Friday, 23 June 2017

The Creation

Inner Cosmos, Tapestry by Maximo Laura, Peru

One of the strange thing about experience, we noticed, is that it is ever changing. In fact, no change means no experience. So change, even though not existing independently from experience, is fundamental. It deserves the title of Truth. When we observe closely, we find that what is changing is patterns, all kinds of patterns. That gives us some clues about the manifested reality, because, manifestation is nothing but patterns, all kinds of patterns.

Take a closer look

We will now take a closer look at the experience, especially, its aspect of change.

What is changing?

You will notice that everything is in flux, it is flowing. One form changes into other, in physical domain, and in mental world, one activity or thought is replaced by other. It never ceases. Some things change very slowly, e.g. a rock, but some changes are so fast, they just blur past us. But everything changes. You will notice that all forms, physical or non-physical are just patterns. They are sometimes simple, sometimes intricate arrangements of something, in other words - they are structures. Everything is a structure from the highest point of view. So even scattered dirt is a structure, and so is a clay pot. Just that, in everyday life, we tend to call less organized structures as random or unstructured. But there is nothing out there which is not structured or is not a pattern of some kind.

So one structure is changing into another. A clay pot when it breaks, simply changes structure and becomes fragments of clay. The clay then becomes dirt, another structure. Similarly, some structures arise from less organized patterns, such as a plant and its flowers and fruits. They are structures organized out of simpler forms - air and soil. Finally our bodies are structures too, organized out of food, organic matter, and obviously, they are ever changing, and finally change into dirt. A pattern cycles through less organized to more and back to less, and so on. That is all there is to change.

Where is the change happening?

You may be tempted to answer that it is happening "outside". But take a closer look. Where is "outside"? That word is just an assumed boundary and what we take as outside, depends on our perspective. So for most of us, everything that exists outside the body is changing. But then you can shift the perspective to mind, and now the body appears outside the mind, and it is changing too. But wait a minute, the mind is also seen, we can experience it as "outside", the collection of thoughts, memories, imaginations, emotions and desires appears "out there" in non-physical domain. And of course, it is also changing. So there is no "outside" and hence there is no "inside". All that is changing and is being experienced is "here" and it is being experienced "now".

The only thing that does not change is the Experiencer, as we have already seen. Everything else is "outside" it and changes. And that everything is exactly the Experience. But since they both are actually same, identical to each other, (jointly called as Presence), it follows that the change is happening in Presence. It gets divided into changing and unchanging parts as a result of dividing tendency of the mind. And it is exactly the mind that localizes stuff as being either outside or inside, as and when it pleases.

So all that can be said is - the change is happening here and now, and I, the experiencer, the consciousness, is witnessing it as happening in myself. There is nothing apart from consciousness, and hence all change appears in it. A good metaphor is - the consciousness or Experiencer is the screen on which the movie of change or Experience is played. When you look closely, they are just one, not separate. The movie cannot be separated from the screen.

Have you ever witnessed a change that is not happening here and now?

Never. In the light of above, and as a direct and pure experience, all that is changing is me and all that is not changing is also me. The "me" is defined as that which witnesses and is always here and is always present. Presence is an apt word for it, and it has this strange dynamic quality which appears as change.

So what are these changing patterns made up of?

You may be tempted to say - they are made up of matter, atoms, substance. But wait, that's a small fraction of our experience. What are mental patterns made up of? Now that's a tricky one, isn't it?

Take a closer look. All physical forms or patterns (including the atoms and "particles") appear ultimately in the mind, going via the channels of senses. Whatever is perceived via senses is classified as "physical" or material. The things that are perceived directly (e.g. mental contents and activities) are classified as non-physical. The mind itself does the classification and localization. In other words, things are not really physical or objective or out there, these tags are used by the mind for convenience, it is its way of organizing perceptions. These are mere words - assumptions.

All patterns appear in mind, and all patterns are mental in nature. How would a pattern not seen by the mind appear? Well, the answer is simple - it won't appear at all. So there is nothing there that exists apart from the mind. So all there is, is mind. We never witness anything independently of mind. The patterns that are mental are in mind and the patterns that are named as physical are also in mind. But that does not really answer the question of what are those patterns made up of, except it does answer the question of - how many kinds of patterns are there? Only one kind - the non-physical kind.

When you take a closer look at these non-physical patterns, you will find that they are made up of nothing at all. There is no substance to it. It is merely change, a pure change. So patterns are just change. The change appears in consciousness, or in other words, it is just witnessed by the consciousness. It demands no substance, it is capable of witnessing change purely without needing a substrate. In the end, consciousness itself is the substrate and substance of all patterns. See it clearly. Take a look.

How many kinds of patterns are there?

We revisit this question. Its a fun question, and also very important. It seems there are infinite kinds of patterns. We see them all around us and they keep changing into infinite other kinds. However, there is some uniformity or stability there, at least in essence. So a dog does not change into a cat when we blink in and out. It does change from a puppy to a big dog to a old dog and to dirt. The pattern called dog changes, but our mind assigns it a continuity, it classifies it as the same thing. When it changes beyond recognition (like the dog's organic matter becomes grass for example), only then it gets declassified as that particular thing.

So mind has this capability to group the patterns together and form objects or things. In reality, there are no things, no objects, just patterns. Its all a doing of the mind, and hence the mind creates this world of objects and forms out of thin air, just from patterns. Mind is an amazing thing in itself. You cannot be not impressed by it.

We can classify all patterns into essentially two kinds - physical and non-physical. As we saw above, this is merely a convenient way to separate sensory and non-sensory perceptions. There is only one kind - the non-physical. And they have no substance, i.e. they are made up of nothing. A convenient way of stating the same, and without making it sound so embarrassing is to say that all patterns are metaphysical.

The essential nature of stuff is metaphysical. Mind classifies it into physical and non-physical. Then it goes ahead and classifies them into recognizable patterns that happen more predictably, and calls them objects or things or people or dogs. By calling everything metaphysical, I'm actually trying to hide my ignorance of what these patterns actually are. My current opinion is - this cannot be known by a human mind. It falls into the category of unknowables. Why? Because mind itself is a pattern, a metaphysical one, and a pattern cannot know its source, it can only know another pattern.

So are all patterns, and hence everything is made up of "nothing"?

By metaphysical I don't mean that it is nothing. It is something. The patterns have a meaning, in other words - there is information content in patterns. Whenever there is some kind of organization, there is information in it. So all patterns, whether highly organized or not, are just information. The worlds and minds are made up of pure information. How amazing is that?

This can also be stated in the terms of information technology, and we can say that all experience is just simulation. Patterns of information. If you prefer ancient terms, which are just as valid and intelligent, then everything that changes as patterns is illusory or Maya.

What is the simplest pattern?

A simplest pattern is obviously the simplest change that is possible, and that is change from one state to a second state. There cannot be a change simpler than that, as it would be a change from one state back to the same state, which, as you must have guessed, is not really a change. A change of three states is obviously not simplest, and so is change involving millions of states.

The interesting thing is - we can always break up a complex change into a combination of changes of two states. So all change, however complex it is, can be broken down into a binary change. If you are getting a picture of a computer conjuring up a whole virtual world just out of binary changes of 1's to 0's and vice versa, then you are hitting it on the head.

Sound engineers must be getting a picture of all sound being just a combination of fundamental and harmonics of waves. A wave is nothing but a binary change. Its a change of two amplitudes, high to low and back. Any sound can be broken down into binary change. So can be any picture, anything at all.

So the most basic change is binary. A wave, or a vibration. All patterns are just vibrations. It all starts from a vibration - the simplest change possible.

How are physical things vibrations? Isn't it solid matter?

Physical stuff is structured. Which means there is pattern. There are shapes, then there are crystals, molecules, atoms, if you dig down in it - all arrangements of patterns. Then there are particles, which are, strangely - patterns or vibrations or waves. What is waving or vibrating? Surprise ! You won't find anything there. Matter is not made up of "another matter", the vibrations are of exactly "nothing". There is just change without substance.

We arrive at the same conclusion via deep investigation of Physics. Patterns, patterns of patterns, happening in nothing. Experiments and direct observations of matter will tell you that these vibrations or particles are not really present in absence of a conscious observer. Who is a conscious observer? Of course, he is not a watchman who dutifully remains awake at night, it is our old friend - the consciousness.

What about mental stuff? Is it vibrations again?

It is a lot easier to see that the mental contents (non-sensory type) are merely patterns of information. You don't need to do anything, no experiments are needed. And you see that these patterns are made up of nothing too. In other words, the mind is metaphysical too.

What organizes simple patterns into complex ones?

A process.

What is a process?

A process is a pattern that proceeds in a very regular way. Hands of a clock is one good example of a process. A car engine is another example, but it is a complex process. A computer program is a much more complex process. But all these are just regular and structured change of patterns. A process does one thing, and only one thing, and does it neatly, predictably and without fail.

A process is a regularly changing pattern that acts on other patterns or produces more patterns.

How many processes are there?

There can be infinite kinds. After all they are just changing patterns. But we can always take out their essence and classify them in broad categories.

How many types of processes are there?

I can think of these:

Cyclic process: A patterns repeats over and over. The simplest vibration is one simple example. Seasons, motions of planets and atoms, light, births and deaths. Your job, may be.

Organizing process: A pattern acts on less organized patterns and produces a more organized structure. A plant producing a flower out of air, water and salts is a good example.

Self-organizing process: These add more structure to themselves. Knowledge feeding on knowledge resulting in even more knowledge is a good example. A computer database is another example.

Replicating process: It takes a pattern and makes copies of it. DNA is a good example. So is a queen bee or ant. Human body is also seen making copies of itself, probably too many copies are there already.

Destructive process: It destroys the structure and returns the patterns to simpler forms. The name sounds awful, but these are important processes, without them there would be a lot of rotten forms, which we wouldn't want to see around us.

Fractal process: It is a large process who's part look like itself. A big corporation where the CEO is organizing his managers for some project and the managers in turn organizing their subordinates, who in turn are organizing their workers etc. is an example. But mathematical fractals are best examples of it.

Constrained process: Its a process that gets limited or biased by other processes or patterns. For example the flow of river is determined by the pattern of the terrain. So a river is a process constrained by the terrain.

Algorithmic process: Its a constrained process that obeys a specific algorithm or logical sequence. That happens when the constraining pattern is highly ordered. Examples are - motion of planets, light and sound, motion of objects under forces etc. As you must have guessed, they produce very predictable actions, we can even write a mathematical formula to predict it.

Of course, a real process can be a combination of any or all of above processes. That would form another category, if you will - the complex or compound process. You can easily recognize the component processes in a complex process.

That sounds too technical, why would I even mention that?

Because all these processes organize simple patterns into complex ones and produce patterns that we see around us everyday. In other words, you just saw the wheelwork or source code of creation !

The patterns and processes, which in turn are moving patterns, create everything - matter, objects, worlds, universes, bodies, minds, thoughts, persons, creatures and every kind of experience that is possible.

Which process out of these is responsible for creation exactly?

All of them. Perhaps there are more. You take one of them away and all creation fails. Nothing gets created. I usually club them together and call it the Fundamental Process, the mother of all processes. So the Fundamental Process resulting out of change creates everything there is. I talk about it at many places in this blog.

So in short, processes are born out of the simplest pattern which is also the simplest process and simplest change (aka binary states) and they go on to form almost infinite variety of patterns and processes in various combinations and permutations. Some of these are necessarily of above kinds and result in more structured patterns. So creation happens as a result.

I need more details on these processes and how they work, where can I get the info?

Read around in this blog. Although its scattered, some articles go into enough detail of it. Anyhow, I will write about them in detail someday. Its a vast subject, can take up many books. So its best to learn by example, try to see what processes are in action around you. Observe carefully, how things get created. Take an object and trace down the patterns and processes that created it.

Didn't creation happen only once a long time ago? What are these processes good for now?

Creation is just structuring of patterns. It is going on since forever, actually there is no start of it and hence no end of it. Things get created in "now", not in past. All creation is happening now and here. It is a ongoing process. We as a mind, are a product of creation and hence cannot know its start or cannot experience its end. It is timeless anyway.

If you see it closely, the creation never happened, and is not really happening. What is getting created? Nothing exactly. It is just change. And it is virtual change. Nothing ever happened, in the sense of usual meaning of the word "happening". If you are confused, you are doing just ok. Question everything.

Isn't it two processes - one creating and one destroying?

We can choose to see it in that way. But if you look closely, there is just moving patterns, so just processes. In other words there is only one process - the Fundamental Process. It creates everything. Destruction is also creation - a creation of simpler forms out of complex ones. Don't let your mind fool you into thinking that the destruction is bad or anti of creation. Everything is needed for creation. Things are destructive only from the perspective of the mind, which is a pattern desperately trying to sustain itself, fighting against its own dissolution. Mind creates duality and opposites, no wonder, it needs that.

If mind is a pattern, how can it know or see other patterns?

Well, it is a special pattern, and as we know it is very complex. It has a process called knowing which results in structures called knowledge. Essentially all patterns are just mind. More on minds in next article, where we will see how minds are produced and what they do. We know all this just via direct observation and introspection. Just sit down peacefully and look !

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