21st August 2003
In how you've asked a couple of questions and in the way this conversation is playing out, I suspect that you're attempting to
either Test my understanding or FineTune my understanding.
Not at all.
Just sitting in a bath tub, splashing some water, here and there.
Who is the "other" to either test or fine tune their understanding.
again, we in unity, may simply be attempting to clearly explain the issues and concepts as they arise.
Signatures on flowing waters.
There is beauty in the signing and there is foolishness in believing something beautiful got created.
You invited me to give an example of an action of mine that I would
consider "independent volition". Independent volition may be
translated as "free will" or an ability to make choices.
Once an action is taken, it is Actualized or Manifested; while unmanifested, it is a thought.
Not all thoughts externally actualize into actions.
Choices and free will are potentialites, and as such, to claim them as "our own" before they
have manifested is Invalid.
I thought in some post, you did say you had the independent ability to choose, which then invoked all these postings.
For example, I may have four or five choices of what to do during my lunch hour, but whatever way that lunch hour is spent will be judged/seen as a Choice (that I had) only before it was Actualized. Afterwards, or a priori, it could not be seen as a choice.
I am not suggesting that choosing does not take place.
Living is choosing, moment to moment to moment.
An exercising of choice among a multitude of options.
All I am suggesting, there is no independent "self", which can objectively (i.e. as separate to the options), chose from the options.
For any eventing, arising out of a choosing,.............ten thousand things had to happen, precisely in the way the all happened, such that the convergence of all these eventings, results in that choosing taking place, in the moment.
Recent studies, as late as last year, shows that the hormone, corticotropin releasing factor (CRF), initiates and controls the interchange of messages between the hypothalamus and the pituitary and adrenal glands — the so-called "HPA axis" that regulates the response of the body-mind complex, to a situation, to a circumstance in life.
It is CRF that "tells" the pituary gland to release adrenocorticotropic hormonme (ACTH), which then orchestrates the release of other stress hormones, such as cortisol.
Based on evidence from animal and human studies, researchers have long suspected that increased CRF activity in the brain plays a significant role in the development of "seeing a particular life-situation as unbearable, depressive, threatening, entrapping, or their counterparts as profoundly beautiful, joy, positive, etc".
Studies on the HPA axis hyperactivity, has now shown a direct correlation between HPA axis hyperactivity and the "meaning" that a life-situation connotes for you.
Why would someone’s HPA axis go haywire?
Researchers suspect that it is probably due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Genetic abnormalities can cause an increase in the reactivity of the HPA axis to stress.
Chronic stress can turn on a flood of cortisol and other glucocorticoids in the brain and body and push the HPA axis into overdrive. Early life stressors, such as sexual and physical abuse, have also been shown to "wire" the brain so that supersensitive hypothalamic cells react vigorously even to mild stressors.
To say that we have choices is a conventional short-hand for saying that our future activities is like "probability".
Talking about probability,........a prattling some time back.....customized for "Corny" :-)
Take any of your actions, or thoughts, of which you "Corny" are absolutely convinced, are "your" actions, "your thoughts.
Preferably the ones which have had a tremendous impact on your life.
And unravel them.
That is, go to the immediately preceding thought or action.
And to the next immediately preceding thought or action.
And so on.
If you are brutally honest and go sufficiently back enough, you will arrive, in each and every action, in each and every thought, which you were convinced was "your" doing, you will arrive at that "genesis" point, which was the occurrence of a non-volitional "thought", appearing as if from nowhere.
And which acted as "trigger" for an entire process to get started in the body-mind complex, labeled ""Corny".
What is this process?
The original "trigger thought", gets converted, by taking ownership, into "my" thought (and thus the "me" is born), which triggers of a series of secondary thoughts, some of which gets converted into "my" decisions.
Some of "my" decisions, gets externally actualized, into 'my" actions and a series of "my" actions is "my" behavior, "my" achievements, "my" values, "my" understanding, "my" experiences, "my" realizations, etc etc.
However the genesis of each and every action or thought is that non-volitional "thought" which appears as if from nowhere.
(Quantum Physics actually now describes "thought" as a "wave function" representing a particular possibility, a particular probability and this non-volitional occurrence as a "collapse" of a particular wave function, from that Infinite Field of all wave-Functions.)
Further the neuro surgeon Dr Benjamin Libet's experiments show that between the occurrence of the original non-volitional "trigger" thought and the taking ownership, there is a time lag of 500 millisecond.There is a debate on whether 500 millisecond or more or less, but that there is a measurable time-lag, is validated.
A scientific invalidation of the personal self with it's volition of choice, something which the mystics have been prattling for thousands of years.
The operating principle of the entire process, the taking ownership, the production of secondary thoughts, the type of decision taken, the form of the action which resulted etc etc, is the "conditioning-in-the-moment".
What is this conditioning-in-the-moment?
""Corny" did not get to pick up which sperm, among the millions ejaculated by his Dad, would get together with which ovum ejaculated by his mother, forming a sperm-ovum complex, with it's unique DNA-gene structure.
A DNA-gene structure, which is a culmination of the unique DNA-gene structure of the sperm and that of the ovum.
It is this "original" DNA-gene structure, which further gets "impacted" by inputs from the environ.
Inputs like parental dictates, education or lack of one, inputs from friends, societal values, inputs for the religious or spiritual milieu (or lack of one) in which ""Corny" grew up, inputs from the experiences which the body-mind complex labeled ""Corny" had during it's passage of living, etc, etc.
It is these inputs, over which ""Corny" had no control whatsoever, which impacted the original DNA-gene structure, to form what is the conditioning-in-the-moment in the body-mind complex called ""Corny".
The "impacting" continues, moment to moment to moment, altering, amending, changing the original DNA-gene structure, hence the term "conditioning-in-the-moment.
And it is this conditioning-in-the-moment which fashions the response of ""Corny", in the moment, to an input, in that moment.
There is no ""Corny" in the picture whatsoever.
Akin to the PC with which we work with, most of our working hours.
The PC has no volition to produce any other response, except as per the loaded Operating system, (DOS, Windows or Linux) to an input which is a tap on the key board.
The human body-mind complex is nothing but a similar but a more complicated biological computer.
With one key difference.
In the PC, once Windows loaded, that's it, till you uninstall and load Linux.
In the biological computer, the input, to which the conditioning-in-the-moment fashions a response, also impacts the existing conditioning-in-the-moment, in a dynamic loop fashion.
A Yin-yang dance.
Hence not etched in stone as in the case of a PC.
You will no doubt notice "Corny", as an example, the same situation may not aggravate you, in exactly the same fashion, at different points of time.
The "conditioning-in-the-moment" has altered.
Or the same "profoundity" not invoking the same sense of awe at different times.
And this is no spiritual mumbo-jumbo but arrivals by neuro-science and behavioral studies.
An interesting report appearing in the "New Scientist"
........For example, legal scholars are beginning to worry about whether neurobiology might blast away the foundations of Western legal systems and the concept of human rights.
They have good reason to worry. Modern neurobiologists and neurophilosophers of consciousness such as Patricia Churchland at the University of San Diego deride voluntary choice, free will, and similar concepts as mere "folk psychology". Indeed, consciousness may have surprisingly little power to affect behaviour, according to some of the work now coming out of research labs.
For example, neurobiologists have measured how long certain visual perceptions take to register in consciousness, says Jeffrey Gray, a neurobiologist at the Institute of Psychiatry in London. This time delay--about 200 milliseconds--means that a tennis star at Wimbledon must return a serve well before becoming conscious of the serve's approach. "Our everyday experience of having conscious experiences and acting because of them is in most cases an illusion," says Gray. "Consciousness comes too late to affect behaviour."
But if that's true, then our cherished notion that we can make a voluntary, conscious choice to do good or evil goes straight out of the window. And with it goes the basis for our legal system, says David Hodgson of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, the lone lawyer to speak at the conference.
Western legal tradition puts great stock in the concept of intent, says Hodgson. To be found guilty of a crime, a person must consciously choose to commit the illegal act. Those who are unaware of their actions or who are coerced by a power beyond their control are let off the hook.
Coming back to the PC analogy, what is the "tap of the key board" for the biological computer?
An occurrence of a thought, which Quantum Mechanics explain as a collapse of a particular wave-function representing a possibility, a probability, from that Infinite Field of all probabilities.
Let's get back to the so called original DNA-gene structure, that was ""Corny" at birth.
It's hardly original.
It carries the strains and the genetic information, from your two parents, who in turn pass on what is their "impacted" DNA-Gene-template, which we see is "their" original DNA-Gene-template, received from their own parents (your Grandparents), which got impacted in the conditionings your parents received in their life time.
And the process, goes further back and back, till one can see that the body-mind complex labeled ""Corny" that is existing today, is a culmination, from the enfolding of evolution right from the African mother, some millions of years.
Why stop at the African mother?
The Human Genome Project, shows that you ""Corny" carry the genetic code of the single celled amoeba, which crawled out of the waters some billion years back.
And why stop at that?
What ""Corny" or X, Y, Z is today, cannot be so, unless the Big Bang happened in the way it did .....and that is why the object which is reading these sqiggly signs on a PC screen, .......can be seen to be 'a' culmination of Eternity, itself.
For anything to happen, "Corny, even something like "your" decision in the moment to scratch your nose, or to actualize your highest spiritual potential, that event cannot come to be, unless the entire Universe converges, to that event.
That was what was being conveyed in the Taoist statement "Pull a blade of grass and the Universe shakes".
The assumption of an individual entity, is a notion, an idea, an inference.
The fact is that we will Do something.
So long a biological programmed computer, a conditioned psycho-somatic apparatus is "alive", ......something will get done.
For impacting and responding, ........is a continuous activity.
But the extent to which we can control, determine or decide what will be done calls for some investigation.
There is no extent.
For it's really the notionality of a "self" which is sought to be apperceived, ..........which makes the very issue of control, determinism, decision,let alone the extent of it...........moot.
We decide to do all sorts of things but many of those decisions are left unrealized.
Even the decisions which did not get actualized, is a end-stage of a process, as explained above.
Note: you state that you have "no agenda". I will take the liberty of removing that 'disposition' from the context where it (may have had) a specfic meaning.
I'll do this because I think "no agenda" typifies the disposition across different contexts; "no agenda" is like a generalized
Further, "no agenda" in a fashion, characterizes the "responses" of Nondualists teachers:
An example from S. Wolinsky:
"Question: Why are you giving workshops?
Wolinsky: Why are you sitting where you are sitting? If you know the
answer to this, you know the answer to your question. You are sitting
hre because you are . This "why" can produce answers and they might
be true but only at the verbal level. They cannot and do not have
anything to do the VOID OF UNDIFFERENTIATED CONSCIOUSNESS, which is
beyond words, description and the "I" which does the describing. All
is a story explaining your actions which is made-up after the
experience has already taken place. The question, "Why do I give
workshops?" is because that is what is a story which can justify
behavior. Behavior is an occurrence. Nothing else could happen other
than what is happening, there is no individual motivation or
Why do Masters speak, when faced with the illusion of an "other" in the form of a seeker, beseeching for succor from his or her illusory despair?
The Master does not speak.
The despair and the invoked conceptualizing,......... addressing the level of the despair,.......... are nuances of the same movement in the same moment.
Nuances of the same movement appearing to be occur through notionally separated instruments.
The instruments appear static,and discrete and thus separated, but in fact are themselves a "processing".
Even the appearing constant body-mind complex, which you identify as you, Corny ...........is in a state of flux.
And thus the nuances of the movement appear to be occuring through notionaly separated instruments, which themselves being in a state of flux, .........
.......not just the event of a dialogue between a Master and a seeker, .......
....but the entirety of phenomenality...........
...........is one movement, in the moment.
"In the Master" (so to say, as even the object labeled as a Master, is a fluxing movement),............there is an apperception of this.
"In the seeker" (so to say, again),...............an apperception is yet to occur.
The simultaneous presence of apperception/absence of apperception,...........
...........nuances of the same movement in the moment.
In short,........through one "wave" of the Ocean,...........the seeing by the Ocean is Oceanic ,.............through another "wave" of the Ocean, ...the seeing by the Ocean is "wave-ic".
That is why it is said a sage can dream and simultaneously witness the dreaming,.........whereas you just dream, being completely identified with the dream.
Now that's just Fantastic!<wink><wink>
So in this way, "you" have "no agenda"....and as such, you were/are responding to this group email...period.
Put the matter this way: there is NO AGENDA, no agenda in the "doing of workshops", in the "responding to email". As such, behavior is simply Activity and if the Onlooker/observer infers Intention in an Activity, he is Merely speculating...
Not just speculating, may even be totally convinced about the intentions of a Master-in-action.
Whether those intentions are judged "good" or "bad", depends on the conditioning of the speculator.
So why do I belabor this point?
I belabor the point because for me to have an agenda is to have a goal. An agenda does not have to be negative.
Whether an agenda is judged as "positive" or "negative", depends on the prevailing conditioning of the judger.
However, either is beside the point.
The point is what you have made.
An agenda, equates to a goal.
A goal equates to becoming, to an evolution, and thus really equates to a change from a position (which is not the goal, otherwise, why will you bother) to another distinct, separated position, occurring in time, which is defined as the "goal".
Given the psycho-somatic architecture as shown above, no defined goal will ever be apart from the conditioning-in-the-moment that fashions such a "goal".
Secondly, if I am the Alpha and I am the Omega,...........SIMULTANEOUSLY,..........what is not-I, such that I can have a goal to achieve, attain, obtain, realize, understand,..........that not-I.
I being already enlightened,(meaning the un-enlightened or enlightened state, neither being separated states to I) .......
.......what enlightenment should I chase?
What goal can I have?
Yes I can play in a bathtub, ...........for which I need a ducky and so kwaaaaaaaaoooooossssh boooom, ....let there be a ducky,(sotto voce) ......
.....there's a ducky.
For you, or wolinsky to state that you have no Agenda is for me like saying "I'm not attached" to the fruit of my actions.........
Loosening attachment to the fruit of [one's' actions can be psychologically liberating.
I am the Gardner, I am the garden, I am the process of gardening and I am the fruit,.............simultaneously.