Emptiness, The Final Frontier, part 6

When observing an object, such as an apple tree, the sequence of events goes like this below. As you can see, from a single basis that acts as the raw data of the request, my response is multi-faceted. Even though the response corresponds to the request, the data included in the response is oriented to my “self” and has little bearing on the raw data of the original request. Actually, the response is just a mental designation, and there is no kind of intrinsic or natural existence whatsoever from the side of the apple tree. Like this:

  • Request: The incoming information is just the basis that functions and can be said to conventionally exist.
  • Response: My response to that basis is a collection of feelings:
    My label: That’s not any old tree, that’s an apple tree. Apply the label “apple tree”.

My solidifying: The apple tree appears to exist solidly, definitely, concretely, as though it exists inherently or intrinsically as an apple tree. This view fails to take into consideration (a) the various causes and conditions that gave rise to the apple tree, (b) how it continues to continue as an apple tree, and the fact that (c) it is slowly deteriorating and one day there will be no apple tree.

My nominal designation: This apple tree; lots of branches, apples; fewer, bigger, greener, brighter (or any “-er” word) apples and leaves than something from my history or my expectations. Maybe I own this tree or it is in my area, and by identifying as my own I reify my sense of of the (3) self as an intrinsic entity.

My history: Growing-up we had an apple tree just like that in our backyard and I used to climb it as a child. This reifies my sense of (1) self as an unchanging, unitary, autonomous entity, I still am that 8 year old child and my feeling is positive because that “self” has been reified.

My identification: Do I identify with that particular type of tree or type of apple? The particular type of apple was used as a logo for a record company and I identify myself with that record company and their music.

My feelings: whether I like that particular type of apple; how I perceive and feel about the shape and structure of the tree and the branches; the colour of the branches, the distribution of leaves and apples. If my feeling is positive and I like that particular apple tree then I am more likely to exaggerate the good qualities of the apple tree and it’s fruit, largely omitting the negative qualities such as the fact that most of the apples are riddled with insects. I am attached to that positive, exaggerated perspective. The feeling that “I want one of those apples” arises within me that reifies my sense of (2) self as a self-sufficient, substantial entity.

My expectations: How I expect the particular type of apple to taste and their texture; how I expect the the tree to blossom, bear fruit, and the leaves to fall at specific times of the year; how many apples I expect to have in each season; how I expect the branches to bend and snap when certain amounts of pressure is applied; and similar realistic and expectations based on selected memories, information gathered, or just a fantasy.

My storyline: The story that I have going in my head about how a summer spent picking an expected amount of apples from the tree and how each and every one tasted and felt according to my preferences. I then proceed to be attached to that fantasy.