getting even more personal

Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Virginia, Dr. Stanley Sobottka, maintains a website, A Course in Consciousness, which I highly recommend for anyone wanting to understand Reality a little better. As Dr. Sobottka explains in the Foreword, the course content is based, among other things, on: "...seminars on reality and consciousness according to quantum theory for humanities undergraduates at the University of Virginia." Further to the recent cosmic rapture post "getting personal", about personal identity / selfhood, the dialogue below is highly instructive.

MM: Do you agree with the Buddhist "Profound Theory of Correlation", according to which "...all things coexist, simultaneously arising. They coexist, furthermore, not only in relation to space, but also in relation to time; for past, present and future include each other. ...Distinct as they are, and separated as they seem to be in time, all beings are united to make one entity---from the universal point of view." (from Vol 2 "Oriental Mythology" of Joseph Campbell's "Masks of God".)

Dr. Sobottka: In the relative world, simultaneity can be defined only relatively, i.e., events that are simultaneous for one observer are not simultaneous for one who is moving with respect to the first. Since everything in the universe is moving with respect to everything else, the concept of simultaneous events is not a useful concept. Furthermore, an event that is in the past of one observer might be in the future of another, so the concept of past and future is also not a useful concept. And, from the point of view of timelessness, simultaneity, past, and future cannot even be defined.

MM: If the whole of Reality---past present and future, material and immaterial---comprises a being, one entity, (and a mighty one at that!) would that not imply that from the biggest (universal) perspective, Reality is values free and context independent? Because it encompasses all values and all contexts?

Dr. Sobottka: If we disregard the claims about simultaneity, past, and future, we can still make sense of the idea that the universe is one interconnected whole. Since all events occur in awareness, there is no separation between them and awareness. Therefore, there is only awareness, and events are not separate from each other.

MM: Do you think that to choose "compassion" only is a lesser choice than to embrace compassion as well as cruelty? In other words, say there is Universe "A" which comprises and includes goodness, joy, happiness, compassion, etc. And another Universe, "B", which comprises and includes everything that Universe A does, plus some additional bits: evil, cruelty, selfishness, despair, etc etc. Is not Universe B more diverse than Universe A? Richer? Fuller? More well balanced?

Dr. Sobottka: How can we define compassion except in relation to cruelty? Compassion and cruelty are just concepts, they are not absolutes. Where ever there are the concepts of compassion and cruelty, there must be both.


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