We’re brought up in the religion of objectivity and absolutism. We’re told that we exist in the world and the world exists objectively, independent to us. This is the dogma of the scientific religion, and it’s a classical-physics or Newtonian view. It’s a belief in the absolute: the belief that you are a small thing that walks around a big world, which exists independently to you. The belief in an absolute objective universe is the belief in God in disguise — God is just wearing a different colored coat. What is the absolute universe if not God? Same thing.
But there is no evidence for an objective, absolute universe, it’s never been proven, and there is no particular reason to believe that it is the case. On the contrary, science itself has proven this untrue and since moved on from this view to relativity and quantum physics. If the religion of the scientific worldview were to actually follow science, then one would expect all the children to be told that the world around us doesn’t exist objectively and isn’t always there — since that is what has been observed scientifically in the 20th century from experiments into relativity and quantum mechanics.
Science has since adopted the relativistic model for physics, but nevertheless we have all fallen into 1984-style double-think in which we on one hand will say “yes we know for sure that the universe is relative, what a smart guy Einstein was” but then on the other hand will act as if our own life is not relative, as if that’s something reserved only for scientific experiments and not for daily life. Spoiler alert: we do actually live in the same reality as the scientific experiments, that means if you do accept science then you should believe that your own reality is relative.
A relative universe has some interesting properties. For example, in a relative universe every observer sees themselves as the center of the universe. No matter how much the universe changes, and no matter where the observer goes, each observer within a relative universe will always be looking out from what appears to be the center. From the perspective of each observer, it’s the universe that moves and they stay always in the middle. Consider for a moment, whether this is true… look around you. Are you in the center? Take 5 steps to the left… where are you now? In the center? Congratulations — you’ve just proven relativity theory!
This is not just an interesting side-point. In a relative universe it’s not just that each observer looks like they’re in the center — they actually are in the center. It’s true that you are in the center of the universe. Like: really really! It’s proven — it’s the truth! When in mystical philosophy we say things like “you are the universe” and “you are the center” people have the habit of assuming that it’s just a metaphor or some-kind of inspirational gobbledygook for insecure people to feel better about themselves temporarily. Nope. It’s literally true.
Now I’ve gotten that rant out of the way (it’s a pet-peeve of mine), let’s take a step deeper into the unknown. We can separate reality, if we want to for the sake of argument, into two distinct realities: the inner-world and the outer-world. Insides always have outsides, and outsides always have insides. You can’t have the inside of a box without the outside of a box. The inner-world is how you feel, and the outer-world is what you see, touch, hear, smell, taste. What is the relationship between them?
The inner-world is the outer-world, and the boundary between them in a sort-of mirror. The relationship between the inner and outer of you, is the same as the relationship between the inside and outside of a box: the shape is the same but also opposite. If the inner has 6 edges then the outer has 6 edges, but all the angles are opposite. So it’s both the same, and also opposite, simultaneously. How does this look in practice?
Let’s say you want to get something. There are two main categories of things worth getting: observable things (outer), and feelings (inner). The trick is not to mistake one for the other.
For example, if you’re feeling insecure and you think that if you had more security in your external world then you’d feel more secure, you might try to amass symbols of security. The more you collect symbols of security externally, the less security you will feel internally, because the two are mirrored. This effect, if simplified, results in sayings such as ‘you get what you give’ and the theory that you must let go of something in order to get it, for example the popular observation that you never find love if you’re looking for it, but if you stop looking then someone just pops up. These sayings are true to some extent, but they’re simplifications.
You can’t have the cake and eat it too! Collecting cakes does not make your stomach satisfied. Eating cake does. But then you lose the cake!
What is happening is that by trying to get something externally, you are transferring that energy from your inner-world into your outer-world. You get less and less of the feeling of the thing for each symbol of it you collect, as you would expect if you just kept on amassing cakes and refusing to eat them. So to get the feeling you need to reduce the amount of that thing you have externally. The best way to do this is by eating it, which is: using it, selling or giving (giving is a type of selling) that thing away. When you remove a symbol of a resource from your external environment the feeling of that resource then transfers into your inner-environment. Because you used it; that’s eating the cake.
This is only one-half of the story though. Because you can also capture energy from the environment (e.g. other people), internally or externally.
I’m going to use money as an example. Money is the external symbol for energy: it’s an intangible spirit that has the power to control people and make things happen, and can be transferred between people. Because of this money gets projected onto it so many things, because it can be exchanged for so many things. Let’s assume what you want is ‘freedom’, which is really just a fancy word for ‘power’ (the freedom to do what you want is the power to make things happen), but it sounds nicer to say ‘freedom’. You then go after money. The problem with this is that by going after money you lose freedom. You become a slave of the money. So is the solution to not go after what you want? Yes and no.
If you try to collect money you will be doing two things at once. Your effort to get money will mean that the inner-feeling that the money represents for you, e.g. freedom, comes out of your inner-world into your outer-world. So you’ll feel less free. But simultaneously you’ll be drawing in money from other people. This makes you feel even less free, because it increases the contrast between what exists in your outer-world and inner-world even more.
So if you start with 1000 dollars of freedom internally and 1000 dollars of freedom externally, by trying to get the symbol of freedom (money) externally you will be exchanging your internal dollars for external dollars. Hence you’ll feel less free. But you will also be simultaneously capturing external dollars from other people. So after some time you might end up with $200 of freedom internally, $1000 + $800 of freedom externally, and another $800 dollars that you captured from other people in the process. That gives you a new total of $200 internal freedom and $2600 external freedom. This will make you feel terribly unfree and hungry for cake. The trick is then to give away some of your external freedom, which in this case would mean spend $1200. Eat the cake. Now you’ll now have $1400 internal freedom and $1400 external freedom. And that’s what you wanted. You can then do it again.
If all you do is spend the money on making more money then you’ll never get out of the trap, all you’ll be doing is continuously increasing the external symbol for freedom, and you will always be bankrupt of internal freedom. You must actually intend to lose the external symbol. To satisfy your hunger you must eat the cake.
There is a balance. If you give away everything then you’ll have very much of the internal feeling, but it’ll flow away from you as you spend it. If you give away everything you own and quit your job, all that energy will transfer into your internal world and you will feel terrifically free for some time. You ate all the cake. But by feeling that feeling you are spending it, and eventually it will be gone, you’ll get hungry again, and you’ll start feeling trapped again. Now you’ll have nothing internally or externally. What you want to do is a balancing act between collecting the external symbol (i.e. money), capturing the resource (money) from other beings, and giving away the resource to other beings (buying stuff, eating the cake). This process will have its ebbs and flows, but will result in you cycling to greater and greater degrees of internal and external freedom/power together.
You can of course go too far. I’ve presented a 2-dimensional model here, in which there is internal and external that flow between each other. Just as you’ll feel a lack of freedom if you have too much external money in contrast to internal freedom, so too if you capture too much freedom both internally and externally then you’ll realize that there is a third-dimension which is the place that you took the energy from to feed both the internal and external. So if you have too much freedom/power and money at the same time then you’ll find you lose something else. The something else is the other side of that thing, so in this example, if you gain too much power internally and externally then you will lose happenstance: things will go only your way and you’ll end up with no novelty in your life, just repeating the same patterns that you already know. You’ll become a sort of all-devouring powerful demon that engulfs everything and turns it into an image of itself, which goes on to do the same thing: a cancer. Humans have become a bit like this, I suppose.
If you do go too far you eventually become the empire. The empire is very powerful but horribly boring, and every time an empire pops up then a rebellion pops up simultaneously. The rebellion is all novelty and surprise, because these are the aspects of reality that have been excluded by the empire’s amassing of power and control; novelty and surprise is what you lose if you have too much power. The beings in the rebellion are obsessed with ‘freedom’ which is power, because that’s what they lack. But they’re full of novelty and surprise because every time the empire seizes more power, it loses novelty. Eventually the relatively-powerless rebellion comes up with a strategy so unexpectedly wild and suicidal that the empire has no clue what just hit them, it defeats the empire, balance is restored to the force, the teams swap sides for half-time, and the leaders of the rebellion, obsessed with power as they are, slowly work their way into become the next empire, only to be eventually overthrown in turn by other team.
Incidentally, this is of course the same process I described above, except performed by the entire world as a whole. The same thing happens on the next level, and so on.
Back to our level: in summary, you must balance the internal and external worlds in order to both feel what you want to feel, and have the thing. You can have the cake and eat it too, but to do that you always need more cake. That’s okay: we never really run out of cake, there’s enough for everyone! But if you refuse to eat it then it’s your own fault.
I feel now that I should give a little more detail on what the inner and outer world actually are. As I said, they are the same place. There aren’t two worlds that exist together, they’re one world. This place. What you feel internally is what is happening in your external world. Your external world! Not the objective world — there is no objective world! Your world is every place you go and everyone you interact with: your world, your reality, your life. You are everything that you know, every place you go, everyone you know. That’s you. (I was looking at some paintings yesterday and thinking what a good painter I am!)
It’s not even that your feelings are imitating what is happening in your world, it’s more true to say that your feelings are a kind of sense of your external environment as a whole, all of which could be said to be you. That’s valid in relativity theory: obviously if you are the center of the universe then everything revolves around you and is about you (also true for everyone else from their own perspective.) Within the center of your world is a human form with whom you identify, but you are in truth the whole of your world, and this human form is just a kind of manikin you use to explore yourself. With your eyes and ears you can look at and hear the external world, which is you, and with your feelings you can feel what is going on in all of your world away from the manikin you center upon, which includes everything that you can’t actually see and hear directly with the manikin.
That’s why then if you give something away you get it internally as a feeling. But then, I hear you ask: surely if that’s the case then if you collect lots of symbols of security then you should feel more secure? The reason why not is because if you collect symbols of security for not using then all you are doing is illustrating what you could have but don’t. To feel something you must use it. If you collect cake for not eating then you get hungry. If you collect money for not spending then you are taking power away from other people, and as long as you are not spending it, then you are reducing the amount of power in your world. Hence if you do this you feel a lack of power/freedom. If you enable other people to be more powerful and free then you feel more powerful and free, because your feelings are what is happening in your world.
It’s all quite obvious once you get the hang of it. Thanks for reading :)