The Fault in our Vision which Might End Human Existence

There is a fulcrum in the process of perception which is a delusion, and from that delusion follow craving, attachment and aversion, and therefore suffering. This fulcrum is an assumption under which we labour, which is a false assumption, and if we can manage to turn that fulcrum upside down, or rather, set it back up the right way, then the way in which we relate to the world, things, people, events, the senses and the emotions is changed and gone is the majority of our suffering.

The delusion is this. We are brought up to think that we are a separate and independent being, and as a result of that, everything that is not a part of that being is other, and is a threat or something to be desired. We have consciousness, in which are various arisings, and because we see we assume a see-er, because we think we assume a thinker, because we feel we assume a self that feels. It is a catastrophic fault of vision, to assume this self. We see this self as being evident as a separate body, an independent mind, perhaps even a soul.

But if you look, where is this self? If you cut off an arm, is that still self? Are the shedding of skin and hair still self as they turn to dust on the floor? If you look under a microscope at the cells joining and leaving this ‘body’ which of them are you? Seven years ago, none of those cells were present, so have you gone? Are you some energetic principle holding temporary cells in a set form? If that were true, how to explain all the changes in your shape and form? Genetic coding?

You can’t fix the mind either, you can’t say this is what it is and what it looks  like, you can’t in fact even assume where the mind is located. You can’t find it in a corpse. No self is real in amongst the arising of mind, the reactions and fantasies and views, they are all subject to change, and they did not come from you. The fact is that everything assumed to be a self, body, mind, opinions, characteristics, are all dependent on other causes. This opinion will be shaped by myriad conditions, that characteristic was developed in reaction to certain conditions, and so is there somewhere a true self that is independent of external influences? Can you find it?

It is worth taking this assumption apart, and softening this distinction we seem to hold between self and other. Where for example does the body you say is you stop being an aggregate of elements and foods which were once not you, not body? Where does this mind or personality stop being an aggregate of all you have learned and been taught, in other words, ideas and views that were once not you? Are you to be found existing somewhere in the emotional life, or the propensities of habit and interest? Do you define yourself by your interests? Were they always you? Were they ever not you?


Free Image from Pixabay
Free Image from Pixabay


So you see the barrier, the boundary, is not real. What we regularly assume to be self and other, is actually very fluid, and not fixed. There is no atom or part of the atom in your body which has always been and will always be with you. Nor is there anything you hold to mentally or emotionally, either considered internal or external to self, that will not change and one day become not yours. So why do we assume this identity, does it serve us to constantly seek to reinforce it, to constantly consolidate our sense of self through acquiring things or views? {It is so beautiful, so tender, to try to deny these realities, and it will one day be seen as childlike, as long as we can actually grow out of this terribly destructive habit.}

Actually, all of our attempts to consolidate or define the self in relation to other, in relation to world, cause us to mistakenly interpret the non dual and interdependent as dual and independent. Nothing exists which is not dependent on other causes and conditions, nothing is independently real, nothing is permanent. Not you, not I, not this writing, not this computer, not this room, this house, this country, this world, this solar system. All of it is a fleeting congeries of conditions which at any moment can cease to be or fade away. To come into being is to go out of being. Birth entails death, and trying to fix any of this creates suffering.

How would it be then to experience interdependence, to operate under a different assumption? How would it feel to relate to all as self or naught as self? It is this loosening of conceptual boundaries that makes the path of wisdom exciting, as new paradigms and potentials are born in your consciousness. Seeing life in this way, relating to other beings in this way, does it remain possible to harm another being? War, divide and rule, class, separation, borders, hatreds, desires?

In reality, there is no boundary. One of the d defining characteristics of reality is boundarylessness, unbound and unlocatable, infinite and ineffable, reality simply is such as it is. To experience reality is to do away with any fraudulent concepts we hold, any structures and labels we impose on it. In reality one can’t see that this is me and that is a tree, as they are mutually supporting concepts. Me-ness and tree-ness are ideas we impose on the shape of the flux which is us. Both there for a while, as mysterious and majestic as reality itself. Simply there, simply caused, simply existent together for a while. It is all like mind, in the great bright void that is consciousness unbound, phenomena and ideas arise and pass, never leaving that bright field, like ripples in a lake, not separating from lake nor the same as lake. One ripple would not assume a position in relation to another, it would not assume like or dislike, they simply inter-are.

It is somewhat of a cliche nowadays, but to say we are all one is far more accurate than to say we are separate. We share the same elements, we share the same experience, we share the same nature, the same field of reality. There is likely a part of me in you, an atom which was once mine, of water or carbon or idea, which is now a part of you. The air you breath right now has been the air in millions of other bodies, the water the same, the matter the same. Is our consciousness different?

One thought on “The Fault in our Vision which Might End Human Existence”

  1. Great post.

    “Is our consciousness different?”
    No. It seems there is only 1 consciousness in existence, not separate consciousnesses.

    And so, saying “we are all one ” is not correct. There is no “you” or “me”, so there can’t be any individual entities making up a bigger whole.
    Saying “there is only one” is more correct.

    Thanks for your writing this.

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