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Who are you?

December 8, 2011

"Puddle 1"

Living systems are open, self organizing and interact with their environment.

Living systems, such as the human body, are maintained by flows of information, and energy/matter.

Living creatures are not static things, living systems are processes of energy and information flow. The body maintains its form in the same way a waterfall maintains its form while being made of continuously flowing water. The waterfall is new water at every moment, yet it keeps the illusion of continuous form, the same with our bodies.

Information is any kind of event that effects the state of a dynamic system

We are made of the energy and information that we gather from the world, and we recycle energy and information back out into the world. Where does the body end?

Philosopher Alan Watts describes the nature of reality:

“But you see, when, as a scientist, you describe the behavior of a living organism, you try to say what a person does, it’s the only way in which you can describe what a person is, describe what they do. Then you find out that in making this description, you cannot confine yourself to what happens inside the skin. In other words, you cannot talk about a person walking unless you start describing the floor, because when I walk, I don’t just dangle my legs in empty space. I move in relationship to a room. So in order to describe what I’m doing when I’m walking, I have to describe the room; I have to describe the territory. So in describing my talking at the moment, I can’t describe it as just a thing in itself, because I’m talking to you. And so what I’m doing at the moment is not completely described unless your being here is described also. So if that is necessary, in other words, in order to describe MY behavior, I have to describe YOUR behavior and the behavior of the environment, it means that we’ve really got one system of behavior.

Your skin doesn’t separate you from the world; it’s a bridge through which the external world flows into you, and you flow into it.

Just, for example, as a whirlpool in water, you could say because you have a skin you have a definite shape you have a definite form. All right? Here is a flow of water, and suddenly it does a whirlpool, and it goes on. The whirlpool is a definite form, but no water stays put in it. The whirlpool is something the stream is doing, and exactly the same way, the whole universe is doing each one of us, and I see each one of you today and I recognize you tomorrow, just as I would recognize a whirlpool in a stream. I’d say ‘Oh yes, I’ve seen that whirlpool before, it’s just near so-and-so’s house on the edge of the river, and it’s always there.’ So in the same way when I meet you tomorrow, I recognize you, you’re the same whirlpool you were yesterday. But you’re moving. The whole world is moving through you, all the cosmic rays, all the food you’re eating, the stream of steaks and milk and eggs and everything is just flowing right through you.”

Buddhism denies the existence of a permanent or static entity that remains constant behind the changing bodily and non-bodily components of a living being. The word anatta refers to the notion of “not-self”. Just as the body changes from moment to moment, so thoughts come and go; and according to the anatta doctrine, there is no permanent conscious substance that experiences these thoughts, as in Cartesianism: rather, conscious thoughts simply arise and perish with no “thinker” behind them.

Martin Heidegger stressed that humans cannot think on their own, but rather are incited to think by Being. In other words, Being works through beings.

The Hopi concept of Hikswi, or ‘breath’ is very similar:

Breath/Wind/Air- imparts life, motion and thought to all things.

It is the soul of the visible landscape, the secret realm from whence all beings draw their nourishment.

What we call our ‘mind’ , ‘soul’, or ‘spirit’,  is the wind.

Spirit = Spiritus (Latin) = Breath/Wind

Ruach = (Hebrew) = Breath/Wind/Spirit

Psyche = (Greek) = Breath/Life/Mind

Pneuma = (Greek) = Breath/Soul

Soul = Anima = Animos = Wind

Atmosphere = Atman = Atmos = Air/Soul

Our self or psyche is the process of the Air circulating through us.

“The air also binds us to the oceans and soils. The air was once felt, in fact for the huge bulk of our human tenure in this Eairth, we felt the air as a kind of mystery that was unusually sacred and holy, precisely because you can’t see it. It is that through which we see everything else. We see it lofting the clouds over head, bending the branches of trees, and bending the grasses. We see that it moves all sorts of things around us, but we can’t see it directly. We see that we cannot think a single thought without continually imbibing this invisible substance. So how do we know it’s not also moving our own thoughts, the air. For many indigenous people, it is the air that thinks and dreams within us. The mind is not thought of as something that we carry around inside our heads, or inside our bodies, or rather, it does circulate within us, but the air, or the psyche within us is entirely continuous with the psyche all around us, with the bending grasses, with what is loft in the clouds. This is also a very, very old notion, but it’s a very different kind of spirituality than that to which human kind has given itself for the last couple thousand years.”

-( David Abram, Stockholm, 2010)

Kensho is a Zen-Buddhist word meaning “seeing one’s nature” or “true self”. It generally refers to the realization of non-duality of subject and object.

Zen Koans are useds as training. A koan is known as: ‘Who am I’, since it is this question that guides the enquiry into one’s true nature. The realization that there is no ‘I’ that is doing the thinking, but rather that the thinking process brings forth the illusion of an ‘I’, is a step on the way to Kensho.

Satori is sometimes loosely used interchangeably with kensho, but kensho refers to the first perception of the Buddha-Nature or True-Nature, sometimes referred to as “awakening.” Distinct from kensho, which is not a permanent realization but a clear glimpse of the true nature of existence, satori is used to refer to a “deep” or lasting realization of the nature of existence. It is therefore customary to use the word satori, rather than kensho, when referring to the realization of the Buddha and the Patriarchs with Bodhisattvas; these figures recognized that “all things are Buddha things” and therefore any separation between self and the universe is illusory.

The world and I reciprocate one another.

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