I had some pretty vivid dreams last night, but one of the “segments” that was most impactful was where I was sitting and looking at someone else. I saw this person as being separate from myself, but at the same time I knew it was myself. My movements, expressions and thoughts were reflected directly on them. It was almost, but not quite, like a mirror. It was slightly exciting, unnerving and honestly a little scary to see and feel myself as separate, but simultaneously be the same as what I was perceiving. The being I saw had a smooth head devoid of features other than eyes, ears, nose and mouth. There was no visual similarity between the two of us, but the connection was extremely deep.
This feels like a direct manifestation of the thoughts that I have been having of the dual nature of existence. I have been reading a book describing system simulation and modeling systems using linear algebraic matrix and vector representation. Any system can essentially be modeled using this notation. This extends into quantum systems where probability and decay come into play. Different subsystems describing discrete functionality can be combined together to form a super-system. However, the subsystems can only communicate with each other and the larger super-system through their input and output interfaces. This begs the question, “Is everything one and a single system operating as a whole or is everything strictly independent?”
I am only about two-thirds of the way through the book (http://www.anandavala.info/SystemSimulation.pdf), but the concepts are making sense. It obviously gets more complex and abstract as the book goes through describing linear, non-linear, time variant, probabilistic and quantum systems. The implications are pretty staggering in that life itself could be a self evolving matrix of state transitions. The last chapters in the paper deal with consciousness and naïve realism. My brain was pretty much toast from the concepts so far and I wanted to take a break to really cleanse and absorb my thoughts before continuing on. It is a very interesting read, and the author has a whole site devoted to this approach to defining reality.
Of course this duality at its core is a Buddhist concept. Overcoming the dual nature of being separate, but the same is to me the heart of enlightenment. The full realization that there is no difference between the observer and the observed is what I hope to gain through my journey. This book has definitely given me some insight and validation into my current thought patterns. I have always been enamored with math, but I have seen it as a problem to be solved, a puzzle. I have seen math applied to physics of course, but I never took courses in quantum physics, so seeing the application to probabilistic systems is pretty amazing. This process takes things a step further and applying that understanding to metaphysics and an understanding of the cosmos. I only wish that I had made those connections 15 years ago while in school. But I am here now, and everything up to this point has prepared me to accept more of the mathematical nature of the universe.
“There is no duality. Your present knowledge is due to the ego and is only relative. Relative knowledge requires a subject and an object, whereas the awareness of the Self is absolute and requires no object. Remembrance also is similarly relative, requiring an object to be remembered and a subject to remember. When there is no duality, who is to remember whom? The Self is ever-present. Each one wants to know the Self. What kind of help does one require to know oneself? People want to see the Self as something new. But it is eternal and remains the same all along. They desire to see it as a blazing light etc. How can it be so? It is not light, not darkness. It is only as it is. It cannot be defined. The best definition is ‘I am that I am’. The srutis [scriptures] speak of the Self as being the size of one’s thumb, the tip of the hair, an electric spark, vast, subtler than the subtlest, etc. They have no foundation in fact. It is only being, but different from the real and the unreal; it is knowledge, but different from knowledge and ignorance. How can it be defined at all? It is simply being.”
— Ramana Maharshi