Sunday, October 04, 2015

MAHARAJ: “There’s No Such Thing As Peace of Mind,” Part DD

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Today's Considerations

Yesterday, the body-mind connection was discussed. Consider these two pointers regarding that subject:

“Whatever increases, decreases, limits or extends the body’s power of action, increases, decreases, limits or extends the mind’s power of action. And whatever increases, decreases, limits or extends the mind’s power of action, also increases, decreases, limits or extends the body’s power of action.” —Spinoza, 1600’s A.D.

“Suppose I am not able to think, that my mind is not clear. What does it mean? It means my food essence is rather dull today. It is not getting into combustion in proper order; therefore, the thinking is also dull. This mind pertains to the food essences.” —Maharaj, September 3, 1979

Maharaj said that science would advance someday to the point that it would confirm all of the non-duality pointers that he offered. If you review what was shared yesterday about the way science has shown that particular foods can determine one's feelings and emotions and behaviors - that is, the way that the mind will malfunction if a body is not provided with the proper food plan for its specific metabolic type rather than a food plan based in some dreamed-up spiritual or mythical or mystical and totally baseless belief - then you will see that science has indeed reached a point where it now confirms the accuracy of what Maharaj shared on September 3, 1979. 

[About one-third of the planet's population has a metabolic type which results in a body and brain functioning best on a vegetarian diet; one-third will function best on a meat / protein diet; and one third will function best on a combination food plan. So much for "all people should be vegetarians" or "eating pork is evil so it is outlawed by our religion."]

So how ignorant and insane can the content of the mind be? Most believe that they are something or someone that they are not. Most also believe that they are what others tell them that they are, whatever dreamed up identities those might be. That’s both ignorant and insane, is it not?

Maharaj asked: "What is identity, after all? Continuity in memory?" 

He said: “Memory creates the illusion of continuity"

and

"Memory, stored in the warehouse of all lies - the "mind" - and misperceived as truth by the impure consciousness, cannot possibly be the basis of any "true" identity. You are not what you think yourself to be, I assure you. The image you have of yourself is made up from memories and is purely accidental"

and

"When you believe yourself to be a person, you see persons everywhere. In reality there are no persons, only threads of memories and habits. At the moment of realization the person ceases"

and

"As long as the mind is there, your body and your world are there. Your world is mind-made, subjective, enclosed within the mind, fragmentary, temporary, personal, hanging on the thread of memory"

and

"If you could only keep quiet, clear of memories and expectations, you would be able to discern the beautiful pattern of events. It’s your restlessness that causes chaos"

and

"Life is worthy of the name only when it reflects Reality in action. No university will teach you how to live so that when the time of dying comes, you can say: I lived well. I do not need to live again. Most of us die wishing we could live again. So many mistakes committed, so much left undone. Most of the people vegetate, but do not live. They merely gather experience and enrich their memory. But experience is the denial of Reality, which is neither sensory nor conceptual, neither of the body, nor of the mind, though it includes and transcends both."

So what was Maharaj’s invitation regarding memories? "You have projected onto yourself a world of your own imagination, based on memories, on desires and fears, and you have imprisoned yourself in it. Break the spell and be free."

The following is from an article which was inspired by the content of Showtime’s “The Affair” which explores the relationship between truth and memory. The content of the article was offered with this invitation: For a deeper look into how our perception [misperception] of the truth can lead to dangerous consequences, watch Showtime’s "The Affair."

In that October 2, 2015 article which was shared on the Huffington Post entitled - “5 Reasons You Can't Even Trust Your Own Memories” - the unreliability of the mind and the memories stored therein are identified and discussed:

1. Humans can’t judge the accuracy of their own memories

2. Humans miss things the first time

3. Memories are “slippery little suckers”

4. Humans “come up” with things, forgetting that they didn’t actually come up with them

and

5. Humans are capable of “remembering” things that never happened

Those are some of the key foundations of the fallacious concepts of karma; birth; rebirth; multiple lives; millions of misunderstandings each day; the making of bogus charges and false claims; the source of much of the conflict which plagues relationships; delusions; distortions; magical thinking; the assignment of supernatural causes to events which are actually rooted in natural causes; and the propensity among humans to misunderstand themselves and others and truth and reality and Reality.

This introduction to the subject was shared in the article:

We count on our memories as being central to what makes up our selves. But human memory is not as reliable as we think it is. In turn, we’re not as reliable, either. Without realizing it, we often can’t tell the “whole” truth.

We alter details, omit facts, forget faces and block out some events entirely. Worse yet, we also “remember” things that never truly happened. As science writer and author David diSalvo wrote, “Our memories are wrong at least as often as they are right.” This happens for a variety of reasons that are largely beyond our control.

1. WE CAN’T JUDGE THE ACCURACY OF OUR OWN MEMORIES

Recall is a lot like a game of “Telephone” where we whisper something from “our past to our present, reconstructing it on the fly each time,” wrote psychology professors Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons in a popular "New York Times" op-ed. “We only ‘hear’ the most recent version of the message, and we may assume that what we believe now is what we always believed.” Until someone or something challenges us, we have no reason to think a memory is anything less than perfect. The problem, in critical situations like courtroom testimony, is not that we forget details; it’s that we don’t realize we forgot them.

2. WE MISS THINGS THE FIRST TIME

In his book “Why We Make Mistakes,” Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Joseph T. Hallinan pointed out that the eye is not a camera: “It does not take ’pictures’ of events. And it does not see everything at once. The part of the visual field that can be seen clearly at any given time is only a fraction of the total.” To compensate, Hallinan explained, our eyes dart. And that’s not all. We blink. We look away. We daydream. We check out details that interest us and we ignore things that don’t. In short, we skim. “But the problem is, we think we've noticed when we haven't,” wrote Hallinan. “We don't know when we're skimming.” Of course, if we don’t see it correctly the first time, we are never going to remember it - no matter how hard we try.

3. MEMORIES ARE “SLIPPERY LITTLE SUCKERS”

When she couldn’t get a grip on her escargot, Julia Roberts’ character in “Pretty Woman” called them “slippery little suckers.” The same can be said for our memories. Neuroscientist Richard Mohs gave a glimpse into the labyrinth of the human brain as it works to recall something. He said errors in memory often get made because of “an inefficient component of one part of your memory system.” This is either 'memory retrieval' (it’s not that we don’t know something; it’s that we can’t access it properly from our multiple brain regions) or 'improper encoding' (we didn’t “effectively save” a memory to begin with).

4. WE “COME UP” WITH THINGS, FORGETTING THAT WE DIDN’T ACTUALLY COME UP WITH THEM

If you read or hear something but, later, forgot that you read it or heard it, and, down the road (months, years or decades later), you unknowingly copy that thing you read or heard, that’s unconscious plagiarism or “cryptomnesia.” Why does it happen? It comes from “a false feeling of novelty,” Harvard University professor and author Daniel L. Schacter explained to the "Boston Globe." And if we tap into memories without the realization that we are tapping into them, then we are likewise unaware when we are stealing them. “If you don’t know that you’re accessing memory, how can you avoid that error?” psychology professor Richard Marsh asks in the same article.

5. WE ARE CAPABLE OF “REMEMBERING” THINGS THAT NEVER HAPPENED

If you’ve ever thought something happened to you when it didn’t, it’s called a “false memory.” Anchor Brian Williams took fire, literally, for saying he took fire when he did not. “It got mixed up - it got turned around in my mind,” he told Matt Lauer. Others say he just lied. Elizabeth Loftus, a professor at UC Irvine, gave him the benefit of the doubt when she told "The New York Times": “You’ve got all these people saying the guy’s a liar and convicting him of deliberate deception without considering an alternative hypothesis - that he developed a false memory.”

Loftus knows the topic well. She is one of the most well-known experts on memory in the world and set up a now-famous experiment in which she asked participants about three actual childhood events and one false one. Three out of the four respondents claimed to “remember” the memory that never took place - being lost in a shopping mall. Loftus explained in "Nature" that she conducted her experiment because she wanted to see if one could “implant a rich memory of an entirely made-up event.” It turns out one can.

[Williams later admitted that it was his egotism which led him to try to build and enhance his image by distorting the truth, yet the existence of the ability to “implant a rich memory of an entirely made-up event" has been proved nevertheless.]

Nine years ago on this site, on August 16, 2006 specifically, these pointers were offered:

The illusion called “memory”—which gives persons a false sense that “they” have experienced some continuity of body and “mind”—drives the constant cycling and recycling of “thoughts” that are generated by the “thinking mind”

and

"When you believe yourself to be a person, you see persons everywhere. In reality there are no persons, only threads of memories and habits. At the moment of Realisation, the person ceases."

More than eight years ago on this site, on April 23, 2007, this was asked in a post dealing with “Samskaras, Archetypes, and The Loss Of Freedom”:

Have you considered the things that are stored in memory or in the unconscious or in a dualistic “mind’ that are all determining how you feel, what you perceive about persons, how you feel about persons, and what you think about persons? Have you seen, when false impressions and inaccurate memories and images are driving the way that you think and emote and behave, that you really have no “free will” and no "choice" in regards to anything? And do you not see that, without free will and choice, you really have no freedom at all?

The questions are also relevant right now.

More than seven years ago, this was offered on March 24, 2008:

Much of the suffering that “the non-Realized” speak of is rooted in the memory of traumatic childhood trauma or in distorted memories formed and recalled during adulthood and based (A) not in the way things really were but in the delusional way that things were thought to be or (B) not in the way things were but in the delusional way that abnormal things have been normalized, relatively speaking, as the desirous “mind” rewrites history and ignores truth or suppresses the recall of the reality surrounding certain happenings.

For millions of years, human or human-like beings had a brain the size of a cup which had no ability to store memories at all. As a result of evolutionary processes, the brain began to expand in size and to develop abilities which had not been present before, including the storage and retrieval of information which could be used to assist with the survival of the species.

Originally, only “truth” was stored and recalled, such as seeing that one’s hunting mate fell from a cliff and was smashed and died and that one might want to avoid the edge of cliffs in the future.

Now, the brain has been filled with nonsense, myth-and-superstition-based distortions, lies told by leaders to manipulate and control the masses, with astonishing levels of learned ignorance, and with personality identifications which set the stage for the development of personality disorders (which, in turn, set the stage for eventual disintegration in neuroses and psychoses).

The problem is not that “over the years, persons stopped being as religious and as spiritual as they were and as they need to be.” The problem is that over the years, with the ability to store and retrieve information and the ability to form memories (combined with the input of nonsense and lies and ignorant beliefs and manipulative teachings), humans – more than anything else – began storing and retrieving nonsense and lies and ignorant beliefs and manipulative teachings and “inaccurate memories” and “things misperceived at the moment of storage” and “false memories of things that never really happened," such as the supposed memory of “past lives”).

Freedom begins with freedom from believing all of that (stated most simply as, “freedom from all beliefs”). The discarding of all beliefs is the pathway to freedom from any and all mindedness, and freedom from any and all mindedness is freedom itself.
 
To be continued.

Please enter the silence of contemplation.

[NOTE: The four most recent posts follow. You may access all of the posts in this series and in the previous series and several thousand other posts as well by clicking on the links in the "Recent Posts and Archives" section.]

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