Q: Third mind cannot be experienced, as it is pure potential, the one without a second. Third mind is only a technical understanding.
A: The Third Mind is not only a technical understanding. It is, in the most essential sense, what you are. It is the whole you, which differentiates as the individualized you and world you are in. At the same time, you are correct that it cannot be experienced as such, meaning that it cannot be experienced like any traditional experience. In a traditional experience, there is both the experience of you as an individual experiencer and the object that you are experiencing. In the Third Mind there is no trace whatsoever of this split, therefore we can’t really say it’s an experience. But that’s not the same as saying it is only a technical understanding. The Third Mind is not an understanding. We can approach it through understanding, but ultimately, it cannot be an object of understanding. It is you, most essentially.
Q: Our waking life is compared to our dream world. The dream personality in the dream does not know it is a dream. For that personality, everything happening in the dream is real. Even if waking up is discussed by a dream character in the dream, it is only part of the dream. Extending the same logic, that our waking state is analogous to what is happening in the dream, all the discussion about awakening is part of the waking dream.
A: Yes. Whether a person is “awake” or not is a matter of how consciousness is expressing as and through more individualized minds. Awakeness refers to the degree of direct awareness of non-discreteness and the insights that result. Regardless of the degree, consciousness alone expresses as the vicissitudes of lifetimes. From the perspective of the First Mind that is shifting to the Second Mind and beyond, and from the perspective of our society, the unfolding of the mind is very significant, as it is eventually accompanied by a significant decrease in suffering, increase in clarity, peace, joy, and realization of one’s potential.
Q: Which mind experiences the dream? Is it the First or Second Mind?
A: Wherever a character experiences themselves as only an individual body and individual personality, that is the First Mind at play. When we look closely, we see that the dream character doesn’t know it’s in a dream. Therefore that dream character is a First Mind within the dream. Generally, it is only this dream-First Mind that experiences the dream, even though it does not know it is in a dream. However, what can happen is that the range of the mind can broaden, and there can be an aspect of mind that recognizes the dream while also being a character in the dream. In this case, the First Mind of the dream character is contextualized within the Second Mind of the dream.
More completely, the mind that forms the world of dream and the mind that forms this world of waking are not two different minds. They appear to be two minds because we are looking at it through the First Mind in the waking state, and this First Mind puts up a barrier between its waking world and dreaming world. But the material that forms both worlds is consciousness itself, which is undivided and unaffected by the states and limitations of the mind.
Think of it like a curtain that separates the front of a stage from the back of the stage. Actually the stage is one whole piece. The curtain only appears to divide the stage if we are stuck on one side of the curtain. But if you were looking at the whole stage from above, for example, or if the curtain were completely transparent, we would see that the stage is not actually divided, but only appears to be divided if we are limited by the curtain. Similarly, waking and dream are not different in terms of what they are constituted from. It is the pattern of the constitution that differs.