Are you a fan of Twin Peaks? If not you should be. Twin Peaks was a TV show which first ran in the early 90’s. It was a groundbreaking and influential show. Its latest and perhaps best incarnation was on Showtime for eighteen episodes this past summer. One question the show implicitly asks is, what is reality and can we change our reality?
Do we live in A Matrix?
There are science-based theories, which assert that we live in a type of simulated reality. Or, we are living in a matrix. That can be difficult to accept. So many unanswered questions. A central question would be who is the dreamer and who is creating the dream? Who created the simulation?
I’m not so sure about these theories. Although it would validate every science fiction fantasy I had as a kid, it doesn't seem likely. I once heard a Buddhist monk give a response to someone who asked him if we live in a dream state world. He said, “if you think you live in a dream walk in front of a moving bus, you will figure out rather quickly what reality is.” That may sound harsh, but he makes a valid point.
Now we do live in a dream of our creation. How is this dream world created? It springs from a misinterpretation of where things arise from and the difficulty in experiencing reality directly.
From where do phenomena arise?
We get confused most of the time and think that the things, people, and events that exist around us are independent of each other. The exact opposite of this is the the truth. In other words, nothing exists completely on it own. The Buddhists refer to this as Dependent Origination. Things and phenomena only exist because other things and phenomena are existing, rising and falling, becoming and ceasing. It is logical and easy to explain. Think about yourself and how you came to be. You didn’t just arise from nothing. You had to have two people a male and a female meet and create you. You had to spend nine months in the womb, and then you came out into the world, and for several years you had to be taken care of. You would not be reading this is if that did not occur. To think you are on your own and independent is an illusion. A powerful illusion, but an illusion none the less.
Quantum physics confirms dependent Origination. All things down to the smallest particles and waves exist only in relation to other particles and waves. Nothing exists completely on its own. Even you. Your continued existence is dependent on so many factors that it would take a year to list them all. This is why the Buddhist would say that there is no self.
Do you experience reality directly and correctly?