The investigation of the "me-entity"
Let's say your name was Jen and you were predominantly of the female sex.
The name could have been Colin and of the male sex and the unfolding of the investigation process, remains the same.
Let's investigate the dearly held assumption of a self, of an independent personal entity, the "me-Jen" .
What is this "me-Jen" ?
Is it not the sense of personal doership?
The belief , around the sense of....
I think ergo I am, (aka Descartes)
I decide, choose, opt, discern, assess, evaluate among options, ergo I am,
I do my final decision, ergo I am,
I act, ergo I am,
I plan to achieve X,Y,Z, ergo I am,
I achieve X, Y, Z ergo I am .
I fail to achieve X, Y, Z and I may be a miserable loser, but by God, I am.
etc etc etc.
It's this usurped mantle of subjectivity (notionally of course), which believes it is cognizing its objective world,
and thus is born the sense of separation and the misery of the bondage.
So be it.
Let's examine that deeply held assumption.
Examine "your" decision, "your" action, "your" belief, "your" understanding, that occurred in the past.
Take any 5 of your actions, or thoughts, decisions, of which you "Jen" are absolutely convinced, were "your" actions, "your thoughts, about which you are absolutely convinced were from your independent volition
Preferably the ones which have had a tremendous impact on your life, as you will remember the details.
And unravel them.
That is, go to the immediately preceding thought or action.
What had you thought, or what did you do, prior to the thought/action under investigation.
And to the next immediately preceding thought or action.
And so on.
If you are brutally honest and go sufficiently back enough, you will arrive, in each and every action, in each and every thought, which you were convinced was "your" doing, you will arrive at that "genesis" point, which was the occurrence of a non-volitional "thought", appearing as if from nowhere.
And which acted as "trigger" for an entire process to get started in the body-mind complex, labeled "Jen".
What is this process?
The original "trigger thought", gets converted, by taking ownership, into "my" thought (and thus the "me" is born), which triggers of a series of secondary thoughts, some of which gets converted into "my" decisions.
Some of "my" decisions, get externally actualized, into 'my" actions and a series of "my" actions is "my" behavior, "my" achievements, "my" values, "my" understanding, "my" experiences, "my" realizations, etc etc.
However the genesis of each and every action or thought is that non-volitional "thought" which appears as if from nowhere.
(Quantum Physics actually now describes "thought" as a "wave function" representing a particular possibility, a particular probability and this non-volitional occurrence as a "collapse" of a particular wave function, from that Infinite Field of all wave-Functions.)
Further the neuro surgeon Dr Benjamin Libet's experiments show that between the occurrence of the original non-volitional "trigger" thought and the taking ownership, there is a time lag of 500 millisecond. There is a debate on whether 500 millisecond or more or less, but that there is a measurable time-lag, is validated.
A scientific invalidation of the personal self with its volition of choice, something which the mystics have been prattling for thousands of years.
The operating principle of the entire process, the taking ownership, the production of secondary thoughts, the type of decision taken, the form of the action which resulted etc etc, is the "conditioning-in-the-moment".
What is this conditioning-in-the-moment?
"Jen" did not get to pick which sperm, among the millions ejaculated by her Dad, would get together with which ovum ejaculated by her mother, forming a sperm-ovum complex, with it's unique DNA-gene structure.
A DNA-gene structure, which is a culmination of the unique DNA-gene structure of the sperm and that of the ovum.
It is this "original" DNA-gene structure, which further gets "impacted" by inputs from the environ.
Inputs like parental dictates, education or lack of one, inputs from friends, societal values, inputs for the religious or spiritual milieu (or lack of one) in which "Jen" grew up, inputs from the experiences which the body-mind complex labeled "Jen" had during it's passage of living, etc, etc.
It is these inputs, over which "Jen" had no control whatsoever, which impacted the original DNA-gene structure, to form what is the conditioning-in-the-moment in the body-mind complex called "Jen".
The "impacting" continues, moment to moment to moment, altering, amending, changing the original DNA-gene structure, hence the term "conditioning-in-the-moment".
And it is this conditioning-in-the-moment which fashions the response of "Jen", in the moment, to an input, in that moment.
There is no "Jen" in the picture whatsoever.
Akin to the PC , on which you are reading these squiggly signs.
The PC has no volition to produce any other response, except as per the loaded Operating System, (DOS, Windows or Linux) to an input which is a tap on the key board.
The human body-mind complex is nothing but a similar but more complicated biological computer.
With one key difference.
In the PC, once Windows loaded, that's it, till you uninstall and load Linux.
In the biological computer, the input, to which the conditioning-in-the-moment fashions a response, also impacts the existing conditioning-in-the-moment, in a dynamic loop fashion.
A Yin-yang dance.
Hence not etched in stone as in the case of a PC.
You will no doubt notice Jen, as an example, the same situation does not aggravate you, in exactly the same fashion, at different points of time.
Or the same "profoundity" not invoking the same sense of awe at different times.
The "conditioning-in-the-moment" has altered.
And this is no spiritual mumbo-jumbo but arrives by neuro-science and behavioral studies.
An interesting report appearing on the "New Scientist"
........For example, legal scholars are beginning to worry about whether neurobiology might blast away the foundations of Western legal systems and the concept of human rights.
They have good reason to worry. Modern neurobiologists and neurophilosophers of consciousness such as Patricia Churchland at the University of San Diego deride voluntary choice, free will, and similar concepts as mere "folk psychology". Indeed, consciousness may have surprisingly little power to affect behaviour, according to some of the work now coming out of research labs.
For example, neurobiologists have measured how long certain visual perceptions take to register in consciousness, says Jeffrey Gray, a neurobiologist at the Institute of Psychiatry in London.
This time delay--about 200 milliseconds--means that a tennis star at Wimbledon must return a serve well before becoming conscious of the serve's approach. "Our everyday experience of having conscious experiences and acting
because of them is in most cases an illusion," says Gray. "Consciousness comes too late to affect behaviour."
But if that's true, then our cherished notion that we can make a voluntary, conscious choice to do good or evil goes straight out of the window. And with it goes the basis for our legal system,
says David Hodgson of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, the lone lawyer to speak at the conference.
Western legal tradition puts great stock in the concept of intent, says Hodgson. To be found guilty of a crime, a person must consciously choose to commit the illegal act. Those who are unaware
of their actions or who are coerced by a power beyond their control are let off the hook.
Coming back to the PC analogy, what is the "tap of the key board" for the biological computer?
An occurrence of a thought, which Quantum Mechanics explain as a collapse of a particular wave-function representing a possibility, a probability, from that Infinite Field of all probabilities.
Let's get back to the so called original DNA-gene structure, that was "Jen" at birth.
It's hardly original.
It carries the strains and the genetic information, from your two parents, who in turn pass on what is their "impacted" DNA-Gene-template, which we see is "their" original
DNA-Gene-template, received from their own parents (your Grandparents), which got impacted in the conditionings your parents received in their life time.
And the process, goes further back and back, till one can see that the body-mind complex labeled "Jen" that is existing today, is a culmination, from the enfolding of evolution right
from the African mother, some millions of years.
Why stop at the African mother?
The Human Genome Project, shows that you "Jen" carry the genetic code of the single celled amoeba, which crawled out of the waters some billion years back.
And why stop at that?
What "Jen" or X, Y, Z is today, cannot be so, unless the Big Bang happened in the way it did.
For anything to happen, Jen, even something like "your" decision in the moment to scratch your nose, or to actualize your highest spiritual potential, that event cannot come to be,
unless the entire Universe converges, to that event.
That was what was being conveyed in the Taoist statement "Pull a blade of grass and the Universe shakes".
The assumption of an individual entity, is a notion, an idea, an inference.
And thus if through the unraveling exercise, it is seen that none of "my" actions are "my" doing, none of "my" thoughts, "my" thinking, then, does this
"me" have an independent existential reality to it?
And this, the "me-Jen" has to investigate and come to the conclusion, by unraveling some of the most profound actions and thoughts in her Life about which she is/was convinced were
"her" actions, "her" thoughts.
Now, we have been prattling that the "me-entity" cannot do anything.
So how can "me-Jen" even do this unraveling investigation?
This post becomes an input to the body-mind complex labeled "Jen".
Whether the entity labeled "Jen" will be intrigued enough to ascertain the illusion of the "me-entity" by undertaking the unraveling exercise,
and if does, will it be brutally honest enough, to go sufficiently back enough etc etc,
Or conclude that , what is being prattled is all crap..........
It's not upto the entity named "Jen".
Whatever the response, to this input-writing, it will be an appropriate response fashioned by the existing conditioning-in-the-moment, in "Jen"
Have fun and share, if you are moved to, the specific details of some of the investigations which occurred.
We can then , if interested look to complete the second part of the equation.