My best guess is that I have as much chance of conceiving totality as my cat does.

Totality is what’s everywhere, including all that is here, so everything that’s here is also fundamentally inconceivable, including me and you and my cat.

So?  What earthly use comes of this view?

uses of inconceivability the view

— Deflating the importance of the human animal. All beings are equally inconceivable, including presidents, poets, popes and their gods.

— A cure for intellectual complacency and sloth, as in—

I have it all figured out. My guru, religion, favourite website has it all figured out. Scientists or someone has it all figured out,  so I don’t have to make any effort to understand what they know.

“He was starving in some deep mystery

like a man who is sure what is true.”

—Suspension of belief, disbelief and judgement

— inconceivability fosters openness to people and situations, expects the unexpected. We face reality without preconceptions.

Few people are totally ignorant, selfish and unfeeling tho they tend to get more media space than the rest of us.

Few authorities are as wise and compassionate at they are made out to be.

Few are as weak and poor in resources as they may think they are.

Few authoritarians are totally invulnerable.

Few prisons are inescapable.

The approaching global meltdown is not yet irreversible

And even if it is not reversed some humans, mice and insects will survive, evolve and hopefully learn from studying the disastrous consequences of terminal corporate capitalism.

And perhaps find a different way to destroy the biosphere.

That nothing can ever be fully known means there is no end to learning,

No end to the periodic gifts of new understandings about how some parts of reality work, no end to the rivers of insight and the epiphanies that bloom on the fields and hills of wisdom.

inconceivability and emptiness

Buddhist philosophers rattle on about emptiness, the theory that each and every form is void of self-existence but interexists with all other forms. Hence there is no permanent self in any person, plant or stone. In the Buddha’s time the impermanent self was the primary point of disagreement between Buddhists and adherents of other paths and thousands of scholars have wasted their lives attempting to show by logic alone that a permanent something cannot exist anywhere above or under heaven. Subtler minds have insisted that a permanent something cannot even be imagined while others simply accept the theory on faith because the Buddha said so.

I think emptiness is a good working theory of how things generally are.  Quite compatible with Darwin’s theory too but the only thing I can say about Reality at Large is that from here it looks like the room in which I now rest, in an empty tub, typing these words on an iPad.

The best definition of emptiness I ever read was Chogyam Trungpa’s terse: “Existence is empty of our preconceptions.” A conclusion that naturally flows from seeing that Totality is ultimately inconceivable

but here it is

radiant with possibility.


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