MayaRefugee wrote:Is there not an entity/subject/set of conditions that is/are conscious/aware of what is going on in the mind i.e. something like a judge that does the discernment/destroying of unwholesomeness/purification?
There is, kind of.
The mind is aware of itself and all those things that enter it via the 5 senses. The mind is actually the result of a large number of conditions and is always changing because of conditions. It is not stable or permanent and is not self, but I suspect you would like to take it as self.
Even the standards that are taken as ideal by which the mind attempts to modify itself, even they are mental constructions which are not permanent. The mind changes under their influence, and they change under the influence of society at large, which is changing under the influence of time and the universe, which is also changing... and so on.
Consciousness lays at the root of the mind. It can be called impermanent because the objects it is aware of are always changing -- so rapidly it is hard to keep track of. If you sit for a little bit and try to see consciousness, you might notice that the consciousness that is evident can only be described in terms of what it is aware of. Unless you describe the object
you can't really describe consciousness, except to say that it is aware; but what would it look like, be like, if it was not aware of all these vagrant objects and conditions that come with being alive?
Can you, should you
, take an essentially unknown element as your 'self' when you don't really know it? As for everything else that you might call 'self': should you try to identify it as your true 'self' when its existence relies completely upon conditions that change and rest on the world at large, which you have very little input upon and control over?
Now, all this typing but I suspect you will still doubt the absence of an abiding entity. The best course of action, if you want to understand what the Buddha and all these Buddhists are getting at, is to sit quietly and take notice of the thoughts and feeling, memories and labels that flutter through your mind: look to see "Where did it come from - why did I become aware of it" and try to see "where did it go - why am I no longer aware of it" Perhaps you will quickly understand, perhaps not. But are you willing to actually look?
As and aside: weigh yourself in the morning, at noon and then at night. You'll notice that your weight is different each time. Why?
Anyway, I think I'm done.