Posts Tagged ‘Anatta’

Ego, Self and Anatta

Posted: 27/05/2018 by zandtao in Insight, ONE planet
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These three words have multiple definitions and because of this there is confusion. In such cases it is always important to understand where your own “definitions” lie. In ascribing “definitions” to these words I have no wish to obviate other definitions and ways of thinking, just a simple effort to clarify where I am coming from.

I have to take as “assumed” what I wrote in the Ch22 on addiction, by assumed I mean that I don’t want to keep repeating myself – that would make these blogs more tedious than they already are. This meme taken from Buddhadasa’s teachings brings some clarity:-

Here we have three levels but they do not correspond to Ego Self and Anatta. Anatta and sunatta are similar, and could be seen as no-self, so this meme has effectively two levels self and not-self. Within the two tiers of self (self, body and psyche) are the ego and self.

This train of thought started when I was trying to explain about clashes of male ego to a Thai person. She did not understand ego but did understand atma or atta. In other words in Thai there was no distinction between ego and self. This makes sense to me because the ego and self are both formed by attachment to the khandhas – represented in the meme by body and psyche.

The situation of description concerning clashes of male ego also helped me come to an understanding as to an arbitrary distinction between ego and self, and that distinction is relating to society. An ego is something like a façade that we put out as a defence against society – hence male ego. This ego still comprises of the 5 khandhas but is more concerned with how we appear to society. Hence there are similarities to egotist and arrogant, and of course clashes of male ego are concerned with “handbags at 10 paces” ie superficial ego in society.

There is a tendency based on Hindu thinking amongst others to have a two-tiered approach ie just ego and self. This fits in with certain aspects of western thinking such as self-realisation. In other words, in this two-tier system the self is seen as the true you that has to be realised or actualised. As far as it goes this is fine, it is a way of thinking I worked with for years. For this approach people are searching for their true selves by trying to eliminate ego and finding something that is true underneath any conditioning that they unravel.

When bell hooks talks of self-esteem I would suggest that she is talking of this true self, and how this true self should be valued – self-esteem.

It would be reasonable to leave this consideration at ego and true self (not bringing in anatta). When people are seeking self-realisation and get close to their true self, then there is great understanding. But the problem is that there is still conditioning left – illustrated by the fact that people are calling it self. There is still some separation.

Buddhadasa makes this clear by talking about “removing I and mine from the 5 khandhas”; self is still I and mine, no matter how true, soul or “essence” it is. In Hinduism this “self” confusion comes from needing something to transmigrate when there is reincarnation. But if there is oneness, no separation – just oneness, then there is nothing that is unique.

Some would argue that a self needs to exist to give volition etc. But examine the 5 khandhas (body – rupa, feeling – vedana, memory and perception – sanna, mental operations – sankhara, and consciousness – vinnana). What else is there in self? If each of these 5 khandhas carry out their function, what action is there that is not covered by these 5? In other words, why is there a need for a separate entity of self. As explained in Ch22 we build up self by attaching to 5 khandhas through instinct, and then as adults we cling to this self – our instincts – instead of just letting them go. The final step of this letting go is to let go of the self and just accepting sunnata.

Following the path can be seen as recognising the ego letting it go, seeing that self is also attachment to the 5 khandhas and transcending this self, just being sunnata.

“Native yin/yang” <– Previous Post “Venezuela” Next Post –>

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Mandtao, Matriellez.

Identities – Selves

Posted: 17/10/2017 by zandtao in Freedom, Insight, Meditation, Writing

My recent Bhavana continues to have drastic repercussions. The blog “living as no self” set the roadmap but it left much that was vague. A recent effort to return to a normal routine day left me with a surface normal day yet sleep occurring throughout the day without sufficient sleep at night – 11-6. Throughout the efforts at sleep there was clear evidence of self attached without any understanding of why – living as no self was not enough for understanding and change.

There are 3 identities – Wai Zandtao, Matriellez and Bill Zanetti; what are they? This question gives the answer to the selves. Wai Zandtao is the writer, this is almost all there is now – writing, and learning for writing. Then there is the Matriellez teaching – giving back. Where is Bill Zanetti? I now understand why monks have monk names, their birth and society selves have gone. Bill Zanetti is now sanna – memory – only. Bill Zanetti led his life, worked, learned, and has provided for Wai Zandtao to write and Matriellez to teach and write. Maybe Wai and Matriellez will need to draw on Bill’s memories but otherwise there is no need for Bill.

Bill has life patterns and life-styles. When Bill was teaching and drinking Bill watched too much TV, now this TV self is impacting on Wai and Matriellez from being – from writing and teaching. Bill’s selves need to disappear. These are what is keeping the body awake. Bill has learned a way for the body to be healthy, these ways are now not Bill’s, they are Gaia’s. And Gaia has what used to be Bill’s body to enable Wai (and Matriellez) to be.

Bill interfered with Wai (and Matriellez). Bill was angry that people did not listen when he explained various understandings – primarily included in Zandtao Treatise. Bill was frustrated that knowledge and understanding that Gaia Sunnata had granted Wai (and Matriellez) did not give him recognition. These were selves.

Wai (and Matriellez) are simply Gaia Sunnata. Write and teach is all there is – apart from learning for writing. Trust Gaia Sunnata, the writing and teaching comes from Gaia – that is enough. Gaia will decide.

Trust Gaia and no self – no Bill Zanetti (except sanna when necessary).

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

Renouncing self-indulgence?

Posted: 02/10/2017 by zandtao in Buddhadasa, Meditation
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Have just finished another home retreat, excellent. Body getting better. Knee only a bit of trouble but ankles were trying hard towards the end. Managed 3 “hours” – 1 “hour” is 45 minutes with 15 minutes break. In total it lasted 5 hours, one break I fell asleep for an hour, and other “15 minutes” were longer.

The issue was indulgence. Towards the end of the first session “indulgence”, and then I realised I was avoiding the word “self-indulgence”. I am supposed to be “living no self” when a big portion of my day, after evening meal until sleep early/mid-early hours, is usually watching tv. “I AM” watching tv – self-indulgence.

This has been a pattern that has developed throughout my second childhood. For the first few months the path was no self – much learning. The two trips, first to Belgium and Paris 1975, second to St Valery-en-Caux 1976, were full on learning, but after returning from Belgium drinking started at Argyle Manor, and never stopped for 12 years. Except for holidays when mostly I was learning whether at home or on walking trips. In between the indulgence of drinking I indulged tv, when I stopped drinking pastime was indulging tv – excuse pressure of work, tv and marking etc. Once I retired there was writing, the beach and too much tv – excused because there was writing.

Too much TV is just indulgence – “living self”, “I am” watching TV, watching Man U. I remember a discussion with the “Tony and education” monk. At one time he realised that my lifestyle, meditation plus, was not aspiration-driven – it surprised him. I accepted this because I have doubts concerning “aspiration and desire” but I might well have been rationalising. It seemed to me that the path should just be – I do who I am, but maybe there needs more influence.

A monk is a renunciate – renouncing daily life. Ever since hitting bottom I have renounced “normal life”. Until I retired there had always been hopes I would find a partner, but they were mostly forlorn following Peyton Place; I tried in Botswana but I wasn’t discerning – like Farangs in Thailand. Since 1999 I have lived alone comfortably. After leaving uni I was forced to live alone – since Harrow I have mostly chosen to live alone with the failed Peyton Place and attempts in Botswana.

Renouncing “normal life” is not the same as renouncing daily life, I was more comfortable being alone. In that comfort I became used to self indulgence, used to living with self, despite varying efforts to live on the path including anatta. I don’t want a renunciate’s life because I want control, but that control is not so I can be self. Ascetic lack of self-indulgence is an avoidance rather than balance but what I am doing is definitely full of self. There needs to be a new balance, can I do it or am I too attached?

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

Living as No Self

Posted: 24/09/2017 by zandtao in Insight
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I have finally worked through what all this talk of awakening is about. I spoke of two childhoods. Let’s examine the first childhood, the system childhood, the outer childhood. In this childhood my contents of consciousness were filled with all kinds of stuff they wanted to fill it with – mainly academia but also system compliance. And how did that childhood end? By hitting bottom and “awakening” – following the path. There was a system “I”, an “I” that had been formed in my childhood (actual) that had been based on my upbringing. This “I” had attached to all the conditionality, become arrogant, and had to be knocked on the head before starting the path.

So what has happened during the second childhood? Instead of taking the opportunity to live an unconditioned existence, my “I” took on new selves. I started with compassion, and through that compassion “I” was allowed to take on a teacher “self”. That compassion then moved to beyond teaching and started to take on a political “self”. In addition throughout this second childhood period there have been insights. But what happened to those insights? “I” has appropriated them. What started as insights from the path became thoughts (sankhara) that self appropriated leading to a second conditioned “I” that needed to be knocked out of existence. When I was focussing on awakening it was the path telling me to remember what happened in the first childhood, and get rid of the conditioned second childhood “I”.

In some ways this is harder to do. Hitting bottom and coming through experiences on the other side was rapturous but unconscious. It was a time to be grateful for – however unhinged I was. But this second “I” with an accumulation of teacher, political ideology and insights is more difficult because it can only be dealt with consciously – mindfully. I have tended to rely on the fortune of following the path, and have not applied mindfulness to my second childhood allowing the selves to condition a new “I”.

There is only mindfulness as a way out – mindfully living as no self. In this world of spiritual and systemic inimicality/delusion/conditioning, it can only be through the recognition of continually emerging selves and the need to continually release them that the path can be followed – that I cannot accumulate again.

Finally a special word for the political self that I have to be especially conscious of. Much of the above is bog standard Buddhism, and whilst it is good to have such a body of knowledge it is also an institution with all the entity problems of an institution. The biggest such problem is that of avoiding politics because by such avoidance the institution can survive and have greater influence. As an individual there is no need for such avoidance, in fact it is an important part of awareness and the end of conditioning not to avoid such institutional compromise. But when an individual has to be better than an institution like Buddhism that contains much wisdom, there is a big danger of ego. There is no doubt that I have attached to a political self, and so ideology is perceived. I cannot alter the perceptions of others but I have to continually be aware of the potential for self-accumulating.

Accumulating is a good word to describe the 1%-system but it is also a good word to describe the khandas. Aggregation is the natural process, accumulation is attachment, mindfulness means aggregate but not accumulate – mindfully living as no self.

Just a final caution. Whilst I might have reached this insight concerning mindfulness – living as no self, it does not mean I will do it. Hopefully I will keep trying though.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez.

Lies and beliefs

Posted: 21/12/2013 by zandtao in Insight, ONE planet
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“Can you see the consequences of believing yourself? Believing yourself is one of the worst things you can do because you’ve been telling yourself lies your whole life, and if you believe all those lies, that’s why your dream isn’t a pleasant dream. If you believe what you tell yourself, you may use all those symbols that you learned to hurt yourself. Your personal dream may even be pure hell because believing in lies is how you create your own hell. If you’re suffering, it’s not because anybody is making you suffer; it’s because you obey the tyrant that’s ruling your head. When the tyrant obeys you, when there’s no longer a judge or a victim in your mind, you won’t be suffering any longer.”[p71] THe Fifth Agreement

One of the biggest problems on the Path is humility because the Path shows itself in a personal way heightening self-importance. Throughout life in general people are taught and seek agreement. Once the Path breaks through, then enquiry leads to breaking these system agreements, but often these agreements are replaced by other agreements.

The usual source of such agreements is some counter-culture guru or teacher, and one example, although there are many others, is David Icke. From being a system icon, a sports presenter, the Path opened him up and he became a counter-culture teacher. Over the years the number of people who agree with him has increased. However whilst he does present a great deal of healthy questioning, much of what he presents is a set of ideas. He tells people not to believe him, to find out for themselves, but he does not present them with the tools to doubt. The personal revolution that David Icke symbolises is not the ideas that he presents but the questions that he asks and the doubt that he throws on all the system agreements that we have all been spoon-fed.

But the beliefs and lie that we personally subject ourselves to are not just simply the beliefs and lies that society subjects us to through education and conditioning. Nor are they simply the beliefs and lies that counter-culture presents us with, they are any beliefs and lies that we hold to. This is a major danger on the Path.

Now the Path has major strength, it needs to have. Once the Path teaches you to doubt all the agreements you have been conditioned with, then there is a great possibility for conflict. This often starts with the family. Now the family tends to be a conservative structure. Whatever parents believe for themselves they don’t want to teach their children to be in conflict with society as there is a lot of hurt that way. There is also a tendency for parents to want their children to learn tools that will help them survive in society. Because so many people do not follow the Path, such social skills are often agreements that the Path conflicts with. And so your first source of conflict is your parents. Equally as children grow at some stage intuitively children reject what happens in society as what happens is so far from the Path. This rejection has different strengths in different people. In my own case I never voiced this rejection either socially or with my parents. Beginning in the sixth form but more at university this rejection voiced itself politically but I can only remember such awareness leading to arguments with my father. For most of that time my awareness resided in the bottom of a bottle.

Once the Path did rear its head, my rejection reared itself as anger against repression – repression at home and repression in society. Fortunately this anger was greatly subsumed by the circle of friends I developed at the time – through the Arts Centre, with whom I was able to discover more about myself and about the society I lived in. But I was still an angry young man, and I lived with and displayed that anger throughout my life.

This anger I felt justified with as it was deeply felt and was based on my Path conflicting with society. I often considered obnoxious aggressive behaviour was acceptable because I was right. Quite simply my Path was at the beginning stages, and I hadn’t developed compassion and insight. One idea I held to was that I was on the Path. Believing I was on the Path I didn’t question enough my behaviour allowing myself to be a drunk, to varying degrees, whilst “on the Path” for 12 years. Throughout that time my lack of questioning of my behaviour allowed itself to manifest as drunkenness, as my ego clung to the notion that I was on the Path so such behaviour didn’t matter. My ego was clinging to an idea, the idea that I was on the Path.

On reflection I was on the Path to a certain extent but my clinging led to a complacency my ego exploited – allowing me to be a drunk.

How can someone be a drunk on the Path? This can only be understood by understanding the relationship between Path, mind and ego. For me there came a point at which I realised I was on the Path, the realisation hit me and that was it. This is not some intellectual assessment based on reading the right dogma, or some other such mental trickery it is a realisation – often traumatic. The problem with discussing the Path is attempting to describe it. You know you are on the Path, it is a deep realisation, but other than this realisation there is no other way of describing it. And what makes this difficulty so much worse are the myriads of people who falsely claim they are on the Path, whether by misplaced desire or deceptive intention. Belief is a significant factor in this. Belief is intellectual. One’s faith is a set of ideas. I believe in the bible is just a statement that you accept the ideas and words that are written in the bible. Many people’s faiths come from a collective agreement in these ideas, and with these agreements come certain compelling forces – we must believe because everyone else does, we must believe because the priest tells us to, we must believe because good people believe, we believe and we get collective strength, we believe and we don’t have to question any more. For the majority of people a religion is the set of ideas that are agreed to and adhered to through these compelling forces. But for some this faith is more, it is the Path – aaggh I don’t know. It’s quite simple, I don’t know. I can read Eckhart Tolle or Neal Donald Walsch, and assuming that it is not fiction can know they are on the Path because the description of their experience is so similar. Of course I could be deluding myself.

The monk I read the most does not talk of the Path in this way, but to me he has stepped out of dogma and onto the Path. It feels real to me but again I could be deluding myself. How many religious people are on the Path? Like the monk I study, maybe some are. Saul on the road to Damascus became Saint Paul, born-again Christians occur, but how many of these have found a set of beliefs they adhere to passionately, and how many are on the Path. By their practice very few born-again are, they just sound like they want to be.

But what is this Path about and what is its relationship to mind? And the answer is Unity – Oneness. We grow in a world where we are educated to be separate. We are educated to see the individual self as the most important – I always saw education as self-realisation. This self is also a set of ideas that we believe in. We believe we should do this, we believe this is important, that is important, and the
result is that we create ideas that cause separation. Once we forget ideas, ideas as beliefs ideas as self, and work together as Unity then we can achieve happiness.

The mind is a tool, and this tool can be used to increase our happiness by working in Unity with Nature, or we can use that tool to create separation by allowing the process of ego to identify with ideas of self or ideas as belief. If we identify with ideas that means there is an other, a duality, those that identify with the ideas and those that don’t. Then there is the degree to which we identify with these ideas. These are my ideas, you must believe my ideas, if you don’t believe my ideas there is something wrong. Sometimes these ideas are concerning money and power, and when that money and power work alongside the ideas of self then we have those with power and those without. And we can have war if the ego and the false motivations are strong enough.

But fundamentally it stems from ideas, ideas that separate, ideas that we cling to and forget that the Path of Unity is all that matters.

The problem of ideas is so seductive to the ego especially if those ideas are your “own”. Even more difficult these ideas can be formed as a consequence of being on the Path. Because it is the Path we know the ideas to be truth. But they are not truth, they are a temporary manifestation of the Path. The Path mut formulate ideas in order to communicate, but once formed they are ideas. If they are held to as belief, no matter who has said them, they become divisive.

I used to hold this idea, I used to believe this, they are to a lesser or greater extent the problem. The Path is the Path is the Truth. As soon as we talk of something that we have learned from the Path, then it is an idea. Many ideas continue to be true through a long period of time such as our world is run by the corporatocracy, the 1%, for their own benefit. But in the end that is only an idea that will change.

As soon as we cling to an idea we restrict, both ourselves and others. Hey, that’s a good idea. Go with it, enjoy the idea, and move on the Path. Don’t cling, don’t hold on to the memory, don’t try to be the memory. Be fluid. Hold no agreements, just move on. As I am writing this it is true, but once written it is not true. You are reading this – maybe someone is, if this rings a bit true to you think about it, evaluate it, use your insight, does this hold true for you now? I hope so. But then forget it, and if the idea comes up again, ask the same question is this true now? It is not true always, no idea is. The Path is and understanding on the Path is gained through Insight and not through intellect, a tool of the mind.

Let go of the ideas.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Mandtao, Matriellez.

4 Attentions

Posted: 14/09/2013 by zandtao in Insight
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In the second part of the 5th Agreement Don Ruiz discusses the 4 Attentions.


Dreaming without awareness. “The adults prepare us to be a part of our society, and I can say without a doubt that it’s a society ruled completely by lies. We learn to live in the same dream they live in; our faith gets trapped in the structure of that dream, and that dream becomes normal for us. But I don’t believe that they did this with any bad intention. ” [p76]. This lack of intention is prevalent throughout the work on 4 Agreements (and 5th), and this irritates me. Whilst the victims are not aware there are victims who are taking advantage of other victims. Using the description of society’s ethos as the corporate paradigm it is quite clear that there within the category of unaware people there are victimisers and victims. The people who are victimising might be equally unaware of the dream, but their intention is to exploit and that exploitation is still part of the dream. But the hurt they cause cannot be ignored simply because they are unaware of the dream process. Because someone is deluded in thinking that collecting fiat money in offshore bank accounts is meaningful, it dies not mean that this person is guilty of victimising, a victimising that includes wars. The hurt, death and destruction that are caused by the way they use their lies does not change because they are unaware. And if these victimisers were beginning to become aware through the 4 Agreements (5) then the damage they do would start to be reduced. But such an important part of life for those who are not aware of the dream should not be dismissed simply because the perpetrators are unaware of the dream. Compassion is part of the awareness that we are dreaming.

“If we had said, “No, thank you, I am already God,” we would still be living in Paradise, but we answered, “Yes, I want to be like God.”” [p79] I am not God, I am an integral part of Nature. This statement has the same worrying arrogance that was ACIM – A Course in Miracles. Tan Ajaan teaches Idapaccayata, that all is cause and effect, and he describes the “God” of Buddhism as Idapaccayata. No problem with this. If I didn’t have such an ego I would simply be part of Nature, part of the global cause and effect. There would be no dream in this ego-less state, quite simply how many people can say I am God without accruing some ego? There would be a constant change accepted through Insight – cause and effect. I don’t like this use of God, as I didn’t with ACIM – although in ACIM it seemed to me that belief in ourselves as being God was the source of power for miracles, such a risky state of mind especially for the arrogance of educated westerners.

However wanting to be like God is a worse state of mind, always searching. Doing the best you can isn’t searching, that appears to me to be the only valid use of perfection. Accepting who I am and doing the best I can with that, how perfect is that?

“Awareness is the key to coming back to life, and it’s one of the main masteries of the Toltec. Awareness takes you out of the dream of the first attention, into the dream of the second attention, where you rebel against all the lies that are ruling your head. You rebel, and the whole dream starts changing.” [p81]

Second Attention – Warriors:-

“Toltec call the dream of the second attention …. the dream of the warriors, because now we declare a war against all the lies in our knowledge [p83]”.

“Perhaps we no longer believe in Apollo, we no longer believe in Zeus, we no longer believe in Osiris; but we believe in justice, we believe in liberty, we believe in democracy. These are the names of the new gods. We give our power to these symbols, we take them to the realm of the gods, and we sacrifice our lives in the name of these gods [p83].” This is not acceptable as written. It is good that we forget traditional Gods – his use of the Greek myths, but the tone of this tends to dismiss justice, liberty and democracy. No dream is acceptable if there is no justice liberty or democracy within it, nor for that matter compassion etc. But it is not acceptable to hold these as belief systems. If we are using Insight – seeing the Truth, then there is justice freedom and democracy in the way we live, however if we take positions such libertarianism then we have a problem. Beliefs such as libertarianism create prisons for our Insight, barriers for communication as they become the castle walls to be defended at all costs – creating rhetoric dementia (Doris Lessing in the Shikasta novels), wriggling sophistry and often ludicrous positions – positions of idealism that hurt people in the name of the
ideals. If it is these belief systems that the Toltecs are referring to then there is no problem but Truth has justice liberty and democracy within it.

“Human sacrifice is happening all the time, all around the world, and we can see the result: We see violence, we see crime, we see jails full of people, we see war, we see the dream of hell in humanity because we believe in so many superstitions and distortions in our knowledge. Humans create wars, and we send our young to be sacrificed in those wars. Many times they don’t even know what they are fighting for. [p84]” When I first read his description of human sacrifice I didn’t grasp it, but this paragraph so wonderfully describes what happens as a consequence of the acceptance of the dream of the corporatocracy.

You might describe my use of corporatocracy as a belief system, it certainly appears to be so. The word corporatocracy is a description of a political system in which the rich in Big Business and Finance control the politicians to further enable their profits. But examine the social reality, is this not happening at the present moment in time? A moment later, examine it again, has this changed? At the time of the First World War was it a corporatocracy? Much less so. Powerful finance families (Rothschild, Rockefeller etc.) were in control but countries were much more central in their means of control as they fought for their cake in Africa. At the end of that war the finance families did not want to lose their profits so the peace treaties left Germany with some power. Between the wars finance capital bolstered business during Hitler’s rise to power, and during the Second World War these businesses benefitted through huge profits whilst human sacrifices abounded. Since the Second World War profits have accrued to these families, whilst various wars have been fought. Recent global financial catastrophe saw huge mismanagement of the banking system yet western governments gave away huge amounts of money to bolster the banking system under the pretence of “trickle-down capitalism” creating jobs, and those individuals in charge of the banking system simply took that money and put it in their own offshore accounts. This is corporatocracy evolving but it is simple – see the Truth of corporatocracy at this moment in time. But don’t hold to the word as a belief system, analysis must continually evolve the understanding – continually evaluate the Truth.

So why bother with this analysis as it risks becoming the dream of a victim? Because a warrior must examine the Truth of the society or world they live in. Failure to do this is failure to see all the Truth. Political ideals are a huge problem because when they are fixated they become belief systems, and hence a hindrance to our happiness, a hindrance to seeing the Truth. Using Insight to analyse is a permanent process, adhering to words like corporatocracy is not a problem so long as that adherence is a process of understanding. And if socially our world starts not to be controlled by Big Finance then our analysis must be ready to change its view of what is the Truth. Insight is essential for this and meditation can help with the seeing.

“The way to measure the impeccability of your word is by your emotional reaction. Are you happy or are you suffering? If you’re enjoying your dream or suffering your dream, it’s because you’re creating it that way. Yes, your parents, your religion, the schools, the government, the entire society helped you to create your dream, and it’s true that you never had a choice. But now you have a choice. You can create heaven, or you can create hell. Remember, both are states of mind that exist within you.[p85]” This is so important because it makes you responsible for your happiness. Of course the corporatocracy and everything else creates problems but you don’t have to internalise these problems, and especially you don’t have to make them problems for others. This is the Trots issue again; they rant and rage at everyone for not accepting their belief system – their dream. But they don’t have to impose on others, they don’t have to make others unhappy. Their knowledge can be beneficial because their understanding can help us break free of early conditioning, but the truth is if they are so unhappy why would anyone want to copy them? Instead of helping people break free, their ranting and raving has the opposite effect – alienation. Surely the measure of your control of the dream is your own happiness, if you are not happy where is the validity of your dream? Whilst it is evidently true of Trots, it is also true of others who want to impose belief systems. Some of the alternative belief systems produce happiness, even if that happiness appears “spacey”. But other alternatives just produce anger and frustration. In fact many of these political “alternatives” I agree with because once you start to question then the system pack of lies simply collapses leading to these “alternative” idea systems. But that collapse doesnt help you if it is not replaced with happiness, and doesn’t that happiness come from an internal acceptance of what is – Insight – in 4 Agreements terminology “seeing the Truth”? If not, how else do you get it? Does filling your head with ideas bring happiness?

“You start to realise that you are the artistic creator of your life. You are the one who creates the canvas, the paint, the paintbrush, and the art. You are the one who gives meaning to every stroke on the canvas of your life. You are the one who invests all your faith in your art. And you say, “The story I’m creating is beautiful, but I don’t believe it anymore. I don’t believe my story or anybody else’s story. I can see that it’s just art. [p88]” I don’t fully grasp this, or is it that I don’t agree? What do I agree with? I am the artistic creator of my life, for sure. I must take responsibility for everything that I do. Does that mean that my self creates – definitely not as self is not real. I am part of Nature and when self is not blocking that Nature creates the artwork. But it is an illusion because Nature creates it as a temporary dream for BillZ, the quality of that dream depends on how much self is in the dream. Can any dream be real? The dream of anatta? In other words, if there is any dream there is no anatta, no enlightenment, only increasing awareness as we pay attention to awakening from the dream and seeing the Truth. Because the dream is temporary it is not real – anicca. I don’t believe in it because I don’t believe in anything. It is in this life that I experience. I don’t believe it because I don’t grasp at what I do, what I experience I just get on with it. What I do is what I do, it is for me and that’s it. What is there to believe in? When I want something I establish a framework, a target, and this wanting causes problems; if I don’t want anything and just do that’s enough.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Other blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Mandtao, Matriellez.

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Posted: 14/09/2013 by zandtao in Insight
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I have been working through my blogs to try to make my writings more accessible (discussed here).

There is an issue of separation that is causing me concern. To me understanding anatta is completely important, I both believe in anatta and am beginning to understand it – the first not being important.

So somehow I am looking for no-self, an apparently infeasible notion. This means I am trying to get rid of self (a sentence with a language problem already). So self arises because I become attached to various experiences that in Buddhism would be described as khandas, as a result I build up I – self. So I try not to attach but attachment occurs – attachment that could be called clinging. In about I could have given these as separate tags – anatta attachment and clinging, but I have called it anatta; as anatta was something I began to understand through Ajaan Buddhadasa this is discussed a great deal on the Tan Ajaan page as well as at the tag anatta.

But then everything on my Path is anatta, so is that my only tag for everything? An important area for me in blogging is the ego’s misplaced emphasis on intellectual processes. This arises from an establishment education process that focuses on presenting information or ideas, and not on the importance of creativity – mainly insight. There is an Insight page. Note my description as misplaced emphasis on intellectual processes arising from miseducation, I am not dismissing the processes of reason etc. out of hand but stating that the emphasis is misplaced. This lack of balance is common-place amongst those whose ego dominates – especially in western education. I was in discussions with one person in academia who was trying to seek insight. I noticed an inability to delineate between insight and intellect processes, and in his case he was unwilling to stop clinging to his descriptions of the academic intellect despite his desire to understand insight. But I will always remember an observation he made, he said my blogs were intellectual. Because my blogs often develop from an insight in meditation, I was initially emotionally offended but then I realised how helpful that comment was. Once you write the blogs (express the insight) they become ideas, they become static. The learning has moved beyond insight into ideation, and at that point need to be let go. Academia develops a process of clinging to ideas. It is the ideas that they write about, it is the ideas of the professor that the climbers adhere to to keep their jobs.

There are other academic processes such as dialogue. Dialogue is a wonderful means to an end, it is the way we learn from each other. But there has to be a purpose to this dialogue, and that is a mutual desire for learning from each other – it helps with enquiry. I prefer to think of dialogue as a genuine enquiry to reach a mutual conclusion. There are several ways that ego interrupts this process. Firstly the dialogue is entered with a view of imparting ideas, the person clings to their ideas and measures the quality of the dialogue by the way in whch the ideas are imparted to the other. It is a one-way process where the ideas are intractable; is this enquiry? I noticed one such intellectual process in which a dialogue would start and then halted on one side, nothing mutual about the dialogue; this was very frustrating and to this day I can see only limited value to this process. Fear can prevent this genuine enquiry through dialogue, a fear of losing the ideas that are being clung to, an intellectual fear. With insight such a fear does not exist because the ideas are not important, not being clung to, the enquiry and insight are all that matter.

In our society a significant group of ideas are our belief systems, and clinging to our belief systems as religion is a major cause of contention. Religious discussions become heated because one belief is considered superior to another and some are prepared to fight wars accordingly. It is necessary to move beyond the ideas of the belief system through genuine enquiry into the real understanding that is at the esotoric core of all religions but few of the religious establishment are willing to do that. Nor do they encourage their practitioners to do the same, so a religion becomes a belief system that is entrenched and a cause of violence. It is amazing to see in history religion being used as an excuse for war when at the core of all religions is peace, such practices are a clear demonstration of the dangers of clinging to ideas.

Belief systems occur around religions as well. On the alternative scene people are asked to have faith in all kinds of things – angels, elves, tree spirits and many such. There is belief in ghosts, after-life and so on with all kinds of consequences that come from clinging to such ideas. If you have experienced such then it is real, if there is no such experience then it is not. Theosophy is one such example. Madame Blavatsky, through automatic writing, wrote much in The Secret Doctrine, Leadbetter says that he sees chakras and we should have faith in his sight. Why? Why should we believe any of that? More importantly what is the point in studying such? It is just a bunch of ideas, they may be true for Madame Blavatsky and Leadbetter but does that make them true for others? I strongly recommend anyone to come to terms with their own experience of chakras, that experience has been beneficial for me. But it is up to you, your insight your experience.

Idea systems occur in other ways. In the 4 Agreements we are encouraged to recognise that our education is but a dream, a set of ideas that our upbringings encourage us to fall in line with – agree with. This dream includes mores, customs, delusions, beliefs, idea systems etc. Our education, instead of equipping us with insight, fills us with ideas and an acceptance of the status quo. In one way this is useful as mutually accepting ideas and status quo can produce stability. But on the other hand if we accept a system that is harmful to others then that is dangerous. Our education has been hijacked so that the status quo that we are taught to accept is in fact the corporate paradigm, in other words we are taught to accept that we will be wage-slaves in order to increase the phenomenal wealth of a few individuals. Further in accepting the paradigm we ultimately accept that wars will be fought in order to help increase the wealth of those individuals. By accepting the dream we agree to war. Through enquiry we can learn to see what that dream is and reject it.

But here is an important rub. What happens to those people who begin to reject the dream? Where do they go? They run to alternative belief systems, and replace the dream they have from their upbringing with another dream. This new dream, one such description might be rejecting the corporate paradigm, might well be a more accurate description of what is happening, but it is so important for such people to see that they are replacing one dream with another, one set of ideas with another, one belief system with another. And one worse characteristic of such replacements is vehemence. The Trots replace their indoctrinated acceptance of capitalism with vehement diatribes about socialism. You must, you must, you must. Others who have rejected the system’s dream replace it with other idea systems and then say “you must, you must, you must”. I have a you must “Insight and Enquiry through Meditation”. To me it feels imperative that people replace their dream with these three yet by insisting on them I am also creating idea systems so from me there is no “you must”. There is a dream we grow up with, there are alternative dreams that we can accept but what if there was a state of being in which there is constant enquiry, not clinging to any ideas? What if through meditation or otherwise we could develop minds in which continuous insight was a way of perceiving all the idea systems that we come in contact with?

Clinging to ideas is what an intellectual does. People who believe in belief systems do the same, some of those belief systems are religions. But it is the intellectual adherence to a set of ideas that is common throughout. All of this on intellect, religion and belief systems I have tagged as “intellectual”, yet this intellect is part of clinging and this clinging starts to disappear if we start to understand anatta.

Here is an image. There is an inner world and an outer world, at the boundary between the inner and outer are sets of ideas. We cling to this surface of ideas because we are afraid to make the journey inner. It is comfortable to do what we are told, to live our lives as others do, to conform, to live on the surface. But that comfort has been rocked because accepting the way things are means accepting war and hurting others. An inner journey will hopefully put an end to such acceptance; all of this is summarised in tags – anatta, intellectual and coorporatocracy. Anatta – inner, intellectual – surface, corporatocracy – outer.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Other blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Mandtao, Matriellez.


Posted: 14/09/2013 by zandtao in Buddhadasa, Insight
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Online there was a discussion about sankhara – I call sankhara mental formations, it is one of the 5 khandas. The discussion concerned whether there were sankhara without self.
….more on Buddhadasa page

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Other blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Mandtao, Matriellez.

Is anatta possible?

Posted: 14/09/2013 by zandtao in Buddhadasa

This monk impressed me (excerpt from Amongst White Clouds).
….more on Buddhadasa page

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Other blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Mandtao, Matriellez.

Anatta and Adyashanti

Posted: 25/07/2013 by zandtao in Buddhadasa
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Anatta and Adyashanti….more on Buddhadasa page

Blogs:- Zandtao, Mandtao, Matriellez.