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Unicorns Never Die

What view of the world should one have
So as not to be seen by the King of Death?

View the world, Mogharaja, as empty, always mindful;
End the view that there is a self, then one is beyond death.
One who has such a view of the world, the King of Death does not see.

Snp 5.15 "Mogharaja's Question"
from The Way to the Far Shore  

Unicorns Never Die. That's because they are imaginary. The Self is imaginary. If one can stop imagining a Self, one realizes the Deathless. The Self is generated via the Default Mode Network (DMN). The key to waking up (i.e. realizing the Deathless) is to wire up a different default than the DMN.

Concentration practice stops DMN activity. Mindfulness (present moment awareness) replaces DMN activity. Mindfulness needs to be wired up as the new default. Training in these two is the key to Awakening; everything else is (necessary) supporting activity.

The River
Imagine a river flowing swiftly along. It reaches the point of Nothing-To-Do. There are 2 channels it can go down:
  1. Default Mode Network (DMN) which is wide,
  2. Present Moment Awareness (PMA) which is narrow.
(At least these channels are like this for the untaught worldling.)

Now consider:

Eventually the river switches course at the point of Nothing-To-Do from the DMN channel to the PMA channel. This is called Awakening.

[Actually the role of concentration is more complex than outlined above. Concentration can divert the whole river down the PMA channel - but not at the point of Nothing-To-Do; it diverts it further upstream at the point of Do-Concentration. But even after that sluice is closed, the volume of the flow is reduced enough that the whole flow can continue down the PMA channel at the point of Nothing-To-Do, at least for a little while until the flow increases. This is the time to throw those insight boulders in the DMN channel.]

Ayya Khema said that Arahants don't dream. Joesph Goldstein pointed out the similarities between the dreamy, not quite awake state and the lost-in-selfing state. Is the DMN active during dreaming? Is the DMN ever active during sleep in one who claims to be an Arahant? Do we now have our Arahant test?

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Leigh Brasington / EmailAddr / Revised 09 June 15