Friday, September 24, 2010

What Sits

Someone told me this weekend that we are just a swarm. 90% of "our" bodies is actually bacteria that doesn't carry our DNA. Not bad stuff either. We need that bacteria to function... Some of it, at least. So this swarm sits on a cushion with millions of operations going on. Each atom is doing something in reaction to some stimuli. And last night someone said that we don't really multitask... We just do one thing at a time. IMHO, nothing could be further from the truth.

When Socrates was on trial he said that the philosopher would welcome death because then they could see clearly without being mislead by the desires of the body. Buddhists appear to take a very different approach that there isn't a duality. They use the expression "not one, not two." There is a Buddhist "mind," but it is one of the sense apparatus. Who receives the sense information? Is it the body? The whole swarm?

Probably. Or not.

On a different note, my friend claims there is no room for humor given the sad state of affairs in the world. He is implying that the state of affairs is worse than what it was at other times. Is it?

Buddhists talk about big mind and little mind. I think big mind can laugh when it is stuck in traffic... or when they get a new car and see that a falling pecan made a rust colored mark in the shiny paint. Laugh. How? Perhaps understanding the impermanence of the new car. Perhaps realizing that the pecan has a life too... and part of that life might be to mark a car. Perhaps by seeing events from every perspective.

I was thinking the other day that your little mind is in my big mind, and my little mind is in your big mind. Then the next day I thought that my little mind is in my big mind, all of which is one with everything else. We look at an animal and we don't separate their mind and body. We even look at people and we see them as unified forces (even if they are swarms). Why is it so difficult for us to see ourselves in the same way?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That heavy thinking is above my pay grade. H.