Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Standard Model of Reality

What follows is a summary of the results of my meditation experiment. Since it is an on-going experiment, these results are by definition incomplete. It would be best to see this summary in the same way you might see a description of what various items on a menu taste like. To really taste the items, you need to eat. To really know what it is like to meditate, you need to practice. Everything that follows is a direct result of looking closely at my own thinking, sensing, feeling system in order to discover how it works. I offer here the most basic observations about insights I have personally experienced.

Before I begin to list some of the outcomes of practicing meditation, it would be best to try and describe the baseline, the standard model of reality. The pre-meditation view point is marked by a sense of permanence. We do not expect objects to randomly appear or disappear. Our personal integrity is based on the maintenance of a persistent, individual identity, built from stringing together moments with memories. We feel solid and real. If I push a solid object, my hand will not protrude through it to the other side. The world of form exists outside my mind and it does not require me to give it substance. Despite our trust in the solidity of things, we are confident in imaginative constructs like an afterlife or a soul. We need to feel that things are permanent in order to feel secure.

Another aspect of the pre-meditation view point assumes that people, places and things are separate. He is not me. I am not him or that. In a sense, there is a boundary around everything, keeping things apart. We maintain the notion of difference with conceptual labels so that they may be judged according to our likes or dislikes. Next, each separate entity or actor sees itself as an end in itself. In this sense, an actor can be the recipient of an effect or a cause. We have free-will, self-will, and independent agency. We are individuals.

Conceptual labels allow our minds to map the world. Our maps provide a shadow representation of where to go to get what we want or where not to go to avoid what we don't want. This process of acting in relationship to my desires is fraught with insecurity and anxiety. Finally, We are, in real existential sense, alone.

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