As persons, we are objects, with pasts much greater than our age and futures more enduring than our life expectancy. But we are special objects, each with a unique subjective window on the world. And within your window is yourself, both as subject and as object.
The present moment is a creative wave worth celebrating. Nietzsche and Pirsig agree: care about what you do, not what will come from it. Value, quality, resides in the doing.
Nietzsche calls on us to be the poets of our own lives. He applied this to himself as well, seeing philosophy not as a field for discovering truths but for creating them. What does this mean for us?
Discoveries that emerged from 1905 to 1925 predict experimental results with great accuracy, and their theories underpin many of the technological advances of the past hundred years. Isn’t it odd, then, that we haven’t agreed how to incorporate their implications into a single picture of reality?
What if courage is just one manifestation of the willingness to bear discomfort? What if it is not fear that holds us back, but our refusal to bear the discomfort of fearful feelings?
Sweep me up,
Perform your dance.
Or will your game unfold today
In more awesome, terrible display?
I see Now.
I see Me,
And in Me, me.
Here is clear
Perception of the perfection
In reality, My reflection.
One dazzling Jewel, We,
Facets each for you and me.
Jewel, Sun, God, Sky,
Looks through these and those eyes.
Question things you’ve always assumed to be facts, the unseen beliefs that determine your experience of the world. Experiment with alternatives, even if, at first, those replacements clash with all you’ve taken to be true. Exercise courage and curiosity to remain open. Recognize that all this effort isn’t yours, and your journey brings you home.
Julian Barbour aims to complete the work Einstein began but did not to take to its fruition — rejecting all space and time (and space-time) as absolute metrics for or containers of change. His work embodies a crucial willingness to question fundamental assumptions, to see through old stories and imagine new ones that may work better.
To discover who we are, our investigation first identifies what we are not. We notice a hypnotic array of perceptions, thoughts, and feelings, but these mental objects — on their own or together — are not us. We are what experiences them, that which knows them. As these objects change, instant-to-instant, what remains the same?
To discover our natural divinity, we see through any apparent conflict between that divinity and our mortal humanity. We live with faith, which is to say with openness to uncertainty, to mystery.
The Buddha was committed to alleviating human suffering. Careful meditation on impermanence reveals the deepest truth: no durable self exists. You are among the “things” that seem stable but are actually juggled, fleeting aspects of an undivided flux. If there is no “you,” then who suffers?
Meet two eastern metaphors. Maya is the hypnosis and illusion that constitute our sense of separateness from the universe’s flow. Lila teaches us that the “meaning of life” has nothing to do with purpose or reason but is all about effortless spontaneity and play!
The ego has an antagonistic relationship with the present moment. Only the ego rejects anything as it happens. Included in that “anything” is the ego itself. So, if you ever notice yourself fighting the ego, then you’re actually noticing the ego fighting the ego! The noticing is powerful. The fighting is…well…self-defeating.
We drift in an undivided, complex flow. Springing each moment from nothing, this flow is called life. Life is what happens — no more and no less. What happens is the dynamic manifestation, the unfolding into here and now of a single, dimensionless, eternal, unchanging principle, called Tao.
Kurt Gödel’s world is relentlessly logical. It explores and defines the reaches of certainty, the realm of provability. Here, our logic proves its own limits, which is humbling. But it’s also beautiful because we wake to the creative power of our stories, and we open them to living adaptation.
I can access life’s fulness more frequently and for longer periods by opening my heart to What Is. I can build my capacity to meet discomfort more immediately and lovingly. It is worth the work.
Our egoic fortresses are the assembled constructs—images, narratives and labels—that give us the impression of solidity and independence from the flux of change that surrounds us. We hide in these redoubts in the hope of defining a realm of control within a vast sea in which we have none. But all fortresses are also prisons.
As a child, I hid splinters of myself that seemed to invite misunderstanding, rejection and abandonment. I now possess a richer set of capabilities than my young self did. But I’ve spent decades relying on the once-appropriate child’s toolbox anytime the splinters of me that that child hid away pop up to present themselves.