Charles Wikner WIKNER at NACDH4.NAC.AC.ZA
Thu Oct 9 03:48:58 CDT 1997

Greg Goode <goode at DPW.COM> wrote:

> This reminds me of Ramana's "I-thought."

Reminds?  How does reminding operate?  Have you observed the associative
patterns in the mind?

> I'll admit I've always had
> trouble even finding it, not to mention tracing it to its source.

Throughout life, all experience is referred to a common point where
it is broadly categorised as good, bad, or don't care, as it affects
or interests that point. That point has a name: in your case, Greg Goode.
The information that there is a blizzard at the South Pole is probably
categorized as don't care, but to another centre of experience that is
at the South Pole it may be a matter of life and death: a different
"point" of view.  These points are usually very small but may grow
a little to form small circles that include family and friends; these
circles may enlarge to include community, nation, mankind, or the
whole of creation, but with increasing rarity.  If you compare how
many acts you have performed for the benefit of Greg Goode against
how many for the benefit of mankind, you may begin to appreciate why
saints are rare.

> Can someone tell me what it is?

You -- you can't see it because you are identified with it.

> It's described as the first thought
> that supposedly occurs after waking from sleep.

First there is aham (I), the pure feeling of existence, then there
arises "other", which puts a limit upon aham -- that is the problem.
The duality creates the space for the game to proceed -- the game is
rather like a dog chasing its tail.

> A component of almost every other thought occurring to the person.

Not only thought in the verbal sense, but including hopes, fears,
desires, likes, dislikes, etc. etc. etc.  Have a look at what is
happening in the mind.

> Is this too (like the cogito) a generic, representative thought?
> Or is it a thought whose object is the personal "I"?

No, and no.

> This body/mind complex doesn't have very many thoughts
> whose object is the body/mind complex abstracted from everything else.

The thoughts relate everything ELSE -- that's the problem -- to the
body/mind complex, usually along the lines of good/bad, like/dislike,
etc.  Have a look at a thought in the mind -- any thought, but start
with thoughts having a strong emotional component -- and observe why
you entertain it.  I do mean entertain: you give it so much attention
that it feels quite at home.  To warrant such attention it must be very
attractive.  What is its attraction?  What is attracted to it?  What is
observing this whole process?

Sadananda recently posted an excellent article on the operation of the
mind (Thinking process, 07 Oct 1997) -- if you are serious about vicaara,
then these processes need to be directly observed, and then transcended.
But beware: as mere information, mere theory, it just adds more clutter,
more noise, to the mind.

A caveat: I have not read Ramana, so interpreting it as vicaara may be
jumping to a confusion.  In which case some kind soul will hopefully
point out the error.

Great was the temptation to reply with a string of Brahmans, illusory
appearances and so on, but fortunately there is choice :-)
And a hearty welcome to the return of the personal pronoun!


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