When you look at senior Zen masters or some of the reputed arhats from Southeast Asia, you are immediately struck by their distinctive body language. There is a kind of graceful, “it just happens” quality to their movements, their gaze, and their speech.
All of the great masters that I have ever met had this same distinctive quality. It’s so distinctive that you can even spot it at a distance. Once, I was waiting in an airport when I noticed someone in one of the security lines. The person was so far away that I could not identify their race or gender, but I could detect the unfixated quality in the way that they were placing their luggage on the scanner. As I got closer, I noticed he was Asian, probably Chinese. I don’t know what got into me, but throwing caution to the wind, I initiated a conversation in Mandarin. Sure enough, it turned out that he was a senior Taoist master from mainland China.
Clearly, something has taken place on a neurophysiological level in such people. Something dramatic has occurred in the way all information flows into and the way all motor activity flows out of their central nervous system. It’s a global change. A dramatic global change such as that should have neural correlates. If we can identify those, we may be able to characterize the “unfixated self” with a mathematical model involving something like a quantifiable coefficient of fixation, analogous to physical coefficients, such as those of turbulence, viscosity, or friction.