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November 21, 2020


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Is the triangle or the square permanent? They don't exist. Physical shapes exist, but the triangle and square are mental concepts, attributes applied. They have no life of their own, never did. Can you make a triangle? You can make an object that conforms to your mental notion of a triangle. "It" is just an object. It only becomes a triangle to anyone who knows what a triangle is. Yet such shapes exist in nature, yet they are much more than our concept, and they are part of the whole. And they continue to arise. Nature is a mystery. We can hardly know all the underlying forces that have shaped this creation, though science is learning more all the time.

There is something more than just this physical world. There is the world of triangles, squares, ideas, philosophy.

The notion that nothing really exists can only exist in the concept of something and nothing. Without that concept neither exists. Something is there we know that in distinction to when it isn't there. But is it anything at all? Or nothing? It is a matter of mental conception. We are born, we live and die. Did anything exist before we were born? Will anything exist once we die? The answer is "life". And we are a part of life. We are not only connected to it, we are it. We certainly don't understand all of it, even our connections to life are generally not in our conscious experience.

Something or nothing? A dichotomy that we create, like male or female? Gay or straight? We ask ourselves when we meet someone... Male or female? Gary or straight? Single or married? Young or old? Rich or poor?

When we meet a non - binary person, we may become upset they don't fit our dichotomies. Or we can celebrate the magnificence of life that has never conformed to our limited thinking. We are connected to life and we, in that life, existed before this birth, and in that life, continue because life continues. Life sheds itself over and over. It is young and old all the time and we are all that, far more than this shell. Just as each stalk of grain is actually part of the entire field.

Let's be good students and keep learning about life and our connections. Life that lives in every cell of our own body, though we are unaware of it. And question our mental dichotomies that, like the triangle, may reflect something, a tiny party of reality, but which isn't real except in concept.

He does himself what he blames other ... he tells them that there is no reality in the games they play, but at the same time, having said so to others, he plays the game of buddhism ... and enjoys bel;ieving the play to be real ... without believing the game there is noi joy in it.

The way I see it is that we don’t HAVE a soul, we ARE soul. For ages that which is unbound/non-separated has been mixed up with a sense of self/identity generated largely through thinking and language. Certain types of thinking can result in behaviour commonly attributed to R-souls (as my wife with a grin, reminded me). :-)

Buddhism teaches that there is no continuing self, just the fleeting skandhas. To some extent, psychologists and physiologists would agree. Skandhas are the five aggregates of all human beings: bodily matter; sensations; perceptions; mental formations; consciousness. “They are constantly in the process of change and do not constitute a self.” Psychologists say that our mind is always in a state of flux and the make-up of our psyche varies each moment. Physiologists attest to the ever altering state of our body: cells are dying and then regenerated continuously, following DNA patterns which make the modifications appear to be gradual. Trauma can speed the process.

Christians, Hindus, Jews, and Muslims - as well as most Buddhists in daily life - accept continuity of self, while acknowledging changes in the emotions, mind and body of each person. Also, to a greater or lesser degree, they do accept presence of a soul in each human. They do not all agree, however, that the soul has the essence of the divine, as most mystics believe. Most people live in their immediate emotional, mental and physical self, or skandhas, but some include various levels of spirituality to make life more meaningful for them.

To say there is no soul violates the nature of relativity. It is absolutist. Which is fine. It’s fine to be an absolutist. :)

Got me thinking about the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis...


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