Introducing Ultimate Reality
Note: Introducing Ultimate Reality is excerpted from my new book Amazing: Truths About Conscious Awareness and edited.
Life always has surprises, doesn't it? Surprises are like sparks.
Rain falls out of a sun-filled sky. Dark spots speckle the pavement. You look up. A ragged, roiling cluster of gray to black slides under the blue. Displaced, you think. Sunny or cloudy skies, few things are as clear as a theory or a slogan.
Refusing to take the shortcut to certainty, keeping your eyes open, always benefits you, maybe not as reassuringly as we like.
The "moment" itself, the now New Agers get breathless about, may be overrated or even impossible, the titillation of an illusory presence that can’t last any more than it can make itself true. The moment has a chance to be real, but we’d have to give up past and future for it.
It’s like uncertainty at the quantum level in physics. If we know one thing, we can't know something else. We can’t be inside an infinity of past and future, which is real and irrefutable, and an anchored moment simultaneously. If one thing is reality, the other must be illusion.
The Stories We Tell
What follows is about choices, shortcuts and the endless road. That's the search for truth about ultimate reality.
We will never see reality pause because, when it does, it collapses instantly into indistinguishable fodder for some next something else.
It’s gone and you’re out the door with it. No post game analysis. No fingers to point.
Motion is essential, forcing definitions to declare themselves by creating realities, sort of like a convention where everyone has a different favorite candidate but you have to vote anyway, exposing a universal tie. The television networks can’t even break for commercials. There are as many balloons as not-balloons. The anchors have a terrible time, and the commentators sound like idiots.
Without definition, it can’t be matter. Rules are rules. Without matter, no reality. Simple, yes? How about this? Matter itself is illusion. Actually, it’s more like magic, and tracing the implications of that magic, such as why it occurs at all, is another theme of this book. We’re living perilously in the God or not-God neighborhood. It’s probably the only thing we ever really talk about.
For most, it’s profoundly unsatisfying to know that there is ultimately nothing to hold onto. There is no rock where you can attach yourself, which is why religion and myth are so successful in offering moorings. As if the proselytizers owned some real estate.
Belief in God
We’ve evolved belief systems because they make us feel better when the truth seems impossible. We’re told that belief in God, by one name or another, demands faith. In reality, it demands separation and a reliable set of brakes.
I’ll be using that proper noun, God, for convenience. We need some common point of reference, but please discard any ideas about old, ornery white men on thrones where gravity is intermittent or optional. Throw out images and gender of any kind.
The creator of genders can’t have one, obviously. Dismiss kindly spirits who dispatch angels to aid us in forcing our convictions. Cart out like garbage the maker of rights and wrongs, the arbiter of morals or taste. Let go of the angelic intermediary’s hand.
It’s not that these are less than true. It’s that they’re only references, mostly weak ones, none complete, and while it’s always helpful to observe signposts, it’s more important not to forget what they are: indicators, pointers, icons. Arrows aim at a greater presence. In this case, much greater, the signposts becoming dwarfs.
Reality, I suppose, is a term much more easily left out of the conversation. Nobody knows what it is, although we’re always immersed in it. Ultimate reality is everywhere and everything, the thing itself.
On a small scale, we all know what it’s like to step back and have an objective look at a container, a subject or a structure. The cliché, thinking outside the box, feels natural. But ultimate reality is a box out of which we can never step, even for a casual curbside smoke.
When we talk about mountains, moons, cells, even quanta, we’re talking only about chunks of reality identifiable by using the limited tools evolution has given us. We aren’t talking about reality itself because reality can’t be isolated or be made up of parts. Reality is the ever-changing fluid we’ve adopted by creating our own symbolic version.
Symbolic versions are allowed to have parts, making them both neatly convenient and not at all truthful.
Our minds are creation’s greatest tools for awareness, but they can fairly be compared to the first aquatic creature that struggled ashore in evolution’s march into complexity. They have a long beach full of hazards to cross before sprouting wings, let alone sprout tools to compensate for shortcomings.
Into God's Ultimate Toolbox
Our tools always tell us where our brains are going. Tools never deviate too much from the base or they become useless, unable to continue as prototypes for evolution.
Reality is God’s own splash into what we’d otherwise call nothingness. (As we’re only beginning to get a handle on ultimate reality, imagine how tough to define nothingness is going to be.)
Splashed into space was a composition of rhythmic energy, vibrations everywhere. Pollack, Jack the Dripper, got close to that moment. Ineffable knowing might have driven him crazy. In the initial outburst of rhythmic energy, complete in itself, variations erupted into clumps of cosmos, representations we call matter.
Density and heat differentiated into the variations we call color, taste, sound and temperature. God has no limits. The universe expanded with infinite variation.
Eventually, life sucked together enough chemistry to make something new. Fluids can’t pause. Life kept moving, definitions swelling, until presently we have you, here, now, looking at or listening to this book.
The only mistake you can ever make is in forgetting you were and are some of that initial splash. You are the splash becoming aware of itself. You’re not alone.
You imagine extrasensory perception or the wholeness of conscious awareness being shared. Ultimate reality is ripe with these things. How could it not be? If reality has no holes, you can never escape or stumble into one. You might as well embrace awareness and claim some of the fun.
Imagine yourself a single young man at a party. The room is densely populated with attractive women. Your only dilemma is about which one to ask. But you must ask, that’s the thing.
The alternative is energy-draining, infectious disinterest. Inoculate yourself with indefatigable interest by making choice after choice after choice.
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