5c. Unity in Duality - Introduced Through an Exposition of Tendrel.
Tarab Tulku, Dr. Phil. / Lharampa Geshe
'Body'-'Mind' Interdependent Relationship
Body and mind always have an inter-relational and inter-determining relationship - ranging from a gross level of body and mind, which at the same time forms a highly dualistic matrix of existence, to the increasingly subtle level of body-mind, expressing a less and less dualistic form of existence.
Body - mind interrelationship at a gross level of its matrix:
In accordance with the general Buddhist literature *24 on the gross level of 'body' there are the five physical senses, with their two aspects: The five physical sense organs *25 and the five connected 'energy-forms', which are called sense-powers *26. The sense-powers are said to connect with the respective physical sense organs enabling the respective five sense-minds *27 to experience their objects.
Dependent on the specific structure, range as well as condition of the physical sense organs, as well as dependent on the functioning of the physically connected five sense-powers of the 'coarse body', the sense minds ('coarse mind') can perceive its object.
Based on the physical sense organs and their sense experiences we have the development of the conceptual mind ('coarse mind'). If we did not have the physical senses, the conceptual mind could not appear. If the conceptual mind did not appear, then our normal experience of negative and positive feelings as well as emotions would not appear either. I.e. without the coarse physical level of body, the coarse level of mind as well as its particular realities would not be able to appear. In this way the coarse physical body (the senses) and the coarse mind (the conceptual mind) are interrelated and inter-determined.
The interrelationship becomes very clear in the process of dying, at the time of death, when the "coarse body" with the physical senses becomes weaker; the sense-powers also decrease before disappearing at the time of death. Because of that the "coarse mind", the sense-minds, the conceptual mind, as well as emotions also decrease before finally ceasing to function at the end of the death process.
Body - mind interrelationship at a subtle level of its matrix:
In accordance with the Buddhist meditation tradition, we can see that within the field of the sixth sense-mind, one can develop a perceptual ability similar to that of the five sense-minds. One can develop an energy-sensory-embodiment ('subtle body'), by means of which the sixth sense-mind can experience form/colour, sound, smell, taste and energy-body-sensation, independently of the coarse physical body. On the basis of this 'subtle body' it is possible to develop subtle mental cognitive as well as intuitive feeling mind abilities. Therefore, in this manner, the 'subtle mind' and the 'subtle body' are also interrelated.
Our normal senses are strongly limited in regard to time and space, but using the 'subtle body' the time and space dimension opens up. Depending upon the degree of opening of the 'subtle mind' we can have a range of experience beyond the normal limitations of space and time.
As an example, in accordance with the Buddhist Dream-Yoga practice, in the dream-state we naturally use a dream-body, which is an embodiment with all the sense abilities of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and dream-body-sensing. The dream-body is not obstructed by matter, which implies that it is an 'energy body' or 'subtle body'. Because of the dream-body's extended borders in regard to time and space, the corresponding dream-mind has naturally enhanced abilities that can take us beyond the normal mental limitations; that is if we manage to master the dream-state. This is the reason why within the Tibetan shamanistic tradition as well as within Buddhist Tantra, and I believe within many of the ancient traditions all over the world, the dream state is being used for spiritual purposes and for finding solutions to the riddles which occupy us; these being of philosophical, scientific or other nature.
Thus the 'subtle body' sets the frame of limitations for the 'subtle mind'. Also in this subtle body-mind matrix we can see that the body aspect and the mind aspect are interdependent as well as inter-determining.
Body - mind interrelationship at a very subtle level of its matrix:
In Tantric literature one can find descriptions of a very subtle energy-bodymind called lungsem *28. The lung *29 refers to an extremely subtle 'body' aspect, and sem *30 refers to a likewise extremely subtle 'mind' aspect of the inseparable lungsem unity. At a very subtle level of the body-mind matrix the bodymind is interrelated to such an extent that even though they are distinguishable, they are united.
24. Mahayana and Hinayana Abhidharma Literature
25. (Tib.) dBang-rten khog-pa
26. (Tib.) dBang-po gzugs-chen / the 'form' sense-powers
27. (Tib.) dBang-po'i rnam-shes
28. (Tib.) rLung-sems
29. (Tib.) rLung
30. (Tib.) Sems
As shown above, the 'coarse mind' and the 'coarse body' are interrelated and inter-determined; the 'subtle body' and the 'subtle mind' are interrelated and inter-determined, and so also the very subtle bodymind.
Thus right from the beginning of evolution it seems to me like the intrinsic universal mind-energy crystallizes in a form-aspect, leaving 'mind' always with a 'body'-aspect, and 'body' always with a 'mind'-aspect. The 'body' aspect sets the frame for the 'mind-aspect' as shown above, basically in terms of limitations in regard to space and time.
The 'mind', always being of energy nature, at different levels of evolution is giving 'birth' to a 'body'-aspect, which is a 'form' crystallization of itself at various degrees of coarseness all according to the degree of dualistic unfoldment or development (which way you want to understand it).