Thursday, 11 September 2008
The Heart of the Matter
written by Kyle
Yesterday, the new Large Hadron Collider, a high energy particle accelerator, was switched on a tested for the first time. It ushers in a new era of human scientific endeavor, in a quest as old as man himself, to find the true nature of ourselves and our Universe. The Holy Grail of the upcoming tests is the search for an extremely controversial particle element called the Higgs boson. Believed by some to be the particle that gives all mass to matter, a building block of all that exists, it has been dubbed "The God Particle". If found, it would complete what in science is called the Grand Unification theory, which unities the 4 known basic energy forces.
(Thanks to cpd314 and http://1.bp.blogspot.com/ for this image!)
In the last 200 years, science has taken magical leaps in discovering the true nature of mass and matter, not by looking outward, but by looking deeper inward, peering increasingly smaller and smaller. In the early 1800's science was able to identify the atom, thought at first to be the smallest particle of matter. Shortly after, Physicists found that the atom was made up of yet smaller particles called protons, neutrons and electrons. During the middle part of 20th century, not satisfied that these particles were the true makeup of matter, scientist continued to look inward, and after a series of amazing leaps in technology, quarks were discovered to be the base elements of these protons, neutrons and electrons. Just like a Matryoshka doll, every time a box was opened, they found yet another box.
I think as Buddhists, our effort should be like that of these scientists, continually looking inward, for the true nature of what makes me.....well "me". At first we see emotions, then after sometime and some effort, just by watching we can see these subtle thoughts that bring about these emotions. Then, deeper into our practice, we can study how these thoughts arise. But I think its important we keep looking for the "I" inside ourselves, even if some teachings talk about the emptiness of self, it should be our goal to still find it. Even after all attempts yield yet another Matryoshka doll, we should make all effort in this moment to keeping looking, keep searching. Along with the keen eye of a scientist, an honest motive is imperative if we are to see what is true as true.
This honest motive is sometimes called a pure heart. As Westerners, we already have a sense to dig into the workings of all things to see how they operate, and we should use this talent the best we can. Even though we may not know it, as long as we are honest with ourselves, with a pure motive, we can begin to see ultimate truth and what is really at the Heart of the Matter. No doubt, if you are reading this, you already have that pure heart.