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Chapter five

Do You Know What A Normal Mind Is?

One day in 2004, I had a phone call from a young man asking me for my book, A Handful of Leaves. He said he came to my local tai chi class two to three years before for just for a few sessions. I explained to him that it would be better if he could attend my class again so that he could grasp the meditation skill since reading my book alone wouldnt give him the full benefit. He agreed to come to my class at the university the following week. Since he lived in the same area as mine, I offered to give him a lift so that I could explain a few basic meditation concepts and techniques so that he wouldnt be thrown into the deep water without preparation. As we were talking in the car, I found out that he was in recovery from a nervous breakdown, which happened two years before. He had been diagnosed as having psychosis and still needed regular therapy as well as being on medication. He said he was feeling much better now and the reason he wanted my book was because there was something I said in this book about the void, a concept that struck him when he first read it. I then realised I was sitting next to a mentally unstable young man. I was very calm and tried to let him tell me more about himself. I could gather that he was taking cannabis at the time he came to my tai chi class nearly three years ago. His mind had made up a lot of things that, he believed, were real. Having read about the notion of the void and enlightenment in my book at the time, he believed that he had experienced the state of the enlightenment, Nirvana or Godhood! I guess that his parents must have tossed out that book since he slipped out that his mental state became worse after he had attended my tai chi class! This was the reason why he phoned me to ask for another copy of my book. The story of this young man inspired me to write this chapter. No bruises Unlike physical illness, mental illness is a much more complex matter to deal with. When a person is physically ill, it is usually a straightforward matter. You go to your physician or a specialist; they then diagnose your illness and do their best to cure you. Whereas with mental illness, it isnt easy because there are no cuts, bruises or clear signs of infection to deal with. Mental disorder is about something wrong with the mind, which is related closely to memories, thoughts, feelings, emotions and consciousness. No conclusive knowledge As far as the mind is concerned, there is still no conclusive knowledge telling us what the mind really is, where exactly it exists and how it works. So far, we are led to believe that the mind is in the brain, so treating a patient with mental illness is about treating the brain. Before we get carried away with the idea that doctors know exactly what they are doing, lets have a quick look at the arguments among the so called

mind experts. I read an interesting article by a book critic, A.C. Grayling, commenting on a book called Consciousness written by Rita Carter, published in the Daily Mail on Friday August 23 2002. This is what he said: Traditionally, the problem of the mind and consciousness are the province of philosophy. But in recent decades, neurologists, psychologists and computer scientists, all of whom bring powerful new theories and methods to the endeavour, have joined philosophers. Although a great deal has been learnt about brain activities, such as which parts of the brain are involved in vision, hearing, language use, movement and so on, there are still a lot more mysteries and ambiguities as far as the study of the mind is concerned. Some say consciousness exists independently of brains or any material thing. There are those who say that brains and minds are identical. There are those who say brains cause minds, and those who say consciousness is a mere by-product of brain activity, with no reciprocal influence on brains. There are those who say we will never be able to understand how consciousness arises from brains and there are even those who deny that there is such a thing as consciousness at all. Judging from this diversity of opinions from mind experts, it is obvious that they havent yet understood what the mind really is. This is very worrying because if mind experts dont know what the mind is and how it works, how can they possibly treat mental patients? And what exactly are they doing with mental patients now? Investigate Lets use logic to investigate and help us solve this mental problem, shall we? First of all, we must agree that the minds of all patients with mental illness are abnormal one way or another in different degrees. The question is, how can we measure abnormality if we dont know what normality is? For all we know, this young man I am talking about could be truly enlightened as he had claimed and I was the one who was totally self-deluded and needed to be checked out! How can we judge who is sane and who is insane if we dont know the true nature of sanity? You may think that mental sanity (normality) and insanity (mental abnormality) has nothing to do with the nature of the ultimate truth or the absolute ruling point. In fact, it does connect, and very closely too. In the same way that if you dont know the total distance of your journey, you wont know whether you are very far, very near, half way, or of the way to your destination, will you? You must have a starting or ruling point to begin with before you can judge or measure anything at all. The ultimate truth/the final certainty has a connection with everything as the absolute ruling point in nature. It is particularly connected with our mental state/mind, which is in fact the real centre of the universe for each of us. Without a mind, the universe doesnt exist. Whether the universe of perceptions (sights, sounds...) is sane or corrupted, depends entirely on the normality or the abnormality of the mind. If your mind is sound, your perception will be sound too, but if your mind is twisted, your perception will be corrupted accordingly. Therefore, this ultimate truth or the absolute ruling point, will allow us to judge how far away ones mind is from the absolute normality.

Now, you can understand why Albert Einstein needed to find the absolute ruling point in nature. It is the same nature as the absolute normality. Without an absolute ruling point or normality, there is no real standard of measurement, is there? Without the absolute ruling point, the result of all measurement has only a relative value which is not the real value no matter how accurate it is. Thats why I have a high respect for Einstein in posing this most significant question. His notion of finding the final certainty in nature has everything to do with every fibre of our life and all the rest of it including our psychological states/mental states. If we dont know what a sane/normal mind is, neither can we know what an insane/abnormal mind is; it is as simple as that. My role here is trying to make connections between all these significant subjects of our lives and helping you to understand why it is important to closely investigate these questions. Found it, not create it Briefly speaking, on the night of the Buddhas enlightenment, his mind had suddenly reached the state of absolute sanity/normality/purity. It had transformed from a corrupted mind to a pure and absolute normal mind. That was the beginning of his knowing what is what similar to finding the loose end of a tangled up ball of thread. He could see the whole structure of life in relation to this gigantic cosmos and beyond. Upon his enlightenment, he realised that Nirvana (life out of prison) is the ultimate goal of life for all people. Thats why I give you 28 terminologies1 to represent this final certainty so that humankind can connect with the ultimate truth from their own comfort zone. It is important to know that this is not only about Buddhism and the practice of the Buddhas teachings. The Buddha simply found a final and absolute element in nature. This extraordinary finding involves the whole of humanity and the entire universe. This ultimate nature has been here for eons, always has been and always will be, regardless whether the Buddha is here or not. He simply found it, he did not create it. My concept of God is very different from the traditional notion of God creating the world. God, as one of my 28 terminologies, doesnt have the same meaning as that of the Christians who view God as an almighty creator. My meaning of God is the same as the innocent perception and the ultimate ruling point in nature. The absolute normality How can we judge if one has a normal mind or an abnormal mind? We cannot possibly measure the different levels of abnormality/insanity at all if we dont have an absolute ruling point (absolute normality), which luckily the Buddha found on the night of his enlightenment. It is imperative that you are willing to have confidence in the Buddhas enlightenment and his finding of the Noble Truths; otherwise you will have great trouble in understanding this book. Thats why the Buddha told us to have faith and confidence in his findings first so that we can more easily verify his findings and follow in his footsteps and finally attain the absolute normal mind for ourselves. Without the initial faith (trust and confidence) in the Buddha and me as your immediate guide to absolute normality, we cannot move on. Nevertheless, I dont

Please refer to the glossary for a listing of these synonyms.

believe in blind faith either. Thats why Ive been trying to rationally investigate for you, or rather, drawing a life-map which can be done using the Buddhas methodical teaching plus my own Eureka experience.2 This combination enables me to match words with experiences and the subsequent understanding. Without one or the other, this book couldnt have been born. A tangled up reel of cotton Lets investigate further. Upon his enlightenment, the Buddha then realised that the state of the human mind is very much like a tangled up ball of thread. His enlightenment has the same nature as finding the loose end of a tangled up ball of thread when, upon his discovery, he could easily untangle and straighten it up from one end to the other. What does it mean then? To begin with, the Buddha highlighted the state of insanity a mind similar to a tangled up ball of thread which he called suffering (dhukka), the first noble truth. He then told people that illusive Jerry, the carrier for all defilements (unwholesome thoughts), is the root cause of insanity/suffering the second noble truth. He then announced that he had defeated Jerry, and thus had reached the state of the purest (Nirvana), the absolute normality or the ultimate truth the third noble truth. Finally, he systematically laid down the precise means to fight and overcome Jerry so that humans can untangle their twisted minds and reach the absolute sanity just like he did the fourth noble truth. The means to absolute sanity is the practice of the four foundations of mindfulness, vipassana, or bringing the mental self back home.

Traditional etiquette Before we move further, we must first of all admit and have respect for The Four Noble Truths that the Buddha found, and recognise that there is a state of the purest mind that a human can possibly achieve. So long as one engages in the practice of the four foundations of mindfulness or BMSBH, one will be able to progress along the noble path and will finally reach the final destination just like the Buddha and his enlightened followers did. Once you have your own enlightenment, you will then realise that the list of my 28 terminologies point to the same ultimate experience one attains upon personal enlightenment. If you havent had your own ultimate enlightenment, it is important you be willing to have confidence in me as a follower of the Buddha and follow my guidance carefully. Without this traditional Buddhist etiquette, you wont learn anything that is truly worthy of knowing. You will inevitably waste your time in chasing after an enormous amount of details and have no way of seeing/experiencing the whole structure of life. Details are what Einstein look at with disdain. The four level of holiness

Described in A New Hope for Humankind, Chapter 1.

Fundamentally speaking, the practice of the four foundations of mindfulness or BMSBH is the means to undo the twisted or the entangled state of mind. In other words, the BMSBH practitioners are those who are walking towards absolute sanity/normality. The Buddha classified practitioners on the path to enlightenment by judging the various levels of their mental states, which he called the four level of holiness. They are: 1. The Stream-Enterer (Sotapana) 2. The Once-Returner (Sakadagami) 3. The Non-Returner (Anagami) 4. The Worthy One (Arahat) To create a perspective image for understanding the four level of holiness, please find a rubber band and secure both ends round your two index fingers. You will see two independent lines of the rubber band.

Lets represent those two lines as my metaphoric Tom and Jerry. The mind of a fully enlightened person (Arahat) is like the two independent lines of the rubber band. Their metaphoric Tom and Jerry have been disconnected upon enlightenment due to the collapse of their mental magnetic field. The consciousness element/Tom is totally free from the sticky and illusive Jerry. This image (two independent lines) represents the state of the absolute sanity/normality. As far as human mind is concerned, this is precisely the absolute ruling point (the entirety of sanity) where we can start analyzing the different proportions of sanity and insanity.

The features of the holy people We can now measure the different level of our mental insanity/abnormality by judging from how far it is from the two independent lines of the rubber band. The following are the mental features/qualities of the four levels of holiness. These levels are very clear-cut and straight forward. 1. The two independent lines without twist refer to the fully enlightened ones or Arahats who have overcome the illusive Jerry and have firsthand experience of the ultimate element in nature/the ultimate truth becoming a local guide who no longer gets lost in mental jungle. Thus, they are able to see the big picture or the whole structure of life in relation to the universe. It is as if one has reached the zenith of a mountain and is able to see the whole view of the valley with all the small details in it. This is how I can come up with the 28 terminologies to represent the ultimate element; I can clearly see the connections among all the details. I also realize that the whole of our intellectual/worldly knowledge is merely scratching a huge pile of details just like rabbits enjoy digging endless holes or intellectuals enjoy rowing conceptual boats in a gigantic lake without knowing their own imprisoned predicament. Einsteins gut feeling was right; he suspected that there must be 5

something significantly greater than details! It is a pity that he wasnt born in a Buddhist country; if he had been, he might have found the answer he desperately searched for. 2. The one twist refers to the Non-Returner (Anagami), who have committed to the practice of the four foundations of mindfulness for a length of time and subsequently gained intuitive wisdom and meditative strength. Their mental eye (Tom, consciousness, the 6th sense) is very sharp, alert, awakening and sensitive; they clearly understand how Jerry works in the mind. Consequently, they have worked out, seen through and detached from all illusive worldly values concocted by Jerry, i.e. wealth, fame, power and status. Their main mental accomplishment is having overcome greed and full-blown anger, but they still have minor dissatisfactions arising from perceptions due to illusive Jerry. The Non-Returner will however detect the minor scratches from Jerry almost instantaneously, which makes the mind return to its normal state similar to the rubber band with no twist. The Non-Returner will have to wait for the total disconnection between Tom and Jerry which is the final stage of the practice. According to the Buddhas standard, the Non-Returner is classed as having a small proportion of mental abnormality (represented with one twist on the rubber band) due to minor dissatisfactions caused by illusive Jerry. This is a very clear-cut and straight forward judgment. Once the NonReturner experiences the final disconnection between Tom and Jerry (the mental magnetic field snapped off), he/she will know and will subsequently become the fully sane person attaining the absolute normality. 3. The two twists person refers to the Once-Returner (Sakadagami). They are in the process of trying to overcome greed and detach from worldly values. They will have to observe the moral precepts and strictly engage in the practice of BMSBH. The intuitive wisdom from the practice allows them to know the illusive nature of Jerry and try to let go. But their meditation strengths are not strong enough to deter Jerry on the spot, so their minds will be scratched and bruised by Jerry. This causes them to still have attachment towards things that are most dear to them, such as loved ones, objects with sentimental value, appearances, and so on. The Once-Returners havent yet overcome full-blown anger, although it happens less frequently due to the practice of having compassion knowing that all sentient beings are bullied and terrorized by Jerry all the same. Once anger has subsided, they will realize the unnecessary pain and the harmful effects of anger. This causes them not to be complacent and to pursue the practice further so that they can overcome anger. For these reasons, the Once-Returners have a higher proportion of insanity/impurities (represented with two twists of the rubber band) when compared to the NonReturners, who have already overcome anger. 4. The three twists refer to the Stream-Enterer (Sotapana). Generally speaking, the Stream-Enterers are not that much different from the four and five twists groups of people in the world. The difference is that having met a good friend who has introduced and guided them to know the Buddhas teaching about leaving the prison of life, they can then rationally recognize the suffering and understand their imprisoned predicament and decide to follow in the Buddhas path to leave the epic prison of life. As a result, their path of thinking will be different from the majority of people in the world. That is, they have a clear purpose of life: to defeat Jerry, attaining long-lasting peace or leaving the prison of life. They will strictly observe the moral precepts. It

may be the first time for some who have just heard about the reality of the practice of the four foundations of mindfulness as the means to gain eternal peace. Those who have heard the terminology before may be inclined to think that such practice belongs to forest monks and serious temple goers only and has nothing to do with them as lay people. Nonetheless, they havent yet overcome any greed and anger due to the lack of meditative strength, and intuitive wisdom has yet to arise. They understand the teachings through reading and listening. Without sustained practice, they havent developed the inner strength to overcome greed and anger brought upon by illusive Jerry. For these reasons, when compared to those in the above three groups, the sotapanas have higher proportions of insanity represented with three twists on the rubber band. No compromising You can see that because the Buddha had the experience and was symbolically holding a real straight ruler to measure the mental states with him, thats how he could classify the different proportions of sanity and insanity in humans. Generally speaking, the practitioners of the four foundations of mindfulness/BMSBH are people who are in the process of untangling their twisted minds/twisted ball of string, and they have been successful in different degrees. Even having just one twist, the Buddha classed those persons as being impure/insane; there is no compromising as far as the Buddhas mental standard is concerned. The goal of all vipassana practitioners is to undo the twists between Tom and Jerry until they reach the stage where the two lines are totally separated meaning Tom and Jerry are totally disconnected.

The Buddhas classifications of mental purity can be made because of one sole reason having an absolute point and a real straight ruler to measure mental normality (full enlightenment/no twist). You can see that without this precise and definite tool, we cannot move forward with confidence because we will inevitably deal with unstable and changeable relative truths and colossal piles of details. Four twists: the high moral threshold

We shall now move on to see the level of mental abnormality/insanity of the majority of people in the world. The four twists and more refer to people who havent yet known the ultimate purpose of life or leaving the prison of life. Please twist the rubber band four times and still hold it in a straight position as in the illustration.

This four twists of the rubber band represent a sizable number of the people in the world who are able to function well in their daily life: i.e. looking after their personal hygiene, having the ability to learn and to reason, making sensible conversation, taking responsibility for oneself and family, going to work, being law-abiding and so on. They consider themselves normal people who can take full control of their lives, plan their future with discipline, work their way to achievement, deal with all the ups and downs and experience pains and worldly happiness like all humans do. Technically speaking, their mental state is classed as having fundamental insanity/abnormality due to the four twists but in practice they feel absolutely normal because there are many people like this in the world. What differentiates the four twists group of people, from the next category of five twists, is the significant indicator of high moral conscience: knowing right from wrong, and also very likely having natural kindness and compassion too. These people would try their very best to do things right in the moral sense. They can resist temptations better than the next group down. It is because this group of people is on the threshold of crossing over to be holy persons knowing the definite path to leave the prison of life (Nirvana). They naturally carry a strong sense of morality and compassion with them. One can easily bump into this type of individuals in daily lives. These people have a high tendency to do charitable or social work and can quite often be spotted and chosen as a role model for good citizenship. The four twists group of people nowadays is considered rare in a society that almost has a moral vacuum and has been taken over by an amoral material, economic competition and increasing violence. There are fewer and fewer of this type of people but there are still a sizable number of them around. Nonetheless, the four twists group of people is still symbolically living in a Matrix (illusive) world and knows nothing about life in the real world. This is in contrast to the four level of holiness who are making their way to the real world (the ultimate truth/freedom). The fully enlightened people are those who have symbolically reached the real world. What will help the four twists people most is to stumble onto a good friend (anyone in the four levels of holiness) who may offer them a book or point them to a person who can guide them towards the noble path towards the real world, which will be a life-changing experience for them.

Crossing over of the two groups However, in not knowing the worthy knowledge and the BMSBH practice, they are still very human, like they often claim, and are subjected to the harassment of illusive Jerry the root cause for greed, anger and delusion, whichever degree depending on their moral threshold. Nonetheless, in not knowing the ultimate goal of life, their minds have a higher proportion of mental abnormality compared to the StreamEnterers. As far as dealing with the emotions is concerned, I often say that these two groups of people are not much different. The distinction lies in their paths of thinking: the three twists knows clearly the ultimate goal of life, the four twists doesnt. So in the same way that the high moral threshold group of people can easily cross over to be the Stream-Enterer, or vice versa, the Stream-Enterer can easily fall back to being a four twists individual. Compared to the size of the world population of nearly seven billion, those who have worked themselves up to the four levels of holiness are only a handful, and they are often regarded as being weird and not quite normal people. That is as judged by the five twists standard, which are the majority of the world population (I will talk about this later). So, if the Stream-Enterers are not self-motivated, committed and dedicated towards the clear path to the definite goal of life, they will be swayed and tempted by worldly values, and can be easily lapse or fall back to the unwholesome path again. I may contradict the Buddhas teaching on this point as he said the Stream-Enterer would be naturally flowing along the Noble Path just like water flows from the upper ground to the lower ground or the sun rises in the East and sets in the West. It is because global society has changed beyond recognition since the Buddhas time and is now full of temptations luring people into Jerrys strong grip. Admittedly, it is much harder for the committed Buddhists especially the first two levels of holiness (three and two twists) to walk this very lonely Noble Path to Nirvana. Actually, I do not totally contradict the Buddhas words. Having said the above, the Stream-Enterers who may temporarily have lost their ultimate goal, but after experiencing the spiritual darkness of dealing with insignificant details that many people can die for, i.e. money, power and status, and facing excruciating mental pains, they may find they have no choice but to cross back to the lonely but illuminating Noble Path again. This time they will make sure that they will be more self-motivated, and will likely join a support group. They will be more committed, disciplined and work harder so that they wont be pulled back to the dark plain of the Matrix world again. Only then, will they be able to flow along the enlightened path the Buddha illuminated. The five twists group of people The next category down is the five twists group of people. Their main mental feature is still similar to the four twists individuals, who can be responsible for their daily lives and feel more or less in control of their ups and downs. The difference is in their moral threshold. Their ethical conscience is thinner than the previous group and consequently they can be easily lured into craving fame, power and money. They can conveniently give in to temptations without much resistance. Nevertheless, they feel

absolutely normal as far as their mental state is concerned, just like the rubber band can be pulled straight despite the five twists. This group of people (and to be fair the four twists too) is extraordinary because they are responsible for shaping our worldly education, culture and civilization. They can use the reasoning Jerry to delve into the tube of intellect and acquire knowledge so that they can sustain life and survive on this planet. Nonetheless, their knowledge is based on dealing with the details of all things: the nature of rowing a boat in a huge lake or digging the rabbit holes for the sake of digging, without realizing the ultimate goal of life as depicted below.

By not knowing the existence of the mental self (true self/the 6th sense) the five twists people become vulnerable to becoming a punching bag for Jerry. Their mental protection is nothing more than smoothing over the pain by inviting the pink and white Jerry into their mind. Symbolically speaking, the mental self is being moved from a black and frightening forest full of thorns to a forest of cherry trees filled with pink cherry blossoms. At least, the pink forest is not scary and is more pleasant to live in than the thorny dark forest. This pink forest represents the sensual indulgence, i.e. eating good food, listening to favorite music, having sexual pleasure and so on. Pink Jerry/forest is created by materialism and capitalism which have provided humanity with endless entertainments and sensual indulgence. However, some people become sick and tired of indulgence in the pink forest-type of thinking and search for yet another mental jungle to live in. As a result, they invite the clear and white Jerry into their minds intellectual knowledge! For the above reasons, the four and five twists groups of people are responsible for the birth, the spreading and the flourishing of capitalism and materialism, which technically is the abnormal/insane way of life. Although this has been our mainstream culture for centuries, materialism is a total misconception and a wrong model of living the result of the four and five twists of mind! People are misled by scientists and economists to think that we can indefinitely use the natural resources on this planet and that nature will replace them for us. The fact is that the resources on this round planet are of limited supply; once they are used up, theyre gone forever, i.e. oil, gas, iron, gold, silver and so forth. Today, humanity still acts, on a whole, as if resources


are in infinite supply and we are entitled to use them excessively through mass production and planned obsolescence the intention to quickly outdate new consumer products for more financial gains, e.g. electronic items and personal household products and so forth. In addition, it seems that, money which humans created to facilitate the exchange of goods and services, has become a big cause of many more problems, i.e. crimes, injustice, poverty, slavery, hunger, wars, not to mention a billion people live in starvation and died in millions every day. All these badly twisted paradigms are the artistic work of illusive Jerry, which is totally unrecognized by the four and five twist groups of people. Hence the insane way of life has been created. As I am writing this chapter (October 2011), there is a global protest against capitalism, especially the banking cartels, starting on Wall Street in New York City and spreading to many places in Europe. Finally, it seems, many people have begun to realize that capitalism/materialism is not the answer for assuring stability and the world order, and that things must change. Regarding change to what exactly, nobody knows yet. They cant go back to communism as it has already proved to be unworkable. It is highly likely that experts will begin to dig yet another rabbit hole or row the boat in yet another direction. The bottom line is that no matter what political and economic paradigm they will come up, the truth is that they havent yet left the forests or the lake or the Matrix world remaining unaware of their imprisoned predicament! They are still very much lost in their mental jungle. Without help of a Knower of the ultimate truth (knowing the real world), it is impossible to escape from this dilemma. For the above reasons, the mainstream culture and education are based on the false standard of normality (four and five twists). Recognized by the majority of people in the world, this false paradigm has been treated as normal and as if it is a uniform standard the product of illusive Jerry yet again! The five twists abnormality therefore becomes normality/sanity in the relative sense, but in no way in the absolute sense. As a result, humanity remains in the Matrix world. More and many more twists The five twists man-made normality/sanity is the beginning of more entangled states of mind. The competition for more financial gains and struggling to survive in the free market has caused pressures and stress in every level, especially from the executives to the middle classes. The wide gap between the rich and the poor has created much suffering among the grass roots people due to being taken advantage of by the rich. Big fish eating smaller fish happens at every level of the social ladder. It is always the majority of people at the base of the pyramid who suffer most. Although they work extremely hard, they still struggle to feed their families and get nowhere on the economic ladder. On top of that, global society has been facing increased uncertainty from all avenues; social problems, violent crimes, organized crimes, illegal drugrelated problems, wars, shaky economies, spreading diseases, more frequent natural disasters and so forth. All these add more stress and worries to humanity and create more twists in peoples minds. The features of more twists


For easy understanding, I will summarize the features of more mental twists in the following list. Please bear in mind that this is merely a rough guide to give you better images how far one is from the state of normality (no twists). Here they are: Five twists are those who have good control over their thoughts and emotions. Six twists are those who have mild stress. Ten twists are those who have chronic stress, worries and anxiety. Fifteen twists are those who have depression. Twenty twists are those who have a nervous breakdown. Thirty twists are those who feel suicidal. Fifty twists are those who are completely psychotic and have needed to be institutionalized at least off and on. In between the five to ten twists, if one has sudden dissatisfaction, envy, vengeance, an outburst of anger or fear, their mental twists can suddenly increase, adding a few more to the ones they already have. The twists will reduce once a person calms down. Complex thinking can also increase the number of twists in between Tom and Jerry although the person may seem sane/normal compared to the five twists standard. The more complex thoughts one pursues, the more twists one adds to their mind. Intellectual thinking in all fields of knowledge especially philosophy and imaginations generates excessive and increasingly complex thoughts. This type of thinking will also create more twists in the mind, twists that can be rather difficult to undo when one is ready to know the ultimate truth or the innocent perception, which can be achieved only with the total absence of Jerry (no twist). I shall talk more in chapter seven when viewing the number of twists from the aspect of intellectual knowledge. Fighting an enemy in the wrong battlefield Mind experts must know that we have been fighting our mental enemy in the wrong battlefield for a long time. The real enemy is the illusive Jerry, an independent element in our life form which is not situated in the brain. I have illustrated the contrasting view between that of the Buddhas and the mind experts when it comes to the cure of mental illness as shown below.


You can clearly see that mind experts cannot move beyond the brain due to the misconception about the constituents of the human life form, which I have explained in chapter three of this book. There is a huge difference between viewing the life form as one element (physical self) with five senses, and the life form as five aggregates with six senses. Scientists can only deal with the physical self and its sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures, which is only the external world, whereas the Buddhas wisdom includes the inner world, which is made up of Tom and Jerry. It is obvious that the Buddhas knowledge of the human life form is much more extensive than that of most scientists. The five aggregates structure gives us a much clearer perspective and a solid platform to work with as it also leads to the solution of all problems.

Without recognising the existence of our 6th sense, it is impossible to fight the enemy in the right battlefield because Jerry enters our mind at a staggering speed. There is no material tool that can be used to scientifically observe the astounding speed of mental activity, but we can use an inbuilt tool that is already with us the mental eye/the 6th sense! So, if we can use the Buddhas approach of the five aggregates plus the vipassana or BMSBH practice, we can certainly see our life form in much better perspective and subsequently fight our enemies in the right battlefield. Fewer twists, fewer problems Without the Buddhist wisdom, mind experts whose minds are very likely to be at the four or five twists, can only manage to cure mental patients to return to the five twists standard, which is still not a total cure. It is merely a relative cure with a relative value, thats all. Mind experts cannot run away from the fact that they have to use their one and only defective tool (illusive Jerry/thinking) to investigate the mind. This has led us, humanity, to a dead end. Judging from the problems we have in global society, it can only mean they are the outcome of all the abnormal minds with various numbers of twists. Fewer mental twists mean fewer social problems. The mind is the centre of the universe


As I said earlier in the chapter, the human mind is the real centre of the universe. Without the mind, the universe doesnt exist or has nothing to do with us whatsoever. For this reason, an abnormal mind will surely produce a twisted universe of sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures. The twisted universe in my meaning refers to the experience of not innocent perception due to its being spiced up by illusive Jerry. Consequently, humanity has been misled and attached to the false worldly values of wealth, fame, power and status.


In the reverse, a normal mind, which is free from illusive Jerry, will produce a peaceful and pure universe of sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures, which is the innocent perception the same nature as the ultimate truth. This universe can be achieved only by means of bringing your mental self back home.

Before the BMSBH practice, one needs to see how far one is from the absolute normality the two lines of rubber band without twist. Those who have many twists must try to undo their mental twists by cleansing chemicals from their bodies, leading a healthy life style, having a healthy diet and beginning to observe the moral precepts. That is trying to make their way towards having only five or four twists first. This will be very helpful for everyone who wishes to cross over to the noble path, and involves the BMSBH practice. Sirimaya and others When he was teaching, the Buddha came across many people whose minds had many twists, such as Kisagotami whose first baby died and Angulimala who was a serial killer. Also when he left the palace to search for the cause and the end of suffering, his father, step-mother, his wife and his son psychologically suffered a great deal because he had left. Sirimaya, the Buddhas former wife, 15

must have suffered more than anyone because not only had her husband left her on the night she gave birth to their first born, he also later came back to take her only son away to be ordained in the order of monks. Just like any woman in her situation today, Sirimaya must have gone through a period of depression, if not a nervous breakdown at some point. The Buddha, nonetheless, helped all those people to undo their twisted minds until some of them reached the state of true normality. Compassion, real wisdom and clear practice of BMSBH are the key factors to cure mental illness. My two parts books titled: The User Guide To Life: The Moral Diet and The Law of Karma aim to undo and reduce the numbers of the twists in the minds. Summary Finally, I am sure you have realized how sensitive and controversial this chapter is. It isnt easy to talk about sanity and insanity without knowing what the real normality is. As I said at the beginning, the young man, with whom I sat in the car, could well be an enlightened person and I could be a totally delusional or insane woman. But on second thought, if I was insane, I dont think I would have the ability to sit here and write or talk about all these difficult and profound topics with you. I can do it only because I have found the loose end of the tangled up ball of thread, which enables me to undo the knots and straighten up the cotton locating the true normality. In the end, it is entirely up to you to decide if you have confidence in me as your immediate guide to the Buddhas teaching. As far as the mind is concerned, it is impossible to learn anything positive without accepting help from a Knower. I hope very much that this chapter has helped you to know what a normal mind is.