If we seek reality, I am told that we look in the wrong direction by obsessing over the human condition. I think that is right.
Curiously, it is also partly to my endless dalliance on the perimeters of science that I owe an appreciation of this insight. Always fascinated by the natural world, I missed my calling as a young teenager when I failed to appreciate mathematics and its importance in the scientific endeavor. No matter, while even the lower reaches of mathematics remain largely a mystery to me, I have made great strides over the years in acquiring enough skill to master and code algorithms. And to at least begin to appreciate their deeper meaning. All life seems to depend on simple rules, repeated infinitely and fed back on each other. Such is complexity. Such perhaps is sentience. An infinitely complex weave, a beautiful rug.
And science also seems to be telling me that a single species on a single rocky planet in the middle of eternal emptiness is not where it’s at. Consciousness maybe – ah, but that is a different matter. A universe without sentience or the ability to contemplate its own existence is a dire thought. But true sentience may be rather different than the dull day to day routines we normally use to stumble blindly through life. Sentience, awareness, even that curious word “information” may be at the heart of the matter but more in the Buddhist sense – awareness without attachment, pure unsullied sentience.
Keith Hancock has been an invaluable guide in pointing out to me that reality is not about humanity. Or more accurately, furthering my increasingly important realization that humanity is just one part of the puzzle.
Keith achieved his understanding of reality spontaneously, and not through study, practice or any sort of religious or spiritual observance.
I have spent many years on a path to understand “reality” but my journey has been very different. And I am not at all sure I “understand” anything very much although, I have very probably achieved what I have been seeking. Or so it seems at 6 am this sunny morning as I wonder at the sheer beauty of my garden in the morning sun. Eden indeed.
Oddly, I am drawn back again and again to the song of certain phrases, to thoughts which seem to me to embody either great beauty, or perhaps truth. Snippets which seem to provide a peek through the curtain.
I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.
A quote from Blade Runner may seem an odd choice as I contemplate the rising sun but the link is wonder. And beauty and peace. Moments lost like tears in the rain. A time to die. Metaphorically at least – I have no current intention of shuffling off this mortal coil although who knows, given the current environment.
I confess that I do practice. I am not so very sure what it is that I practice, but whatever it is, it seems to be slowly bringing me what I most desire. Emptiness, awareness, peace perhaps. Sentience without thought or attachment. Glimpses of an eternity.
A frog and a dozen or so of his friends sit at the bottom of my garden. They croak. Buzzards wheel overhead and they shriek. Doves coo. All manner of things weave and twist and twirl. Plants and trees, birds and the sun. Wind and rustling breeze and beauty. What perfection.
And increasingly I find myself able to become a mere part of that tableau as I sit, an old man in a deck chair, and let my mind drift into a state of mere awareness.
Should I be bothered with beauty? With art? With any sort of artifice, human or otherwise? With frogs or birds or the life giving sun?
Well perhaps that depends on attachment or rather non attachment. For me such things are all part of an intricate pattern, a Persian rug if you like. Of which I am a part. A great and complex and beautiful pattern, woven it seems by humble algorithms which have brought all into existence and which seem to be the very fabric of what is.
So no, there is nothing very spontaneous about me or my reality. But there is increasingly a passivity, an acceptance. A melting into the back ground. A merging into the intricate patterns of the rug of being. In a sense a gentle disappearance and the emergence of something rather different.
I am dissolving like tears in the rain. It is indeed a time to die. Or rather a time of metamorphosis. And if my change, if my emergence from some metaphorical chrysalis has arrived after many years of some sort of practice – well, that is just the way it is. Perhaps there are indeed many paths up the mountain. Perhaps there are many mountains.