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Going Deeper part 4
Editor's note: This transcript has been lightly edited to bring clarification to certain points of the dialogue and for easier readability. For this reason, it does not match the corresponding audio mp3 word-for-word. However, the overall content and the expressed ideas remain unchanged.
Seeing the Construct as a Construct – the End of Ordering
Speaker: We are talking about ordering of thoughts and as an example we have two different constructs. One construct where just you, the small you, listens to a tape in the privacy of your own home, you can see, that’s a construct. Or the second alternative would be perhaps that the tape being passed on to others to listen to. Maybe even in groups or so on so forth and that’s another construct. And one seems more favorable than the other and the construct can’t be recognized as a construct when there’s an ordering.
Participant: Say that again: a construct cannot be recognized as a construct as long as there’s an ordering?
Speaker: Yes. That’s the escape from all concepts and constructs just to literally sink beneath them in the mind, to literally not order and configure the thought forms but to merely recognize them. In a sense that’s stepping back to the biggest picture. The biggest picture you could possibly imagine would be a construct of the cosmos seen as an entire fabric without any ordering.
Participant: So it ceases to be a construct?
Participant: I mean it’s only the ordering; seeing the fragmented parts as separate from each other that really makes it the construct that it is. And once that’s removed from it then it really is no longer a construct.
Speaker: I think you could say that and I think a more accurate way would be to say that it’s then seen as a construct. But as long as there’s ordering going on then it seems real.
Participant: Instead of just a construct.
Speaker: It seems like I really am a person in a world; I’ve got this family; I’ve got this job; I’ve got these possessions; I’ve got for instance two cars; one’s a 68th Plymouth and one’s a 1992 Camaro, and I value perhaps one more than the other. I mean it’s the valuing, the ordering of the thoughts in the construct, the thought forms, that obscures the fact that it’s just a construct.
Speaker: Ordering also obviously maintains the subject/object split. I mean obviously, even in subject/object there’s an ordering going on. There’s a separating It. If you just break it down to ‘I’m a person’ and then there is this vast, vast world/universe/cosmos, then in a sense you’ve got the old individual versus society, or individual versus universe kind of a split going on and there’s great importance placed on this personhood.
Participant: My mind keeps reaching or grasping for ways of understanding the subject/object, because I notice it’s just the use of these words to me seems very abstract. It helps me to think of it in terms of self concept. What are some other ways of framing or talking about this; using different words? It has to do with this identifying with a self which of course would be a small self as subject, as separate from everything else that’s not that.
Speaker: It runs real deep, I mean, you know, a scientist – the scientific method – to find the problem, gathering information, performing an experiment on something implies the subject/object – the observer/observed. Part of the scientific method is the observation. Observation with the body, I mean whether you using a microscope or a telescope or the naked eye so to speak or whatever you know, the subject is the observer and there’s an observed, which is an object. There are a couple of different words you could look at.
Participant: So how does that relate to, you know, when we talk about mindwatching and wanting to be in that observer role?
Speaker: Yes, the observer, we could call with a capital O, is the Mind – being able to observe the thoughts, as supposed to the subject/object or the observer/observed or we are back talking about personhood. The observer in observer/observed is the small o-observer – is a person: A peeping Tom, a scientist who’s observing certain phenomena, a housewife who is observing and watching her kids. Or the belief that I’m a person; In any way that there’s a belief in personhood we’re still at the small o. The mind can be trained to watch all thoughts just go by. Like I said it’s the stream of consciousness - the stream of thoughts – without the assumption of personhood. It can be trained to step back and step back to see the big picture, to even see that the belief in personality traits, you know, I’m shy, I’m aggressive, I’m beautiful by worldly standards or handsome and on and on and on. I’m good at maths; I’m not so good at baseball, and so on and so forth. It can step back and just watch the entire stream of consciousness.
Participant: And of course that implies an identification with the capital S-self, whereas the other one would of course be the small s self.
Speaker: At the beginning this can seem very difficult and the mind can have thoughts like there is no capital O-Observer back there. It’s just all these thoughts; my mind is crazy, the mind might say, or I can’t observe. And in a sense that’s where the practice comes in. That’s where disidentifying takes practice because the mind believes that it is those thoughts.
Participant: So how do you practice it? I mean how would you even describe to somebody how you practice this?
Speaker: Well, initially usually it’s just something as simple as just sitting down and closing the body’s eyes and attempting first maybe, at the beginning to take hold of particular ideas from the Course, like the idea for the day, as a point of attention. The mind is untrained at this point. It wanders and wanders and wanders, it jumps around, it skips, and it’s frantic. If someone honestly starts to look at their mind in an untrained state they see a very chaotic, frantic state and at this point in the early stages it’s good to have a particular idea for the day, maybe from the Course or some people in other traditions call them mantras, affirmations.
Participant: Something to bring the mind back to when it notices that it has wandered away from it.
Speaker: Yes, and these are the early stages. This can go on for quite some time with practicing of this and with persistence there is a sense of a calming down. Of a more settling in to more of a stillness, not to say that the chaotic stage won’t seem to come back. But at first the words, the lines, the mantras and everything are really helpful. And as one proceeds along it gets to be more and more a sense that this is not a separate activity like when the body’s eyes are closed or when the body is sitting in a particular place or a particular posture.
Participant: It’s no longer taking time out and sitting down for a particular exercise, it’s more like ongoing.
Speaker: Yes, and in a sense the mind is getting more aware of the inner and the outer, that the inner world of thoughts and the outer world of projected images aren’t different. So as soon as the mind starts to get more and more aware that they aren’t different, then the idea of meditating by closing one’s eyes and going and finding a place far away where no one can disturb starts to fade because you know that’s a thought form as well. But it’s more like a carpet ride or a flow of being, flowing down a river, just bobbing along and being carried in a sense by an energy or flow in the mind whereby you can watch, you don’t feel an attachment to things, to outcomes, to the forms coming out in a particular way. The whole peace of mind as a goal is an abstract goal. It’s not a quantifiable goal, you can’t measure peace of mind or you can’t describe it by certain situations in a real sense. I mean the mind will still attempt to do and say I’m more peaceful when I’m walking in a park then when I’m in a city driving. I’m more peaceful when I’m in meditation then when I’m at my parent’s house talking about something or so forth. It still wants to make categories and we’ve talked about that earlier but there is just a disidentification from the way the script of the world has to go. To many that can seem like… how do you live then? If you don’t judge and you don’t order thoughts and you don’t strive or pursue or so forth. I mean, what happens? That can seem boring and it can seem like retreating or withdrawing from the world and so forth, and really, in the ultimate sense it’s a stepping back from the thought forms in the mind. But there’s no dependence on what the body is doing or is not doing in that sense because the body is a thought form. So we’re talking at another level now. We’re not talking at a retreat from the world in a sense of trying to run and hide.
Participant: It has nothing to do with form really.
Participant: We’re talking at a level where it s strictly of the mind and the form will follow as it will always follow the content of the mind.
Speaker: The form is seen as a construct, you see. When the thought forms are ordered they seem real. I’m a real person in a real world; I’ve got real problems and so forth. But in the mind watching with the capital O-observer, with the capital You, the witness-Self, capital Self, then the world, the entire world, the entire cosmos is seen as a construct.
Participant: And it’s really about seeing a construct and seeing it as real that I would even have the questions about… you know, what do I do, what about job, what about whatever? It’s still standing on a belief that the construct is real.
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