About the author

I am the author, co-author, secondary-author, ghost-author, and non-author of articles, speeches, book chapters, and even entire books! The most recent can be found at LosingMyReligions.net. Currently, I am President of One Step for Animals; previously, I was shitcanned from so many nonprofits that we can’t list them all here. Before my unfortunate encounter with activism, I was an aerospace engineer who wanted to work for NASA (to impress Carl Sagan). My hobbies include photography, almost dying, and {REDACTED}. I live in Tucson with my soulmate and reluctant editor Anne, along with the occasional snake and scorpion.

Monday, January 4, 2021

Repeat for the New Year: Enlightenment

I'm always re-reading Bob Wright's Why Buddhism Is True (and sometimes re-listening to various podcasts with Bob; eg., Dan Harris' 10% Happier podcast).

To me, enlightenment would entail fully internalizing that all there is is matter and energy. Just physics. I know this is true intellectually, but I don't live my life as such.

If I could fully, truly internalize that simple fact, the consequences would be enormous*. Viscerally understanding that there is no free will - we are all just damaged biological robots - would be incredibly profound. 

It took me many years to not get angry every time something like a computer malfunctioned. In the absolute happiest time in my life, I still swore at my computer. I still sometimes get upset when technology malfunctions, let alone people.

If I could fundamentally recognize that everything in the universe as simply the interaction of matter and energy, I would be liberated. I would, I think, have achieved as much enlightenment as possible.

Wish me luck.   ;-)


*This isn't to say I wouldn't still try to reduce suffering. Even though it is just the product of the interactions of matter and energy, Suffering Is Bad. I think it is possible (and desirable) to distance myself from, say, my degenerative osteoarthritis pain (although it is hard to imagine being sanguine about a Crohn's attack). But that wouldn't change the fact that it is Good to reduce suffering.

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