As for consciousness and the self,
Many people wonder,
“how does a ‘person’ transmigrates from this life to the next.”
Consciousness is composed of many activities and processes that lay dormant.
They are only activated at certain times.
Yes, much like seeds.
But, within, they are made of movement,
they are borne out of volition,
the energy of underlying desires and influences,
momentum of past conditioned behaviours ‘resting’ in a pod,
until the right causes and conditions arise for them to spring into action.
At their essence, these seeds are completely insubstantial.
They are not real.
The have no substance.
The only thing that gives them substance is
the amount of wanting or attachment that they carry.
This is what keeps them together, what fabricates them.
That is their fabric as well as their nature.
Like the Buddha said, this very wanting is the true ‘Creator’.
The builder of the house (identity).
Literally, these karmic seeds (saṅkhāra) are nothing but attachment itself.
When there is no more attachment, judgement, opinion, identification:
these seeds completely loose all of their strength.
They blow in the wind.
That is why,
some people’s minds are very dense and compact,
heavy, and sullen,
when there are so many attachments and wanting,
the mind identifies and clings to everything, it is heavy.
Yet, some other people’s mind are very light,
buoyant, uplifted, it cannot be held down,
it is barely perceived!
When one tries to grasp it, it simply flows around their fingers. 🙂
In those people, there is very little room for identity.
Identity, desires and attachments are too heavy.
Their minds are barely noticeable. 🙂
This density of consciousness dictates where a person’s consciousness will land.
Heavy minds take heavy births,
light minds take light births.
There is no ‘you’ before,
there is no ‘you’ during,
there is no ‘you’ after.
The concept of “I” is only a bundle of attachments.
But these attachments lay dormant, under the earth
below the surface of our awareness.
“I” is not reborn.
What takes birth is a bag of swarming, living seeds,
which we call “consciousness”.
This baggage of consciousness is better known and understood when one sees its complete calming and cessation. (Sabba saṅkhāra samatho, virāgo nirodho, nibbāna)
Then one is in a good place to understand the completely fabricated nature of consciousness.
I like to look at the flight of the Starlings,
one of the best images for the fabricated nature of consciousness:
It looks like a cloud (consciousness) but it is made of thousands of starlings (Saṅkhāras),
flying here and there, dancing the illusion of a self-cloud. 🙂