What is the opposite of opposite?

What is the opposite of this vehicle? When does the meaning of opposite become worthless? Seeing this vehicle, we compare, compare, compare it to other vehicles we already know - its not a car, not a truck, not a train, not a motorcycle - what is it?! Hey, it is what it is, just have a look without trying to name it. It is rather beautiful.

What is the opposite of this vehicle? When does the meaning of opposite become worthless? Seeing this vehicle, we compare, compare, compare it to other vehicles we already know – its not a car, not a truck, not a train, not a motorcycle – what is it?! Hey, it is what it is, just have a look without trying to name it. It is rather beautiful.

Off / On

High /Low

Back/ Front

Black /White

Many things have their opposite. What does this mean? Are things this cut and dry? Well, let’s see… if something is ‘off’, than means it is not ‘on’, and if something is ‘on’, then it is not ‘off’. Each word, each term, requires its pair to exist. For example, you may say that the lamp is on, or it is off, but you wouldn’t say this to things that don’t have the opposite….. so, for example, you wouldn’t say that the air is ‘on’… it is always on! Lol. If you did say that the air was ‘on’, this would inherently imply that it can be ‘off’. Maybe you were talking about the air conditioner! Lol.

So, there is a subtlety here, which grows even more so with words like ‘black’ and ‘white’. One part of our brains thinks of them as opposites… yet, they are not…. You can have white without black and you can have black without white. Additionally, black is the absence of light and white is the combination of all colors of light. So, perhaps black is ‘off’ and white is ‘fully on’! Maybe that makes green ‘partially on’, lol.

Certain things we try to figure out do not benefit from using our opposite-minds. The big questions, really. Like, what exists outside the Universe? If time was born during the Big Bang, what existed before then? These questions use as a foundation the notion that the pair ‘universe’ and ‘outside the Universe’ is accurate. Is this accurate? We can get into a deep semantic-al discussion over this, but if we drop that, what remains? In some ways, the term ‘Universe’ means ‘all that exists’… so in that context, it cannot have its opposite, its pair, as nothing falls outside its realm. So, if that’s true, what is wrong with our question then:  ‘What exists outside the Universe?’?  The problem with this question is that the questioner assumes it is a valid question! Lol. What do I mean? Well, if the questioner accepts the definition of the Universe as all that exists, then there is no room to think of what exists outside this! However, our minds are curious! Let’s take a peek outside the bubble of our expanding Universe.. what is it traveling into?! … Ah, so now we get into geometry really, if we begin to think of the Universe as some sort of 3-D bubble ever-expanding into space….INTO space? That’s just it… the Universe is expanding space, not expanding into space. So, our dualistic, pairing, opposite-minds clunk. They can’t work properly.

I think of it like Newton’s laws of gravity and motion…. They aren’t really correct, but they work awesome-ly when applied to motions on the Earth…. So, just like our opposite-minds, our dualistic minds work really really well in helping us to evolve and survive on Earth as humans, they fail when we try to figure out things much deeper.

So, Zen is not about banishing our dualistic mind, our ego-mind (our illusion that we are separate from everything else), but rather about not attaching to this ego-mind… letting it function in this manner when it appropriate, and letting it go when it is not.

Who/what decides when it is appropriate? Be careful!

Built for purpose


I know what I should be doing! I am right at home!

The beetle in this photograph is ‘built for purpose’. His/her form has evolved overs millions or years to perform certain functions. Hard armor for protection, wings for flight, colors for camouflage and mating. Claws for climbing and grasping… When a beetle is born into its natural habitat, it can survive and can flourish.

The same is true for all beings, whether a beetle, a cow, a pigeon, a whale, a snail… You get the idea. It also holds true for plants, the trees, the flowers, the bushes…. All beings….

So, where are we? Humans are the same. We have a habitat for which we evolved to be able to survive and flourish. We also are able to survive in very different climates through our clever-ness!…. Big warm parkas are pretty clever!!!

But, where is our natural home for our minds?

Can we find where our minds feel safe, and at home? This ‘natural’ home is healing and beautiful. When we are home, then we can feel safe to wander, to leave home, as we know where it was born from.

Our own light is always there, guiding the way.

Who knows..

Who gnomes?

Who gnomes?

Who knows what will come?

The ‘arrow of time’ refers to the apparent fact that the past is always behind us, is always what has already happened, and well, is in the past, which leads us to the present moment, in which we travel forward into the unknowable future… the future that is always in front of us, is what has never yet happened….

Thinking of time flowing in any other direction leads to thoughts of sci-fi movies, of time machines…Thinking of time not having this arrow-like quality, directing us from the past, through the present, into the future, is difficult to do.

Logically, our minds work like an arrow, so this is how we naturally map out ‘time’.

But, ultimately, time isn’t directed. It doesn’t actually flow from past to present into the future. Now, our logical, thinking brains can not resolve that. So, how can time to be claimed otherwise? Through experience and through experiment. The best ways to prove to ourselves that time is not quite linear is to explore it oursleves…to think deeply about it, tie our brains into knots trying to solve it, to meditate on it, and to experience it. We can also look at experiments, not just the qualitative ones we can do with our own minds, but quantitative ones done with the scientific method. Recent experiments can show how an ‘effect’ can also have an effect on the very cause of that effect! I have talked about this before.

So, who knows what is truly happening? Lets explore this ‘who’ in depth and see what illuminates our path.

Open mind

Wow, what is that?!

My cat, Ernest Bogangles, thinking “Wow, what is that?!”

This photo was taken last winter. One of my cats was fascinated by the snow. He had never seen it snowing before and he was at the window watching individual flakes falling from the sky. It seemed to blow his mind! He kept looking as high into the sky as he could to figure out where it was coming from, if he could solve this strange occurence.

When we approach our interactions with our world with an open mind, all things are brand-new. Yet, we can apply our prior experiences to the new situation at the same time.

We can learn from all our experiences, no matter how repetitive they may seem. I learned quite a bit from my cat looking at the heavens. He was truly engaged, in absolute wonder, and he was seeking the Truth, an answer to what this ‘snow’ was all about!