Monday, May 30, 2016

Turtles and sweaters

We've looked a few times at how to investigate the nature of experience. As you do so, you probably notice that nothing is immune to the investigation: every texture, every color, every thought is itself nothing but this pure self-knowing "stuff" called consciousness (or whatever label you give it). The belief that this process works; the belief that it doesn't; the belief that it points to something true; the belief that it doesn't... all are felled in precisely the same way.

The belief in time, the seeming experience of it, the belief in a self, the seeming experience of it, the fear that this may be heading somewhere beyond your control, the sense liberation in realizing just where it is leading... all succumb.

As this process deepens and uproots, there are sticking points. Places where you plant down a stake and proclaim "dammit, this shall not vanish!" It doesn't feel like an act of will, of course: the best and cleverest strongholds are the ones upheld by legitimate, objective, external evidence. There are also those that play to your moral intuitions: if this vanishes as an objective truth, I'll turn into a monster!

But sooner or later, they will all fall by the same process. The process that started the deconstruction is like a turtle that walked away with a thread of the sweater in its mouth. It's not letting go.

So it's fine: take a rest on whatever certainty you've found conviction in. There's a long journey ahead, and there's no reason you shouldn't be allowed to stop and catch your breath.

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