Practice Trumps Theory
Wisdom Quarterly (COMMENTARY)
Finally, particle physics is catching up to Buddhist teachings on physical reality (rupa) fumbling towards an indirect understanding of the subatomic "elements of experience" or "particles of perception" (kalapas) the Buddha rediscovered and taught as a means of overcoming suffering.
When one directly sees the composite nature of materiality -- and of mentality (nama) by observing the even faster and subtler elements of consciousness (cittas) -- one becomes disenchanted and is finally able to let go of the Aggregates of Clinging that bind one to suffering. Ironically, even as scientists come to understand the material world, they have yet to find any way to free themselves or anyone else from woe.
(CosmicAscension2012) Part 7: Signs of Strings. The hunt is on for evidence that supports String Theory, namely, extra dimensions or supersymmetry. Part 8: Too Elegant to be Wrong? Will String Theory turn out to be a dead end? Most string theorists believe that such an elegant and mathematically beautiful idea has got to be at least partly right.
The way to the end of woe, in a nutshell, is to: purify and intensify the mind through meditative absorption (first four jhanas), emerge from absorption and practice insight meditation (vipassana), particularly Dependent Origination and the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, observe kalapas in the mind door visible in the area of the heart.
Kalapas or particles arise and vanish too quickly to be perceived. But fortunately, because cittas (mind-moments or "particles of consciousness," as it were) are faster, they can be reviewed in the mind door. In this way, they can be seen for what they are -- radically impermanent (flux), distressing (repulsive), and impersonal (not oneself but dependently-arisen phenomena one is estranged from yet bound by).
When the mind directly sees that there is literally no thing to cling to, it lets go and then perceives the unconditioned element (asankata dhatu), nirvana. One thereby gains stream entry, the first stage of enlightenment.
For instructions not in a nutshell, see the great living Buddhist master Pa Auk Sayadaw