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In the case of mankind at the very least it seems that Truth, whatever “it” may be, is suspiciously complex. Why yes of course! Isn’t it obvious? Everything looks rather complex on the outside…maybe even a bit overwhelmingly unfathomable, but come on people, we all know that Truth must somehow reduce down to something or another. That is, ONE thing or another. Doesn’t it have to? Do I hear a resounding “yes”?

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Yes, and we shall prove to ourselves that the nature of reality and the reality of Nature is deceptively simple! Mankind will divide every last particle of nature, reduce every last logical answer, paint every last fragment of the soul, and cut down every last piece of  earthly desire all in the name of finding that ONE thing. How can you know what the body is made of if you don’t know what the molecule is made of? How can you know what the molecule is made of if you don’t know what the atom is made of? How can you know what the atom is made of if you don’t know what subatomic particles are made of…and how can you know what those are made of if you don’t know anything about the building blocks of the vast Universe?

Yes, we are definitely a suspicious lot when it comes to anything that can’t be divided or expanded upon (which is just another form of division on the macro side of the equation – after all, infinitely small is as large as infinitely big). Everything can and shall be divided!  Mankind as a whole, whether smashing particles together at high speeds, preaching from religious pulpits, immersed in the intimate process of artistic creation, or reducing reality to thought experiments seems convinced that a dissection of complex facades is bound to lead to the discovery of the simplest yet most profound denominator, that single underlying strand of Truth.

Everyone from Hawking to the Pope, from Rumi to Nietzsche and back pursue(d) the mysterious essence, the pulse of Life itself, the Heart of all hearts. There seems to be a natural human sense that insists upon the existence of One essential and mysterious thread stringing all the precious pearls (infinitely small and large) of our Universe together. Einstein called his search for that single pulse of Life, for that Divine Spark which ignites all sparks, the “Theory of Everything”. But Einstein failed to find the Theory of Everything, though Hawking seems to be pursuing the same in a race against his physical decline.

I wonder if man can ever find the profoundly simple by dividing the profoundly complex. Can a man find the essence of kindness by reducing his cruelty to the smallest factor? But there is an essential problem with division isn’t there? How can it ever end? A ‘thing’ can be divided or multiplied endlessly can’t it? I can reduce my cruelty which is the same as expanding my kindness. Or I can reduce my kindness which would be the same as expanding my cruelty. But what would it take for cruelty to be totally eradicated? Must it not also coincide with the total eradication of kindness? What then, would be left? It’s also said that the whole is equal to the sum of its parts. Yet one can’t add to or subtract from the whole and maintain its wholeness, especially not as it pertains to Existence itself. So then isn’t it more logical to say that the whole is more than the sum of its parts? Or rather, that each part also contains within it the essence of the whole?

Hmmm…how strange. This seems to lead to yet another realization. That is, it’s beginning to sound impossible to divide or expand the One underlying thread of All Existence. After all, Truth is just Truth, you can’t add to it or take away from it. You can only manipulate it by fragmenting it one way (reduction) or the other (expansion). But the Truth remains the truth, the whole remains the whole. It seems as though we are only playing with parts through what we call disciplines of science, religion, art, and philosophy using these conditioned methods to observe, measure, calculate, manipulate, divide, multiply, and interpret nature as if the pearls of the universe together form the thread.

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But the pearls without the thread would not assemble, and the thread without the pearls would not form a necklace. It seems that they are actually inseparable. That is, one can’t realize the beauty of the necklace by studying the pearls alone, nor can they realize it by measuring the thread (if it can even be observed to measure). One must See the necklace in its totality. Doesn’t this sound so deceptively simple? Hahaha! But then it’s easy to see the necklace when someone else is wearing it, and not so easy when it hangs around one’s own neck. How can the part see the Whole unless the part looks outside of itself? And isn’t looking beyond one’s self the same as looking deep within one’s self to witness the wholeness that already IS, self contained? Yes, the part must see beyond its ‘partness’ to realize that it too is Whole.

Oh humanity, what a ruthlessly dividing lot we are! We are seekers of the ‘ultimate Truth’ which we think must be such a ‘thing’ of profound simplicity and profound ease whether we call it One, Wholeness, Nature, Being, the Supreme, or whatever other name. But there is a joke here folks – a cosmic joke! Man’s unrelenting desire to reduce Truth to its simplest (intelligible) form is, in fact, an impossibly complicated endeavor which can never bear fruit. The joke of the ages is that the human mind itself is too complex to fathom the profoundly simple. Man’s mind is itself a product of divisive thoughts which cannot See past its subjective parts to Realize the Reality of its objective essence. Man’s natural process of seeing is to interpret along conditioned lines, and thus, to add, to complicate, to dramatize, to center around himself any and every event, including the belief that the “Theory of Every-thing” must be a THING.

Yes, reality is simple if we can only See, but the irony is that non-seeing, conditioned seeing, is our reality, our part of nature which we look upon in parts. But even logic which is so limited, even religion which is so questionable, even art which is so subjective and even philosophy which is so ambiguous – even these often conflicting, abstract, and limited methods of discovery may actually stand to agree that there is not one thing that could possibly exist as simply as No Thing.

And in unison the precious pearls, unaware of the space at the center of their Beings, proclaim of the thread, “Our minds are something which cannot fathom Nothing”…

Or can they?

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler" (image: manhassetlibrary.org)

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