Appearance and Reality

Dependent-arising and emptiness.  We are having a go at understanding THAT, Gentle Reader.  Still pondering the 97% invisible nature of scientific reality,  I “coincidentally” opened the book, HOW TO SEE YOURSELF AS YOU REALLY ARE, in which the Dalai Lama writes about emptiness, quoting Chandrakirti.  He says that phenomena do not actually exist in their own right, but visual consciousness makes it appear so.  Therefore the visual consciousness is mistaken about how things appear as “real”, but the same consciousness is valid with regard to the presence of such objects.  So, the mistake in ordinary perception makes us think things are “established from their own side”, that is to say, solidly “real”.  But in fact, nothing is established in that way.  The chapter finishes with: “…..all phenomena are empty of their own inherent existence.  Emptiness is not something made up by the mind; this is how things have been from the start  Appearance and emptiness are one entity, and cannot be differentiated into separate entities.”

I think that makes sense, it totally jibes with what The Astrophysicist Said, and of course it is always delightful to have what has long been known in some spiritual and cultural circles turn out to be exactly right.  Just as one thought all along.  Phew, in short.

But of course, then we get to the part where we have to implement this knowledge in our daily lives.  This then quickly turns into The Continuing Saga of OMG.  It’s all well and good to think this sort of stuff in one’s kitchen, surmounting yet another moat full of alligators and bravely doing dishes.  Humming along and all that.  Then the phone rings and it’s some poor desperate fellow in Gujarat trying to sell phone book advertising, or you look at the new marketing program you’re doing online that is using completely inappropriate words to describe what it is you do (when you’re not humming in the kitchen), or you once again have occasion to ponder just how it is that your wayward friends and stepsiblings always, ALWAYS land on their (supposed! empty! dependent-arising!) feet while you, dear bear, land squarely on what does to seem be be a very real, not to say hard, or soft either,  head.  Every time.

While my innate laziness has trumped vanity all my life (with the happy result that I look like what I am instead of some hybrid untouchable Brand of Female with more maintenance than an Italian race car), the gullibility has remained in full force.  Which today I understand to mean that I still think all this stuff is totally real.  Dude.

So when things happen or conversations occur, it can be realized that: HOLY SMOKES I TOOK THIS SERIOUSLY ALL MY LIFE. Embarrassing.  Also, it can leave one a bit out at sea; it’s kind of like talking to someone with a wall eye.  You’re never sure quite where to look.  This particular quandary, or bugaboo is maybe a better word, naturally involves things that also are not “real”, are empty, like how I see myself and how that is largely based on not only something that wasn’t really real, but something that didn’t actually have a lot to do with me.  Still doesn’t.  Even though I’m not exactly real either, uh, cosmically speaking.  Mmmmmm.  Yet  the awareness of the presence of this quandary laden situation requires some sort of action, response, energy from me.  Directed at what or whom? From whence?  and also, WHY?  Or more correctly, responding to which element of this situation?  Which eye do I look at?   This is gnarly, Gentle Reader.  But as usual we have miles to go before we sleep, so off we go.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Wanda Brenni on October 14, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    I breathe it in and chances the day, thanks dearheart.


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