Thursday, January 19, 2006

Why do we do what we do.

We (that is the uniquely programmed human) act the way we do because we're uniquely programmed to respond just that way. We couldn't do anything else - just like a computer is programmed and must function according to that programming. It can't decide to act contrary to it (even though sometimes they appear to). The computer programme sets the parameters of how it will work. Humans are not computers but they do have genetic programming fixed at conception that dictate the parameters. We have cultural identities and individual experiences that go together to make up the unique programming and we must function accordingly. Non-duality points to our true nature. Not only Advaita/non-duality but the past head of Siddha yoga, Muktananda, stated "thou art that" and Sri Nisargadatta Marharaj has a well known book entitled I AM THAT. Where 'that' is the inexpressible awareness of what we are. We can talk about it but not of it and we can conceptualise it but the concept is not the real. Our culture teaches us that we are in control/in charge of our lives and decisions. The me that is supposedly in control is an identitification by awareness with the programming. And, as a result there is this belief in us as an individual with volition. Close observation and exploration (imploration might be a better word) shows that there is awareness first & foremost and that everything including the human animal and it's programming is an appearance in it. That is, we don't exist in the body - the body exists in us. 'Sailor' Bob Adamson points out again & again very effectively that the ego claims doership after the fact. The programming is responsible for the way we act and react to situations. Ramesh Balsekar also tells us that we are not in control of the thoughts that appear & disappear. If we were why would we ever have an unpleasant or depressing thought. Wouldn't we always have happy thoughts? If we were really in control of our thoughts wouldn't we turn them off in the night when we want to sleep - those nights when the damn mind just won't quit - when all we want is to go back to sleep? The fact that the ego claims responsibility blinds us to the reality that we are not in control, that thoughts simply arise when they arise and they don't arise when they don't arise. It's only after the fact that the ego says 'I did that'. Advaita points out that we don't do the things we think we do, although things do get done. It's finally seen, by no-one, that what we truly are is pure subjective awareness and not an object, objects appear in us. In this awareness a body/mind organism, thoughts, feeling, memories and the world appear. Then it is also seen that there is no 'me' in this body driving it and that choices are made but there is no choice maker. As the Buddha is reported to have said (in one of Rameshes books) something like "choices are made, deeds are done but there is no doer thereof". It clearly states that there is no separate individual entity in control of the human animal. Decisions are made simple based on the programming and influenced by thoughts that arise. We may be sitting silently doing nothing and a thought pops up to have a beer, so we get a beer, unless a contrary thought tells us to do something else. A thought may pop up to make a million dollars or to climb a mountain but if it's not in the programming then it won't be acted on.


At 7:52 PM, Blogger BARRIE BARKLA said...

Oooooh, that says it! Anatomy of the Mind in one paragraph. Thanks Roy


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