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Buddhadharma : Summer 2006
buddhadharma| 33 |summer 2006 consciousness preserves all the information it receives. But the function of store consciousness isn’t just to receive and store these seeds; its job is also to process this information. The work of processing on this level is not expensive. Store consciousness doesn’t spend as much energy as, for example, mind consciousness. Store consciousness can process this infor- mation without a lot of work on your part. So if you want to save your energy, don’t think too much, don’t plan too much, and don’t worry too much. Allow your store consciousness to do most of the processing. During the night if your room becomes cold but you continue to sleep, your body can sense the cold without the interven- tion of mind consciousness. Store consciousness may give the order to your arm to pull up the blanket without your even being aware of it. Store consciousness operates in the absence of mind consciousness. It can do a lot of things. It can do a lot of planning; it can make a lot of decisions without your know- ing about it. When we go into a department store and look for a hat or a shirt, we have the impression, while looking at the items dis- played, that we have free will and that, finances permitting, we are free to choose whatever we want. If the vendor asks us what we like, we can point to or verbalize the object of our desire. And we likely have the impression that we are free people at this moment, using our mind consciousness to select things that we like. But that is an illusion. Everything has been decided already in store consciousness. At that moment we are caught; we are not free people. Our sense of beauty, our sense of liking or disliking, has been decided very certainly and very discreetly on the level of store consciousness. It’s an illusion that we are free. The degree of freedom that our mind consciousness has is actually very small. Store con- sciousness dictates many of the things we do, because store consciousness continuously receives, embraces, maintains, pro- cesses, and makes many decisions without the participation of mind consciousness. But if we know the practice, we can influ- ence our store consciousness; we can help influence how our store consciousness stores and processes information so as to make better decisions. We can influence it. Just like mind consciousness and sense consciousness, store consciousness consumes. When you are around a group of peo- ple, although you want to be yourself, you are consuming their ways, and you are consuming their store consciousness. Our consciousness is fed with other consciousnesses. The way we make decisions, our likes and dislikes, depend on the collective way of seeing things. You may not see something as beautiful, but if many people think that it’s beautiful, then slowly you may come to accept it as beautiful also, because the individual consciousness is made up of collective consciousness. The value of the dollar is made up of the collective think- ing of people, not just of objective economic elements. People’s fears, desires, and expectations make the dollar go up and go down. We are influenced by the collective ways of seeing and thinking. That’s why selecting the people you are around is very important. It’s very important to surround yourself with people who have loving-kindness, understanding, and compas- sion, because day and night we are influenced by the collective consciousness. Store consciousness offers us enlightenment and transfor- mation. This possibility is contained in its third meaning, its always-flowing nature. Store consciousness is like a garden where we can plant the seeds of flowers, fruits, and vegetables, and then flowers, fruits, and vegetables will grow. Mind con- sciousness is only a gardener. A gardener can help the land and take care of the land, but the gardener has to believe in the land, believe that it can offer us fruits, flowers, and vegetables. As The degree of freedom that our mind consciousness has is actually very small; store consciousness dictates many of the things we do. But if we know the practice, we can influence our store consciousness.