Middle Pane

absurdism, philosophy, science, music


February 2013


Everything that I sense is a projection of my mind.  It is a judgement of reality as my mind is interpreting it.  Since it is a projection of my mind, then to oppose it is to oppose my mind.  To see good or bad in it is to see good or bad in my mind.  Letting go of judgement of others, of our position in life, of our environment, of any expectation that we may have for anything that is beyond this situation, and even the current situation itself allows us to let go of judgement of ourselves.  Within that judgement free zone we can just be.  The goal is to expand that zone as wide so that it encompasses everything that you could possibly imagine, and everything that you could not possibly imagine.


Finding vs. Looking

Expectations, outcome, and disappointmentWhat is the difference in finding and looking?  The two words sound so much the same.  When we look, we are looking so that we can find something.   We look for our car keys.  We find our car keys.  Yeah, that sounds pretty close.  The question is, can we find our car keys without looking?

How many times have your torn through your house looking for your keys?  You look everywhere that you have been.  You look in the normal spots.  You look in the abnormal spots.  They are gone.  You close your eyes and take a breath.  You find them.  They were here all along.  You did not need to look for them for them to be here.

When we actively look for something we set up expectations in our mind for what we will find or where we will find it.  Those expectations limit and can set us up for disappointment if they are not fully met. Let go of expectations of finding and just find.

We suffer because we want things to last forever or, even worse, we EXPECT things to last forever. But, impermanence isn’t a bad thing in itself. That is just a value that we apply to it. Without impermanence, life is not possible. How can we transform our suffering if things are not impermanent? How can the situation in the world improve? We need impermanence for hope.

– Daniel Boepyol Scharpenburg  – unleashyourbuddhanature


English: Photo of jacket Polski: Zdjęcie marynarki

We went to a baby christening this weekend.  My wife dressed in a new outfit she got a few months ago, but has never worn, and I wore a dress shirt, slacks, and sports jacket from my collection of work attire from over the years.  Recently at work I have just been wearing jeans and dress shirts to be more casual, so the jacket was about 10 years old.  My wife had tried to nudge me to wear a different shirt, but I couldn’t find it.  She had made a comment about a different jacket, but I ignored it.  At the party after the christening, and more so in reflection, I felt out of place and shabby with the way I dressed.

I didn’t really think about it until last night, but one of the memories I have of my dad is him wearing the same suit to every semi-formal function like a wedding or a funeral.  It struck me that I have turned into my dad, or at least that aspect of him.  Not the suit wearing aspect, but the “I see that everything is OK, and we don’t need to spend money or time or thought on anything that I deem to be OK” aspect.  Don’t get me wrong, my dad is a great guy.  He is very smart and he provided well for my family, but I guess growing up we either want to be exactly like our dad or not.

Every man is trying to live up to his father’s expectation or make up for his father’s mistakes.

Barak Obama

Seeing myself wearing that same jacket that I have had for the past 10 years, and probably wore to the past couple semi-formal functions, really hit me.  I don’t want to be the guy whose suits and ideas never change.  I am not saying that I don’t want to be my father because there are a number of qualities that he has that I wish I had.  However, I want to be more dynamic.  My dad is selfless in many regards.  He often gives his time and money to help people out with their plumbing needs, even now in that he is in his 70s.  Growing up he was a workaholic, but he didn’t really spend a lot of close time with me.  He wasn’t able to say “I love you” and he would kid with me instead of talking to me.  He did what he could, and I don’t blame him for it.  He is a product of his father, just like I am a product of him.  We walk the karmic cycle generation after generation.

The realization of the jacket made me realize that I am clinging on to more than just a piece of clothing.  I am clinging on to an image of myself (and perhaps an image of my father).  Holding on to clothes, possessions, and ideas about the world and about myself.  I hate to throw away the jacket, but maybe it is time for something new.  Maybe it is time to get rid of all the old clothes and ideas that I have about myself and others.  All the ones that are worn, need replacing, or just don’t fit anymore.  There are plenty of things lying around that just need to be picked up and given to someone else or thrown away.  But yeah, maybe I’ll keep the jacket.  I’ll also listen to my wife more.  🙂

Cognitive Dissonance

The theory of cognitive dissonance in social psychology proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by altering existing cognitions, adding new ones to create a consistent belief system, or alternatively by reducing the importance of any one of the dissonant elements.[1] It is the distressing mental state that people feel when they “find themselves doing things that don’t fit with what they know, or having opinions that do not fit with other opinions they hold.” [4] A key assumption is that people want their expectations to meet reality, creating a sense of equilibrium.[5] Likewise, another assumption is that a person will avoid situations or information sources that give rise to feelings of uneasiness, or dissonance

Holding altering beliefs represents a discord in our view of the universe.  I am separate, and I am one.  The dissonance needs to be broken, but how?  The veil fades away when expectations meet reality until all expectations are gone.  The world becomes brighter and you are filled with a self confidence.  A realization that you don’t need to trust anyone other than yourself.

Sit back.  Relax.  Understand that no matter what you are doing, you are meant to be doing it.  Stop looking for the bad and even the good in doing it, and just enjoy the act of doing it.  This goes for the extreme and exciting to the most boring and mundane.

The relief of that dissonance is freeing and enlightening.  We start to see the world as it is where EVERYTHING is an expression of the self.  Everyone and everything that we interact with is an expression of the self.  But don’t lose sight that even the body and the mind are an expression of the self.  Every atom in the universe is locked together to form this particular representation of reality which just happens to be from your perspective.

Just let expectation meet your reality.  Let go of all expectation until there is nothing left. Do it slow.  Follow your breath. There is no rush.  Ask yourself what is wrong with this moment.  Keep asking yourself that until you comeback with nothing.  Ease into the moment.  Move from any doing to just being.

Matter and Mind

Matter box size comparison

What is something if it is not perceived?  If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to experience it, did it really even exist at all?  When we saw evidence that we think indicates a fallen tree, are we making up a story of how it got to that state?  We assume that at one point it was seed, grew over the course of decades, and then fell.

I guess it depends on what is considered matter and what is considered a product of the mind.  Again we are removed from reality and interpreting through our senses what is matter.  So is mind matter or is matter mind?

What is mindNo matter. What is matterNever mind.

George Berkeley

What a great post! I especially liked the realization that expectations can be set beyond ourselves because we are comparing ourselves to masters. When we can step back and realize that we are in fact doing what we should be doing it is freeing.

Gabriela Blandy - The sense of a journey

I decided to go on a retreat a few years ago. When people asked me why, I tried to explain, but always got a sense I’d left something out; I circled back to the beginning, tried again. Words followed words, my voice grew shrill. I felt there was one piece of information that would clarify it all, but I didn’t know what it was. I kept searching, talking; overcrowding my thoughts with exhausting analysis.

It’s rather like the beginning of a story.

At first, I feel a gentle sense of pressure. I wonder if I imagined it, but no, there it comes again – a jab now. It’s driving me on, but I can’t explain it. I keep searching for answers, starting, having to go back – certain I’ve overlooked the most important detail. But now it’s too crowded – I can’t find my way through.

That’s when I know…

View original post 1,720 more words

How to Save the World (Abridged)

1. Start by saving yourself

2. Realize that you are no different than anyone else

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