In computer science, divide-and-conquer is a common technique applied in both practical programming and abstract algorithm to solve complex problems efficiently. In other words, a complex problem is continuously and/or recursively broken down to simple workable chunk to be managed, manipulated, and calculated individually, and finally re-combined to get a solution for the original problem. What a wonderful tactic!
Well well, does that sound kind of familiar? Maybe. Maybe not. I find it quite similar to the way we do things in life.
As humans, to make sense of life, to navigate through human community/society, and also for convenience, we break down reality into small chunks.
In nutshell, with our scientific mind, our logical mind, we analyze reality, break it down into â€œthingsâ€ and give â€œthingsâ€ names through words/language. As society and civilization become more and more complex, so more â€œthingsâ€ and words are developed, and we begin to put many â€œthingsâ€ and words together to develop patterns.
So in the beginning, there is reality but no thing.
Then we created things with language.
Then we create patterns of life with things and language.
And as days go by, we create more and more things, more and more words, and more and more patterns. And we are still going at creating more!
Patterns are like boxes.
So now, we are all given birth, and as we grow up, our parents and society would put us in boxesâ€¦ and we grow up to put ours in boxes (perhaps some newly created ones)
Oh, you must be an upstanding citizen. Patriot who protects the countries. Muslim who worships Allah. Christian who preaches in the name of Jesus. You must be successful. You must make others happy. You are to love your parents. You should never lie. You must not have sex before marriage. You must obey the filial piety according to Confucius. You will become a doctor, lawyer, engineer, hedge fund manager or whatever. Work hard and you will succeed. Eat non-fat and you will be healthy. You need to get married, have a family, and have kids. Max out 401k and IRAs and you can retire. Oh my oh my! Boxes!
So you may be thinking now, â€œAre you saying we need to destroy and abolish â€œthingsâ€, words, and all patterns of life?â€ My answer is, â€œNoâ€.
So what am I trying to get at?
My point is we are missing the point of living the whole way along. It is almost like we used divide-and-conquer without ever re-combining the simple workable chunks, but instead, keep on dividing the chunks into smaller chunks… On top of that, we completely forget the original problem we wanted to solve.
Surely, we all choose to live however we want. Here, I am entertaining the idea that there could be a more favorable experience of living. More specifically, to get better in touch with reality, and hence lead to the result of being able to find harmony with ourselves and our environment.
We have forgotten that we had created things, words, and patterns from the very beginning to navigate reality but they are not the reality. Yes, they are now part of our human reality but still, not THE reality.
Think of it this way, when you see a banana, you can call or think of it as banana. But if you donâ€™t know the word, â€œbananaâ€, is the banana still reality, or is it not?
You know it.
Reality is more than just words and patterns. When we lack the words and patterns to label and define parts of reality, it does not mean it is not reality!
And so we miss the point.
Us modern people since industrialization, let our logical minds completely dominate, to the point where, words and patterns ARE reality. When reality is something outside of the realm of our words and patterns, we get completely insecure and to make us feel alright again, we invent new patterns to try to force things the way we like, and if unsuccessful, we twist and bend words to conceal and cover the reality. That is, in a most simple example, we would deny a banana is there if we lack the word to call it.
As such, we are often either in denials, or in complete ignorance of reality to do what we need to do as real solution.
We take our patterns too literally. We take ourselves too seriously. Seriously!
Therefore, instead of tips, techniques, or methods, I write what I do here — mostly for my own enjoyment but also — it will be much more substantial for each of us to shift our fundamental attitude of life, of reality to bring about real change.
If I shall put it more strongly, beyond the limit of our rules and language, lies truth and enlightenment.
The one crucial step, to mature as a human being, to become wise, and probably even to enlightenment (if you are so inspired) is to learn the patterns but be able to set them asides, knowing that they are artificial.
Do no abandon words and patterns. Do not fight them. To make use of the patterns (as our original intent of creating them), we just need to re-understand them as patterns. As invention for our own convenience, words and patterns — developed through thoughts and conveyed by words — make good servants but poor masters.
Originally posted 2009-11-18 00:07:05. Republished by Blog Post Promoter