Putting aside the relevance of one’s longing for other people to think or act in a certain way (I long for people to just be considerate and kind towards each other!), I think many people might agree with what you say here.

Even according to science there is a mystery about the nature of people and things, by which I mean the nature of matter and energy.

But what each of us means by “mystery” may be a little bit different. So when you ask,

it may be interesting to hear what your answer to this question is. Because, for instance, in the past you have said things like “everything is an illusion”, or “everything is just stories”, which - to me at least - is the equivalent of saying “that mystery you think is a mystery, well, sorry to disappoint you, but it is just an illusion, it is just stories all the way down.” Which kind of takes the mystery out of mystery, if you see what I mean.

For example, “the self being an illusion”, I would not call a mystery.

But “everything is energy and what the hell is energy actually made of, where does it come from, etc” is still - for me - something pretty mysterious.

So what is mystery to you, Rick?

Do you see the ground of reality as being physical-energetic? Where does the mental fit in?

You mean the brain?..

It’s a feeling. Thought sets the scene, ushers to the threshold. But the mystery reveals itself in feeling. Wonder, rightness, wholeness, perfect-as-it-is ness, spaciousness, limitlessness. Unfathomability. “The mystery that can be spoken of is not the mystery.”

Processes of the mind: thoughts, ideas, images, feelings, memories, intuitions. Mentation of all kinds.

In nature you can watch the mystery enfold in real time. All living things are taking in their environment and transforming it . Impressions, air, water, solid materials etc and excreting it in different forms. Recreating themselves through sex. It all may serve a mysterious function that can’t be grasped and in different forms may be taking place everywhere in the universe. But our immediate concern here is with the human brain and what’s up with that organ. Personal realities may be imaginary but they have proven to be in some cases very destructive.

If something is imagined, does that mean it’s not real?

Let’s assume the self is an imagined entity. But for most of us, there is nothing that feels realer than the self. This feeling of realness gives rise to actuality: what we think, feel, do.

That’s what I’m calling the ‘personal reality’. You ‘have’ one , I ‘have’ one, Putin ‘has’ one, K ‘had’ one …
It ends, dissolves with the death of the body/brain. Actual reality (energy?) goes on…eternally? If I look around me in my personal reality, everything has been labeled. In actual reality nothing is labeled. No ‘life’. No ‘death’.
Only ‘things’ die and disappear. And as K reminded us, y”you are no thing “!

To experience mystery must not our minds be a part of the mystery, in some sense be the mystery? - if you see what I mean.

And so long as thoughts, images, ideas, memories - mentation of all kinds - are in the foreground, then the mystery cannot be, can it?

Mentation is the known, mystery is what is unknown.

So when you say

mustn’t we be careful to distinguish between thought-based (mentation-based) ‘feeling’ - which may be or is an illusion, a projection of our thinking, of the known; and feeling as sensitive perception, sensitive awareness, sensitive being?

It is only the latter that we might describe as


If this is taken fully to heart, what gives?

Definitely! Thoughts and feelings are intimately intertwined, they feed back/forward into each other.

We don’t take it “fully to heart”, do we? What will happen if and when we do is unknown.

If we take it as fully to heart as we can?

If means it’s real conceptually; a picture of something that may have never had or will ever have substance, like smoke, clouds, doodles.

Yes - but in that case, I doubt that the “feeling of mystery” you were talking about is a valid feeling.

You replied “definitely!” to my question of whether there can be a quality of feeling that is not based on thought, on thinking… So apparently your “definiteness” is not very definite. :slightly_smiling_face:

When you wrote

I assumed that this went for thinking too: the mystery that can be thought (or ‘felt’ based on our thinking about it) is not the true mystery.

Would you disagree with that?

Then I think the effects of a personal psychological ‘reality’ become more and more visible the deeper you delve into it. One effect is our difficulty to plan for the future. Increases in technology make it easier and faster to trash our environment while making advances in other ares.

Necessary wetlands still being drained and diverted. The cult of the individual me and mine is short sighted. K’s suggestion that it’s not the whole story might make some at least look into in ourselves. It seems a shame though to live and die inside of a personal reality when there may be the possibility of the actual one touching us.

If we felt the shame of behaving the way we do, would we quit? Or is shame a reaction that incites a counter-reaction that perpetuates our behavior? If all of our bad, stupid behavior is just reactivity…

Yes it’s still coming from a ‘center’, isn’t it? Intelligence maybe the key. None of us is singularly doing the harms but in totality the harmful effects of our psychological situation is substantial. For us and for the life around us.

There’s something really quite sad about it, right? A missed opportunity. Otoh personal reality can be profoundly rich and engaging. I want both!