Mindlessness and Hallucination
The state of ‘mindlessness’ is generally considered to be the opposite of the state of ‘mindfulness’. Mindlessness, therefore, refers to a lack of present moment awareness whereby the mind is preoccupied with future (i.e., fantasized) conjectures or past (i.e., bygone) occurrences.
A person who is mindless might be said to be engaging in the ‘non-perceiving of that which is’. There appears to be a strong resemblance between the phenomenon of mindlessness and the phenomenon of hallucination. Rather than ‘not perceiving that which is’ (i.e., mindlessness), hallucination is generally considered to be ‘the perceiving of that which is not’. Given that both states involve an erroneous perception of the ‘here and now’, it could be argued that mindlessness is actually a form of ‘inverted hallucination’.
According to the Buddhist teachings, ‘mindlessness’ is actually assigned as the default disposition of the population en masse. Thus, the majority of individuals considered to be ‘mentally healthy’ by Western conventions (e.g., as defined by the World Health Organization), are regarded as being ‘delusional’ according to Buddhist philosophy. That is to say, those ‘mentally healthy’ individuals are not aware of each and every moment of their lives and are therefore experiencing an hallucinatory reality.
Ven Edo Shonin and Ven William Van Gordon