May 29, 2010

It is likely, if not inevitable, that we will be introduced en masse to new civilizations outside of our own planet in the coming years.  How and when this will take place one can only conjecture.

Civilizations – whether ours or that of an outside world – do not, as a rule, lead to enlightenment, but are rather mechanisms of social order.  The tension of this fact may in fact have led to the dissolution of Tibet in the previous century.  The tension between the requirements of nations and civilization and of individual enlightenment often, at some point, conflict.

It could be that as we are introduced to advanced civilizations that some people become dejected and depressed.  Humanity as a whole may feel, and understand, the way American Indians and Tibetans have felt in the past as they were subsumed by a more dominant force.  To a large extent, the kind of civilization(s) we attract could be up to us.  By our intentions we shall manifest our collective desires.  Still, depending on the nature and tenor of the civilization(s) we encounter some may or may not like what they see and cling to the past.   Given an entirely new paradigm, others will abandon old forms and seek a path toward spirituality that can account for and accept a new, multi-dimensional outlook based as much on physics as religion.  This can be exciting and liberating.

In this new outlook – this new multidimensional framework – what can stay with us is a belief in the commonality of love across the cosmos.  To the extent that a civilization leads us toward love and does not commodify us into cogs in the wheels of corporate civilization, perhaps we can embrace the new vistas provided to us.

While in the past we needed images of Gods and Goddesses to allow us a window into pure dimensions of light, these dimensions will prove to be the very stuff of daily existence. The pure visions of galaxies, stars and planets, whirling in their constant flux in our masterful, diamond existence, will be our new Gods and Goddesses that can replace or co-exist with the old.  The play of this light becomes our own play, whether that through technology or through the mind.  Ultimately, technology is only a means to see that we in fact only need the mind to move and shape the worlds that we have created.  Ultimately, the worlds that we have created are illusory; we are a single observer of reality.  Ultimately, we are a non-dual voidness that is infinite.

We need compassion for ourselves and for others as we move into this new multi-dimensional age.  Depending on how the future evolves, both near and long term, many people could suffer during this transition.  Firmly rooted in compassion, we can help each other and provide inspiration and hope. Firmly rooted in compassion, we can seek universal peace for the expanded exo-community we find ourselves within.   This is what you can offer to the cosmos – what could be better?


May 9, 2010

According to the Buddha, everything depends on and is interconnected with everything else; everything is the result of causes and conditions that give rise to other causes and conditions.  This is called ‘dependent arising’ and is the basis for the law of karma.

According to the ancient texts, if you understand the causes that create certain conditions – the law of Karma – you can alter your behavior so that certain negative conditions do not arise and other, favorable conditions do arise.

In meditations upon dependent arising, one comprehends that everything is ultimately devoid of inherent existence; in other words, things do not exist separately but only appear to.

To the extent that things do exist separately, they do so through language, through the ‘naming’ of things.  This is why the Buddhists say that things only exist nominally – in name only.  This is also why the roots of civilization are based in language and why our mythic beginnings depict people ‘naming’ things in a ‘garden’ of innocence that exists prior to language.

In meditating upon dependent arising, one comprehends that everything is empty of inherent existence; as a result, existence is insubstantial in that the karmic weight of existence only occurs because of a lack of understanding emptiness.  We lose our way in illusion, become vested in the weight and validity of cause and effect, and become trapped.

If one understands emptiness fully and pierces the veil of illusion to see that all things are non-dual in their nature and that everything is actually a singularity of awareness – that of a single observer – then one has broken the bonds of karma.

From the viewpoint of Quantum Physics, at the level of pure quanta, phenomena are indeterminate and not dependent on cause and effect. Out of the quantum void, consciousness and intention can spontaneously arise and then, from a set of probabilities, manifest action which in turn have their influence and collapse reality in a certain way.  This is how free will exists; some physicists posit that even sub-atomic particles themselves have free will.  Once action is taken, a form of determinism — one could say karma — takes hold through a causal chain not so much of determinism, but of influence.  This could explain evolution; for while a deterministic machine will in theory not change, a probabilistic set of interdependent influences can evolve and learn.

In short, we are not pre-determined machines, but evolving consciousness that manifests reality out of a set of probable realities that are infinite in potential.  This doesn’t contradict the Buddha, for he would be the first to champion free will and our ability to free ourselves from the apparent trap of causality that seems to force us down a certain path.

The  enlightened understood that at the level of quanta that karma doesn’t exist; Christ understood this and by breaking the bonds of karma he had, in effect broken all the bonds of karma of every individual by seeing that in fact karma itself was an illusion.  Therefore Christ freed all peoples from the laws of karma and they are free; this is the truth of Christ and the truth of any enlightened being; they have freed us, although in reality we were never in bondage and they – the Enlightened – simply perceive what already is.


May 8, 2010

Illusion is the freedom of the observer to do what it wants, including forgetting what it is.  As the observer wanders the expanse of time and space, dreaming reality in constant play, the Real is extant in all creation.  The observer, entranced in the consciousness of bliss, creates the worlds and universes from the stuff of time and space, moving the winds of time and space and shaping and molding stars, planets, worlds, universes.

The observer and what it creates are not inherently real, for the observer is an illusion, dreaming and creating things in bliss from the void; all things are in essence of this void and therefore only exist in potentiality until collapsed into apparent reality.  The bliss perceived by the observer is not inherently real, because it exists only as an attempt to fill the void with itself, which it cannot—the observer’s bliss too only exists in potentiality.  The consciousness of bliss moving through the void makes both the void and bliss perceivable and what brings their description into apparent reality; perception, therefore, arises from a conscious observer, which itself is in essence a void.  This is why the observer is called illusory; for the primordial reality is that the Real is void and blissful in such a way that it is not perceived as separate from itself and cannot be described or experienced in an absolute sense by the relative mind, but only in non-dual meditation.  Such a meditation has been called Nirvana.  Any other reality is illusory and relative, existing only in that the observer makes it real.

Any perceived reality, including yours, is created by this single observer, who has dreamed itself into being.  We are all that observer whose consciousness arose spontaneously from the Real.  We never really experienced this dream; we only appeared to be men and women.  We only appeared to exist.

Observer Physics posits the idea that all  phenomena are ultimately the result of an Observer who is in essence creating reality through their mind.

While Observer Physics finds its origins firmly rooted in New Physics of Quantum and String Theory, it can actually be traced back to Greek philosophy, specifically, the Solipsists, who believed that the only fact one could be sure of is that you, as a singular mind, are perceiving something – real or not, existing or not.  From Wikipedia:

Solipsism is first recorded with the Greek presocratic sophist, Gorgias (c. 483375 BC) who is quoted by the Roman skeptic Sextus Empiricus as having stated:

  1. Nothing exists;
  2. Even if something exists, nothing can be known about it; and
  3. Even if something could be known about it, knowledge about it can’t be communicated to others.

Much of the point of the Sophists was to show that “objective” knowledge was a literal impossibility.

In Buddhism, Observer Physics has similarities to the ‘Mind Only’ school of Buddhist philosophy:

The ‘Mind Only’ Buddhist doctrine of Yogachara (Sanskrit, “application of yoga”) teaches that the reality we think we perceive does not exist except as as a process of knowing. Phenomena, anything that can be experienced, have no reality in themselves. At the same time, there is no “experiencer” who experiences except as a process of mind.

It must be noted that the Buddha warned about the dangers of Nihilism that can arise from extreme views regarding non-existence.  According to K. Sri Dhammananda Maha Thera, the Buddha rejected both Nihilism and Eternalism.  But would he reject Observer Physics?  According to Maha Thera:

Why did the Buddha deny the teaching of eternalism [i.e., immortality]?  Because when we understand the things of this world as they truly are, we cannot find anything which is permanent or which exists forever. Things change and continue to do so according to the changing conditions on which they depend.  When we analyse things into their elements or into reality, we cannot find any abiding entity, any everlasting thing. This is why the eternalist view is considered wrong or false.

The second false view is nihilism or the view held by the nihilists who claim that there is no life after death. This view belongs to a materialistic philosophy which refuses to accept knowledge of mental conditionality.  To subscribe to a philosophy of materialism is to understand life only partially.  Nihilism ignores the side of life which is concerned with mental conditionality.  If one claims that after the passing away or ceasing of a life, it does not come to be again, the continuity of mental conditions is denied.  To understand life, we must consider all conditions, both mental and material.  When we understand mental and material conditions, we cannot say that there is no life after death and that there is no further becoming after passing away.  This nihilist view of existence is considered false because it is based on incomplete understanding of reality.  That is why nihilism was also rejected by the Buddha.  The teaching of karma is enough to prove that the Buddha did not teach annihilation after death; Buddhism accepts ‘survival’ not in the sense of an eternal soul, but in the sense of a renewed becoming.

Observer Physics, like the philosophy of Descartes, allows for truth to exist in the Observer and its perception.  But we could posit that in becoming non-dual, even the Observer ceases to exist in an absolute sense.  Following this train of thought, we move from Descartes to the philosphy of Spinoza, who posited that “the human mind is part of the infinite intellect of God”.  Spinoza moves us closer to a non-dual perspective that could be supported by the Buddha.

According to one of Observer Physic’s main proponents, Douglass A. White, OP allows for a reconciliation of science, mind and spirit.  States Dr. White:

Scientists study the world we live in, but tend to neglect study of the means by which they study the world: the Observer.  In Observer Physics the study of the Observer is a key component that can not be neglected, because study of anything requires the participation of an observer.

According to Alex Paterson:

Fundamental to contemporary Quantum Theory is the notion that there is no phenomenon until it is observed. This effect is known as the ‘Observer Effect’. 1

The implications of the ‘Observer Effect’ are profound because, if true, it means that before anything can manifest in the physical universe it must first be observed. Presumably observation cannot occur without the pre-existence of some sort of consciousness to do the observing. The Observer Effect clearly implies that the physical Universe is the direct result of ‘consciousness‘.

This notion has a striking resemblance to perennial esoteric theory which asserts that all phenomena are the result of the consciousness of a single overlighting Creative Principle or the Mind of God.

Perhaps Observer Physics will allow a unity of science and spirit, of a method of explaining the many worlds and their dimensions, in such a way as to reconcile the rational and the irrational, the eternal and the transient, the Observer and the Perceived.

The purpose of existence is to bring delight to the observer.

The observer created existence for delight; this is the purpose of that creation.

The enlightened observer understands that what is perceived  is itself.

The enlightened observer understands that it is alone, perceiving, and that nothing else exists outside its mind, and that the perceived and the observer are one.

When the observer is unaware that it is perceiving, perception is innocent, even when perceiving another.

The observer, once aware of perceiving the other, loses that innocence.

The observer, once aware of perceiving the other, sees itself as separate from what it perceives.

The observer, once seeing itself separate from its perception,  does  not delight any longer, but is  rather aware that it once delighted.  Thus time is created.

The observer, aware of time and of the delight once perceived, names the object of delight. Thus is language created.

The observer seeks to regain the delight that is now named.  But as long as the observer is aware of itself as a perceiver, that delight eludes it.  This creates suffering.

The observer tries many things to regain the delight that it perceived. Each attempt creates causes and conditions that arise to create other causes and conditions. Thus karma is created even as free will is exercised.

Every attempt to regain delight that does not recognize that the observer and the perceived are one, and maintains the illusion that the what is perceived  is separate from itself, allows only temporary delight that eventually results in more karma and suffering.

If delight is regained, it is soon lost again.  Thus impermanence is created.

The observer, wishing  not to lose delight but rather to maintain it forever, recognizes that this is impossible now that it has become aware of observing and because of time, karma and impermanence.

The observer concludes that it has forever been moving between delight and awareness of its loss.  The observer no longer believes that there existed a time when there was only delight.  For once time is created, and once the observer is aware of observing, there can be no unchanging and permanent delight, but only impermanent delight.  This creates disillusionment.

The observer comes to crave delight when it is not in delight.  Once this occurs, the observer will seek ways to regain delight. Thus the observer enters into what it created, and in doing so regains hope but loses its identity.

The worlds are created as the observer seeks delight in what it created, and divides into many creators and creations; as such, hope continues, but identity is continually lost.  The observer becomes a seeker.

Since delight in what it created is always impermanent, the observer’s progeny suffers, loses hope, and seeks other means of gaining delight, and in doing so regains hope.

Every moment is an attempt, in some manner, to regain a permanent delight that cannot exist.

The observer, having attempted for many eons of created time to regain delight, understands finally that it cannot regain permanent delight through its creation.  Hope is lost but maturity begins.

The observer sees all the suffering it has created through its progeny and  in its attempts to regain delight. Thus compassion and responsibility begins.

The observer begins to believe that perhaps delight does not require its creation, and that its creation is only an illusion of its own making.  Thus meditation begins.

The observer ponders if delight can exist without its creation and, moreover, without perception of creation.

But if delight exists, perception of delight must exist. So the observer understands that delight itself is still perception.

The observer comes to learn detachment from delight, because the observer understands that attachment to delight causes suffering. The observer learns to watch and experience delight, but does not become it.  Thus the observer learns freedom.

The observer, through detachment, understands that what is perceived is not what it is and does not affect what it is.

The observer ponders what it is. On awakening, it sees only itself is Real.

Thus the observer concludes that it is alone, that there is no other, and that it created existence and perception for its delight.  In compassion for those that are suffering, the observer seeks to remind all that it has created with its own mind of this true state, reminding all that they are one observer, one mind meant to move from joy to joy, delight to delight, in a never-ending play of an existence that only appears real, only appears separate, only appears to be the result of creation.

Once all have been reminded, and all are awake, then the observer is no more and has, in fact, never been.

The Ego

May 5, 2010

The World of Form and of the Ego is the world of distinction between things.  It is the reality of naming things this and that, and of believing that what is observed is separate from oneself.  It is a world where the Real has not been observed, nor is it necessarily desired to be observed. It is a world where one actually believes that things are separate and distinct and have in and of themselves an inherent reality.  It is a world where inherent reality is made to exist through mankind’s persistent and stubborn adherence to the definition of self as separate from the Real.

From the separation of the self from the Real all of the things of man proceed.  For because mankind perceives itself as separate, there is what is observed and what is perceived to be one’s self, one’s ego.  The ego—the peception of the self as separate from reality—begins a process of illusory thinking in order, primarily, to protect its fragile existence from the realization of how fragile it is.  For if men and women realized how fragile their existence was, they would ponder that fragility, for they would be aware that they are mortal, and that life is fleeting and precious. But men and women believe they are immortal, that they will live forever as an ego—and creates myths specifically to sustain this idea, including the most pervasive myth of an immortal soul that is unique and independent from other immortal souls, and from God.  It is from this illusory notion and the myths used to sustain it that all sorts of suffering springs out onto the world.

Men and women create systems, hierarchies, modes of being, religions, wars, nations, laws, status, celebrity, desire for this and aversion for that— all in the name of the ego that must be sustained in its fragile hold.

The primary function and the fundamental freedom of the ego is its ability to choose.  The ego, by choosing, decides what is right and wrong, good and evil, moral and immoral.  It decides what course to take, where to go at each moment.  The primary function of the ego relative to the Real is to realize that it is perceiving in an illusory fashion and to lead the observer back to the Real.  Unless the ego does this, the ego is not living up to its potential, but only  sustaining the illusion that allows its fragile hold to continue.

The proper or ripe ego understands that its primary function is a caretaker to the observer of the Real; that once the ego is awake to the Real that the ego must enter into a life of service to the Real—for the Real, once awakened to, cannot be denied.

The ego on its path will attempt at all costs to protect the observer from the Real in that it believes, in delusion, that the Real is a threat to the ego’s existence.  But the Real is existence, and cannot threaten anything because it already is everything.  The ego is already part of the Real, and once the Real is awakened to this can no longer be denied.  However, what is threatened is the hold that illusion has on the observer; that is threatened by the Real, although that illusion is also part of the Real.

The Real

May 2, 2010

What is Real?  Reality is, at its essence, a void.  The void is without end, and it expands forever from its center in the nature of bliss.  The bliss that expands from the center of the void is filled with light.  The bliss continues to move through the void forever.

The Real is everywhere and nowhere; its center is within everything.  How?  Because it is infinite it is everywhere; because it is infinite its center is central to everything.  It is everywhere, at once, and is at the center of every reality, every being, every thought, every grain of sand, every galaxy, every universe.  It can be as large as everything, yet as small as nothing, for that is its nature; it is not limited by size, shape, context, relationship, or thought.

There are no words to adequately describe the Real, for it is what it is without definition.  It sees only itself, therefore it cannot define an other.  Itself is infinite, like a vacuum, a clear and expansive sky with no limit, and the limitlessness is palpable, made known to the observer of itself that its nature is infinite, as if that was the primary message to itself in the very realization of itself.

The Real, when revealed to the observer, cannot be denied. It cannot be denied nor can it be shaken; once realized, it is forever fixed in the mind of the observer.  Once realized, the nature of illusion fades, as one knows with resolute certainty the reality of things, and can distinguish between reality and illusion.  Moreover, one sees that illusion is in itself composed of reality, and that they are one; for if the Real is infinite, it encompasses all things, even illusion.  It is separate from nothing, including its own attempt to delude itself as the observer moves through time and space and creates reality after reality, dimension after dimension, unending and infinite in its potentiality.