Thursday, October 9, 2008

Micro reality does not cancel out the macro reality

This is a response I wrote on another web site about the nature and function of ego. Thought it might be interesting to include in this blog. The other writer was commenting on a common misunderstanding about the non-dual perspective of reality. He sited Buddhist philosophy and quantum physics as sources which hold the position that the transcendent reality cancels out the physical reality most people experience day to day. Here is my reply.

From the point of view of both Buddhist psychology and quantum physics, reality has states and traits that carry particular existent properties which are perceived depending upon one's point of view. The mind perceives a solid body where there actually is none. However, the mind is evolutionarily geared to perceive the body as a solid mass rather than its reality as a continual flow of particles/waves structured by the quantum information these particles/waves possess at any given moment. The micro reality does not cancel out the macro reality. This is why when the Zen master kicks the student's shin he feels pain. The physical body is wired so the brain processes pain upon pressure. The ego is constructed to feel that all experience including that pain belongs to it: the pain is me and mine. Again, this is a mental construction, a particular point of view that comes from an undeveloped mind.

When we undertake mental training in the practices of shamatha (concentration/tranquility) and vipassana (insight/mindfulness) we develop the more refined cortical functions which allow us to perceive the micro-informational aspects of reality along with the macro aspects of reality. Again, one does not cancel out the other. All realities enfold and are inclusive and simultaneously arising with all other realities.

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