Double Take

Though we know it not to be true, when looking at the stars we tend to see them as sitting on a single plane, as though they were all equidistant from us. Instead, try pretending the brighter stars are closer to you, and the dimmer ones are further away. When sufficient concentration is applied, the stars will all at once shift out of your imagined plane as some jump forwards and others rush back. When viewing the night sky this way, our cosmic situation becomes a bit more tangible.

A similar approach can be taken to get a sense of the moon’s spherical nature, as opposed to seeing it as a circle and only really knowing in theory it’s not the case. I find this most achievable when the moon’s near three quarters full.

Live because Life

Life is of course without cosmic meaning, but it is however inherently and subjectively purposeful. It has no destination, yet it has direction, direction which inspires an appetite for nourishment, love, and survival. So yes it is a waste of time to look for higher meaning in your life, however the transient instinctual purposes developed for you by evolution can be deeply satisfying to live and try for, if you let them be.

Map and Terrain

Language, and even maths, are ultimately clumsy tools with which to model and convey our experiences. They illustrate patterns of reality with some accuracy, however when it comes to conceptualising the substance of these patterns, the thread with which they’re woven, the fundamental limitation of models surface.

Goldfish

In the same way a goldfish might equate or be unable to differentiate water and space, to know that one encompasses the other, are we also unable to perceive some other substance through which we move? Not something that occupies space, but rather something that space occupies.

Given then that all perception of space, and the matter occupying that space, is known only within the mind, does it then stand to potential reason that space, and all of what we know as physical reality, is in fact contained in and projected by the conscious mind, as opposed to the intuitive opposite?

Looking Out

When you look at the stars, trying to imagine that you’re looking ‘down’ rather than ‘up’ at them, as up is in fact an arbitrary direction to call or consider it. This helps to capture the sense of being glued to a big rock spinning through the vastness of space.

Curlicue

“It’s like you took a bottle of ink and you threw it at a wall. Smash! And all that ink spread. And in the middle, it’s dense, isn’t it? And as it gets out on the edge, the little droplets get finer and finer and make more complicated patterns, see? So in the same way, there was a big bang at the beginning of things and it spread. And you and I, sitting here in this room, as complicated human beings, are way, way out on the fringe of that bang. We are the complicated little patterns on the end of it. Very interesting. But so we define ourselves as being only that. If you think that you are only inside your skin, you define yourself as one very complicated little curlicue, way out on the edge of that explosion. Way out in space, and way out in time. Billions of years ago, you were a big bang, but now you’re a complicated human being. And then we cut ourselves off, and don’t feel that we’re still the big bang. But you are. Depends how you define yourself. You are actually–if this is the way things started, if there was a big bang in the beginning– you’re not something that’s a result of the big bang. You’re not something that is a sort of puppet on the end of the process. You are still the process. You are the big bang, the original force of the universe, coming on as whoever you are. When I meet you, I see not just what you define yourself as–Mr so-and- so, Ms so-and-so, Mrs so-and-so–I see every one of you as the primordial energy of the universe coming on at me in this particular way. I know I’m that, too. But we’ve learned to define ourselves as separate from it. ” ~ Alan Watts

Life is a wave and you are an eddie of nature.