If Black Lives Matter were Buddhists they might believe that the suffering of their race could be the door to their Liberation.
They would say the First Noble Truth is suffering.
The Second Noble Truth would be to look deeply into it to see how their suffering arises, the food they ingest that causes them to suffer.
The Third Noble Truth would be to cease what causes them to suffer: realizing healing is possible.
The Fourth Noble Truth would be to take the Eightfold Path that leads away from suffering: Right View, Right Thinking, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Diligence, Right Mindfulness, Right Concentration.
If Black Lives Matter were Buddhist they would believe Nirvana is here. We reach it when we extinguish all our ideas and concepts.
They would believe that it is “anger, ignorance, suspicion, arrogance, and wrong views” that cause us to suffer.
“Ignorance which gives rise to wrong perceptions is responsible for much of our pain.”
A Buddhist has said: “We have to learn the art of stopping, stopping our thinking, our habit energies, our forgetfulness, the strong emotions that rule us.”
The way to do this is to practice “mindful breathing, mindful walking, mindful smiling, and deep looking in order to understand.”
A Buddhist would be mindful of the things he/she ingests – the seeds he/she plants – ingesting what leads to “fear, hatred, violence” or what leads to understanding and compassion.
“We are exposed to invasions of all kinds – images, sounds, smells, touch, ideas - and many of these feed the craving, violence, fear, and despair in us.”
Collective mindfulness can save us from toxic invasions.
What would happen if Black Lives Matter traveled the Eightfold Path? They would embrace right view: they would daily water the seeds in their consciousness that lead to an end to suffering, realizing it is our perceptions that cause our views and that in perception there is deception.
Right View is not based on images and ideas, but on the way you live. “Your concept and perception of reality is not reality. When you are caught in your perceptions and ideas, you lose reality.” You practice nonconception because all views are wrong views.
Right Thinking is non-thinking. You dwell in the present moment, “where you can touch seeds of joy, peace, and liberation, heal and transform your suffering, and be truly present for many others.”
Right Mindfulness: At the heart of Buddhism is right mindfulness. “Mindfulness is remembering to come back to the present moment.” Focusing on our breathing can help. Right mindfulness helps us to truly pay attention to what is before us. “When we are mindful, touching deeply the present moment, we can see and listen deeply, and the fruits are always understanding, acceptance, love and the desire to relieve suffering and bring joy.” It is how to transform ourselves and transform our world.
Right Speech. Right speech is being truthful, consistently, not speaking cruelly. If you cannot speak lovingly with compassion, you don’t speak at all. “Words and thoughts can kill. We cannot support acts of killing in our thinking or in our speech.” – “To practice social justice and non-exploitation, we have to use Right Speech.”
Right Action: Right Action is the practice of nonviolence toward ourselves and others. It’s basis is mindfulness.
Right Diligence: In Right Diligence we prevent unwholesome seeds from taking root in our store consciousness; we water wholesome seeds so they will take root in our store consciousness. We become part of a community that helps us to plant wholesome seeds in our store consciousness. We nourish the joy and interest that is in us.
Right Concentration: Concentrating is how we become truly present. We live deeply in the present moment. We see the impermanence of all things. We see the interbeing of all things. “The Concentrations on Impermanence, Nonself, and Nirvana are enough for us to practice our whole lives. In fact, the three are one. If you touch the nature of impermanence deeply, you touch the nature of the nonself (interbeing) and nirvana. One concentration contains all concentrations.”
Right Livelihood. “To practice Right Livelihood…, you have to find a way to earn your living without transgressing your ideals of love and compassion.”
How would what we are seeing be different if Black Lives Matter, if we all were Buddhists?
Insights On Buddhism Taken From The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh. Hanh also wrote a book on Christ and in his book talks about rekindling the religions we grew up in.
Interbeing: A World Where One Thing Constantly Changes Into Another
How Is The World One?
Are there Absolutes? An Inquiry – Trying To Put Things Together
Is the Death of God Responsible For The Chaos?
Is the chaos we are seeing on our streets due to the death of God? In this post-modern world of ours are there no values we can agree upon? Is everything subjective? Are there no eternal truths, no universals values to knit us together?
Step 1: Insight From Plato
In Wikipedia on the topic of Plato I found" for the Forms are the cause of the essence in everything else, and the One is the cause of it in the Forms. So it goes like this I think:
1. What we see in this material world of constant change are individual things
2. The interbeing (to use a Buddhist word) of these individual, material things, in this world of constant change are their essence - their humanness, dogness, chairness. In Plato it is these essences/forms which are real. The Buddhist would chime in, our material world of constant change is a world of illusion. Perception is deception.
3. Now where is God in all this for it is a God I can believe in that I am looking for:
The Forms/the essences are ideas in the mind of God.
Thus, all reality is One.
It doesn't tell us what God is, for after all, I Am That I Am. But it does give us a hierarchy that makes sense:
1. Material world of constant change, individual things, the world of illusion
2. The real world - the cause of the material world - the world of forms/essences - the spiritual world that we can see with mindfulness, interbeing
3. The cause of All, the One, in whose mind are the forms/essences.
Thus, All Reality Is Really One. Still a World of Mystery for we don't know what God is, after all he is not part of the world of constant change, but eternal. But this makes sense to me - material world/constant change - the source of which are the forms/essences - chairness, humanness, dogness - the essences are in the mind of God/the One.
Thus, in the Garden of Eden God gave Adam and Eve one imperative: Don't Eat of the Tree of Knowledge. In other words, Perception is Deception. Don't think when you look at this sensing world of shadows that you know anything. All your ideas are false. Rely on my word, the Logos. That is the way to go from this world of constant change, this world of birth and death to the Eternal.
There is a world of constant change – the scientific method can give us insights about it.
Is there an eternal world? Can reason and intuition give us insights about it?
When I look at a dog I see dogness. And even though my dog died when I look at any dog, I see him and I can't help smiling.
No Death, No Fear - a book by Thich Nhat Hanh.
"The Buddha has a very different understanidng of our existence. It is the understanding that birth and death are notions that causes our suffering. The Buddha taught that there is no birth, there is no death; there is no coming, there is no going; there is no same, there is no different; there is no permanent self, there is no annihilation. We only think there is. When we understand that we cannot be destroyed, we are liberated from fear. It is a great relief. We can enjoy life and appreciate it in a new way."
"Reality can be manifested in a historic dimension or it can be manifested in the ultimate dimension."
We find God (without a name) when we look deeply (my thought).
David Bohm’s Perspective
The human heart aches for wholeness. Perhaps wholeness is what the search for being is all about. It was physicist, David Bohm, who through his books taught me what wholeness is all about. The physicist tells us, the theories of relativity and quantum theory have changed the way we look at the world. With classical physics the world was thought to be composed of constituent parts. What relativity and quantum theory did was give us a view of the world as undivided wholeness where the observer and what was observed are no longer considered as existing separately from each other. The insight we get from quantum theory is that objects can’t be considered as separate and independent from experimental conditions. Thus an electron can manifest the property of a wave or a particle depending on the total situation that exists. When the total context of the process changes new modes of manifestation are possible. It’s the total situation that determines what is manifested. “Because of its atomic structure,” the physicist added, “no object can have a sharp boundry.” It is the idea of pattern, he tells us, which is relevant and that experimental conditions or an object are aspects of the pattern being described.
Our universe is seen as an excitation pattern in a sea of energy. Thus our concept of what matter is has changed. Now matter and energy are seen as sometimes behaving like a particle, sometimes like a wave depending on the context of the environment. With quantum theory, Bohm said, the idea of an “actual and individual object is replaced by a potential and statistical object.” Quantum theory has upset our notions of strict determinism replacing it with the idea laws are only determined statistically. These laws can’t tell us exactly what is going to happen. Quantum theory describes a world where there is non-continuity, non-causality, and non-locality.
Relativity theory also paints a picture of the world as a flux of events and processes. Instead of particles out of which stuff is made, relativity theory shows entities that are more like a pattern of movement. The mathematics underlying it, said Bohm, shows a movement “in which everything, any particular element of space may have a field which unfolds into the whole.” While we can abstract constant patterns from this field of movement, these patterns merge with all other patterns we also might abstract. Einstein’s insight was that the universe was like a field, an unbroken undivided whole with particles as an abstraction from the field, “localized regions in which field is intense.” Hence particles were seen as an abstraction that merge and interpenetrate. Thus with relativity theory the idea that the world consists of “distinct but interacting parts,” is no longer relevant, said Bohm. The universe since quantum theory and relativity theory must be regarded “as an undivided and unbroken whole.”
What is primary, the physicist tells us, is the idea of unbroken and undivided movement. “Relativity implies neither point particles nor quasi-rigid body can be taken as primary concepts,” Bohm said. Rather now primary concepts “have to be expressed in terms of events and processes.” The very notions of ourselves has been changed, according to Bohm, with the self seen as an abstraction from a whole movement “which thus has only a certain relative similarity or constancy of form and pattern of behavior.” “Food, water, air and other things are continuously exchanged between body and its environment through the surfaces of membranes.” He explains the movement of electrons, protons and neutrons under certain conditions create and maintain structure while under different conditions dissolve it. “There is nothing known,” says Bohm, “that does not ultimately dissolve into movement in this way.”
Until quantum theory and relativity theory an idea of order based on the Cartesian grid in which points independently exist in space had resulted in coherent activity and served us fairly well. But Cartesian coordinates, said Bohm, are “appropriate only in a context in which analysis into distinct and autonomous parts is relevant.” This order is a certain aspect of our sense perception and experience, but quantum theory and relativity theory suggest it is a suborder of another order which enfolds it.
Bohm calls this other order which the mathematics of quantum theory and relativity theory suggest to him, the implicate order. He explains how everything is related to everything else, the idea of undivided wholeness, by using the notion of the implicate order. Bohm sees our universe as an enfolded or implicate order, as folded inwardly with “everything folded into everything.” “A total order,” he elaborates, “is contained, in some implicit sense, in each region of space and time.” Thus the new order couldn’t be understood in terms of Cartesian coordinates, as in classical physics, - “in terms of a regular arrangement of objects (e.g., in rows) or as a regular arrangement of events (e.g. in a series).” The word implicit describes something different. It comes from the verb “to implicate” which means “to fold inward.” When we talk of an implicit or implicate order we are talking of regions that have “a total structure ‘enfolded’ within it.”
To understand what Bohm means by the implicate order we can’t think in terms of Aristotelian logic where A is not equal to B. That logic holds in certain contexts but not when discussing the whole. In the implicate order, Bohm explains, A is equal to B is equal to C is equal to D. In the implicate order there is only transformation. To help us to understand this Bohm gives us the example of a television broadcast where a visual image is carried by a radio wave. With the metaphor of a radio wave we can get some sense of the implicate order as different from an order based on Cartesian coordinates, get some sense of an order of undivided wholeness. You can’t use Cartesian order to describe the visual image that is carried by a radio signal because a radio wave carries the visual image in an implicate order or undivided wholeness. We can think of the visual image being carried by the radio wave as enfolded in the radio wave and then as being unfolded by a receiver “in the form of a new visual image.” In the radio wave “the context or meaning that is enfolded or carried is primarily an order and measure permitting the development of a structure,” says Bohm. That structure with a radio wave could be a verbal communication or a visual image. The order of the whole is what is transmitted in the signal that modulates a radio wave.
“Such an order and measure can be ‘enfolded’ and ‘carried’ not only in electromagnetic waves but also in other ways (by electron beams, sound, and other countless forms of movement),”Bohm said. Bohm uses the word “holomovement” to describe the undivided wholeness being carried. What the holomovement is, said Bohm, is unspecifiable. We might abstract aspects of it – light, electrons, sound – but in general it is an “unbroken and undivided totality.” It has no particular order or particular measure. It is “undefinable and immeasurable.” We can only abstract aspects of the holomovement in particular contexts, in some measure. We can lift up certain relevant aspects by fixing our attention on them so that particular aspects stand out from the whole. Our perception becomes aware of certain aspects that stand out against the backround that is holomovement. Each aspect can only really be understood in the context of its broader meaning.
What we become aware of, says Bohm, “is a kind of intersection between two orders” – the order of some whole movement, the implicate order, and the order of movement of the aspect that we make relevant by attending to it, which Bohm calls the explicate order. One is reminded here of Buber’s saying I-Thou or being happens “in-the-between”. The implicate order of what is enfolded in undivided wholeness cannot be analyzed into separate and autonomous parts, cannot be described in terms of a Cartesian grid. It can only be unfolded by focusing our attention on some aspect of it. Thus in the radio signal, the total structure of the verbal communication and visual image is present, the implicate order, not in an ordered and measured arrangement that exists as separate aspects, but as a whole implicate order or order of movement. “In the implicate order everything is thus internally related to everything.”
Everything contains everything and only when unfolded, in this case by a receiver, are things separated out. The new verbal communication and visual image that is unfolded does not exist autonomously or separate from the implicate order of the radio signal from which it came. We cannot talk of things that are separate and autonomous, rather in the implicate order, in the radio signal, “everything implicates everything.” In any moment the whole implicate order is there.
Bohm emphasizes the “total order is contained in some implicit sense in each region of space and time.” What Bohm is saying is every aspect of our world comes out of a more comprehensive implicate order “in which all aspects ultimately merge in the undefinable and immeasurable holomovement.”
The idea Bohm is getting across is of a world that is one. He is challenging us to think in new ways with his new idea of the implicate order, saying it is the implicate order that is primary, not the explicate order, not the separate things of sense perception that unfold from the implicate order which we have taken as primary.
In the holomovement every part enfolds every other part, and each part can emerge from the other as a relatively independent, autonomous, and stable sub-whole. Recent developments in physics point to the mental as well as the physical as different aspects of one reality. Nothing is really a “law unto itself,” said Bohm. It might exhibit “a relative and limited degree of autonomy, under certain conditions and in certain degrees of approximation,” however, this relative autonomy is always further limited by the law of the whole.
Any aspect of the whole we study is ultimately related to others we may at first think has no bearing on what we are attending to, what interests us. But although the parts may exist autonomously in the explicate order, the unfolded order, they can only be really understood as parts of a greater whole, the implicate order.
What our fragmentary world views lack is this idea of wholeness as the primary reality, believes Bohm. The notion of wholeness means every part is dependent on every other part. The Buddhist call it dependent arising. We can divide things up when it is useful to us, but division into parts is always abstracted, lifted, from the whole. The whole is the concrete reality.
Bohm contends we can apply the idea of the holomovement to a wide range of our problems. It can show us how to approach ourselves as well as our world because thought and language and feeling and action and consciousness all form an implicate order. For example, every aspect of our mind unfolds every other aspect of the mind, transforms into another. Each aspect of our mind has enfolded in it the other which can unfold from it.
Our mind is an unbroken whole with everything enfolded in everything else, not separate elements, not separate functions, but a whole, an unbroken movement. Thoughts, perceptions, feelings, urges, actions, Bohm stresses, are one whole movement, each aspect arising mechanically out of the other. So feelings, actions, and urges, for instance, can arise from thought. Or thought, actions, and urges can arise from feeling. Or thought, feelings, and urges can arise from action. Or thought, feeling, and actions can arise from urges. It’s all one movement.
He gives the example of the thought – these people are inferior. When we think – these people are inferior, we see them as inferior; we treat them as inferior; we have negative feelings about them. Feelings, actions and urges are a function of our thought. You can see this in yourself. The next time you think something, watch the feelings that arise from that thought. Become aware of the thought behind your actions. The next time you feel something, become aware of the thought that arises from that feeling. Become aware of the action that flows from that.
The next time you do something, become aware of the thoughts that arise from your actions. Become aware of the feelings that flow from that. It’s all one flowing movement. It’s automatic. It’s mechanical. There are no separate elements, only what we are attending to – all there really is is this constant stream of transformation.
Our creative intelligence can help us to see this. It operates in dialogue with ourselves or others. The problem is our thought is mechanical. Automatic. It operates like a reflex, one thought automatically unfolding another. Our thought, our presuppositions can be a barrier to the free flow of stream, of flux. Each perspective in this book is of the nature of fixed thought. Each a construction, an abstraction, lifted out of holomovement, of the whole. Thought, each perspective, can capture enough of the holomovement to guide our action, but partiality works only part of the time, under certain conditions, in certain contexts.
We can never have a complete idea of reality, of stream, of holomovement, of the whole, contends Bohm. We can never achieve truth, but only try to move in that direction. Stream can’t be captured in a fixed concept. The implicate order cannot be grasped, but it can be unfolded. Bohm tells us, “if any pattern of movement is established and starts to become repetitive that is a kind of disharmony.” One thinks of Karen Horney’s neurotic trends here.
Fixed thoughts can create disharmony. Movement moves according to his theory when “something unfolds and has significance and as a result something else unfolds.” Creativity is inherent in this movement, said Bohm. Rigidity, fixed assumptions, fixed thought, is antithetical to creativity, to the natural flow, free play of the mind. The mind works best in a state of undivided wholeness. It’s when we hold rigidly to our thought and try to impose our fixed thought in new contexts where it doesn’t apply that we run into trouble.
A person does evil, said Bohm, when he doesn’t realize how his thought is programming him to act in the way he does. Even in defining things, our definitions can get in the way of seeing what’s there. We have a definition for “nation”, for instance, that causes a fragmentary way of perceiving, of experiencing, of acting, that is the source of our problems. Our definitions can keep us from awareness of the world as an unbroken whole.
We engage in fragmentary thinking as individuals. We engage in fragmentary thinking as a society. And this fragmentation leads to confusion and keeps us from solving our problems. We can’t solve our ecological problems, for instance, without seeing the world as an unbroken whole. We fragment reality when we look at things as separately existent by separating them from the broader context, in which they originate, are sustained, dissolve.
Fragmentation is the result of imposing “divisions in an arbitrary fashion without regard to the wider context, ignoring essential connections to the rest of the world.” Our essential illness, concludes Bohm, is our feeling of fragmentation of our existence. Only creative intelligence can remedy this. Not reflexive thought. Not our preconceptions. Not our frozen categories. No program has ever been devised, said Bohm, to handle the stream of all eventualities. Thought introduces differences and distinctions through a process of categorization. The movement of what is is organized by categories, our way of thinking or representing things.
One thinks of what Loewald had to say about the importance of organization here. These thinking and distinctions are a way of looking, guiding perception. It doesn’t mean substances and entities actually exist separately, rather this is how we think about them. Things stand out in perception because of thought. Yet there are no dividing lines in reality, no consistent independent entities. It was the philosopher Kant who first pointed out how our experience is shaped by our categories of thought, how we see the world through our categories of thought. Thus thought shapes our perception.
Thinking, Bohm said, is different than thought. Thinking is a movement or activity of the bodily self, the body as information, the body as meaning. It involves electrical and chemical and muscular changes. Fixed thought doesn’t belong to any particular person or place or time or group of people. Your thought is partly a product of your culture, your family, your environment, the past, the thought of countless dead. Bohm compared thought to a program on a computer. Your thought is the program that determines what you feel, what you do. Hence we need to pay attention to it, to see how it unfolds feelings, unfolds actions. We need to see if it is correct, if it is consistent, on the mark. When we look at our thought as a program, we can begin to change our lives.
It’s only when we become aware of these programs that they begin to change. That fixed thought changes. What Bohm is asking us to do is to become aware of thought as a way of looking rather than a true copy of reality. We need to begin to see our world views, as perspectives that fit reality in a limited way. Our theories, our perspectives, our ways of looking can be clear and fruitful in some domains and unclear and unfruitful in others. They give us a way to look at our world, not knowledge of it. Our world views need to change when what we learn and observe calls for change.
“To limit our world views by regarding them as absolute truth or as stages of a steady approach to such truth evidently interferes with their proper function, for this tends to prevent the consideration of fundamentally different notions that may be needed to fit new observations and experiences,” said Bohm.
Our world views only organize an ever-changing knowledge and experience in coherent ways. Knowledge from experience makes up the core of our reactive thought, our habitual reactions that constitute the fixed features of our mind or our perception. Reactive, automatic, fixed thought isn’t all bad, without it we would have to reflect on every step we take. What is bad is when we take our thought for reality as it is, said Bohm.
The antidote to our reflexive thought, our conditioning, our preconceptions is dialogue. We can have a dialogue with ourselves or others. In dialogue no point of view can be allowed to escape scrutiny. No point of view can be dismissed out of hand. Dialogue gives us a way to look at our thoughts. Others can help us to do that as we help them to look at their thoughts. We engage in dialogue when a spirit of good will and friendship prevails. It is incompatible, said Bohm, with competitiveness, aggressiveness, or contentiousness. Dialogue can’t exist in an atmosphere where we struggle to have our ideas dominate.
In dialogue people suspend their thoughts, their preconceptions, and think together. Thought can get stuck. Thinking anew can get it moving again. This movement occurs when we hold many points of view in suspension and focus our attention on creating a common meaning. To create a common meaning we must listen. Really listening is the first step in working through our problems, said Bohm. What is key is to look at the similarities and differences between perspectives or points of view. How are they similar? How are they different? We need to try to understand what the other person means and be willing to change our own point of view when creative intelligence dictates. To hold fixed views will only produce breaks in communication, said Bohm, or even violence.
For Bohm it is dialogue that can help mankind achieve wholeness. We need a coherent culture, the physicist felt, and dialogue is the way to create it. Dialogue, Bohm said, is the free flow of meaning. In ordinary conversation people argue from their point of view. Creative dialogue works in a different way. Thinking together, the free play of thought, the motility of awareness and attention in dialogue help us to free our minds from rigid categories and form. In dialogue as we hold our own point of view in suspension, our mind can come up with new creative perceptions.
In dialogue we may not have a goal, not know exactly what it is we are looking for. One comes to new hypotheses and ideas through a kind of creative play, where we play around with ideas together realizing the dialogue may or may not lead to new insights. Freedom is what is pivotal here. Free and open perception is what is required.
A scientific attitude is what is called for where we look at the facts in an unbiased way regardless of whether what we see gives us pleasure or security. Once new insights are born, we need to unfold their implications. New concepts, new ideas, unfold in a process of looking at the similarities and differences in things. Normally, with fixed thought, we think A is not B. A is separate from B. But with the creative perception that happens in dialogue with ourselves or others, we see connections, perceive an equivalence between different experiences.
At first perhaps nonverbally, Stern would speak of a feeling of tendency here. At first we may not have the words to express the connection we perceive. We may not be able to communicate how A and B are similar. Then in a flash of insight we see it. For instance, once scientist saw matter as having a particle nature. Later it was maintained no it had a wave nature. Only gradually in a process of unfoldment were the implications realized and the insight reached that a particle is a wave.
In reading over all the perspectives in this book, we can put each construction into a separate category. But if we look at the similarities among the perspectives and at the differences, we might come to new insights about being. To do that we must suspend our preconceptions that make us the followers of one perspective or another and engage in free dialogue with ourselves or others that can lead to new creative perceptions. Bohm believes the free play of our mind that takes place in dialogue, where assumptions are held in suspension, where many points of view can be considered at the same time, can lead to a new creative surge in our society. Bohm sees creative intelligence as underlying the whole.
We cannot think of anything in life, he said, that has not come from creative intelligence. With dialogue, with ourselves or others, we participate in that creative intelligence. We can achieve shared meaning. Bohm said being is meaning. That confused me at first. So I went to my dictionary and looked up the word “meaning.” One definition read – “what is intended to be, or actually is.” With that my search for being ended. Being is what actually is – the whole – this constant movement of folding and unfolding – the implicate order. Our perspectives are abstractions of it – what can be unfolded in the explicate order.
Dialogue with myself, with others, with otherness happens at the intersection of the two orders – in-the-between - and can lead to new creative perception. It did. I know who I am now. I understand my world. At least I have a really good hypothesis that will either fit or not fit further learning and experience. I never had that before, an overall view, a view of the whole that made sense to me. As a result of this book, this dialogue with myself, I have a perspective I can believe in now.
Bohm, D. (1994). Thought as a System.New York: Routledge.
Bohm, D. (1985). Unfolding Meaning.New York: Routledge.
Bohm, D. (1980). Wholeness and the Implicate Order.New York: Routledge.
Bohm, D. & Peat F. D. (1987). Science, Order, and Creativity. (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.
Nichol, L. (Ed.). (1996). Bohm On Dialogue. New York: Routledge.
Nichol, L. (Ed.). (1998). On Creativity.New York: Routledge.
Nichol, L. (Ed.). (2003). The Essential David Bohm.New York: Routledge.
It's Our Emotions That Cause So Many Problems
EFT Can Help
Watering The Seed of Interbeing
Thich Nhat Hanh wrote about his practice of Touching the Earth which he does with his fellow monks each day. I couldn't do something like that. So I have come up with my own idea for Watering the Seed of Interbeing. This works especially well if you have lost what you loved best. The idea is to see that which you love/loved best in everything.
In the sink you are washing. In the meal you are preparing.
Then when you do what you do with loving kindness - you are doing it for that which you love best. Since we are never born, never die, according to Zen Buddhism - are in different forms - as my old Catholic faith would say/God is everywhere - I and the Father Are One - Love Your Neighbor as Yourself for you are One - you can water the seed of interbeing - by seeing that which you love in everything - living and inanimate. It's a nice practice to see what you love everywhere you go.
Simultaneously: I am in the sun as it shines down upon you. I am in the ground as you walk on it. I am in the leaf on a tree as you look at it etc.
I and the thing I love are in in each and every other thing: interbeing. You can water the seed of interbeing throughout your day.
Nonviolent Resolutions To Conflict
Thich Nhat Hanh tells us in Chapter 7 of his book on Anger entitled "No Enemies" that non-duality and no-self are the keys to social justice. His advice to us would be to get Police and those who have suffered under Police together for a nationally televised dialogue. The insight we would most likely get from such a dialogue is that they both suffer. Such insight would water the seeds of compassion lying dormant in us and lead us to work together to come up with a strategy to make us all suffer less.
Read Thich Nhat Hanh's book on Anger. Now - 8/9/2020 - I'm reading his book on Fear. Expect to receive in the mail today another book I really want to read on Consciousness/not by Hanh.
This is my understanding of Nirvana. In the beginning I learned from Winnicott we are a going-on-being. There is no sense of self. That I think after reading Hanh is our true self. At the beginning of life we don't distinguish our Self from non-self. In the beginning, Winnicott said, we exist in a maximum condition of dependence. Hanh tells us this, too, he calls it Co-dependent Arising. We depend on the sun, on water, on a million other things. We are interconnected. Hanh calls this interbeing. Winnicott speaks of this sense of aloneness. Hanh would call it a seed that when watered manifests. There is nothing we can hold onto, everything can be taken away - our life, our health, our possessions.
We can study how the conceptual self comes into being. Hanh, I think, would call it historical. A result of sense perception. But perception is deception. There is another level, the ultimate. Bowen calls it the implicate order to distinguish it from the explicate order. Bowen calls it the holomovement.
I remember the phrase in zen - to become the arrow. This is the state of no-self, non-duality Hanh calls Nivana. No past with all its pain and regrets, memories which are part of the conceptual mind. No future with its fear and anticipations. Present. Mindfulness. When we look at a tree, we become the tree, we look with concentration, focus. When we become the arrow we live for a moment on the ultimate level - that is Nirvana. We are One. Suchness a Buddhist called it.
We can't will it. We can't make it happen. We let it happen - when we are in the present.
So what am I? My conceptual mind? My conditioning? I'm not what I have - because I can lose it all. What was I before my birth? What will I be when I die? No memory. No conceptual mind. No body - it is constantly changing. I was attracted to the next book I'll read because it talked about nothingness. Seems in Buddhism there is suchness - things are never created or destroyed. Perhaps, Bowen's word holomovement captures it best.
If I can try to understand what consciousness is - perhaps everything will cohere.
God Created Us To Be Happy With Him in Heaven
When I was a little girl in Catholic school reading my Baltimore Catechism, I read God created us to be happen with him in heaven. Did you every think what it would be like to be God all alone for an eternity - without end, without end? So maybe he created us/in his image - in his mind/the mind of God where Plato's forms are - like a daydream of God, he created the world, and put himself in it. And the only peace he gets, this lonely God, alone in eternity - is when he puts himself in the present moment - becomes the arrow - when he looks at a tree with total concentration/focus - that is Nirvana - God forgetting he is all alone for an eternity. In this way he created us to be happy with him in heaven. Just a thought/ the ramblings of my conceptual mind.
So, perhaps, the problem is not that we are going to die, become nothing, but that we are God, the one thing alone in his universe condemned to live forever. We trick ourselves into thinking there is constant change, divert ourselves with the drama of life. Just a thought.
What is there to hold onto in this sea of ideas sweeping us away? Breath in and breath out, Thich Nhat Hanh tells us. Stay in the present moment.
What will we do? What will we believe? Or, perhaps, we will believe reality is nonverbal, unknowable. How do we live in this nonverbal universe?
I don't think the question is what makes life meaningful. I think the question is what makes life tolerable. And we all have to answer that question for ourselves. I never would denigrate another person's answer to that question.
I think when God told Adam and Eve not to eat of the Tree of the Fruit of Knowledge, he was telling them - Perception is Deception - in all things you never see but through a glass darkly now. Recently, I have started to read the books of Thich Nhat Hanh. They help.