This Is Where Things Get Really Disconcerting

If you read my previous blog, “Why We’re Not in Kansas Anymore”, you will have some understanding of where I’m going next. The five-part format for our consensus reality that I laid out for you gives you five “scientific” reasons why it is completely bogus. We are used to considering anything supported by “scientific” evidence to be reliable and trustworthy. However, as the evidence I presented is based on principles of quantum physics, you might not be so willing to go along with it. After all, the discoveries of quantum physics are only about one hundred years old, and it may take longer than that to persuade you to change your outlook and belief system. At any rate, the revision of your mindset about reality is on its way, so you might as well start adapting to it.

Taking what I explained to you about the non-existence of physical reality as a foundation for proceeding further, let’s consider that what you are doing every day is taking place as essentially a mime performance. Remember that you are creating a seemingly physical reality out of your observation of it by collapsing wave function into the appearance of physical stuff. So, for example, if you are driving into town to do some shopping, you are simply miming the action of going out to your car (which you are just making up), opening one of its doors, getting into it, inserting a key into its ignition, starting its engine, and proceeding to drive it somewhere (also completely made up), viewing the passing landscape as you proceed (which also depends upon your observation of it to make it appear) as if it is really passing by (an amazing trick since space itself is an illusion).

Your ability as a mime is incredible. When you get hungry, you mime going to a restaurant, sitting at a table, ordering a meal, and then miming the action of eating with a non-existent fork and drinking out of a non-existent glass. You do this as skillfully as either Marcel Marceau or Charlie Chaplin could do it,

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yet you fail to appreciate your extraordinary ability.

Think of the holodeck on the Starship Enterprise. Your life is being acted out as a mimed performance in a holographic reality. There is no set. There are no props. Your power of visualization is so good, however, that you believe that you can see and feel the props that you pretend you are using. Actually, there is no holodeck either unless you consider your own consciousness to be one–which, most disturbingly, is the truth. And all this time you’ve been thinking that you’re dealing with a solid reality existing independently outside of yourself. Silly prat.

The implications of this situation would be grave if they weren’t so damned funny. No matter how important a mover and shaker you consider yourself to be on the world stage (an apt comparison wonderfully elaborated by Shakespeare), nothing happens. You mimed a lot of what you thought was important, even earth-shaking stuff, but it has no substance at all. You were enclosed in your own perception of reality the whole time (which isn’t real either) that you believed you were rearranging the deck chairs on a semblance of the Titanic so as to keep it afloat.

What matters is not where you stood on the stage or what you did with the props in front of the painted scenery, but how good a performance you gave of being who you are. Playing that part takes rare talent because it depends upon not taking the set, the props, or the scenery as being anything more than an occasion to be yourself, which requires that you love the part you are playing. When you’re done, you can take a very flamboyant bow.

Our Enduring Attraction to Nonsense

It’s not that I’m “blogged-out”, it’s just that I’m not getting any “blog-back” to stimulate conversation. Nonetheless, I will press on.

I’ve been watching with intermittent interest the hysterical drama of the recent presidential election here in the U.S. For a while, I was entertaining the illusion that people were beginning to get some dim intuitions of an expanding awareness based upon key principles of quantum mechanics. I seem to be wrong in that assessment. People aren’t just as dumb as ever; they are dumber than ever. They are pouring enormous amounts of attention and emotion into the maintenance of colossal morphic fields that appear to validate their fear and anger. This is postponing any semblance of an expanding awareness that would elevate (as in attaining a higher frequency) their collective consciousness to a larger perspective. They are imagining monsters under their beds and reacting with terror and despair at the prospect of their imminent doom.

None of this is real, of course. They are still reacting to what they perceive as a solid reality under the disposition of cause and effect. This is “the sky is falling” syndrome. In effect, they are claiming that if they are scared, what is scaring them must be real. There doesn’t seem to be any way around this dynamic. I had been hoping for some encouraging signs of dawning realization before I pass on to the next world. Apparently, what I hope for has nothing to do with what other people think or do. We are all inevitably locked into our personal experiences of the reality we think is “out there”.

Do I really care? I guess that it is pointless to do so. Our culture urges us to enter this approximation of reality with the intention to “make the world a better place”. The assumptions implicit in this noble mission are that, first, the world has an objective existence separate from our own consciousness of it, and, second, that we can exert some kind of force or influence over the world that will produce an effect on it that we want. Both assumptions are illusions. The relative “reality” of the situation is that we are tasked with being who we are no matter what the circumstances in which we find ourselves. People who have had OBEs and NDEs assure us of this existential requirement. Yet this is practically the last thing that most people consider important.

What most people do is find a surrogate for who they have been led to believe they are, and try to become it in any way possible. Here’s the scenario: while still young, they are subjected to a storm of causes that they can embrace so as to “make things better”. They are encouraged to make the personal sacrifices necessary to further their cause of choice. This shows that they are not selfish and are committed to a “higher” purpose that will assure “the greater good”. They have chosen to be “selfless” and to further a noble purpose attuned to ensuring the welfare of others. It’s amazing how attractive this sort of nonsense can be. Granted, both the culture and the educational system promote it with a vengeance, so it takes some intransigence to resist its collective power.

Just “being who you are” is popularly considered a low and secondary aspiration that is of no benefit to anyone else and thus is to be actively discouraged. So what do we have? A society of drones, members of a Borg collective who are working in concert to assimilate all who retain some robust individual identity. Being who you are simply doesn’t make sense to the collective because its members can’t figure out what the cause/effect benefit could be.

It’s a matter of physics. We have been brought up to accept macro or classical principles of reality and although a new micro, quantum physics has emerged as the most successful scientific interpretation to date, most people are still kept in ignorance of its existence. The classical interpretation is the basis for a dualistic view of reality, which employs lines of force and cause and effect interactions to explain why everything is the way it appears to be. Even though quantum physics principles are employed to support one-third of our economy, they are never considered to have any relation to how we think or what it means to be alive.

Patterns have not replaced lines of force as agents of change or the impetus of processes. Nothing is ever considered capable of being in two places at the same time. “Reality” is still considered to be self-existent, independent of what our consciousness may interpret it to be. In fact, “reality” is considered to be an objective, solid entity that should determine how we ideally think and behave as in the expression, “get real”. Hardly anyone is aware that nothing exists until it is observed.

Quantum reality tells us to be who we are first and foremost because who we are determines the reality of what we will experience. You would think that this would be a very honest, obvious, and simple principle to accept, but it remains beyond most people’s capacity to integrate. We keep looking outside ourselves for the answers, for what will make everybody else happy so that we can be safe and secure and happy ourselves, but somehow we keep missing the trigger mechanism. It is ourselves, the necessity to be foremost who we are, trusting that that accomplishment will guarantee the well-being of the entire universe.

 

Evading Spiritual Antiquarianism

Well, here’s another blog for posterity. Back in the 70s and 80s of the last millennium, Asian martial arts was a huge craze. Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris were the trend-setters. Thousands practiced in dojos and kwoons to develop their fighting skills. I was one of them who did not lose interest and move on to some other hobby. I’m still doing it and wonder at the precipitous decline of such an enormously popular pastime.

The same thing, it seems to me, is happening with Asian spiritual studies and practice. Like The Monster Mash, Hindu, Buddhist, and Taoist spirituality caught on in a flash during the 60s and 70s. I could argue that it wasn’t particularly authentic because it was watered down by various gurus and abbots for easier public consumption. Still, the melody lingers on. Hinduism and Buddhism are still enormously popular with the spiritually-minded. Tibetan Buddhism and Zen have kept a strong hold on peoples’ imaginations as esoteric variants on the major traditions. You still hear references to the Dharma and Karma in lunch-time conversations about designer enlightenment. Yoga is more popular than ever. On the Western side of things, P. D. Ouspensky and Madam Blavatsky still attract adherents. Apparently, if it ain’t that old-time rock and roll, it just ain’t got the same soul.

Despite the emergence into popular thought of quantum mechanics, many spiritual seekers still prefer the old traditions because of their arcane terminology and laborious and time-consuming practices. In addition, adherents get to wear very cool uniforms that signify their commitment to strange, but superior knowledge and its application to lives patterned on universal truths. Turbans are fashionable as well as dhotis, saris, and asana suits. The yoga mat is essential for progressive, spiritually-minded suburbanites. “To hell with modern innovations,” they proclaim. “We carry water and chop wood because that is the only officially-sanctioned way to progress in spiritual development.”

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I wonder if the Buddha would have developed his characteristic line of thought had he been aware of the Observer Effect and collapse of the wave function? The point is that spiritual development and realization have moved on. The heady mix of neurobiology and quantum mechanics has outstripped the laborious practices of traditional spiritual systems. A seeker can now experience the levels of spiritual insight in seconds that took the traditionalists decades of meditation in solitude to achieve. Of course, you don’t get the same bragging rights about mastering a spiritual discipline that was a big part of practicing an established form of spirituality. If you can have enlightenment at the snap of a finger, you can’t earn the awe and respect of lesser mortals who are not inclined to devote their lives to struggle and self-denial in the name of something they can’t even imagine. That’s why the archaic traditions keep hanging on.

It’s time to get on with it, to adopt instantaneous change rather than enter a never-ending program of self-imposed inner conflict, which might lead to an Aha moment somewhere along the line. The issue here is really whether or not you want to be who you are. Becoming a surrogate Buddha or an imitation Lao-tze is not accepting and loving who you truly are. You don’t live in the fifth century B.C., and you don’t wear robes and sandals. You don’t fawn over enlightened gurus and pledge your life to “service” of those less fortunate than you. There is nothing wrong with you to begin with, so why beat yourself up in a vain attempt to become perfect? Be who you are; love who you are, and don’t be afraid to get in someone else’s face about it.

Onion Is as Onion Does

I don’t know if anyone is reading this stuff or even if there is anyone else “out there”, but what else is there to do with spacetime than move it around into different patterns?

I was thinking about onions. The onion itself, of course, is a made-up object that has form, mass, and weight. Everything “physical” that we make up is like that. It’s like time, space, and matter. They always go together, and you can’t have one without the other two. It’s like an eternal menage a trois. You pays your money and you take what you get. The onion, however, has always made useful analogies whenever you need to explain layers. As soon as you start to peel an onion you run into concentric layers that get smaller and smaller as you near the core of the onion. The onion represents a complete exterior that can be reduced layer by layer, showing what is inside, which is a series of identical layers that get smaller and smaller.

Now, if the onion is itself an illusion, a collapsed wave function that represents an onion and that we have named so that it can always appear that way to our consciousness, the discovery of its inner layers must have been a similar process, but experienced as a sequence. As you begin to remove the outermost layer of the onion for the first time, you don’t know what you are going to find beneath it. But your observation collapses the wave function of the onion into a slightly smaller onion that is very like the whole onion you first observed.

Where is your observational creativity? Why, when you removed the outermost layer of the onion, did you not discover an alternate reality that was like another world in your hand? Why did you observe just another surface almost exactly like the surface you just peeled away? It’s kind of like experiencing the same/old, same/old that is typical of our general experience of life–you wake up in the morning, and all you experience is another layer of the onion you observed before you went to bed the night before. No matter how many layers of the onion you peel away, all you get is more onion. Remember, a layer covers something, that is, hides it from view until the layer is removed, but why is there only more onion found under layer after layer of onion skin?

I think that the dilemma is caused by our observation of the onion in the first place. What might we find if we didn’t already know what an onion is? What if we called it a “gazonk” and had no expectation at all of what it was made of? Imagine what you might find under the layers of skin. Every newly-exposed layer could be a new universe of meaning. Every time you peeled a gazonk, you would boldly go where no one has gone before. Every layer would be a new dimension of experience, a new realization of infinite possibilities. Think of it as a cosmic onion that contains limitless worlds. Why not?

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Simply, because once you know what an onion is, it is always an onion. See the hidden equation there? You always find what you have already been taught to find when you observe an onion. An onion always equals an onion. There are no variables to change a known onion into a model of multiple universes. Without the variables, an onion cannot become a singularity. We overlook variables all the time. Because they don’t exist for us, we never experience a singularity. Variables are unknown factors that influence the outcome of an equation. Let’s stop running the same old equations that do not contain variables. Let’s allow for singularities. This means, everything that we experience happens on a case-by-case basis. There are no generalities, no statistical averages, and no common sense. Let’s stop living life as a fait accompli. Be curious, be playful, be open. You never know what you’ll find under the next layer of the onion.

When We Go with the Flow, Does the Flow Know?

I’m blogging today just for the sake of blogging. I have recently decided to stop promoting Jean’s and my book, Disobliging Reality, on social media. Generally, I found the participants to be quite young, inexperienced, and full of themselves. I could almost hear the giggles and titters surrounding the comments made on Twitter and Facebook about the most inane subjects and the storm of outrage and hostility aroused by predictably stereotypical scenarios showing various forms of victimization and injustice. It was like witnessing young children first learning that fire can be hot. If this sounds patronizing, it is. We are not all perfect equals in every respect, and respect itself is something that we must earn for ourselves.

Thus, I am not feeling sanguine about the future prospects of Disobliging Reality. It’s time has not yet arrived, and perhaps will never arrive. It is a quirky book, to be sure. It’s all about the illusory nature of the reality most of us take for granted, and what to do with that knowledge in our everyday lives. Sounds useful on the face of it, but I guess its utility is overshadowed by the inescapable persistence of the reality that is misleading everyone so dramatically. We are taught that reactive involvement in whatever the sensation of the day happens to be is a mark of community concern and good citizenship. It shows that we are sensitive, caring, and compassionate. It also shows how easily we can be led around by the nose.

Picture a mob of people gathered before an attraction at a carnival. Now imagine a carny barker holding a megaphone and shouting through it the location of an even more sensational attraction across the midway. As though one, the mob obediently runs to the next announced attraction and rapturously views it. Another barker makes his announcement of another attraction and the mob runs there. This continues uninterruptedly day after day. Every new illusory attraction has just as much appeal as the last one, so nobody gets bored. This, to me, is the nature of “the flow” that we are encouraged to “go with”. If there is an even greater flow of which the aforementioned flow is a part, everyone is too dazzled by the next attraction to perceive it.

Disobliging Reality is that innocent voice that points at the emperor and says, “But he doesn’t have any clothes on.” It points at an immensely popular illusion of reality and says, “But there really isn’t anything there.” It says that the flow you are experiencing is not the actual flow that is taking place. It also says that the flow knows when you are going with it and when you are not. The flow is consciousness itself so it is of necessity self-aware. You are an aspect of the flow when it knows itself. Otherwise, you are an aspect of a flow that is not self-aware and doesn’t know what the process of flowing is about. You are part of a mob running toward the next attraction.

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So the flow knows, and when you know the flow, you are part of it. Most people are unacquainted with the flow and don’t even like the prospect of knowing it. It means letting go of whatever attraction you are holding onto that is keeping you out of the flow. Most people think that the endless series of attractions to which they are drawn is the flow because it appears to be a flow of attractions. Nah. Like the Shadow, who knows what distractions lurk in the hearts of men (in the generic sense), the flow knows. Let go and flow.

 

 

 

Inter-Spatial Flux

I can tell by the old solar calendar that it’s time for another blog. I have been trying to diagnose my current psycho-spiritual malaise, which keeps me from completely accepting my participation in a reality I no longer trust. I wrote about this condition in my (and Jean’s) book, Disobliging Reality. The nexus of this condition is my ongoing connection with Jean even though she no longer inhabits this spacetime. Quite simply, my heart is riven. I am obliged to continue participating in “this” while Jean proceeds with her development in “that”. Of course, “this” is just a spacetime physical version of “that” since both interpenetrate one another. Yet once one’s experience of “this” interacts with an experience of “that”, things are never the same. As I say in our book, “We walk between the worlds.”

I now have a little clearer understanding of what “walking between the worlds” involves. I got my clarification from an episode of Star Trek Enterprise. The episode is called “Twilight” in which Captain Archer’s brain is infected by parasites that exist outside of spacetime. This makes them almost impossible to destroy within a spacetime context. They are in a state of “inter-spatial flux”. I have concluded that my own consciousness has entered a state of inter-spatial flux wherein I participate in physical spacetime, yet on other levels inhabit that other reality that is beyond physical spacetime where my dearest beloved now exists.

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Anyone who has endured the “loss” (only seemingly) of a beloved partner knows intuitively what I am talking about. Both emotionally and psychologically and, I suspect, even existentially, we live between the worlds, neither fully in this one, nor finally in that one. There are parts of us that are outside of ordinary spacetime while, concurrently, other parts of us are embedded in the dense physicality with which we are too familiar. We are in a state of inter-spatial flux. In one sense, it is a kind of hell, but in another it is a preview of wonders to come, especially if one is in contact with his or her partner from time to time.

It’s a matter of “how ya gonna keep ’em down on the farm after they’ve seen Paree?” Life in this spacetime reality is farm life compared with what awaits us in the Paree beyond. So we yearn for what is not yet and cannot fully enjoy what is. This state of indeterminacy, this experience of frisson, of unrelieved disquiet, is the flux that dominates our days in this spacetime reality. It is by definition inter-spatial as it spans two very different loci for our consciousness and the focus of our love.

As with any diagnosis, there is some relief or reassurance once our condition is given a name. The name is not the condition, of course, and it confers on the condition a reality that it may not in fact have. But inter-spatial flux is just enough “out there”, just enough not-of-this-world, and just enough indeterminate to serve as a temporary anchor for our confused state of grief and dislocation. I believe that Captain Archer’s condition was removed by a proton beam implosion, which, by destroying the parasite’s physical presence in Archer’s brain, also destroyed the timeline of its development, erasing its historical development and restoring Archer’s spacetime existence before the parasites ever appeared.

I feel certain that something like that will occur once I join my dearest partner outside of spacetime. We will be restored to a shared state of being that preexists before our perceived separation ever seemed to “happen”.

Helping the Disgruntled

The majority of people are disgruntled in one way or another by “the world around them”. When it is suggested that there is no world around them, they become even more disgruntled. How can they become “engruntled” when every action they take to de-disgruntle themselves is futile? The answer, of course, is to stop being disgruntled in the first place, thus obviating the need for the de-disgruntling process. But they assume that being disgruntled is a sign that they have diagnosed a real problem. It is taken as a sign that they have transcended the world around them by becoming able to recognize its faults and limitations. It’s the faults and limitations that create the disgruntled state. Note how this equation creates a never-ending loop of disgruntling. The first error is to take the world around you as a given. Now you have cause for disgruntling to occur. Being disgruntled is being irritated and annoyed by something. The feeling of irritation and annoyance confirms the fact that there is something triggering the irritation and annoyance. The feeling feeds the cause, not the other way around. So, being told that there is no cause and therefore no reason to become irritated and annoyed only irritates and annoys the disgruntled even more. The hidden pay-off here is the quality of righteousness associated with being irritated and annoyed.

The irritated and annoyed, that is, the disgruntled, have standards. It’s the failure of the world around them to live up to these standards that is so irritating and annoying. To tell these sensitive souls that there is no world around them takes away the basis for their righteousness. They no longer have any way of confirming that they are right about the world around them and that its performance is dismal. Further, they no longer have a basis for evaluating themselves as arbiters of what is right. The whole me-and-the-world-around-me dynamic simply crumbles. There is no longer a me and an it, or a me and them because there is no longer a way to distinguish one from the other. With no world around me, there is just me, and who am I? What do I have to be irritated and annoyed about? What is there to make me disgruntled?

But then I no longer have anything to be right about and no standards to hold the world around me to. Is this chaos? Is this anarchy? Well, determining chaos uses standards and so does anarchy. You have to have something that precedes both in order to recognize them when they appear. Both imply disorder. So, you need to have order before you can get chaos and anarchy. But what precedes order? Apparently, chaos and anarchy. This little conundrum could prove to be irritating and annoying. Is it some sort of mobius strip?

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Here’s a thought. When we become disgruntled with the world around us, we are simply pretending that everything is purely linear and sequential. We can’t see ourselves looping and twisting back on ourselves. We can’t see the world around us as the world within us closing a loop that we ourselves are shaping. We believe that there are scissors that cut the loop and straighten it into a linear path from us to the world around us. That is, if we can conceive of a twisted loop to begin with. We see things go out, and we see things come in. We can’t see the loop because we are inside of it. That’s not the same thing as having “the world around us”. It’s more a matter of having ourselves around us and mistaking ourselves for the world. After all, what can we confirm outside of ourselves when we are unconscious? Can we gather evidence? Can we apply deductive reasoning? Can we interrogate witnesses? Not while we are unconscious. We have to be consciously ourselves before we can verify that there is a world around us. Again, what comes first, order or chaos?

Where No Cliche Has Gone Before

On September 6, the fiftieth anniversary of Star Trek began. Included are all of the sequels and spin-offs based upon the original series, which began in 1966. I was never a hard-core Trekki, but I enjoyed the imaginative scope of the series and the sometimes thought-provoking subjects that it explored. It   was a strong subliminal influence in my life and I’m sure it pre-disposed me to study quantum mechanics in relation to the reality I was beginning to doubt. It dramatized a credible alternative to the earth-bound existence I had become used to.

All of the versions of Star Trek, both old and relatively new, are still in syndication. Recently, I watched an episode from Star Trek: the Next Generation that gave me new food for thought. I believe the episode was called Royale, and told a story about an American astronaut named Col. Steven Richey. Richey had been taken by aliens 287 tears prior to the appearance of the Enterprise. The aliens, perhaps regretting their kidnapping of Richey, had created a reality for him that they believed would be most like his natural environment. Unfortunately, the aliens based their perception of this environment on a novel entitled Hotel Royale, which they found in Richey’s space craft. It was a terrible novel, badly- written, and full of cliches and shallow characters.

When Worf, Riker, and Data appear, investigating signs that human DNA exists on an unknown planet, Richey had already been dead for 287 years and his DNA and desiccated body are all that is left. However, Richey’s remains are found in a hotel room in the Hotel Royale, which the three crew members of the Enterprise have entered, looking for the source of the mysterious DNA.

The Hotel Royale is a lively place, full of guests who are engaged in gambling in the hotel’s first-floor casino. Worf, Riker, and Data interact with some of the guests who prove to be stereotypes of conventional characters one would expect to find in a casino.

In their subsequent exploration of the hotel, the three crew members find Richey’s remains along with a copy of the novel, Hotel Royale. Riker, paging through the book, immediately recognizes the utter banality of the narrative and, reading an entry in Richey’s diary, learns that Richey, to his dismay, had become aware of his circumstances and was unable to find his way out of the artificial environment created for him by the aliens. Richey bemoans his imprisonment and before his death notes that he had spent thirty-eight years longing for his demise just to escape the confines of a terribly-written novel.

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Like Col. Richey, I have begun to suspect that I have been confined to the parameters of a badly-written novel, and so far have found no avenue of escape. Everywhere I look, every encounter I experience with others, leads me to believe that I am a character in an unconvincing narrative about my life. The events are too predictable and the other characters I meet or see presented to me by conventional media are too stereotypical to be believable. They look alike; they talk alike; the things they do are alike. Even the things they do to be different are alike. The background scenery seems to be painted onto a diorama that revolves, eventually returning one’s view to the diorama’s beginning so as to initiate the process all over again. It’s inevitably dull.

Worf, Riker, and Data escape the Hotel Royale by reading how the novel ends. In other words, they have to reach the end of the narrative. In that version, the hotel is bought by foreign investors and the story ends. So the three become the foreign investors themselves and conclude the story-line. I guess that’s what I have to do as well, but the last scene eludes me. I try to imagine all of the possible variations that could serve as a conclusion, but so far, nothing clicks.

Notice that the critical first step is to recognize that you are in fact in a novel. That gives you options that you didn’t have before. Then, you have to realize that novels end and bring the fictional ending into being by taking an active part in the novel, no matter how shallow and cliche-ridden it may be. I like both the irony and the paradox of that necessity. So, I infer that to escape I must further the action of the novel at the same time that I know that I am participating in a fictional story. It’s a kind of two-worlds thing. You know, I think I wrote about that very circumstance in my book, Disobliging Reality. I just need to create the appropriate ending. I need to discover the foreshadowing in the story that foretells what the ending will be. This could take some time.

Let’s begin at the beginning: “It was a dark and stormy night–”

 

Showing Up

Most of the time, we fulfill our roles in “reality” just by showing up. This is a day-to-day thing. Whatever the day brings, we validate it just by showing up. There is a gutsy courage to this. Quite a few people find ways not to show up. They act out a fantasy, pretend to be spiritually uninvolved, get high on drugs, alcohol, or a cause of one kind or another, or obsess on perceived slights, insults, or injustices. In other words, they formulate a specific, meaningful context for their lives from day to day that enables them to be functionally absent.

When you “show up” for the day, you let it be what it turns out to be without trying to configure it in one way or another. After all, the double-slit experiment has proved repeatedly that there is no “out there” out there until you make it up. I can’t emphasize this basic fact enough. Nothing actually “happens” until you believe that it is happening. There is no way around this inevitable condition. It’s a major function of our consciousness.

Yet, here we are, in the second decade of the 21st century, still processing a reality that we are making up and behaving as if it has an objective existence. Why the inability to move forward, to accept a colossal paradigm shift, and to embrace another reality? Sadly, it’s what makes us human. Being human is supposed to be a rich, wonderful, fulfilling condition that validates our being. It’s really a cop-out. Being human has its limitations and enables us to make excuses for what we don’t want to accept or do. After all, we’re just human. How can anyone criticize that?

Uncritically accepting our humanity lets us play “the human game” as if it were the only game available. If we’re human, then the only game allowed to us is the one that fulfills our beliefs about ourselves. In passing, it is instructive to note how many changes have occurred in our beliefs about what it means to be human. Right now, we have pretty much abandoned the dependency we thought we had on a divine authority figure, but have not had the guts to accept our own participation in what we believed that authority figure’s prerogatives to be. It’s scary. It’s hubris. We dare not aspire to god-like ambitions.

But who decided what those ambitions, those prerogatives are? We did. We reinterpreted the divine to suit our expectations for ourselves. When we need more elbow-room, we create it, but with trepidation. Have we over-stepped our humanity? Are we permitted to become more than the majority of us believe we can become? When it comes to the non-physical, we assume that we must act with restraint because that’s what the physical is all about–limitations.

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But if there is no physical “out there” out there, there is no restraint either. We adopt the role of the cowardly lion, frightened of our own potential. We wait for a wizard to assure us that we really are brave and capable of being  who we truly are. We seek permission to be what we already are. And the reason we need permission is because we are only human. To be human is to be less than we already are. When we are not showing up for our day, we are accepting our limitations as humans. If we believe that by being human we have already lost, why show up? When we believe that every day is bounded by the same limits and restrictions we have grown used to, what is showing up going to do for us?

Remind yourself every morning of the double-slit experiment and what it is telling you about yourself. Don’t worry about being human; just show up.

 

 

Listening to White Noise

I was having breakfast at a restaurant this morning, seated near a table of people (genders will not be revealed) who were gabbing incessantly. The conversation was about the usual stuff: places they had been, what they’d seen there, and, most importantly, whether or not their experience had been good or bad. Then the subject segued into politics. The talk became more animated and much more assertive. These people were onto a subject they had strong feelings about. The feelings were based upon convictions and the convictions were based upon what? Certain knowledge? Hardly. Their convictions reflected everything they had been told about the current political drama. The cliches were as thick as particles being fired through an observed double-slit screen. No sign of wave interference anywhere.

What was apparent was the fact that none of these people had a clue that there could be anything but particles supporting their political biases. They were wholly embedded in a reality they had chosen for themselves and were, in lively fashion, flogging it to death.

Had I approached their table and proposed the idea that there was nothing real about anything that they were talking about, I would have been immediately scorned and probably asked to mind my own business. When it comes to politics, reality takes sides. And of course the assumption is that reality actually does have sides and that it can be divided into a “good” side and a “bad” side. This has been the major operating principle since Zoroastrianism and the Manichean philosophy. To hear it being celebrated into the second decade of the 21st century is frankly as disturbing as discovering a severed leg on the sidewalk.

Why the persistence of such a completely outmoded way of thinking? We’ve had roughly a hundred years of quantum mechanics and its implications are being revealed on a weekly basis. Now there is quantum Bayesianism, which is like quantum mechanics on steroids. If plain quantum mechanics has taught us that nothing exists until it is observed, quantum Bayesianism is asserting that we, individually and subjectively, are responsible for having that experience. Get this: Everything is just made up.

Back to the breakfast table. Imagine announcing to the diners that, first, not only everything they are discussing is totally fabricated by their consciousnesses, but second, that the food they are eating, the table they are sitting at, the other diners in the restaurant, and the restaurant itself are all being made up out of their observation of pure wave function. Their entire reality is a holographic projection created out of their subjective awareness. It is all essentially white noise being given form and meaning.

Somebody call the cops! Of course, the arriving cops would be made up too. Did you ever hear of Br’er Rabbit and the tar baby? Rabbit gets into an argument (a one-sided one) with the tar baby and when Rabbit loses his patience with the tar baby’s lack of response (because  he’s just a tar image of a baby), he gets physical, attacking the tar baby and getting ever more stuck in the tar of which the baby is made.

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Physical reality is a lot like the tar baby. As soon as we take it to be real and begin interacting with it physically and emotionally, we get stuck. The more we struggle to get free, the more stuck we become. Overcoming the tar baby would seem to be a good idea at first, but it’s actually the worst thing you can do. “Spiritual” people think that they are overcoming the tar baby by not getting into a fight with it. Still, they acknowledge it exists. Otherwise, they would have nothing to ignore. We, on the other hand, believe that by controlling or punishing the tar baby things can only get better.

I wound up seeing the diners at the breakfast table as a bunch of rabbits struggling with the tar baby and the noise they were making over it a nondescript white noise. After all, they were just making it all up.