I was talking about Mu.
Mu is another Zen term.
It is the proper reply to a question which has no answer.
A question which has no answer is a “koan”.
“If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound? Mu”
That is the koan, and its proper reply, proper answer.
So reality is what we experience, what we know 100% to be correct.
Reality … not everything that we know 100% correct, I call reality.
Some things I know to be correct, but I don’t include them in this term ‘reality’.
This are more … things of the mind.
For example, I know with 100% certainty, that 3 plus 3 is 6.
However, it would be imprecise, or it would feel imprecise for me to call this fact ‘a reality’, or a ‘fact about reality’.
The more philosophically inclined among you will have a tendency to argue with me.
They would argue that the mathematical universe, the natural numbers, are reality, or can be considered reality.
There is a huge, deeply philosophical debate about this.
This debate is irrelevant to what we are talking about right now.
The answer to this debate isn’t interesting, doesn’t pertain to what we are talking about right now.
So, for the purpose of this topic, this context, reality does not include mathematical facts.
I am not able to give a 100% correct definition of reality, but I can explain it but I can explain it by giving examples of what is and what isn’t.
So, I say mathematical facts aren’t reality, aren’t part of reality. That is a negative example.
There are more negative examples.
The state of Albuquerque … is not part of reality, is not part of my reality.
I have never been to the state of Albuquerque, and probably I will never be there. Most probably.
But regardless of regardless of whether I have been there or will be there in the future, I am not there.
I do not know it exists.
For all I know, it could have been destroyed in a nuclear blast, or fallen into a black hole.
I cannot know right now, anything about the state of Albuquerque; or about anywhere except right here, where I am at.
So this is another negative example of what isn’t reality. Anywhere that is not here. Any place. The existence of the earth, the moon, the stars, the sun, the galaxy … all that, is not reality. Is it a theory I have on the nature of reality.
The same trick works in the temporal dimension, not just the spatial one.
1000 years ago never existed.
One year ago never existed, in reality. One year ago isn’t part of my reality.
It’s part of my memory.
My memory tells me, in more or less vague terms, what happened last year. My memory is telling me a story about last year. And about yesterday. And about two seconds ago.
However this is just a story. It is not reality. I cannot verify it. I cannot know that any time except right now is real.
Therefore I do not consider it to be a part of my reality.
What is real?
Well, it’s easier to negate the reality of things than to positively assert their reality.
It’s easy to prove, just like I have proved to you here and now, that certain things aren’t reality (according to my definition of reality, I remind you). But it is a lot harder to define and prove what is reality.
Let us try to do this, together, here. I invite you to try and do this yourself.
So one voice is telling me “this place is reality”, where I am at. This time, now, is reality.
This feels somewhat closer to the truth. But feelings are tricky teachers.
We should listen to them, but listen to them with a grain of salt.
Imagine you are travelling on the road to Toronto.
At one point in your journey you are ten kilometres away from Toronto.
A few hours later, you are ten meters away from Toronto.
Sometime late, you are half a meter from Toronto.
When you are half a meter away from Toronto, are you actually more near Toronto than you were 10 kilometres from Toronto?
Well, according to one traditional definition: Yes, of course. I mean, that is the very definition of “near”.
Half a meter from somewhere is closer to that place than 10 kilometres from it.
This is a result of the mathematical definition of distance.
However, when we are talking truth and reality, “near” just doesn’t cut it. Either something is, or it is.
Either you know it 100%, or you know it less than 100%.
We are only talking, about the truth of reality and existence itself. That which we can know 100%, or as people would say, 1000%.
Only these truths that are unquestionable, those are the truths that we are talking about here.
So, back to my question: is Right here, right now … are those reality?
I am going, for now, to leave this question as an exercise for the listener.
Thank you for listening.