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Can “suchness” be reduced to energy?


Q&A: Can “suchness” be reduced to energy?

Master Culadasa gives a detailed discussion on how reductionist methods of investigating reality simply don’t work.

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Student: [00:00:00] Can suchness be reduced to energy and emptiness?

Culadasa: Actually, I think recognizing ultimate truth as suchness is a way of giving up reductions. It's giving up the attempt to reduce that. Okay. Emptiness, how do you reduce something to emptiness? How do you reduce something to the absence of something?

Yeah, that's it, because MTN has always asked for the emptiness of, so that's not much of a reduction anyway. Now when you say energy there is. This is what science attempts to do is to reduce is to discover the ultimate nature of reality through reduction and. Going back to Einstein and general relativity, they recognize that matter and energy are just two forms of the same thing.

And so in that regard, physics has already reduced the material world to energy, and from a materials point of view and reductionist. Then deal with, you would say it seems like that we're just about to approach her the ultimate nature of reality by standing by the synergy.

But

the

more we use the word such S we're trying to recognize it, that is taking an approach that doesn't work. We're taking. Mental constructs and natural concepts. And we're the whole process of reduction is a process of reducing our conceptualizations. It's reductionism of our conceptualization. And I'll go as far as we can.

But when we get to the bottom we still have nothing left, but what our mind has projected, we haven't come, we haven't come any closer at all. And we began to the ultimate nature of it.

The nature. Yeah, we haven't reached such nurse. We haven't reached, we haven't reached all from the truth in itself by taking our concepts and rearranging them and reducing them down as far as you can vary. So try to think about going the other way. Okay, that let's give up. Let's give up trying to reduce nature. As a matter of fact, there are some very elegant logical proofs from medieval Buddhists scholasticism. So who dispersion of how many angels can dance on the pit, but they did a very good job. I sent him his insert.

Now that show. That basically all these reductionistic attempts or arguing to failure, they lead to logical contradictions. So what we're really doing is we're going the other way and we're saying, let's give up, reducing it. Let's give up this idea that somehow we can break times down and come to a breach.

They're the same thing that the atoms that make everything kind of the ultimate thing.

let's go to the average reaction. That's the purchase holistically or whole graphically you might say is the idea of a whole event is that that whole is contained in every part, no matter how small and conversely, the every part is contained. And Taylor, the other party, or this say that every part is contained within the hole.

So rather than trying to reduce things to the parts, to whatever it makes them up and try and find some substance out of which we can build reality. But actually we can do that. But what we realize is the substances, the mine fabrication sees it, some fabrication. In terms of approaching ultimate reality in a more meaningful way, this thing.

Holy graphically, rather than reductionistically. I want to say something a little bit though. I love this conversation because the more I think about this kind of stuff and try to apply my mind to all this stuff, the more stuff I get. So it's almost like I it's almost like it is that for me, just getting quiet, watching, listening, shutting up creates a larger picture [00:05:00] that I can't even put words to.

It's the only way I can do it. I can do it. Art helps me, the simple act of drawing a branch, watching it, observing it, seeing the spaces between the branches, not the branches themselves, but watching that whole thing, saying that the spaces are as much of the branch as the branches. It's the only way I can do it.

Music comes close if it's the right kind of music at the right time. But if I'll try to think my way through, I get all tangled up and my mind gets engaged and it's just reduces things to an impossible for static stay in from thing. Does that make any sense? Yes. What I hear you saying is that for you thinking about it too much?

It doesn't help. No, it gets in the way.

Yeah. Really part of what I'm saying is that ultimately you'll find that thinking about it. And it gets you so far and no further because, considering that the problem is that we are tracking. By the limitations of our minds, conceptualizations, then using the same conceptualizing mind, isn't going to isn't going to get us out of the trap now, may evolve and it will help.

And for some people it helps a lot more of the nodes, but no matter whether you're one of the people that it's helpful for or useful for. Or for one of those people, more like you are that doesn't seem to be much use even from the beginning, eventually disappoint the, have to, you have to leave it behind.

Yeah. It can take you so far and no further hand the role of place.

No it's interesting. I tell you and I listened to you. And my sense is that you are not as stuck. As many other people are in the view where you might call the sameness view rooms, world made up of things. And I'm just one more saying, but I'm a special thing. When you say, when you realize that branches as much the space around it, as it is the branch itself, that's it, that's an indication that your thinking was already not quite so rigidly trapped in the famous feud and the real world and a separate stuff.

But. For a lot of other people, that's not the case, it's it's just, it is, it seems like this is the way it is. And it's so hard to get out of that. And I find that thinking about it can be very helpful or people who've, because your mind, although it can. And get you all the way.

You can use your mind very productively to undo a lot of that. It's a combination of conditioning and natural predisposition. The human mind is naturally predisposed to view things in a particular way.

Your society, the people around you, your anti-wrinkle. Do you use it in that way? So it's constantly being reinforced to, you can use your mind to undo that conditioning. You have to loosen it up and get used to the place where you can sit down and open up and have a different kind of experience. So as you can sit down and have a different kind of experience without doing that well, then that's great.

No need to spend too much time thinking about it. If at any point you feel you're stuck, it might be helpful to think about it at least to see if you can see where there's something about the view that you're holding that is is acting as a script that constraint keeping here from St. Mark.

Sum it all up thinking has a role, but not everybody needs to do too much

analysis. Ultimately what is most valuable is observation. And that's, even if you're doing analysis, if you think your sayings analytical, That it doesn't get you very far at all, unless you take and apply what you've understood intellectually in terms of observation and real experience. However it comes about like you have a visceral experience of [00:10:00] meditation.

How the mind creates the reality and that's go out and observe that over and over again at every opportunity and every different kind of situation you can't. In other words, reconfirm it, reaffirm it for yourself. And I would say exactly the same thing and somebody who said study the sex.

And I figured out, I think I understand it. This and that. And yeah, that's right. I'd say the same thing to this. Now, what you need to do is keep this in your mind and go prove to yourself that it's in, that it's true in practice in the world. Day-to-day, and in your own personal, real experience, because that's what really counts.

That's what's most. No matter how you come by the understanding it needs to be reinforced by right experiences. Matter of fact, I think I've told you before, just there's these stages that we go through this, the stage of acquiring a view, and this can be a hero or a learner of study, or you acquire the view.

You can be a sacred or. Or are you talking about that? Yeah. And those occasions of personal efficiency that might happen here and there, but then there's the second stage. And this is called in some traditions it's called a purification by overcoming. And others it's called the stage of reflection.

I refer to very often as reflection. I'd say, first you study when you reflect, but first you acquire the view and then you overcome all doubt. The way you overcome doubt is testing it, applying it, it seems this way. Let's try it. Let's see if it fits, let's see if it really works.

And if you do that, what this does is it begins to loosen up the hold that illusion has on you that begins to change your intuitive way. Immediately understanding your experience. It loosens the bonds of the.

And the third stage, is that a direct experience? Sometimes it's called stage of meditation simply because all of these different meditation methods, their whole purpose is to bring you to the stage of direct experience. When. Is there any that are familiar with the precepts that we for on her first day and also possibly has that take the 10th preset is to practice mindfulness and follow the pull fats, your daily study, meditation and reflection.

So these are these three things. Meditation is the third one. It's the one that involves the direct experience is the one where you take what you do. What you've understood and whatever way you've understood, you've acquired the view, then you've deepened it to reflection. You've overcomed out to where there's a certainty there.

And then it's brings you usually through meditation to the direct experience that produces the permanent change.




Automated transcription

Can such miss be reduced to energy and adidas? Actually, I think look at right. Recognizing ultimate truth and such is a way of giving up reductions it's giving out the account to reduce things. Okay? How do you reduce something to am emptiness? How do you reduce something to the absence or something? Yeah. It's because Kent has always asked the be happiness of. Right right. Yeah. So that's not much of deduction. Anyway. Now when you say energy, there is... This is what science attempts to do. Is to reduce It is to discover the ultimate nature reality through reduction.

Okay. K. And you know, going back to einstein and general relativity and i recognize said matter and energy yeah. Or just two forms of the same thing. And so in that regard physics has already reduced. The material world to energy. You know? And so from from a material point of view and reduction as spanish you, then do it, you know, you say, well it seems like that we're just about to approach the ultimate nature of reality by understanding for percentages. The... The use word receptionist as, we're trying to recognize it.

That is taking an approach that doesn't work. We're taking mental constructs and natural concepts and we're... The whole process of reduction is the process of reducing our conceptual. It's reduction is in the our. Now go as far as we can when we get to the bottom, we still have nothing left, but work our lines has projected. We have a come. We have count any closer at all than we began to the ultimate nature of reality. So yes that's the nature. Yeah. We haven't reached such. We haven't reached...

We haven't reached alternate proof in itself by taking our concepts and rearranging and and reducing them down if can go. So so type think about going the other way. K. That let's get up Let's give up trying to reduce. As a matter of fact, there are some very elegant logical proofs. From medieval buddhist. It's the buddhist version of how many angels been down. Okay. Right Well they did a very good job. Say. Yeah. They show that that basically all these reduction is that attempts or hard to failure that they lead to logical conversations.

Right? So What we're really doing is we're going the other way, and we're saying, you know, let's let's give up reducing it Let's give up this idea somehow we can break hands down and come to... I mean, it agree it the same thing. The the atoms that make everything hand down that. Bunch of the and that's everything know you have about. Let's go to the direction. That's perch. Hold holistically graphically, you what say. Is idea a whole that is that that whole contained. Again every part. No matter how small.

And conversely, the every part is contained in every other part or just say that that every part is contained within the whole. So rather than than trying to reduce things to the parts. To whatever makes them up and try to find some substance out of which we can build reality actually, we can do that. But what we realize is the substances is the mine advocates and the line sees and some ramifications but in in terms of approaching ultimate reality in a more meaningful way. Let's thing. Holographic.

Right And the reduction is sick. I wanna to say something a little bit... I love this conversation. Because the more I think about this kind of stuff and trying to apply my mind to all this stuff. More stuff I get. So it's almost like... I... It is almost like, it is that for me, just getting quiet watching listening shutting up. Creates a larger picture that I can't even put words to. It's the only way I can do it. I can do it art helps me Mh. You know, the simple act of drawing a branch, watching and observing it seeing that spaces between the branches, not the branches themselves, but watching that whole thing.

I'm saying that the spaces is are as much of the branch as the branch self, you know? It's the only way I can do it. Music comes close. If it's the right kind of music at the lead time. But if I'm trying to think my three way through I get all tangled up and my mind gets engaged, and it's just reduces things to an impossible pathetic then kind of something. Makes sense. Yes. Well, what I hear you saying is that is that... For you thinking about it too much? Doesn't help? No. It gets in the way. And it and it's poverty it's a poverty...

Mh Yeah. And alright. Any part of what I'm saying is that ultimately, you'll find that thinking about it, i'll get you so far and no further. Because, you know, the considering that the problem is that we are trapped by the limitations of our minds. You know, then using the same conceptual mine is going to isn't and going to get us out of the trap. Now i'm name poe and a real help. And for some people it helps a lot those, you Know But no matter whether you're one of the people that is helpful for useful for or or one of those people more like you or that doesn't seem to be much easier even from the beginning.

I just put this point the have to actually behind. Yep. It can take you just so far and no further. Hand the roller place. Know, it's it's interesting. I I tell you and I listen to you. And my sense is that you are not has stuck as many other people are. Again the view... You might hold the thing you where it was a world made up of things and I'm just one more thing. But I'm a special thing. Mh. Right. You know, when you say, you realize the branch is as much the space around it as it is the branch itself.

That's a that's an indication that you're thinking is not quite so rigid trapped in gift in a real world and a separate stuff. So... But for a lot of other people, that's not case. you know, it's like Just it is it seems like this is the way it is, and it's so hard to get out of that. And I find that thinking about it, can be very very helpful for people who, you know, because your mind, although it can't get you all the way. You can't use your mind very productively to undo a lot of that it's a combination of conditioning and natural predisposition, you know, the human mind is naturally pre predisposed to view things at a particular right.

And then your society, the people around you, your entire culture, views it in that way. So it's constantly being reinforced. You can use your mind to undo that condition. You to loosen it up and get used to place where you can sit down and open up and have a different kind of experience. So as you could sit down and have a different kind of experience without doing that. Well then. That's great. No need to spend too much time thinking about it. Bye. Get any point? You feel your stock it might be helpful to think about it.

At least to to see if you can see where there's something about the view that you're holding. That is is acting as a script that constraint keeping you from from seeing more clearly. So Sum at all, thinking has enrolled, but not everybody needs to do too russia. Taking. Analysis. Ultimately, what is most valuable his observation, and that's even if you're doing analysis if you if you think your things analytical. That it doesn't get you very far at all and unless you take and apply what you've understood until intellectually in terms of observation and real experience.

So however it comes about like, you have visceral experience and meditation of how the line creates the reality. That's go out and observe that over and over again and every opportunity in every different kind of situation you can't in other words recon it, reaffirm it for. So now, say exactly the same thing. And somebody who said, you know, study these checks I figured out. I think I understand. It means this this this and it's And... Yeah. That's right. I say the same thing to this. Now what you need to do is keep this in your mind and prove to yourself that in that is true in practice in the world.

Day day, you know, and in in your, own personal real experience. Because that's what really counts that's what's supposed to for. No matter how you come by the understanding. It dates, it needs to be reinforced by That experience. This is matter fact. I okay. I've told you before. Just there's these stages that we go through. It's the stage. Acquiring of you, and this can be a hear learner a study here. You acquire the view. You can be a secret or, you know, or or can talk about... Yeah. And and those occasions or personal efficient that might happen hear there.

But then there's a second stage. And this is called... you know, you, some issues is called a purification by over overcoming dell. And others it's called the stage of reflection. I referred to very often as reflection. I'd say, you know, first, first study and you reflect. But... Alright. First, you acquire the video. And then you overcome all out. Way you over overcome dell is like testing testing applying, You know, it seems this way. Let's try out. Seizure test and see if really works. And if you do that, yeah.

What this does is if it begins to loosen up the hold that illusion as on you that begins to change your intuitive way, immediately understanding your experience. It loosen the bonds out of of the vision. And the third stage is that direct experience. Sometimes it's called the stage of simply because i all of these different meditation methods, that whole purpose is to bring you to the sage of direct experience. So, you know, when... I think we do that familiar of the pre steps that we made for on the first two time day and also the plastic has take the is to practice mindfulness, and follow the pull path through daily study, meditation and reflection.

So these are be three things. Meditation is the third party. Spelling that involves the direct experience. It's the one where you where... You take what you've what you've understood in whatever way you've understood you've required the view, then you you've deepened it to reflection you've over overcome down. To where there's a certainty there. And then this brings you usually through meditation to the direct experience. Produces the permanent chain.

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