The human being is of such a design that it perceives everything. By contrast. There is no way of knowing whether the real world is arranged the same way or not, but we are a nervous system.
Composed of neurons in an extraordinarily complicated pattern, based on a very simple principle called is you is or is you ain’t the neuron in transmitting any sensory input either fires or doesn’t. So you could represent the fact that it fires by the figure 1 and that it doesn’t buy the figures zero. And out of zero and one with those two integers alone, you can represent all conceivable numbers. This is called binary arithmetic and it is the kind of arithmetic that is used by digital computers.
Messages in 0 1 language can convey not only mathematical and verbal information, but also information that comes out as television. Both black and white and in color and through the same notation, we can convey solid objects. You can turn a solid object into terms of this notation at one end of a process and have it come out at the other end of the process engraved in plastic, enlarged or diminished at will by the operation of laser beams.
So one is tempted, therefore, to think that is you is or is you ain’t is fundamental to the universe. The Chinese thought so and therefore devised the yang and the yin.
YANG Meaning positive minion, meaning negative principles upon which they base the book of changes, the aging.
Showing the various combinations of an Indian that constitute the 64 basic situations of life.
They took extra grounds hex grams made up of six lines.
An unbroken line representing the yen and a broken line representing the yen.
So if you have six lines with two positive, with the two possibilities for each line, you get 64 different hexagons.
They use this for making decisions when it was necessary to make a decision, you would by a random process arrive at one of the 64 exit grounds and on the basis of that decide what you were going to do. It’s rather like tossing a coin. Only this coin has 64 sides instead of two. But it all comes down to is it heads or tails? Is it Yang or is it in? It seems absolutely basic to our life.
And it’s rather awkward.
Because when we apply this to the pursuit of pleasure, it seems to be saying. Yes, you can have pleasure, but you will not know what it is unless you can contrast it with non pleasure. And if you want to know pleasure, then you must have known pleasure. If you want one end of the spectrum, you’ve got to know the other because you can’t have a one ended spectrum any more than you can have a magnet with one polar. And that seems to put an awful kibosh on everything we’re trying to do. Every sort of achievement, every sort of progress, sort of rearrangement of things always runs into the problem that what you gain on the roundabout, you lose on the swings. And this is dispiriting, to say the least. But in a way, oh, how true. So let’s look into this business rather thoroughly, because if you understand the end, in the end, you you really understand something.
The first point is this. Let me sort of clarify the situation in its most simple terms. We’ll take the contrast of black and white. Now, obviously, if I’m confronted with a black background.
There is nothing particular to register upon my attention and I am as good as blind.
If I’m confronted with a purely white background, there is nothing in particular to try to attract my attention and I am as good as blind. If, however, I’m a naughty little boy and I’m confronted with a black war and I have a piece of chalk, I am tempted to make a mark on it. And if I am confronted with a nice, clean white wall and I have a piece of charcoal in my hand, I’m tempted to make a black mark because nature abhors a vacuum.
So here I have a black ground with a white dot on it and a white ground with a black dot. Interesting.
Now of black and white, which is positive and which was negative.
If I look at the white background of the black dot, I shall be inclined to say that the black is positive because it’s the thing. It’s the mark.
If I look at the black background with the white dot, I saw on the other hand, he’s inclined to say that the white is the positive because it’s the thing, it’s the mark.
I can think of white as positive in general in that it’s light and black as negative because it’s darkness. But I can also think of white as negative because it’s blank. French Blanche.
I can think of black as positive because it’s not black. It’s all filled up.
Then again, I can think of the DOT as being the negation in both cases because my black background with a white dot has a picture of a wall with a hole in it.
And my black and my white background with a black dot. There’s a picture of a box with a hole in it.
I can choose it either way, I like call white negative and black positive or vise versa. But it’s difficult to do both at the same time.
Now, they are, of course, these two as different as different can be, we say. It’s as different as black and white.
Or we also say these two points of view are the poles apart and we use the word polarization rather incorrectly to indicate an increase of discord in the society, whereas polarization is really a form of harmony.
The two poles of the earth are the harmony of the earth. The two poles of a magnet of the harmony of the magnet, because they are like male and female. A man and a woman are not the poles apart in the sense that they have no common ground.
We could say you can’t have a fight between a shark and a tiger.
Because they have no common ground. One lives on land and the other in the water.
But there is common ground between polls. Obviously, the common earth has the common ground between the north and the south and the common magnet. If it’s electrical.
The circuit runs from the positive to the negative, and the circuit won’t begin to run until a negative pole is established. That’s what happens when you turn on the switch. So therefore, although the black and the white, the positive and the negative are as different as different can be. They’re also the same because there are differences of one of one field.
And this is what makes the difference between what we’ll call an esoteric point of view and an esoteric point of view. In philosophy, religion and so forth from the excerpt very point of view.
The black and the white. Our emphasized with respect to the difference.
Good and bad. Life and death. How oh, how different?
Light and darkness.
God is light, I in him is no darkness at all.
That’s the esoteric point of view.
But always behind that, there’s a secret. Every religion has a secret. There’s always something esoteric. What is the esoteric thing that is only revealed to initiates to people who can stand it?
It’s simply that black and white, although explicitly different, are implicitly one because you can’t have one without the other.
You could say black is white. If by the word is, you mean implies.
The Buddhists say emptiness is form and form is emptiness.
The Chinese way of saying it is not quite the English way it doesn’t equals. It rather means Chinese is saying void that form, form that void.
In other words, it implies it goes with. If I may invent a word.
So we say that is esoteric. You mustn’t let it out in church. That God has a dark side as well as a light side.
But it says so I say forty five, seven.
I am the Lord and there is none else. I form the light and create the darkness. I make peace and create evil. Either Lord do all these things.
Well, that’s your answer to the problem of evil so bad that you see, we don’t let up because someone who wants to commit a murder, they say there’s no reason I shouldn’t commit a murder, because if I didn’t if somebody didn’t commit murders, you wouldn’t know what nice people were.
Somebody didn’t steal. Or cheat. You wouldn’t recognize honest men.
Like, if it wasn’t a wet day, occasionally you wouldn’t enjoy the sunshine.
There’s no getting around it. That that’s true. St. Paul wrestled with this problem. When he saw that.
The law of Moses made people conscious of right and wrong.
I had not known that there was last except the Lord said thou shalt not covet.
So therefore, he said, asking rhetorically, shall we sin that grace may abound or missing in detail? Heaven forbid. So you have to be careful. That you don’t let this get into the hands of children. Like it says on the bottle of poison. Keep away from children. And yet we have poisoned and we have uses for poison. So in the same way we have uses for evil.
In the ordinary way, we do a balancing act between what we do is this we establish an in group. And say this in group, which is us, has a collective ego and it is wrong to do anything evil to any member of this group. But it’s all right to do it to somebody who is not in the group. Therefore, when we are going to be very evil to someone, we have to define that person as outside the group.
And so we like when Hitler was going to persecute the Jews.
They were defined as not really human. And likewise, if we are going to persecute the Negroes, we define them as not really human. People can easily see they can imagine that because a Negro looks so different from a Caucasian that he’s more like an animal.
Or you can take people who are generally thought to be insane and you can deprive them of civil rights without due process.
They’re insane. They’re defined as not all there. They’re not human, merely bodies. Their mind is absent.
We we used to do that with heretics and other very seriously disease people, lepers and so on.
They were outcasts. They were not humans. And they were therefore outlawed. They didn’t have the protection of the in group. So the worst thing we can do in eating is cannibalism. Don’t eat your own kind. You made everything else, but not your kind.
But that still doesn’t get away from the fact. You see that you cannot eat. You cannot live without eating. And you cannot therefore live without death, without committing murder. I don’t know what a practical solution to that is, except one I’ve suggested is that if you do eat any living creature. At least you can show your respect by cooking it well.
As Lynn Newtown said, a fish that has died for you and has not been well cooked has died in vain.
Now, there are very, very interesting applications of this theory. Let’s look at some of the contrasts in terms of which we are aware.
Primary, of course, is what is myself and what is not. Which is a sort of contrast, not of two ends of a poll, but rather of the center of a circle and the circumference of the circle. Because there’s a two ends of the radius, one and still the other end moving.
And we say we feel there is a great difference between myself and other. I do not know your thoughts. I do not feel the pleasures and pains unless I am in a sympathetic relationship with you.
I don’t know what you’re going to do. My actions are voluntary. Yours are involuntary so far as I’m concerned. Yet when I think it over, I realize that I could not realize self.
Without the contrast of other.
I wouldn’t know what I meant by myself. Unless I meant something contrasting by someone else or something else.
Self means self only because other means, other just in the same way as is means is only because you can think of isn’t. And you know, isn’t what isn’t means because you know what is means and you know what is means because you know what isn’t means.
There is a relation. And so. Likewise with the black and the white, we see the relation.
But that implies that self and other are inseparable.
They go with each other.
Characteristic of the difference between self and other is voluntary behavior and involuntary behavior. What you do on the one hand and what happens to you on the other.
This is not always quite co terminus with the difference between self and other.
Because when you have hiccups, you’ll feel that it happened to you, but it was your hiccups or belly rumbles or headache or whatever. What about when you breathe?
Do you do it or does it happen to you? That’s a very moot case because you can feel you are doing it.
But you can also feel it happening to you.
So perhaps the distinction between the voluntary and the involuntary is a little a little arbitrary, a little vague. Suddenly it is when it comes to breathing. But once again, I think how could I say of an act I have done it unless there were contrasting acts of which I could say I didn’t do then. So I need the involuntary if I’m to have any voluntary. So that if there is a union, you union of implication between the two. I get the same sort of relationship between them, as I explained when I said you can use white for either the positive or the negative symbol.
In other words, I can regard what I do as what happens to me and I can regard what happens to me as what I do. It is in the sense that a Hindu or a Buddhist will say, if you have an accident, it was your karma. Because the word karma means nothing more than doing.
You had an accident. It was your doing.
Well, we would say that’s not fair.
And naive people suppose it was their doing in the sense that this mishap is a punishment for a misdeed you did at a former time.
That’s only a superstitious meaning of karma, karma means literally. You did it. But you did your accident in the same way.
You see, as you do certain other things that are classified as involuntary, like growing your hair or digesting your dinner.
Because it all depends what you mean by you. If you restrict itself to the voluntary.
Then you get the distinction between what you did and what you didn’t do. But if the self really must include the other and the involuntary.
Then others are your others and involuntary happenings are your deeds.
That’s rather interesting.
You may feel as a result of seeing that one of two things, you may feel that you really don’t do anything at all, that you are not completely deterministic universe where everything happens. That your own voluntary decisions and deeds spring out of unconscious mental mechanisms which determine them completely so that you are at best only a witness of what happens. All you can feel the opposite of that, you can feel that you are God, that you are doing everything.
That rocks fall. Water is wet and fire hot because of you.
Which is in a way. True. Because the sun would not be light. Except in relationship to Ayers.
Can see light.
Norwood rocks be hard except in relation to relatively soft skin. Nor would they be heavy except in relation to a sudden musculature. So, by the way, you are you evoke the way the world is.
We might say there are some vibrations out there that are really out there.
But these vibrations. Are not colored or soft or hard or light or dark or light or heavy until in relation to some sensitive system.
But then again, the sensitive nervous system is part of the external world. And the external world is an event in the nervous system.
The inside of the box is outside the box and the inside and the outside is inside. I mean, you know, it seems to flip flop perpetually.
Take again another contrast. The solid in the space. Most of us think. That reality is solid. Rather than space. We talk about hard facts.
We talk about impenetrable reality, even brute facts. The heart always seems real, just like the black mark on the white background, even though the black thing, even though the solid is.
Untransparent and luminous, it seems to be more real than blue sky. This is a very partial point of view.
Can you imagine a world that was solid without any space? The edges of the solid would be, of course, invisible. There would be no edges because an edge is a point of interface between a solid and a space. So if you take away space, you take away solid. Most tests take away solid, where’s the space? After all to say of space. It’s a space between if there are no limits, there’s no space.
Even if you imagine purely empty space was got the sense of yourself looking at it. And that’s the solid.
That’s a very awkward.
Because we are quite sure that space isn’t there. We take no account of it and therefore get puzzled when our mathematicians and physicists begin to talk about curved space or properties of space or expanding space. KAHN People say the ordinary, average person, you can’t talk like that, that’s public space can’t expand because it’s not there. It isn’t anything you can do anything.
Well, let’s see if a solid can. Let’s investigate a solid. You know what happens when you start going into nuclear physics?
You’ll find that in any given solid, however dense a piece of steel, it may be a great deal more space in it than there is any solid. The distances between molecules, the distances between atoms and southern atomic particles are relatively vast. In something there’s a lot more nothing than there is any something, because as you investigate and penetrate the solid, you’ll find it to be increasingly spacious.
Now, what happens when we investigate the spacious.
How do you investigate space? My Yugo, the. You bring in a solid. You map it.
So space and solid are really like poles that limits. And it’s same with yourself and the other the organism and the environment, the individual in the world. Go thoroughly into any one and you get the other. Ask, for example, the question, what do you mean when you love yourself? Love yourself thoroughly. I want you to be completely selfish as possible. Tell me, what do you love? Wow. We see. Well, I like to.
I like candy, beautiful girls.
I like beefsteak wine. I like good bread. I like the sun on a lovely landscape. I like clear water.
I like music. Come on and talk about yourself, will you, for a change.
I suddenly realize I can’t when I love myself. I think of all things other than myself that I love.
It’s very clear.
But that’s what’s called the basic flip flop ability between the powers of opposites.
That’s why the Chinese represent them with these two interlocked comments that suggest the kind of blue, blue, blue rhythm so that when you get the full development of Yan, you get the beginning of yin.
And when you get the full development of yin, you’ll get the beginning of yang. That is the one implies. And the other. So they’re always flipping, doing a flip and doing a flip is the love that makes the world go round.
You’ve got a double helix, so the male and the female. That’s the love position. The double helix spiral nebulae do this. So two creatures in sexual intercourse. The double helix, I’m chasing you, you’re chasing me.
I love you so much. I could eat you.
I realized myself, you see only three other.
So in this way, then we get another marvelous instance of the pairs of opposites. We’ve got the differences and we see a unity between them. Then let’s contrast the principle of difference with the principle of unity.
Here we are again. We know what we mean by different because we know what we mean by one.
So difference implies unity and unity implies difference. Now, what is it that lies beyond difference in unity? See, we found unity lying beyond differences. North and south. The difference is united in the end. They are poles of one. All right. Now let’s take difference in unity. What lies between them?
You could say your mind.
As in the magnetic tape.
What lies between the on signals, the one signals and the zero signals? Of course, the tape.
They’re both on the tape.
Only the tape as such doesn’t register. It registers only in terms of yes or no. But you don’t get a signal tape with yes, no tape because it’s irrelevant. Makes no difference. And yet if the weren’t the tape, they wouldn’t get the signals at all. So is there something underlying. Yes and no. Life and death, light and darkness.
Well, that’s what we call God.
Only we can’t say anything about it. Because everything we say is a statement and that implies an opposite.
But we. But as I pointed out in the beginning, this is so frustrating. Because.
We want to play a game with these opposites. You see, just like we have opposites in chess, the black side and the white side.
We want to win.
And we want to win. But then when we think of the other fellow, we realize that if I’m going to win, you’re going to lose. It’s rather hard, isn’t it? Couldn’t we arrange for a game in which everybody wins?
Then nobody wins. Nothing happened. There was no game. So to try to play a no lose game is impossible. We set ourselves an impossible task, and that makes us feel very frustrated, always frustrated because we’re trying to do what can’t be done. You want to good all the time? I want sunshine every day. OK. A desert for you. That’s not what you wanted, was it? You really want a world which is all positive. No, nobody really does. I mean, we think we think we do. We think we ought to.
But it still bothers us.
Because after all, if I come to the conclusion that this really doesn’t make any difference, it’s going to be black and white, black and white. Life and death. Good and evil. Ultimately, forever and ever and ever. I can’t improve this world. I feel sort of sad. And I’m just gonna sit around and vegetate.
Only got some on Artemis.
And yet and yet I can’t put up with that.
I have an itch. Surely there must be some way of getting through.
So what is it? Is there a is there a greater pleasure which lies beyond the ordinary contrast of pleasure and pain?
What are they Hindus mean when they say that Brahman the absolute reality is such hard and under soft reality shift consciousness under bliss? What is under what is metaphysical bliss? Joy beyond pleasure, pain. Good, evil.
Has such a conception even any meaning? Well.
In all the various accounts that are given to us of the mystical experience, they have an intense, joyous annus.
The sudden realization that the dark and the light constitute a harmony there are not discordant.
That somebody once put it to me, this was a lady of 60 or so or was in an accident with an elevator and she had her leg crushed and they couldn’t get a rescue crew to her for half an hour. But she said during that time I had the most extraordinary experience. I realized there wasn’t one grain of dust in this whole universe that is out of place.
But from a strictly philosophical and logical point of view, it doesn’t mean anything I say everything is good.
No sort of a Christian science added.
It doesn’t mean it it’s no law in them from a logical point of view than saying everything is everything. Doesn’t tell me anything. It’s all good. It’s all happy. It’s all harmonious.
And yet, if any one of you ever had an experience of cosmic consciousness, you know jolly well that that those are no idle words.
As you can see.
The positive and the negative, the yes and no singing together, constituting each other in this fantastic dance. In which the outward radiance flowing outward of the white light.
Is at the same time the withdrawal of the black outline and that withdrawal seems to be drawing aside a veil to show the white light. And if the veil didn’t draw back, there would be no light, the veil to the drawing, back to the light shine.
Or did the light shuffle the veil back if it didn’t show, it hadn’t got a veil to shove back. Well, with the contrast be. You see the light in the dark. Playing with each other.
So there is a concept in the game called good sportsmanship.
Which means that.
You can be a good loser, but you can play the part of blues with the same enthusiasm that you can play the part of win.
Therefore, what you look for is a good opponent, someone who really give you a run. And so what you do is you let the opponent win every so often and you have to try and keep yourself on top as just a little edge on the other one. See?
Well, after a while you see your consciousness changes and you find your always a little on top when you average it out and that gets boring.
So you’re going after a while to let the other person average out.
But then you’re going to count the spaces. Do you see?
For a year, you average out that you will allow your how your partner to have six months of being averaging out better and you get a little more dairy and give him seven months to catch up with you just at eleven months. And I’m going to come in again and I’m going to add another 12 months in which I’m the usual winner.
The more you think of that. The more you think I’m kind of a cad to be like this, you’re going to let the other person. Because you can’t maintain consciousness without the contrast in.
You that’s why people go in for adventure.
Why we take risks, why we do absolutely foolish things.
Toss a coin and see what happens. Go skydiving. Let’s go roaring around in racing cars.
At some even have wars.
See what happens. US.
Some people are cautious and say life is like a fire. And the thing to do is to keep it burning as long as possible. There are two kinds of pipe smokers.
People who take enormous puffs and I mean vast clouds of smoke and pipe burns out very quickly and other people who very slowly take a puff and keep the pipe going for a long, long time. Some people like a quick, enormous flash. Others like a long, long, slow glow.
Who’s right? Who’s left? You can take it either way.
You may go off with a whimper, but we will go after the band.
The morning glory blooms for an hour, and yet it differs not apart from the giant pain that lives for a thousand years.
Fruit fly at one end, it lives a few hours, tortoise at the other, slow, solemn daughters, lives for 500 years, but slowly.
Maybe they’re both from their own point of view, lived the same time. Maybe the fruit fly thinks a few hours are very long and the tortoise thinks 500 years.
But four score and ten on all flesh is grass. From your own point of view, it’s always the same. It’s your point of view.
If you are a person born to riches, you will feel it’s terrible to go down the poverty. But if you’re born to poverty, that will be the usual state of affairs. You’ll think it’s extremely lucky if you rise to riches. But you see, I haven’t really answered the question. Is there any way around this?
Now we can be a good sport, but it all comes out the same thing in the end. I mean, it balances out. And so what it means, so what?
What’s wrong with it doing that? Would you rather it was different?
Well, if you really go into your thinking, you find you can’t rather that it was different when you see that you cannot have the positive without the negative. And if you want the positive, you will have to take the negative. You say, well, it’s a making me making the best of it. You know, as if to say, well, things kind of a lousy deal, but I’ll take it. But I would ask you, what else would you have suggest me a better arrangement. You suddenly find that if you do suggest what you think is a better arrangement. They did. That won’t be what you wanted. You finally have to admit that you wanted the way it is because the whole nature of wanting involves contrast. You want the good to be good, don’t you? You wanted to be real yummy.
Not so I give you nothing but chocolate eclairs with honey and a glass of champagne for breakfast everyday and for lunch and for dinner.
Will soon get sick of that. Or I’ll give you a hard. You just keep it up day and night.
Pretty soon he was. Someone take me to a bar.
So by following this through the relentless logic it is you is or is you ain’t you come to the curious sensation?
That, after all, if I really go into this problem of life, it is the way I want it to be. If I look at it superficially and in a sort of short run view, well, it isn’t the way I want it. I want it changed right now. See?
And I will see. Life is like sleeping on a hard bed. You lie on her left side for a while and then you say this I can’t stand this anymore and turn on your right side. Same with politics and you get tired of that.
So I say, well, I’m not on my left. You get tired of that little bit faster than you did before. Try the right again. It’s boring. You try it back. That begins to get up, that you turn over light on your tummy. Then you switch to your back and then your tummy. Then you try your right side again. Your left. I see.
And so you proceed.
What else do you suggest?
I would like it to be so that I was always comfortable.
But you can see that if you were. You wouldn’t know what comfortable is.
So here’s this puzzle.
It’s got two sides, side one. I cannot beat the game of opposites. I cannot have more positive than negative side, too. I wouldn’t want it otherwise.
Because I cannot imagine how to improve it.
So involved in this as a sudden and curious initial deflation.
I’m out of sorts. When I feel that there’s no impression I can make on it. As it’s.
And yet I find.
Who is this I try to interfere and wants to be challenged and is put out of sorts.
Well, when I look for it, I can’t find it.
I cannot find an AI myself opposed to Vai or it. Because how could I have the one without the other?
That feeling that I had of deflation, of frustration was simply the realization there is no such thing as a separate eye.
If you don’t want to feel that truth, you will resist feeling it.
But if you’re open, this logic of the opposites of the game of black and white will lead you ineluctably to the conclusion that you have no separate self apart from what is called other. So there you are. You find that you are the vibration system, which is what’s going on.
You are the undulations, the palisade and called existence. That’s you.
And it’s game 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1. And ever so many different ways.
Well, say, is that all?
What more did you expect? Well, I don’t know what I wanted. Just a little something more.
You mean you want to surprise?
I think we’re back where we were a little while ago. But.
The surprise is it is in a way. This. We are locking in this system for that for that little something more which will give it meaning.
But. We’re looking for the wrong kind of meaning. The meaning of this. Now you’ll see it.
No, don’t is who is or is you ain’t Alsatian. Good, good, good, good, good.
The meaning of it is not apart from it. Away from it. Something different. The meaning of it is the dance, you see. That’s why we get back to the point I made this morning to get with us.
He got a swing and swing means. I’ll give it to you in a Zen story.
A Zen student said to his teacher, it’s terribly hot. How do we escape the heat? He said why not go where it’s neither hot nor cold? I said, was that the teacher said, in summer we sweat. In winter we shiver.
It’s a different from in Shakespeare’s Richard the Second. Bolingbrook is about to be banished. And John Gaunt, I think it says to him.
To all places under the eye of heaven. To a wise man, Potts and happy havens. In other words, I don’t think the king has banished. You think that you have that banish the king. You weren’t fired. You quit babbling. Brook require replies.
Oh, who can hold a fire in his hand by thinking on the frosty caucuses a while naked in December. Snow by thinking on a fantastic summer’s heat. Fell sorrows tooth that never rankled more than when it bites and Lance is not the sore.
In other words. If during the winter, I think of the summer, it’s colder. If during the summer I think of the winter ice cream, it’s hotter. So that’s why the Zen master replies, in summer we sweat, in winter we shiver. When it’s hot. Eat curry when it’s cold.
Try ice water. Swim with it, roll with a bunch. This is due to the cold you make it, the hotter it’ll get.
Now we’ll have an intermission.