Samsaric Mind: How Does it Work?

Description

Our ordinary mind engages with the world through our sense organs. The mind apprehends and forms perceptions and thoughts about outer objects. The five types of outer objects are form, sound, smell, taste, and physical sensation. These are apprehended by our sense faculties—our eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and body senses. And in turn, these are processed and categorized by our consciousnesses and mind.

The sense consciousness is the “working” part of the mind. When it apprehends an outer object, it immediately begins to discriminate. It evaluates—producing a thought of ” I like this” or attachment, or a thought of “I don’t like this” or aversion. Or if it is unsure, it may produce a dull or neutral thought—or indifference. Conceptual thinking is based on these three choices. And this basic thought of like, dislike, or indifference is the beginning of delusion. Our judgment begins when the consciousness meets the objects through the medium of the senses. We can have very different reactions to the very same object depending upon the situation or time. This itself is the origin of samsara or cyclic existence. It is this very mind that gives rise to buddhas and also gives rise to samsaric beings. These reflexes become deeply engrained habits and those habits form the experience of cyclic existence.

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