Thursday, December 29, 2011

Physics and Psychology of Meditation (Pt. 1)

Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly

I was meditating. Then I wasn't. I was still meditating. But who was it? Where was it? What was it?

Observation alters the experiment. I stared at the altar, closed my eyes, and watched my breath. I wasn't watching. But watching was going on. The breath was; "I" wasn't.

It got me to thinking about science -- wondering and wondering if there were a way to explain it or recreate it in a lab.

The scattered question searching for a single answer

I probably spend too much time in the lab. "Psychology" is funny. It aims at the Big Questions. Social psychology looks at the biggest (meta) picture, and cognitive at the smallest useful chunks, personality at the person, and organizational at economics and work. All of these schools have "physics envy."

Thought experiments are easy enough. The philosophers in the lab love to talk about that. The math is easier, if questions can be framed as math. Quadratic equations never helped no one.

Algebraic functions, coefficients, calculus and, worst of all, statistics can do anything, except think. We can model reality, we can crunch numbers, but without sitting on cushions like the Buddha sat, the real questions never occur to us.

It would be nice if numbers and their relations said something by themselves. But numbers like words are just symbols. They don't write themselves, solve themselves, or say anything about themselves. That day in the temple I was in another "dimension." What was it?

I retreated to science for an answer. My best friend, Seven, suggested these videos. Here was the answer we found, which somehow made sense when my mind was in that space. Zero point.

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