The stilling of the incessant chatter in our minds can never be a matter of force or will. An exploration into our being, our minds reveals that there is perhaps no ultimate source of our conceptualizations and constructs. Knowledge that our brains are the source of our intellect or our minds does not lend itself to experiential validation. It is just barren knowledge and not experience. Even science has not provided a conclusive answer as to what the substrate for our mind actually is. The Buddha sought the source or the ground for the self and found none. That we are an amalgamation of sensations, thoughts, images, memories and views is plain to see but is there a source for these mental events? The supposedly material basis for the mind could just as easily be the expression and not the essence! In other words matter is not the cause but rather the effect of the mind. And the mind stripped of the noise is unbound and indeterminate. Is it my mind or yours? Likely not. Undifferentiated awareness could very well be the source of all substance. Such a ‘property’ would be knowing and yet might not have spatio-temporal dimensions. It would be just that, a property, like space perhaps but without any reference points and in its undifferentiated ness, the ground for all phenomena and form or substance. In the expression of any magnitude of a dimension or reference would lie indeterminate potency crystalizing into substance.
All this really means that ‘my’ body and ‘my’ mind is an insubstantial juxtaposition on indeterminate, spontaneous potential, the ground from which everything emerges and converges. Our very form and every percept being nothing more than a reflection of the potential for substance transiently gaining fruition in a field of referential reality, simply to converge back into an ‘absence’ from the standpoint of this reality. So what becomes of the question, from whence I came? In many ways “I” never really did!
Zen Buddhism talks of the ‘not knowing’ mind. This notion perhaps conveys the idea of this indeterminate potential, of this absence. Adopting the not knowing stance is not an excuse to avoid action or responsibility. It is rather like going through life like a blank slate, with no residue or noise or baggage collecting. With not knowing, the predisposition to pursue substance, in any shape or form, be it a viewpoint or a porsche, waxes and wanes till having the viewpoint, or the porsche, is the same as not having it! Simply put, our enchantment with the realm of form and substance dissipates and we willingly embrace not knowing. With the ‘not knowing’ mind there is perhaps no loss and equally no obtainment.
Such a mind could very well indeed be the closest to ultimate, objective reality. The question still remains as to why all this could be important. The answer, access to reality is like waking up from a dream, to realize that we have been dreaming all along. With the dream dissipating goes the fear, the worry and the uncertainty or the longing. The surest way to be really free is to transcend both thought and action. Transcendence is not a denial or a negation but access to truth. While we are alive, we might hurt, and be hungry, in pain or in anguish but face to face with ‘not knowing’ we give ourselves the opportunity to partake in thought and action ‘knowing’ that they are an illusion, a mirage and that our essence is unbound, open and free.