Happiness and suffering

Pain and pleasure are the mind’s reaction to immediate reality.

Misery and joy are the mind’s reaction to imaginative possibilities.


Generalization and specialization

From the general seeds of ’emptiness’ grow forth the specialized plants we call ‘things’.

Where come these general seeds?
From the black hole in another universe connected to ours.

A bubble is not a ‘thing’

A bubble is an event, as with all ‘things’.

What is an event?
A process. A flowing current that cannot be apprehended. As if continuously coming from nothing and going into nothing – as if an ever-changing cycle of birth and death.

And so the ‘things’ we know as things are also events, but ones that have formed into a seemingly persistent system – circulating the current into definable patterns, giving the flow temporary forms.


From near the first few lines of Laozi’s 道德经:

无 名天地之始
有 名万物之母
故常无 欲以观其妙
常有 欲以观其徼
此两者 同出而异名
同谓之玄 玄之又玄 众妙之门
(‘Don’t Have’ is named the beginning of the universe
‘Have’ is named the mother of everything
Thus of ‘Don’t Have’, observe the miracles
Thus of ‘Have’, observe the returns
Both of them, simultaneous but different names
Together known as inexplicable, and inexplicable upon inexplicable, door of all miracles)


From Zhuangzi’s 齐物论:

方生方死 方死方生
方可方不可 方不可方可
(Just born just died, just died just born
Just can just cannot, just cannot just can)


One of the Chinese names for Buddha is 如来 (which literally means – as if it comes).
This is from the Diamond Sutra:

如来者 无所从来 亦无所去 故名如来
(Buddha, from nothing comes, also to nothing goes, thus named Buddha – as if it comes)


The crude English translations are my own.

Ghosts in the mind

When imaginary ideas get attached to the ego, they become ghosts. There are two main types: ghosts of opportunity (o-ghosts) and ghosts of threat (t-ghosts).

Ghosts grab and feed on your attentional energy in a bid to grow, to be complete and to be realized. They grab it by making illusory promises; but of course, their true goal is simply survival, not fulfilment of promises.

So with the acquired attentional energy, they then recruit mental and physical systems to generate cravings, clingings, aversions and urges and impulses, which in turn generate scheming, worrying, fantasizing, restraining, executing… and a whole cocktail of emotions.

People who are deeply possessed by ghosts have a distracted and haunted look. And generally, only when the ghosts are realised, is the ego released of them. This release causes relief – a sense of pleasure and joy.

What is worse than suffering?

Meaningless suffering.

When you can’t explain it, when you can’t justify it, when you can’t tell a story about it. When it’s seemingly pointless, worthless, meaningless.

Such suffering is unbearable to most people. They keep asking why, why, why, and get no answer.
Then they start to blame. Blame others. Blame themselves. And because the mind can’t accept things meaningless, they can’t accept such suffering. They desperately seek to escape. To annihilate it. To terminate it. And sometimes they end up terminating themselves. Sometimes others. Sometimes both.

The power of organized religion is that it provides ready-made meaning to life, suffering and death. It allows one to accept, to endure and even to embrace the inevitable pains of living.

The power of spirituality and enlightenment is that it allows one to gain insight into reality and the mind, and thus gain the wisdom to create meaning for their own life, own suffering and own death.

This is one difference between organized religion and personal spirituality.