One lesson regarding life has repeatedly impressed itself upon me lately: the chains of entanglements society deliberately imposes upon us from birth and increasingly ensnares us in throughout our lives are systemic manifestations of "ego" and "death." These snares of ego-dominated society rob us of our life energy and freedom to live in peace, joy, and harmony.
From birth we are told who we are and what we are supposed to be and do as a person. We are given a name we did not choose for ourself before we were even born; a government we literally were incapable of consenting to being ruled by prints out a fancy piece of paper and generates a random number locking in and imposing that false ego-identity for the rest of our life; we go through childhood being bombarded by other people's ideas about what we should believe and how we should behave, robbing us of our own identity; public education gives us a sanitized, spoon-fed notion of what the world is like, suffocates our creativity and imagination, denies us the knowledge of how to think critically, and robs us of our conscience; as we go about our lives, our mistakes follow and haunt us because society tracks and labels everything you do, judges you for it, and never allows you to live beyond it once you learn from it and make amends (our mistakes are supposed to guide us, not imprison us); and, as adults, the need for money enslaves us into committing our invaluably precious time to corporate machinations that are destroying the planet and our fellow human beings, robbing us of our life-force and destabilizing our families and communities in the process.
Life and death are a dancing pair of dualities; they do indeed need one another. Yet, what we see in the delusional abstract layer of conceptualization humanity has imposed on its self is grossly out of balance with the ground layer of physical reality, dangerously favoring egotistical falsehoods and insatiable desires to a degree that threatens the totality of Life on this planet, and continues to cause immense and unnecessary suffering upon billions of souls. Our collective ego has become completely out of control, behaving like a mental parasite on a global scale. Whenever a duality is so out of balance, it is inevitably subject to a self-instigated correction that restores balance – this is karma (cause-and-effect within a dynamic system). In this case, a karmic correction will mean a mass-extinction of the human race.
(Transhumanism and the "technology singularity," which will inevitably lead to humanity becoming a Borg-like hive mind in which individuality is destroyed, are an unattainable mirage due to the systemic failures and societal decay exponentially increasing in parallel with technological advancement. We do not have the maturity and wisdom as a species to reach this evolutionary threshold without destroying ourselves one way or the other. Besides do we really want to lose our individuality and the creative power of diversity in the process of collective integration?)
The extreme manifestations of our collective ego, such as global capitalism (built upon a sociopathic ponzi banking scheme writ large), xenophobic nationalism, and ego-driven populist individualism are a "clear and present danger" to the People of the world, and the life-support systems of Earth which we all depend upon to sustain us. As I have increasingly urged myself, and urge all of you here and now to consider, we must have the courage and determination to dissolve the societally imposed entanglements that currently siphon our individual life-force into systems that are destroying humanity and the Earth. We must withdraw our consent to be subjects of corrupt socioeconomic systems. We must let go of all entanglements that no longer serve our best interests. We must relinquish our attachments to ideas that misguide as from seeing the "truth of what is." We must redirect our life-force, or precious time, to constructing a new and novel socioeconomic paradigm that is life-affirming and sustainable.
The infinite growth paradigm of our global culture has crashed into the finite limits of our world. No matter how hard we try, we will only serve to compound the problem (and accelerate our own destruction) if we continue to rely on and feed into the old socioeconomic order. It cannot be saved; it must be allowed to die conscientiously and in deliberate fashion, or we will all die with it. Only by collectively walking in balance and wisdom, built on a solid ground of life-sustaining values and systems, can we safely proceed in our technological advancements and noble ego-drive to explore and understand the universe, without destroying ourselves in the process.
March 28, 2017
March 6, 2017
I was reading the Heart Sutra with commentary by Thich Nhat Hanh earlier this morning. A theme throughout the sutra and commentary is the understanding of “emptiness” and “interbeing,” that all things are empty of a distinct self-nature and are no other than the composite aggregates of all other things. Form is emptiness and emptiness is form is understood, in one sense, in that the supposed duality of the perceiver and the perceived, in fact, constitute the non-dual whole of “perception.” For example, the eye and the sight constitute the process or experience of “seeing.” In truth, there is no distinction between the seer and the seen, merely an awareness of seeing.
This is why quantum mechanics and Einstein’s physics of Relativity are perfectly compatible with Buddhist metaphysics. In quantum mechanics, it is understood that the perceiver (“observer”) and the thing observed constitute an “entangled,” codependent, co-arising reality. With Einstein’s Relativity, it is understood that space-time is one interwoven fabric in which each observer perceives a different shape to space and rate of the passage of time that is dependent upon their relative position and motion within that fabric. The fabric of space-time is literally interwoven out of the infinite many threads of quantum entanglement that constitute the awareness, “silent witness,” “buddha-nature” that pervades the entire Universe.
Thus, it becomes clear that the entire Universe, space-time itself by definition, IS fundamentally a “dream fabric” of “empty” awareness ("shunyata"). In truly understanding “interbeing” we can not only recognize the compatibility of modern physics with Buddhist metaphysics, but more universally, we can understand nirvana lies in the direct realization that the essence of our true self is “no-self” – we all are One interwoven fabric of Cosmic Consciousness.