Sometimes I feel I’m going in circles… the mind has me in a set way of thinking, tracks that lead me into repeating behaviors… habits… familiar ‘mind-sets‘ and biases. Problems I address using the same parameters, the same myopic perspective, the same value system that I’ve presumed as operating in this particular situation, even though it may not… It’s difficult to see passed the limits set up by my own way of looking at the problem. Someone said the definition of ‘crazy‘ is: “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”
Often the way IN to the problem is relaxing the internal tension of it, letting go of its perceived borders, and seeing it as a ‘circle‘… held together by the internal tensions of the assumptions and feelings that compose it, and also held unvarying through time by the centrifugal spinning of the attention I give to it through repetition. I love what Rinpoche has to say about ‘circles’, because it applies to mind-space so sagaciously. Rinpoche says…
If we focus on the shape of zero, we find a line in the shape of a circle, a curving edge that connects only to itself. Inside the line is space, and outside the line is space: the edge is the edge between space and space, and so it is not an edge at all. This ‘edge that is no edge’ is the fitting symbol of space. From that perspective, every line that defines and gives shape is a symbol—space within, space without: an edge without substance. Every line, every shape returns to zero as the symbol of space. Every beginning, every ending, even every existent!
..….’Sacred Dimensions of Time and Space,’ Tarthang Tulku, p. 50
“…suppose that you were able to journey to the edge of the universe and then return back home. As you told the tale of this journey, the question would come, “But what is beyond the edge?” If you answer that you do not know—that you reached the edge but could not go beyond—it is natural to ask, “Then how do you know it was really the edge?” The best available answer appears to be circular: “I know it was the edge because I could go no further.” That is how it is with reality. Beyond what we can measure, there may be axioms or speculations, but there is nothing to be known.
We could compare the absoluteness of this boundary to the nature of zero. Zero is not just something infinitesimally small; it is nothing at all. It is the unknown, the ‘x’ of experience, wholly unrelated to any physical occupancy.
Yet this way of putting the matter raises a difficult question. Though zero is separate from the physical, it must also somehow share a border with the physical. The whole idea of ‘different from’ or ‘separate’ actually presupposes some form of connection. Without such connection, ‘zero’ would simply be meaningless, and in that case ‘not-zero’ would be meaningless as well.
This same interplay operates in distinguishing matter from space.”
….’Dynamics of Time and Space’, Tarthang Tulku, p. 268