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We forget the mind!
September 4th, 2013

illustration (attribution, if any possible, is at the end of the article)

We forget the mind!

Most, if not all, of our experience is subjective: a particular perspective with individual narratives and tendencies and preferences (due to education, physicality, etc.)… we know so, but we're extremely good at forgetting it.

Sensations, feelings, perceptions are all mind-based phenomena, if only due to filtering and picking a 'foreground' from a 'background'. The mind fundamentally is the world, there is no world we can access / assess without the mind.

But an ignorant mind, a deluded mind, pretends it doesn't exist "in between" the world and the appropriation of the experience as 'my' experience… A deluded mind pretends that the appropriated experience is objective, 'unbiased', 'unprejudiced', 'fair'…
The ignorant mind pretends that what's experienced is the truth, that what's experienced is what is, and things as they are…

A clearer mind keeps the awareness of its filtering. Via cultivation and practice (meditation), some filters can be ceased. But the clearer mind doesn't repeatedly delude itself with "Oh, that's it! Now I'm free and objective and unbiased…" only to fall into the next prejudice.

A clearer mind cultivates paying attention, never assuming it 'knows', never assuming it 'sees'.

A famous saying, attributed to Zen master Mǎzŭ Dàoyī (馬祖道一, 709–788) during the Tang dynasty, is:
« The mind is the main performer, thought like a supporting player. »

The clearer mind keeps in mind that the mind is the main performer ;-)

It is based on a verse from the Laṅkāvatāra sūtra:
« The human mind is the principal actor,
The will works like a supporting actor;
The five senses are accompanying players,
Discursive thought, the audience viewing them. »