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Subject: PHILOSOPHY: It's All Shifting Patterns

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Date: Tue, 28 Jan 97 09:36:19 UT
From: "David Musick" <>
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To: "Extropian List" <>
Subject: PHILOSOPHY: It's All Shifting Patterns
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In my last post, I declared that we *are* that which we are experiencing in
this moment, that there is no division between the one experiencing and the
experience itself. After reading the responses to my last post, and after
considering more deeply my understanding of things, I realize that what I
wrote was much too superficial; there is much more to consider than just the
fact that we *are* our momentary experiences. We certainly are *that*, but
there are aspects of ourselves which are present through many moments, which
last longer than a sensation or a fleeting thought; aspects which are
*influenced* by all the sensations and fleeting thoughts, but which persist in
their own, stable ways.

There are aspects of ourselves which change very quickly, such as the sounds
we hear or the sights we see; colors and tones rise and fall, shifting with
each moment; thoughts come and go, emotions surge and fade. But there are
other aspects which change more slowly; our personalities develop into
somewhat stable habits of thought and action, changing, certainly, but
changing slowly. The basic patterns of human thinking and culture have
persisted through many generations, our language and customs being passed from
parent to child, maintaining their *basic* forms, even as they mutate in
important ways. Other aspects, such as the chemical processes of our cells;
the duplication of DNA, the formation of protiens, the constant metabolism;
these processes change *much* more slowly; the same basic *pattern* has
spanned millions of generations. Even slower to change is the behavior of our
atoms; they've been doing the same familiar dance for billions of years,
altering their pattern of action very little, if any, since they first formed
and settled into their habitual ways. The Deep Regularities of Physics, so
deep and so regular that we call them Laws, seem to change the slowest of all,
if indeed *at* all, the slow background pattern underlying all the other,
dancing patterns we call our universe.

We embody *all* these changing patterns, from the constantly flowing barrage
of momentary sensations, to the steady presence of the universe's underlying
regularity. Such a rich complexity of patterns, each built on a slower,
deeper pattern; each building up, combining to form something new; happening
upon new stabilities, drawing more coherent patterns out of the noise. The
unstable falls away, because of it's very nature, and that which is able to
persist, does. The evolution continues in its characteristically haphazard
way, and all that persists are those processes which are able to sustain

What are we? We are this *process*. All these levels of shifting patterns,
interacting with each other to form the complex and transitory patterens that
we are; some more transitory than others, but all of them changing.

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