Chapter 28: Mindlessness
For those with a discerning eye and a familiar hand, one leap and they leap clear. Only then do they know lazy Jung’s saying: Right when using mind, there’s no mental activity.
If a man has learned the art of watchfulness he can use his mind too, and still he has no mental activity.
I am talking to you, and I am using my mind because there is no other way. Mind is the only way to convey any message in words; that is the only mechanism available. But my mind is absolutely silent, there is no mental activity: I’m not thinking what I’m going to say, and I’m not thinking what I have said. I’m simply responding to Ta Hui spontaneously without bringing myself into it.
It is as if you go into the mountains and you shout and the mountains echo: the mountains are not doing any mental activity, they are simply echoing. When I am talking on Ta Hui, I am just a mountain echoing.
Right when using mind, there’s no mental activity. Crooked talk defiled with names and forms, straight talk without complications. Without mind but functioning.
This is a strange experience, when you can use mind without any mental activity.
Without mind but functioning, always functioning but non-existent.
I was from my very childhood in love with silence. As long as I could manage I would just sit silently. Naturally my family used to think that I was going to be good for nothing - and they were right. I certainly proved good for nothing, but I don’t repent it.
It came to such a point that sometimes I would be sitting and my mother would come to me and say something like, “There seems to be nobody in the whole house. I need somebody to go to the market to fetch some vegetables.” I was sitting in front of her, and I would say, “If I see somebody I will tell..”
It was accepted that my presence meant nothing; whether I was there or not, it did not matter. Once or twice they tried and then they found that “it is better to leave him out, and not take any notice of him” - because in the morning they would send me to fetch vegetables, and in the evening I would come to ask, “I have forgotten for what you had sent me, and now the market is closed.” In villages the vegetable markets close by the evening, and the villagers go back to their villages.
My mother said, “It is not your fault, it is our fault. The whole day we have been waiting, but in the first place we should not have asked you. Where have you been?”