Spiritual audit

Sitting in my house today, the temperature outside in the forties, the sounds of dripping water everywhere, I imagine myself on a leaky, sinking ship, constantly scanning for the next leak.

I return home from driving M. to work and then myself hanging out at the coffee shop, tea and lemon poppy seed bread and laptop. Wandering through a series of distractions.

Reading New Yorker article about that religion thingy that all the Hollywood types belong to that was started by a science fiction writer. Know what I mean? And I continue to be in awe of how universal the themes are among these systems. In this case, the objective is definitely control—self-control and well as group cohesion. Mind control. Self mind control.

Sitting at Caribou after dropping Madeline off. It is forty-three degrees Fahrenheit outside and, given that we just had a two-week stretch of sub-zero weather, this is definitely no-jacket quality, even shorts quality weather (if you are a young male college student, judging from what we saw as we drove by Saint Thomas.)

Just got up and got my tea and a piece of lemon poppy seed bread. The spiritual universality thing—listening to a Catholic priest’s sermon; reading about Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong; reading Ajahn Chan: commonalities.

The thought/question occurred to me—how many people died in the almost ninety-seven years of my mother’s life, from 1914 to 2011? Doesn’t matter. But Wikipedia “Death” led me to the David Chalmers paper, Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness (1995). And that led me to “interactioinism”—”matter and mind being distinct and independent, that they exert causal effects on one another.” Sounds a bit Buddhist. Philosophy of mind—dualism or monism—Plato/Aristotle/Descartes—Parmenides/Spinoza. Physicalists/idealists/neutral monists. It goes on and on. So far my favorite is “idealism”—and off I spin to BUDDHISM THEORY AND PRACTICE by U Maung Nu, former Prime Minister of Burma. (Again: How about that?)


So, grabbing—”the house (Hadaya Vatthu) in which the mind lives is somewhere in the heart”—a person doesn’t have just one mind from birth to death, but rather, “as soon as a mind is born, it gives birth to another mind and dies.”—physical death of the body is not the end of the mind giving birth to mind—

So long as the Mind has defilements such as greed, anger, ignorance, this process of one mind giving birth to another will go on eternally giving use to endless rebirths and deaths. Only when the defilements are uprooted, this process will cease after death and as a result there will be no rebirth and its attendant evils such as old age, disease, death separation from beloved ones etc.

I like that—

Number 3 – the mind “rest[s] on” Arammana—the six senses. “The thing that makes the eyes see, the ears hear, the nose smell, the tongue taste and the body feet, is called in Pali, “Pasada.” (Que pasa.)

Point four

  1. Vinnana pushes the mind to the arammanas.
  2. Sanna is the memory that tells the mind what it is; vinnana does not.
  3. Vedana
  • Pleasant feeling
  • Unpleasant feeling
  • Feeling of indifference
  1. Sankhara – decides, commands, urges

The fifth point–

..the mind rests on an Arammana in the Hadaya Vatthu, which lies somewhere in the heart. This Arammana is not one of the six Arammana which one gets during one’s present lifetime. It is an Arammana which one had got from one’s previous lifetime. In order to distinguish it from the six Arammana which one gets during one’s present lifetime, it will be called as “old Arammana”

Neat-o, huh?

And then he goes off into some real minutiae. I lost it.

(“Facing up to the problem of consciousness,” a paper by a philosophy professor from Australia. Trying to get that url off the iphone onto the laptop using igoogle notes. Didn’t work, trying again. Thinking I have to wait for them to synchronize. Still not. This time though I didn’t close the page on the phone. This activity might be for not simply because of too long fingernails. Dukka of existence.)