Saturday, July 22, 2006

Saturday, July 22: What is real? A mini-response

Who knows. Or, let’s start with the basics:

On this Earth, we have sunlight. That fuels our days.

The Earth rotates. We have night when we are in the shadow. That makes our nights.

Pick up a leaf, let it go. It flutters to the ground. Gravity is real. No one knows “what?” gravity is, and yet, until we go up into outer space: gravity is a primary influence in our lives.

We started as babies, blobs on the Earth. Set us down on our backs and we don’t know what to do. We try this, we try that, we rest, we sleep, we eat, we shit and pee, we move this, move that.

We learn. Human brains are for learning. We started out not knowing how to crawl, or sit up in gravity, or stand in gravity, or walk in gravity. We learned. Learning is real and the distinguishing characteristic of the human species. A dog in Brazil, meeting a dog in Canada, has no communication problems.

Humans learned a language. A big deal saint in India that Marlie and I are interested in because he suggests fun things like sticking your thumb on the Earth for as long as it takes to do a certain chant ( see a couple of days ago) 108 times (about an hour for me, less for Marlie), this guy didn’t talk the first seven years. He had better things to do.

This is also real: there is a world of words and there is the directly sensed world, as in the feel of my feet on the floor right now, as I knowing, when I inquire with my attention, where my elbows are in relation to my pelvis. This is real. Or real enough. You can get into atoms are empty so nothing is anything, but what planet is that about? You sit on a chair, the “chair” is not real, and maybe even the thing that gets called the chair is full of empty space, and still: you sit on it, and if you miss, plop, down you fall to the ground, gravity again.

What else is real?

Who knows.

Maybe happiness. Maybe love. Maybe a quiet peace when we let go or don’t believe in or laugh at our stories and thoughts and beliefs. In silence is a great deal of wisdom. Inside there is a vast richness.

This can be experienced. The experience is real. The words here on this page: a suggestion, marks of light on dark, or dark on light. How does the brain know the letters: noticing differences.

What do brains do? Notice differences. Co-ordinate this and that. Discover the easiest way to do something. Get stuck in habitual patterns. Rise to the occasion and discover new ways, sometimes.

How to set up our lives so we keep giving ourselves enough stress so that we have to rise to the present and to learn, to take the delight of “I don’t know,” and discover something we didn’t know? Good question. Too much stress and we crumble. Not enough stress and we are lazy and worthless, like most of the “civilized” world, afraid to walk, or move in nature if it’s too hot or too cool. This veers off into a habitual rant of mine.

Is “lazy” real?

Who knows.

Is talking a walk in a sweet and cool morning and looking at the sky and seeing it without any words for what we are seeing, is that real? I think so.


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