Tuesday, 5 February 2013
Reality Mindfulness And Opinion
Reality, Mindfulness and Opinion.
Just lately I have had a renewed interest in Buddhism, and have been reading about Zen and Vipassana methods of meditation and it got me thinking about reality.
It is said in Buddhist teachings that by understanding the causes of ‘suffering’ (just about everything that can cause emotional, physical and mental pain), through mindfulness and meditation we can not only lead a happier life but also lift the veil that prevents us seeing things as they really are.
What does this mean? Well many years ago, in Australia I bought a knife, I had never really thought much about knives but reading an article somewhere about the famous Swedish knives by Moro, about the superior steel the blades were made from and about how sharp one can get the blade and how one can hammer the blade into a tree and stand on the handle and how when in need the Moro knife will not let you down, the Rambo in me was salivating. I just had to have one.
Over the years that knife has gone from home to home, and to be honest it hasn’t let me down, for many years it has been the kitchen knife and is used daily, the blade stays sharp for ages and is easy to sharpen when need be.
It has gone with me on camping trips in Europe and Australia, though the leather holder rotted away years ago it is my trusty knife or was!
Mindfulness practise is a treat for me, it is hard to explain the experience in words but it is as if normally I experience life through a filter that is absent when observing in a state of mindfulness, there is a perceivable clarity to what I am aware of during mindfulness, whether it be taking the dogs for a walk or slapping on mud plaster on our extension. So I was mindfully washing up the other day when the red handle of my trusted Moro knife appeared through the fragrant soap suds and for the first time I saw it as it really is, it is a knife!
OK don’t laugh, of course it has always been a knife, reality hadn’t changed that, what had changed was for the first time in 25 years it was no longer ‘my’ knife, it was no longer a representation of the ‘Rambo’ in me, it was no longer a thing of pride for me because of its quality, it is just what it is, a knife.
The ‘my’ was gone, the ‘fantasy of survival’ had gone, the ‘pride of ownership’ had gone, the ‘what that knife represents for me’ had gone. It is just what it is, a knife.
This has been my first insight into understanding what that veil is that prevents us from seeing reality. The grasping of stuff I intellectually understood but this was my first real awareness of reality, for the first time I saw reality without the veil of emotion, ego, suffering, grasping, without an opinion.
This all happened in a few seconds of course but it was a very powerful few seconds and a very symbolic lesson of the knife of awareness cutting through the grasping of my opinionated, subjective ego based reality.
This got me thinking about object reality, well this and a synchronistic discussion I involved myself in, where in our world is objective reality?
I looked at Politics, Medicine, the Legal system, fashion, and pleasure and the only three things that we experience objectively, all accompanying pain of some sort, is that we are born, we will die and everything changes. In fact death itself is subjective as death certificates have been written out for people who on the morgue slab were obviously alive, and of course there is brain death in a live body, all of which is based on opinion which of course is subjective, but we will eventually die though what is death?
The law is based on reasonable doubt, well if there is any doubt then that cannot be objective, Politics would not exist in an objective world as there would be no need for political opinions or discussions.
I carried on with these thoughts until an interesting conclusion appeared, that in an objective world we would cease to exist in this form of separation from each other.
Of course that is just my subjective opinion!