seeking the path
defines my nature down to a certain level. If these fields each combine qualities in the province of the same sense they (at some level) indicate that sense (which at any time is the present orientation of that particular sensual world about the centre of reference ‘this’—‘The eye is that in the world whereby one is a perceiver and a conceiver of the world. The ear… The nose… The tongue… The body is that in the world whereby one is a perceiver and a conceiver of the world.’ (Sa¬åyatana Saµyutta, xii,3)); if these fields each combine qualities in the provinces of different senses they similarly indicate my mind (‘The mind is that in the world whereby one is a perceiver and a conceiver of the world.’ (Ibid.)). ‘There are, friend, these five faculties with various provinces and various pastures, which do not enjoy one another’s pasture and province; that is to say, eye-faculty, ear-faculty, nose-faculty, tongue-faculty, body-faculty. The meeting-place of these five faculties with various provinces and various pastures, which do not enjoy one another’s pasture and province, is mind; and mind enjoys their pasture and province.’ (Majjhimanikåya, v,3) (A second illustration of the structure of a field, but on a different level, may be useful. I choose to live only in capital cities. I may stay in one most of the time, but if I leave it I always go direct to another one. Whichever I happen to be in I have the choice of all the others in the world, but I never go anywhere else. Any journey I make (i.e. the intersection of any two subordinate fields—Madrid-Lisbon, Madrid-Delhi, Tokyo-Athens—will equally well define the field ‘living-in-capital-cities’.)
appendix iv It would be a mistake to suppose that we can observe our conscious experience of anything—of a significant or oriented object, that is to say—while being at the same time completely disengaged or detached from that experience: the experience-of-an-object that we observe and the consciousness observing that experience-of-an-object are intimately related structural features of a single but complex experience-of-an-object. Every experience, in fact, is a structure involving an infinity of different levels of generality: every object consists of a plurality of more particular objects (or details) against a unifying background of greater generality. An experience-of-anobject involves an infinite hierarchy of fields (or backgrounds) of different levels converging upon a lower, and strictly ideal, limit or vanishing point—absolute objectivity, instantaneous determinacy, pure unsignificance. Every experience, then, is consciousness of a field, which is necessarily consciousness of consciousness of the fields of next lower order: as long as
Published on Jun 26, 2013
Part B includes two early essays (Nibbana and Anatta and Sketch for a Proof of Rebirth) as well as notes from a Commonplace Book and Margina...