before the toddler is able to walk unaided begins its lessons in dos and don'ts, most of which are based on a thought out form of existence. and even the counterculture and anarchy are idle thoughts.

sometime
when you have just returned
from your last engagement, very late
at night
and you are not tired and sleepy,
but you can't find anything to be busy with
in order to avoid feeling alone.
and therefore you are all alone,
in the silent, cold dark night;
it's then that you are well aware,
that the place you just left
was a stage
and persons the actors
who spoke to you
their lines of the scripted dialogue, as you spoke your lines to them.
you also realize
that they, too, are feeling what you do.
and very much like you
they, too, have washed off their makeup
to go to bed without the residue of the pretences,
to wake up feeling fresh.
and you will wake up feeling fresh.
but the question you are aware you will face
is the same you always do in the morning,
and as you are aware, it's not in the script,
no scripted answer will do.

 


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