Thread: Heart Sutra
View Single Post
Old 04-27-2007, 11:19 AM   #15
Erick Mead
Erick Mead's Avatar
Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,619
Re: Heart Sutra

Mike Logan wrote: View Post
I am replying now because I plan to be at a seminar most of the weekend.
Would you expand on this? Heisenberg could not observe an object without subjecting the object to a change of some sort. He could not make objective observations, because his act of observing created what he observed.

I'm just missing a connection here to your statements on (a) the objective universe, (b) realm of subjectivity, and (c) how it relates back to the original topic. Is it to say that people should not be held to objective standards because they can perceive, and that ability is to perceive is subjectively hampered by their frames of reference? Though, we fail to perceive when we hold people to standards of objectivity, instead of allowing for the inherently subjective nature of their perception?
Both the Pseudo-Dionysus and the Heart Sutra speak to that which is beyond objective characterization, and is fundamentally real in ways that are more thorough and less contingent than the "objective" aspects, characters or skhandas of reality as it is perceived. This realization has been confirmed by our studies of objective aspects of reality and the limitations of observation in objective terms, and by the spectacular failure of such rigorous projects on the conceptual theory of knowledge as Russell and Whitehead's Principia.

I see Heisenberg's principle, in epistemological terms, as a special case of Goedel's mathematical proof on incompleteness. Classical theory predicted that the two systems of knowledge about the position and momentum of the object were inherently coupled by the thing itself (object). On this assumption, one should be capable of "walking in" estimates of both quantities in recursive succession to any arbitrary degree of refinement. It turns out that physical theory of knowledge was also spectacularly wrong, and those systems are inversely divergent in terms of their coupling to the object.

Reality is different. The system of knowledge of momentum and the system of knowledge of position are both incomplete, as Goedel proved. Increasing degrees of refinement of one represent increasing degrees of uncertainty as to the other. But neither alone can completely define the state of the system, without recourse to some meta-system of rules outside of both realms of knowing.

In other words, the knowledge of certain position and certain momentum cannot be made within objective rules, but only within the process of subjective observation. The Absolute of reality and the connection (musubi) of diverging objects is thus not found in the Object or objectivity, but in a fundamentally and indispensably present Subject -- "I AM."

Subjectivity, of a universal and complete nature, is thus seen as the root of being and reality rather than objectivity. Not the objective little "me," but the great, unseen but all-seeing subjective "I." "I AM" is the root of observation, and that observation is necessary and indispensable to coupling of divergent objects, Subjectivity assumes a fundamental character, and objectivity an incidental character. The proof of Bell's paradox and our increasing knowledge of quantum entanglement increasingly shows this. Bishop Berkeley's theological answer to the observer problem has more teeth than may once have been assumed.

Two great commandments are given in the revealed faith and follow from this consideration directly, as does bodhicitta and universal loving-kindness from the Heart Sutra. Christ summarized them:

Love God with all your heart, mind and soul
Love your neighbor as yourself.

Christ says in giving them that the second is "like unto the first." On this perspective, the form of connection he gives between them actually echoes Genesis -- where man is made in the "image and likeness of God."

These are seen to be both recursive and reflective of one another as referring to the very same ground of Being, simply from different objective and contingent aspects. We are in God, and God in us. To put it into the mode of budo from a biblical understanding:

"For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's." Roman's 14:8.

Or if you prefer, from the Mahaparinirvana Sutra:

The Tathagata-dhatu (Buddha-nature) is the intrinsic nature of beings. Therefore, it cannot be killed by having its life severed. If it could be killed, then the life-force (jivaka) could be annihilated; but it is not possible for the life-force to be annihilated. In this instance, the life-force refers to the Tathagatagarbha. That Dhatu [immanent Buddha Element, Buddha Principle] cannot be destroyed, killed or annihilated.
[On the Dharma of Buddha-nature] 'It is unborn, unarisen, unabiding, not perishing, without beginning, without end, uncompounded and immeasurable. It provides a dwelling for those who are homeless, a refuge for those without a refuge, light for those without light, it enables those who have not reached the far shore to reach it, it is unimpeded fragrance for places without fragrance; it displays what cannot be seen; it is unwavering / imperturbable, it does not change; it is not long, it is not short. Although it is utterly divorced from happiness , it is the ultimate, subtle bliss of security....It is the ultimate dwelling-place of countless beings; it extinguishes all the fires of Samsara; it is the abode where the Buddhas disport themselves; it is Eternal and Unchanging ' This is how a Bodhisattva recollects Dharma.
Atheists will say this is all neurological illusion. But then, so is all of perceived reality from that solipsistic perspective, and therefore atheism, and atheists, are both neurological illusions, too.


Erick Mead
  Reply With Quote