undefineable wrote:Rakshasa, I'd tend to go along with your analysis, although it seems original and opens up a whole can of worms - I'll try to revisit when I have more time. For starters, you compare a lack of absent-mindedness with intelligence in spite of the fact that intelligence and absent-mindedness are often positively linked in western culture-??!!
Have you seen this video?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-IS1b7zGy8
The Zen monk walks in the middle of city. He has great awareness of his surroundings, he observes the environment around him in more detail than the common people walking around. In their minds, lots of thoughts are going on, and they are involved with analysis while trying to grasp the chain of thoughts , thereby loosing grip of "reality" around them. This is what I was referring to. You can say, in some sense, that this monk has lesser ignorance (and lesser afflictions) compared to normal people around him.
In my childhood, we used to place a certain game. We were shown a picture on a card of perhaps a city, a natural environment etc, for 3 minutes and then we had to answer some questions like "what was the colour of shoes of that guy in certain corner?", or "what was the number on that car?" etc. We had to answer from our memories. Of course, some kids, with greater observation and awareness, remembered more detail and others with lesser awareness remembered less. There were times when I would walk in the middle of the crowd while my mind was agitated and my awareness of my surroundings was pitiful (extremely lacking in mindfulness). I hate that state of mind. But there were other times, usually when I was out on a forest, my mind would be much less agitated, and I would notice even the music of the birds in the far distance or the small squirrel climbing the tree, some leaves oscillating in some tree etc. This is the state I like. I want to grow this state of my mind in such a way that I never loose grip of reality and observe everything in great detail while my mind doesn't wrestle with countless thoughts and analysis. Granted that this is merely a form of Shamatha, but I believe nobody every grew spiritually who hasn't cultivated a superior form of mindfulness.