Sunday, January 30, 2011

"So that means in a sense there's no center"

From remarks Jon Kabat-Zinn made at MIT in 2006 (via Speaking of Faith):

If we're not careful, we wind up with the kind of conceit that we are the center of the universe. It's an occupational hazard of being packaged in a body, that the whole universe is outside and you are obviously the center of it, and you relate to it through all your senses, including potentially this capacity for knowing….  
But can we learn how to pour some energy into what's already OK with us? Which you could call health in the most profound of ways, our own interface with not only the outer world but also the interior world of our own thoughts, our own emotions, our own sensory experience, in ways that would actually have some degree of balance, some degree of interrelationality, because all the senses are actually interrelational. Also, while you're the center of the universe, OK, so is everybody else. So is everybody else. So that means in a sense there's no center. Cosmologists know this. Topologists know this. There's no center and there's no periphery….  

But the question is what if we were to take the name we gave our species seriously and actually train to familiarize ourselves with the full perspective, the full dimensionality of what it means to be really human? 

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