Peter Ralston of Cheng Hsin on experience & self

5:9 If what we perceive and experience is influenced or completely created by our framework of mind, this suggests that our experience may be an illusion. It’s difficult for us to perceive any aspect of reality as an illusion because we already perceive it as “being reality.” We live and must survive in this reality and it’s that very fact that necessitates the illusion. Being designed by survival, the perceptive framework makes whatever is perceived an illusion because it’s based upon what’s needed rather than on what’s true. This dynamic is overlooked as unimportant, but it is actually central to our pursuit of the truth and for understanding our own condition.

5:10 Our mental self-framework is also dependent on several assumptions. For example, we assign to the mind the role of being the source of motivations, impulses, will, and behavior, and we relate to these activities as being expressive of our self-nature. Consider how much that single set of assumptions influences everything we experience as a self and how we experience it.

5:11 Without trying to discern what might be true instead, work to temporarily imagine that the mind is not expressive of your nature. What happens to your experience? Simply by changing this one assumption, you can see that the framework for mind and self would be altered in a rather significant way. For example, you wouldn’t identify mental-emotional activity as “you” or expressive of you. There are many other assumptions, programs, and core beliefs that are part of the framework for mind and perception. Imagine changing them all, or at least knowing them for what they are.

Ralston, Peter. The Genius of Being: Contemplating the Profound Intelligence of Existence (Kindle Locations 1455-1467). North Atlantic Books. Kindle Edition.