Ok, I really need some help here with this thought.
Yesterday I was thinking what is a probability? Do probabilities really exist? The famous slit experiment shows that light is both a wave and a partial and the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics says that it will remain in a probabilistic state until its observed, which is what the slit experiment verifies. Schrodinger’s thought experiment points to the paradox of this to reality (Schrodinger’s cat). Something is not in a probabilistic state, it is either is or isn’t. I know these are excessively simple explanations and if you want to learn more hop on youtube or a good book on the subject is: The Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene
I need some help with this thought, so I see both views as correct. Life cannot exist in a state that has happened but our current moment is the state of completion. If this probabilistic state did not exist everything would be over, period. It would be this “on” followed by an intimidate “off”. To me it seems unfathomable how quickly the entire birth and death of of our universe would occur. The entire process would be over the exact moment it began, liken it to never existing. So we open the box and the cat is alive (or dead for the more morbid:) ) it cannot exist in a probabilistic: something either is or isn’t but there is a cat and we are here. Let me try one more illustration, as I am driving I will either turn left or go straight (going right isn’t an option) now this is undetermined until I do, or make up my mind and before then it is impossible to know what will occur. We can make very accurate educated guess using the latest scientific equipment and our understanding in human behavior but in the end it either is or isn’t, it happens or it doesn’t. There isn’t such a thing as probably turning after or as it occurs. Where does this state exist then? We know it does from personal experience and through scientific observation.
Let us shrink the moment I made up my mind to turn to the smallest moment of time our measly minds can comprehend, I believe this illustration points to something. I am thinking it points to consciousness itself the ‘now’ as it occurs, or the slightest moment before it occurs. This space seems so small. So small in fact that it seems to both exist and not exist simultaneously. Our consciousness is this slightest moment or bridge between or maybe, in other words, our consciousness is the probabilistic state itself (the thing we call life) but we can only see the completed state. I’m not quite sure how else to explain it which is why I need some help. So I wouldn’t mind ideas to help formulate this thought (perhaps this really is an old thought and has been discussed many times before) or you can tell me how whacked I am.
We have freewill do we? Who is the one thinking our thoughts? Is freewill a continued state of giving unintentional attention to the thoughts that arise and then getting lost in them? Is freewill impulsively acting out however we feel? Wait, did I choose to feel this way at this moment and think this thought? Is freewill blaming others for making us feel this way? How can they make me feel this way if I am free?
Today is the day of change I declare! I act on my own accord and with complete autonomy. Wait, why did I just do that, again?
A little under two years ago I underwent a journey of change but when I reflect and try and recall the moment it began it becomes almost impossible to locate. How about you? Can you recall a major life changing moment in your life? Can you truly pinpoint the day/moment? Think about it for a second, can that idea that brought about change really stand independent and be pinned down? When I really start to examine and look for that moment closely it begins to become unstable and shifts further into the past and every other direction. I think, “Oh, actually this happened first.” I then quickly realize it was preceded by an early event, and I am going to speculate that if you look hard it will become increasingly difficult to pin down your moment.
So what is emptiness anyway? You may vaguely recall hearing it tossed around in old kung-fu movies, or maybe you heard the term no self. Emptiness is lacking an intrinsic independent self, or in other words no “I” can be located, no self. If you think think there is an independent self I will ask you to locate it. Where is it? Where is this “I” that we so often speak of? Point to it. Your brain? What region in your brain does it reside? Can your brain operate completely independent? Is it your whole body then? Can you live completely independent (in a space of nothingness)? What about aspects that allow you to live, like air? So maybe this “I” is the air, but Co2 is converted to O2 by our trees, which live because the soil, water, sun and a wide variety of other ecological and biological factors, and on it goes.
If you sit down and ponder emptiness for a moment it really is easy to see and understand intellectually. What begins to emerge is a vast interdependence. Seeing that you cannot live independently; seeing zero degrees of separation between us and everything else; seeing that “I” becomes blurred; seeing that there really is no self and when you try and locate it (the self) it shifts upon examination.
All our thoughts, feelings, ideas, and our very being are not really ours if you look at it through the lens emptiness. Our feelings belong to our ancestors that have been passed down through the generations. The feelings and emotions we carry are their feelings and emotions; we carry their torch. Our thoughts and ideas are formulated by tens of thousands of factors, some internal but most are external factors. Just ponder that for a moment… Again, this is very easy to see and understand intellectually but merely knowing this for a moment here and there will not really change anything. What will alter your life and create change is practice seeing permanently through this paradigm. I enjoy seeing life this way as I know I am not simply believing something that may or may not be true. I can validate this paradigm with direct personal experience. As you begin practicing and begin see the world through this lens more and more you will have more love, compassion, understanding, empathy, feelings of well being, connectedness, be slower to anger, and a variety of other wholesome attributes arise naturally (don’t expect permanent changes overnight).
A couple of ways to start practicing.
- Start every morning out with 5 minutes of analytical meditation (purposeful concentration)
- While driving contemplate on the roads while driving: think about absolutely everything that is involved in making the roads: city planning, engineering (blacktop and cement are inventions too), man hours to make and maintain the roads.
- Contemplate while eating about the entire process of having this food in your house: from seed to home.
- Walk in nature and contemplate on your breath and everything involved with providing you oxygen: trees, soil, bug, insects, water, sun, seeds, storms, and so on.
- Have a mindfulness bell chime , every hour, half-hour, or less. Upon the chime contemplate on emptiness.