do you consider yourself wise?
like, I consider myself wiser than the average person
meaning I search out the answers more readily
like, chase down the implications
so someone tells me my car needs a new clutch
so then afterward I’m like, “how can I change my driving habits in order to lower car maintenance costs?”
for instance, if you always keep your gas tank more than a quarter full then the fuel pump lasts longer
or regularly checking the oil
but I don’t really consider myself intelligent
I always feel confused
I mean, even the smartest mathematician is confused about some problem right?
and it will always be like that
there are infinite layers of complexity, with no final theory that explains everything
so even though I may have a few ideas that are more abstract than other peoples’
I still look at them and am unsure where to go next
well, when I write it’s not that hard, because I just put down whatever I think of, without editing
huh, I guess that’s part of why I prefer handwriting over typing: you can’t edit what you’ve written
you can scratch it out, but otherwise it’s pretty static
huh. see, this is why I love writing
always teaches me something new
but like, I teach kids
for an after-school program
and it’s just crazy to me
when they can’t yet do 6+6+6+6
and I can’t yet do vector calculus
but they will learn, and hopefully I will learn
that’s what I mean when I say I don’t feel smart
but I do feel wise
because obviously you can always improve
I look at people who don’t ask for others’ ideas
like an older person’s advice
and I’m like, you’re not taking advantage of a great resource
like my friend got a moped
without talking to anyone about it
ie, older people
and they’re so dangerous
she ended up getting hurt so she sold it
a few months later sold it for like $450
I mean, you can use “intelligent” here as the term
and that’s fairly justified
that’s why I kind of like the idea that wisdom is about chasing down implications
“intelligent” doesn’t really capture that meaning, I don’t think
also I like talking about “death”
because it’s illusion
but you kind of have to build an intricate case for why, perhaps
like, does the number 2 “die”?
and if we take it as true that the universe is physical, and physics runs on math, then can the universe “die”?
so it’s more like patterns, patterns of sensations, leave for a time
but did they “die”?
sure, in a certain sense
but not in principle
in principle their effects are still playing out in the world around them
like the egyptians
the ancient ones that built the pyramids
if their ideas
if they’re still affecting us today
are those egyptians really “dead”?
sure, in some sense
but if we look at the universe
as one thing
with no division or separation
then isn’t what a person is really the bundle of ways they interact with the environment?
like how you talk, socialize, write
what you say, how you say it, what you write down
if we look at it from that angle, where what a person really is is a bundle of those patterns
like layers and layers of patterns, with no core
then is there anything that really “dies”?
like a fish in a stream
it makes a little cave by moving pebbles
then the fish dies, and another fish moves into the cave
isn’t part of the first fish still alive?
like a part of the way the first fish lived its life?
how it interacted with the environment has continued on, even after the biological form faded
this idea I think is actually meant by a “spirit”
it’s not “woo-woo”; it’s a precise mathematical way of looking at why things are the way there are
an atheist that rejects the spiritual out of hand, without realizing this fish example is essentially demonstrating the usefulness of the idea of a spirit, a higher pattern that is not limited to the physical plane, is doing themselves a disservice
it’s easier to be an atheist than a nondualist, perhaps
it’s easier, perhaps, to believe there is nothing rather than accept it all depends on the starting definitions
not that nonduality is necessarily correct
I’m just saying it’s helped me, so maybe it’ll help you
(nonduality: mind comes from body comes from nature, so really what you are is all of nature, not one lonesome human)
(nonduality can also mean that if you have two ideas there is always some way to make them consistent with each other, to find a higher idea that both will fit in)
(eg, “God” as defined as an immortal creator, but then allowing for a universe to be a computer simulation, so a being outside the simulation is immortal to the simulated beings, and can affect things however it wants)
“in essence we are ideas: patterns interacting
how does this change how you live?
it allows you to recognize that all the stories you have about who you’re supposed to be and how you’re supposed to act are made up. they aren’t set in stone, they’re just patterns that have been imprinted on you through nature and nurture
through automatic imagination you can rewrite these stories and change your reality for the better
when you realize you’re math: just patterns of neural feedback, you can accept that your senses move along sense objects like a river through a canyon. When you realize you can actually be the boat on the river watching the beauty of the landscape around you, you can detach yourself from the fruits of action and enjoy yourself more fully.”
“I believe that by accepting that nature is one thing, that God and Nature are one thing, that we, as expressions of nature, can be freed from the belief that we have to be a certain way or do certain things. We are freed from materialism, from the search for Truth, for ultimate Happiness. Instead, we live in the Now. We recognize that nature cannot violate its own order, so nothing we do can be wrong, according to nature.
Nothing we do is the wrong thing. Everything you do is exactly the right thing.”