Friday, 1 March 2013

Energy Percieves Energy, A War And A Head

If you look at the image long enough you will perceive a slight movement. Our eyes betray us. They are not the only senses that betray us and not the only things that betray us. This includes our introspection, our precious Dharma, and our beloved objective observations.

The suffering is inescapable, at least for a while, either way, because they both involve a war and a head because energy perceives energy.

Here’s how.

Our physical mechanisms of perception are made of matter. Our eyes and brain are made of solid stuff, which has mass. These mechanisms perceive other things made of matter, including other things that also perceive us as well. We see, feel, touch, taste, hear, and smell each other, our cats and our dogs are living together and sometimes when we are tired of perceiving each other we kill each other and our death anxiety may go up or down depending on what kind of war we consent to.

One big web of ‘things‘ perceiving other intersections of the web as ‘things’ sounds a little mundane. An elegant universe existed long before string theory. 

Mass is a property of all energy and energy is a property of all mass {1}. Even if we cant handle the idea that the 'stuff' that truly perceives is made of matter, then we trade it for the idea that the stuff that perceives is made of energy.

Does our death anxiety best explain invoking concepts such as the soul or an energy pattern being reborn, all in the name of retaining the precious ego that is somehow in the body and somehow Cartesian materialism-ish either way you roll the dice, cut your hair, shave your head, or release your mind, rot in the ground or float up to the stars when you die? Who knows? Who cares? Energy can perceive energy either way.  No problemo.

We didn’t have to even touch quantum physics or QED to get to energy perceiving energy part. We didn’t have to go gather ‘round Timothy Leary’s tombstone or pass the peace pipe to visit the Great Spirit. Nope, just good ole‘ Relativity and some ‘rules of play‘ for being objective, but all is not cool even if it seems like a really cool idea. How uncool, bad idea. It only reinforces the notion that objective observation  and introspection have no limits to their benefits.

Oh my.

If energy perceives energy and...

“All the evidence available from both science and introspection suggest that there is no continuous self which survives intact or unchanged even from one moment to the next. Instead we have continuously changing psychological processes, including the processes which produce that very sense of continuity. Yet this sense of self reappears again and again.” {2}


“Buddhism is not made up of eternal truths. Buddhism is a collection of methods and associated ideas which aim to produce a particular experience. The experience of seeing through (vipaśyana) and understanding (prajñā) the nature of experience itself. And in the meantime the exploration of experience is itself a fascinating area of inquiry. And the way we talk about the ideas that inform our practice must reflect the times and places we are in.” {3}


The transient self perceives the transient self, but there is no self if one truly finds one’s self using tools that are also transient properties of the self. The carpenter is not a carpenter without a hammer and wood, and the hammer is not a hammer without a carpenter and stuff to hammer together. If all that is left is wood, what is the point in naming it wood? Who cares? Except for the suffering. All three are not only objects, but they are a system. Without the system, these objects are undifferentiated on any substantial level.

This is close to Mereological Nihilism. If you don’t know anything about this topic, ask a philosophy major who might be one of the many baristas you see on your weekend visits to the “All things Buddha” outlet.  

The Buddhist uses the tools of introspection, like meditation, and also directly observes. The scientist uses various apparatuses and 'rules of play' for objectivity. These rules of play and their material trappings arose through culture from introspection and observation. Hooray! Now all the Buddhists were really quantum physicists and all the quantum physicists were really Buddhists all along! But not really, but maybe so.

Some of us use Buddhism as a methodology and science as a methodology in tandem.  Both research methodologies are often conducted by a false sense of self to find ourselves or go beyond ourselves.

Through the introspection of meditation and the seemingly objective methods of science, we may find that we are just ripples in the pond but not the pond. 

We may find that our beloved objective rules of play are also just a projection.

Perhaps objective observations are like a stone cast into the pond that is reborn as a small wave pattern just to understand the nature of the pond by casting the pond into the pond.

Our beloved introspection is the study of a temporary phenomenon, the self. When we use tools of the same nature for projection that we use during introspection we are throwing the same stones at the same pond and producing ripples of the same nature even if they look unique enough to be considered dualities: one that produces peace vs. the one that produces nuclear warheads and one that studies the war in our heads vs. one that produces a cure for AIDS.

The suffering is inescapable either way because they both involve a war and a head.  
Get it?

When we are still, we are the pond. When we are still long enough, there is no pond. Why even bother calling it a pond if that is all there is?  It is still useful as a metaphor.

When creating ripples, don't oppress, don't harass, don't be violent. When being still, be compassionate, walk for justice, and heal the victims, including the Earth and our future generations. Don't forget to offer a sip of compassion to the haters, the oppressors, and the murderers.  If you can't do that then offer them two sips of compassion.

Don't take my word for it.


{1} Mass-Energy Equivalence

{2} Rebirth, Reborn

{3}Emptiness for beginnners:

Image credit:
Just a cool image that looks like it is moving, even though it is not. It reminds us of how our perceptions betray us. I got this from Hippie Peace Freak on Facebook.

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