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! The most recent is his blockbuster The Accidental Activist, which Amazon claims is by his wife Anne Green. So it goes. Currently, he is President of One Step for Animals; previously, he was shitcanned from so many nonprofits that we can’t list them all 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, along with no dogs, no cats, no guinea pigs, and only the occasional snake or scorpion.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Enlightenment

I'm re-reading Bob Wright's Why Buddhism Is True and listening to Dan Harris' 10% Happier podcast with Bob.

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. My mind doesn't act with that fundamental understanding.

If I could fully, truly internalize that simple fact, the consequences would be enormous*. Really realizing, for example, 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 chronic back 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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