24 Oct
Posted in: Study
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Kind of Crazy

This study of the Abhidhamma is fascinating (and kind of crazy….for example, it says that there is a sequence of 17 separate “mind moments” that occur in the cognitive process of seeing a visual object, which begin with a moment of “life continuum” passing, then “vibrating,” then “being arrested”, then a moment of the mind “adverting” to the “sense door being stimulated” — the eye — then “seeing consciousness” happening, then the seen object being “received into the mind”, etc etc etc).

But I’m willing to go with it. Because, frankly, it’s not any “crazier” than what modern, Western science has been telling us…and which meditators have been confirming for 2600 years…that what we take to be “real” and “solid” and governed by a “self”….is not.

For example:

“Subatomic particles are not made of any material substance. They have a certain mass but this mass is a form of energy. Energy however is always associated with processes, with activity; it is a measure of activity.

“Subatomic particles, then, are bundles of energy, or patterns of activity. The energy patterns of the subatomic world form stable atonic and molecular structures, which build up matter and give it its macroscopic solid appearance thus making us believe that it is made of some material substance.

“At the everyday, macroscopic level, the notion of a substance is quite useful, but at the atomic level it no longer makes sense. Atoms consist of particles and these particles are not made of any material stuff. When we observe them, we never see any substance; what we observe are dynamic patterns continually changing into one another–a continuous dance of energy.”

The Turning Point, by Fritjof Capra

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