79 Beware the Black Hole


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Alan starts by describing a vision he had from what he calls his ‘fantasy channel’ of the tar pit in Los Angeles where thousands of animals have died over millennia. He compares it to the black hole where the materialists are stuck, decaying, like Daniel Dennett, poster child of the neuroscientist community, who says qualia don’t exist. There are no appearances. Others claim there is no consciousness. Their black hole sucks in all meaning and joy of life and gives you nothing. That’s why we need compassion – to catalyse the first revolution in the mind sciences and create a renaissance of rigorous contemplative enquiry into the nature of the mind. The information is there, it’s just drowned out by the ubiquitous materialist message in the media. We need to wake the ‘sleeping giants’ of the religious contemplative traditions and use the insights from the leading quantum physicists like John Wheeler and Stephen Hawking, which look a lot like Dzogchen. But the scientists and philosophers have no method for investigating the observer. We should leave behind the Eurocentric view based in ignorance, delusion and greed that has spawned the misery of colonisation, where the settlers preferred to eliminate the indigenous people, rather than live with them. In the same way, the materialists have colonised the territory of the mind and ‘kill’ any views that do not concur with their own. All they have left is the brain and behaviour. That’s the black hole. Ending on a positive note, Alan invites us to imagine a network of contemplative observatories where everyone is welcome, from whatever background, be it science, philosophy, religion, atheism. All are welcome to come with their own world view and leave with it enriched. That is a vision of loving kindness, with no boundaries, no one excluded. Following the advice of Padmasambhava and Panchen Chogi Nyima, we can go for shamatha first and let the view arise from within. The meditation is on great loving kindness. The meditation starts at 44:02. ___ Course notes, other episodes and resources for this retreat are available here The text for this retreat can be purchased via the SBI Store. Finally, Please contribute to help us afford the audio equipment we rent to make these, and future podcasts freely available.

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