A simple way to talk about the absolute and relative

 

Here is a simple way to talk about the absolute and relative:

The absolute is what is, when not filtered through stories.

The relative is using the filter of thoughts to help this human self navigate and function in the world.

And it is all happening as the absolute, as awake void and form, as temporary form manifestations of God.

What Don commented on… which is, as he pointed out, not accurate at all…

The absolute is seeing a thought as a thought. (And recognize any content of awareness as awareness itself.)

The relative is using the information in that thought to help this human self navigate and function in the world, whether we recognize it as a thought or not.

And the initial draft…

We can say that the absolute is what is, when not filtered through stories, and the relative is what is, when filtered through stories. When there is an overlay of stories, there is the appearance of the relative, with shifting boundaries which can seem real or not. Without, there is just what is, this awakeness and its content, and this content as awakeness itself, inherently absent of any boundaries from stories, including I and Other, subject and object.

Or, we can say that the absolute is seeing a thought as just a thought, and the relative is the use of information within that thought to help this human self function and navigate in the world. The absolute is recognizing what arises in awareness as awareness itself. The relative is the use of information in thoughts and stories to help this human self operate in the world.

Simple. Yet it is not so easy always to differentiate the two. As soon as a thought is taken as more than just a thought, as soon as the content of the thought is taken as more than just an innocent question, of temporary and practical value only, it is not seen, and there is a sense of something being off. The whole appearance of I and Other, and the drama of this separate self, is created.

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3 thoughts to “A simple way to talk about the absolute and relative”

  1. No, I’m sorry, that’s not accurate. The absolute must be prior to distinction, prior to mind, prior to thought, prior to language. And the relative is what comes into play simultaneously with the first distinction, which is “on,” or “am.”

    “On” or “am” is by default -relative- to “not-on” and “not-am,” of course. But the absolute is prior to “on” and “not-on,” and prior to the absence of “on” and “not-on.”

    So naturally, “seeing a thought as a thought” is already well within the realm of the relative . It presupposes a seer, a thinker, thinking, and a thought, all of which are relative to each other and have nothing to do with the absolute.

  2. Hi Don, and thanks! Yes, you are right. What was in the parenthesis was a little closer (although still within the relative of course, since it is put in words…!) I am going to rewrite it to be more accurate… although that nice transition from “seeing a thought as thought” and “using the content of that thought” will be lost 🙁

    Your comment helped me see that what I wanted to write about wasn’t really the absolute and relative, so I’ll put what I initially wanted to write about in a new post.

    Nice photos, btw. I like your sense of aesthetics. Is/was it really your cell?

  3. Here’s a koan to meditate on: If the absolute is truly prior to distinction, then it can not be distinguished from anything – including the realm of the relative.

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