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