The Theory of Everything
Why is it so difficult for one to know and see the ultimate truth? Why are we here - breathing, thinking and talking, right now? Why is there the beginning and then the ending? Why something, why not nothing?
For one to see into the ultimate truth, one has to unwind everything back to the moment of the origin. We do know things and happenings exist because it can be known and felt by our senses. And our mind interprets event or happening as a condition that one has to go through, to persevere with, to soldier on with, to carry on with or to undertake with, inevitably. In other words, what exists is defined as that which can be known
. If it cannot be known by the mind, then it does not exist and things can exist as in fallacy or in reality. Since things and happenings existed long before we have the slightest opportunity to recognise and understand it well, we are bound to suffer ignorantly. However, as human beings, we have the wisdom to make identification or recognition on the entire cycle of events or happenings.
From direct experience, we know that humans and things cause pleasure and pain, and that they can help and harm. Therefore, phenomena certainly do exist but the question is how? They do not exist in their own quality but only have an existence dependent upon many factors, including a consciousness that conceptualises them. But in what way is consciousness mistaken? Because all phenomena appear to exist in their own quality, all of our ordinary perceptions are mistaken. We have taken in a wrong sense that living beings, things and phenomena appear to exist in and of themselves. It seems that phenomena could be established in their own right or quality, and from the object’s side upon conceptualising our consciousness. Unfortunately, with this false mode, we are hindering ourselves from recognising the discrepancy between appearance and reality.
Nevertheless, one could train oneself to develop wisdom and eliminate one’s ignorance on the ultimate truth. Upon seeking through in-depth analysis, one could find inherent existence of whatever object one is considering — oneself, another person, one’s body, one’s mind, or anything else is completely lacking. For example, when you examine an object such as car, its inherent existence is negated, but what is left is a body dependent on an engine, seats, lamps, window glasses, tires, gases, etc. In other words, what is left after the analysis is a dependently existent phenomenon.
Thus it is not that you come to understand that the object or phenomenon does not exist but rather, you find that its inherent existence is unfounded. This is the ultimate discovery about the orientation of the nature. Nature is a system of existence fully occupied with factors that rise and fall dependently in continuum. At the end of the day, dualism of the subject and object, and the appearance of multiplicity arises out of our ignorance on the true nature would vanish once emptiness is realised. We could then differentiate the way things are perceived to exist and the way things really exist.
The first step for one to understand the ultimate truth is to conduct an in-depth analysis into the nature. What is a ‘nature’ then? Nature is originally referred to essential qualities or innate disposition; related to the intrinsic characteristics that plants, animals, and other features of the world develop of their own accord. These essential qualities of the nature can be divided into two categories i.e. inherence and dependence. Both of these qualities as observed by the mind would exist concurrently in a harmonious orientation. Therefore, it is imperative for one to understand that the nature is sufficiently universal and infinite in its original disposition and is governed by the universal laws.
In other words, there are two aspects of the nature - the dependent and the inherent aspects. These two aspects would exist concurrently and can be illustrated in a mathematical equation as below: -
Two Facets of the Nature
Facet 1 -->
...(-2+2) + (-16+16) + (-832+832) + (-133+133) + (0) + (-54+54) + ...., etc. = 0 <-- Facet 2
= dependent arising.
= the existence of mind - that conjures up perceptions, conceptions, labels,
names, descriptions, shapes, values, languages, etc.
= the existence of rising and falling phenomena.
= the existence of beginning and ending processes.
= all subjects and objects are created i.e. inherent existence is devoid.
= the emptiness could be realised in various stages.
= inherent existence.
= the absence of mind to conjure up perceptions, conceptions, labels,
names, descriptions, shapes, values, languages, etc.
= the absence of beginning and ending processes.
= the absence of conditional phenomena.
= nothing has ever been created or changed.
= the Buddha nature.
= intermediation = absence = emptiness but not nothingness.
= a mathematical value intermediate between positive and negative values.
= the absence of any or all units under consideration.
...(-2+2) + ... + (-133+133) ...
= values of fluxes that are dependent arising.
... + (-2+2) + (-54+54) + ...
= this arises, that arises.
... + (0) + ...
= this ceases, that ceases = the stage of enlightenment.
= all dependent arising are completely blown-off or extinguished.
= a stage of perfect intermediation = a stage of absence = a complete realisation of emptiness.
= the Law of Karma = the universal law of balancing.
-2+2 or -133+133
= the Law of Attraction.
Note : Anything that inherently exists would not involve change and created objects cannot inherently exist since that would involve change.
Right now, what could be the key ingredients of the nature? Precisely, the answer would be energy and emptiness. When one sees into energy, one sees into emptiness; when one sees into emptiness, one sees into energy. This is the rationale for the saying, ‘Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is Form.’
The principle in effect: seeing into form is seeing into matter, seeing into matter is seeing into energy and seeing into energy is seeing into emptiness. But what constitute energy and emptiness? Energy is described as the ability to cause change or do work. Energy causes things to happen around us. In other words, when we talk about energy, we talk about the so-called ‘ability’ and without energy, there would be no changing or becoming processes and no activities would arise in the dependent nature. As for emptiness, it is understood as absence in the static entity and devoid of inherent existence for all created objects or things.
Meanwhile, conditional phenomenon is a necessary pre-requisite for energy to exist; without it, the existence would be impossible. On another front, emptiness is a necessary pre-requisite for any object to exist; without it, the object would be impossible. When there is no dependent nature arising, no energy or emptiness would arise. Likewise, when there is no energy or emptiness arising, no dependent nature would arise. This is how the conventional reality works i.e. not in-linear but in inter-dependence, inter-woven and inter-relation since the dawn of time in a very comprehensive and complicated network of existence.
In the dependent nature, the existence of energy would give rise to the mind that in turn conjures up perceptions, conceptions, labels, boundaries, names, activities, shapes, relations, descriptions, stereotyping, beginning, ending, etc. The mind is a necessary pre-requisite for the circumstances of duality or multiplicity. As such, we shall be clear by now that mind is the forerunner of all states. These circumstances of duality or multiplicity are merely the end result of various aggregated activities being observed by the mind under the influence of conditional phenomena.
And only when there is a balance circumstance, there is a chance for the integration process i.e. under a balance phenomenon, one could witness shapes or forms arised; under an imbalance phenomenon, one could see no shapes or forms arised - and the cycle of conditional phenomena continues. Therefore, it is correct to mention that all objects are empty and exist conditionally without an eternal essence. They only exist in relation to each other as appearances that in turn vary as per the perceptions of the beholders.
When one ponders as a subject on the other side of the object or matter, one would notice that energy takes on various forms and reborn all the time in the dependent nature. However, the sum of all the energies in the system is a constant or never changes because energy can neither be created nor destroyed as per the Law of Conservation of Energy. This would mean that energy corresponds to the inherent existence
as well due to its unchanging nature as described above. It is the same case scenario for emptiness. Emptiness corresponds to both the dependent arising and the inherent existence concurrently. While emptiness could not exist without a dependent partner, emptiness in direct perception cannot be segmented or dissected further to see the real origin because it does not constitute some false appearances concealing a lack of inherent existence. Therefore, it has an unchanging nature that all conventional phenomena lack.
As a summary, we could conclude that energy and emptiness are essential qualities that exist everywhere in the dependent and the inherent nature. In the dependent nature, everything or anything (physical or non-physical) that exists is nothing but energy. And energy is nothing but a mere element of vibration. The basic level of a matter is energy. The basic level of energy is vibration. Therefore, matter is a vibrating mass of energy (referring to the electron particles that vibrate in a standing wave pattern) in which the different rate of vibration would determine the shape and the size of it. Just like ice, water and steam are different appearances derived from the orientation of H2O properties under the influence of the external conditions. So energy and matter are simply two aspects of the same thing - both reflected in different forms per se. Just like cause and effect are the same things - both reflected in a different time of events.
According to the Einstein’s formula, E = mc2, energy can be generated by enforcing a matter into a circumstance of extremely high rate of vibration. At the same time, a matter can be formed by compressing energy into a circumstance of extremely low rate of vibration. In the material Universe, this is how we clarify that something arises as in object is not out of nothing but arises out of the energy elements that exist in a system. Since we can’t see energy with our naked eyes, we would call it empty instead of nothing. And dependent nature of phenomena is a necessary pre-requisite for energy or matter to exist; without it, the energy or the matter would be impossible.
As such, every existence does contain with the three basic elements - energy, matter and space. These basic elements would subject to the balance and the imbalance phenomena. Under a balance phenomenon, these elements would start to integrate with each other to create an aggregate activity. Under an imbalance phenomenon, these elements would start to disintegrate from each other to create a segregate activity. Let us now glance into the following cycle of dependent origination: -
The Cycle of Dependent Origination
leads to stability. Stability leads to aggregation. Aggregation
leads to agitation. Agitation leads to information. Information
leads to knowledge. Knowledge leads to representation. Representation leads to memory. Memory
leads to compulsion. Compulsion leads to ignorance. Ignorance
leads to blindness. Blindness leads to disorientation. Disorientation leads to confusion. Confusion leads to irrationality. Irrationality leads to impulse. Impulse
leads to sparkle. Sparkle leads to inkling. Inkling leads to volition. Volition
leads to awareness. Awareness leads to consciousness. Consciousness
leads to manas. Manas leads to mind and body. Mind and body
lead to sensation. Sensation leads to six sense bases. Six sense bases
lead to conductivity. Conductivity leads to contact. Contact
leads to stimulation. Stimulation leads to feeling. Feeling
leads to experience. Experience leads to craving. Craving
leads to grasping. Grasping leads to clinging. Clinging
leads to unsettling. Unsettling leads to becoming. Becoming
leads to creation. Creation leads to birth. Birth
leads to energising. Energising leads to mobility. Mobility leads to hauling. Hauling leads to aging. Aging
leads to draining. Draining leads to death. Death
leads to fragility. Fragility leads to segregation. Segregation
leads to diffusion. Diffusion leads to imbalance. Imbalance
leads to adjustment. Adjustment leads to alignment. Alignment
leads to new balance
The principle in effect: -
A stream of balance phenomena would conjure up aggregate activity,
A stream of aggregate activities would conjure up information,
A stream of information would conjure up memory,
A stream of memories would conjure up ignorance,
A stream of ignorance would conjure up volitional impulse,
A stream of volitional impulses would conjure up consciousness,
A stream of consciousness would conjure up body and mind,
A stream of body and mind would conjure up six sense bases,
A stream of six sense bases would conjure up contact,
A stream of contacts would conjure up feeling,
A stream of feelings would conjure up craving,
A stream of cravings would conjure up clinging,
A stream of clinging would conjure up becoming,
A stream of becoming would conjure up birth,
A stream of births would conjure up aging,
A stream of aging would conjure up death,
A stream of deaths would conjure up segregate activity,
A stream of segregate activities would conjure up imbalance phenomenon,
A stream of imbalance phenomena would conjure up new balance phenomenon.
Thus the conditional phenomena would continue repeatedly to depict the rising and the falling activities in the dependent nature. At the end of the day, it is difficult for one to see into the ultimate truth because the mind is dependent arising and the presence in the waves of dependent phenomena has clouded the mind from discerning the reality of circumstances i.e. ignorance arises. Nevertheless, the wise Buddha has laid emphasis that one should see in all angles of things or matters
while searching for the ultimate truth or reality. Without it, any conclusions made out of one’s observation would not be balance or in a wholesome nature.