About the author

Matt is the author, co-author, secondary-author, ghost-author, and non-author of articles, speeches, book chapters, and even entire books! Next will be the bestseller "Losing My Religions." Currently, he is President of One Step for Animals; previously, he was shitcanned from more nonprofits than there is room to list here. Before Matt’s unfortunate encounter with activism, he was an aerospace engineer who wanted to work for NASA to impress Carl Sagan. His hobbies include photography, almost dying, and {REDACTED} He lives in Tucson with Anne and no dogs, no cats, and no African tortoises (although he cares for all of these).

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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