Book 4: Find Out!: The Real Way You Are Supposed to Act
Installment 5 (Below)
Chapter I: Seeing Through Illusion: Bridging The Gap (continued)
“We can grasp the scientific without a microscope by adapting what scientists and doctors do when viewing the inside of an organism, in this case a human. They look at the specimen without applying meaning or interpretation to it in the same way any of us (non-scientists/doctors) would when dissecting a frog in elementary school or watching a bean grow in a cup. There would be no psychological, dispositional, interpretative messaging. It would have a clinical, unopposed, nonbiased quality. We can find out about our own behavior this way too, without dissection but rather like with the bean in the cup. We can simply look at our body in the space, and each others’, on the surfaces they occupy, in the skeletal bodily movements they are in.
Why do I say our internal and external are one and the same? Well the body is a whole. So, if it is a whole, there are no divisions. We call the skin the outside because that is the part we see. Though of course sometimes we see inside the skin when it’s been ruptured, like with a bloody wound, or even when bones are sticking out with a bone fracture or major displacement. At those times, we see the inside of our body and the outside together. More relevantly, if damage were done to the skull, where the brain lives, and fleshy brain tissue were exposed, we would see that place where we perceive the “self” to reside. We would momentarily get a flash of the individual as a wholly physical being, the inside the same as the outside.
Thus, when we speak of behavior, we are really talking about physical bodily activity, because what else are we composed of if not the materials of the corporeal entity? But human behavior is somehow considered to be divided between an “internal” life and an “external” life. What is the external life? It’s referenced as how we act, or how we act in the world. The operative word here is “act.” Action is the word needed to be understood to ultimately bridge the gap between the nondual reality and the dual life that is misperceived. That is what is at the heart of the cognitive illusion I address in my work.
What does it mean to be a person who acts in the world? What is meant by the term human behavior? Is it physical or is it something else? Descartes concluded that everything of the human is material, except the mind, which consists of some nonmaterial substance. Does that analysis relate to the question of behavior? It seems people believe actions come out of the mind. What would that mean exactly? Probably that decisions are made by minds and that those decisions cause our actions, i.e., our behavior.
But what is a mind? It is what we call the perceived source of thinking, that place we assume produces thoughts and inner conversations that seems to live in the head where introspective self-discussions occur. The word mind at first consideration seems obvious; everyone knows what their mind is. It’s where “you” think and consciously make decisions about how you will act. If that is how it is imagined, do we also presume thought producing mechanisms (housed in the mind) have a way of creating the bodily movements we then refer to as actions? My mind belongs to “me.” Right? Belongs. That is a powerful sensation when it comes to the mind. It’s our secret inner mental space that has power to manipulate our bones and such into action. At least it feels that way. And it is mine. And it is conscious. Well, at least it seems that way. What does all this mean? I appreciate starting out with the fact that what we’re calling a mind is really a brain, or rather a nervous system, because that is the only thing that produces thoughts. The mind is a comfy word that makes intuitive sense but doesn’t exist as an anatomical mechanism. It is not even that a brain produces a mind, because that doesn’t make scientific sense. This ties in well with what Daniel Dennett refers to as the Cartesian theatre.”