A small circle: And we, who are we anyway?    
 And we, who are we anyway?3 comments
picture31 Mar 2004 @ 11:47, by D

And we, who are we anyway?
Plotinus


It happened again: Synchronicity! I was thinking about my good friend R. Little, today, and all the Stuarts Little of the world, and was reflecting about my good friend Flemming Funch's post, The Singularity and the Fifth Dimension (good stuff there), and, what do you know, this book by David Darling (“Zen Physics”) literally landed on my lap and fell open to the following passage:

"What a brain does is act as a filter, a limiter of consciousness, and therefore a shaper of self—a separator of subject and object. The brain effectively pinches off a little bubble of introverted awareness and stores and manipulates information relevant exclusively to the survival needs of the individual so created. Using its archived memories, the brain builds and subtends the myth of personality and self, its onboard programming working ceaselessly to substantiate and immortalize this phantasmic inner being. And such a fine job does it do that the projected self not only feels itself to be tangible, but it fails to appreciate, or even suspect, that it is never the same from one moment to the next.”

“With the rudiments of a belief system in place, the brain starts to interpret and evaluate everything that comes to its attention in terms of this resident catechism of received wisdom. Every sensation and perception, every incident and event, every word, gesture and action of other people, is construed within the context of what the brain understands the world and itself to be like. Thus the brain steadily becomes more and more dogmatic, opinionated, and biased in its thinking. It tends to hold on to—that is, to remember—experiences that comply with and support its acquired worldview, while at the same time it tends to reject or deny anything that seems incongruous with its system of beliefs. So, the emerging belief system is further strengthened and validated. And in this way the brain builds for itself and island of stability, a rock of predictability, in the midst of a vat ocean of potentially fatal chaos and inexplicable changes.”

Every deep moral and religious system around the world has intuitively grasped this truth—that we must endeavor to transcend the self.

Both the revolutionary theories of quantum physics and the traditional tenets of Zen support the idea that everything is interconnected—the world cannot be divided into good/bad, being/not-being, or even particle/wave. As science and mysticism converge in such worldviews, we begin to transcend the limits of the self and see “ourselves in a new light, not as frail individuals limited by small, uncertain lives [which we are], but [also] as eternal participants in a much greater adventure that extends throughout time and space.”


David's suggestion that "the one does not preclude the other" and that "the two appear to be in some kind of extraordinary, intimate symbiosis" (the significance of which, in the author's opinion, will doubtless become clearer as our species further matures) echoes Flemming's own intuition (and that of others before them, poets, philosophers, mystics, artists and scientists) that "there is something in our collective super- or sub-conscious evolutionary mind pattern that's smarter than any of us."


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3 comments

3 Apr 2004 @ 02:05 by Sellitman @209.178.147.52 : All your hours are wings...
...that beat through space from self to self.
He who wears his morality but as his best garment were better naked...
And he who defines his conduct by ethics imprisons his song-bird in a cage.
The freest song comes not through bars and wires.
(...)
The tired and the weary say, "Beauty is of soft whisperings. She speaks in our spirit.
Her voice yields to our silences like a faint light that quivers in fear of the shadow."
But the restless say, "We have heard her shouting among the mountains,
And with her cries came the sound of hoofs, and the beating of wings and the roaring of lions."
(...)
All these things have you said of beauty,
Yet in truth you spoke not of her but of needs unsatisfied,
And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.
It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth,
But rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted.
It is not the image you would see not the song you would hear...
But rather a garden for ever in bloom and a flock of angels for ever in flight...
Beauty is life when life unveils her holly face.
But you are life and you are the veil.
Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
But you are eternity and you are the mirror.

(Kahlil Gibran)  



5 Apr 2004 @ 12:44 by Hanae @69.33.46.10 : Cool pic!
Conceiving Ada, right?  


5 Apr 2004 @ 18:49 by i2i : Give the girl a prize!
Yes the pic is from Conceiving Ada, interesting ideas, not too good a movie though. But I just had to see it because Tilda Swinton is in it. What a fascinating creature, she is. Thinking of which I ran into another photo of her here just recently. So, er, you tell me, does that count as synchronicity, or what?  


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