Looking for the Meaning

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Very often we find different teachings on similar subjects or identical phenomena and we do not know, which one to believe. In the psychology of traditional Buddhism for example there is a teaching that the mind arises as a process of 17 mind moments, each possessing an arising, standing and perishing phase, happening so fast that you might never come to certainty as to whether you just experienced it or not. So many a one may wonder, how to approach such teachings. One simple approach to get at least somewhere out of doubt, may be through looking for something you can make sense of. In the example, you might find it easy to agree, that the mind arises as a process, (perhaps because it somehow agrees with other things you have heard regarding the mind). Picking up that consideration, you may try to think, what you can get out of that statement. For example, you may think to yourself, ‘What is a process?’. An answer may come, such as, ‘something which has a beginning and an end, between which a certain thing gets transformed from one thing into another’. If your mind finds that consideration satisfying, you try to apply that definition to the mind. Thinking, ‘Do I know two things or more, in regards to the mind, which I could put along a certain timeline between a beginning of the mind and an end of the mind?’. Or, ‘Do I know of any mental thing, which could be said to transform into another mental thing?’ Thus slowly certain conceptions arise regarding part of the teaching on the mind,… Working in that manner, you may or may not arrive at some conclusion regarding the rest of such teachings, but in either case you will have made some progress in regards to comprehending some of those teachings which you hoped to gain a comprehension of.

Some further thoughts regarding the teaching of the mental process and the idea of 17 mind moments, may be found in the Post ‘Notes on Mental Process‘. Also one may want to read the Post on ‘Time‘ regarding the issue of time.

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