atoms are mostly empty space and i am mostly atoms




meditation is teaching me what it is like to learn how to do something. perfect practice makes perfect, which is to say, 1. i continue to use guided meditations and read and listen to podcasts about buddhism and mindfulness, and 2. i continue to practice it as a habit for a certain amount of time most days. i decide to practice – whether i want to or not – for the sake of deciding to do it. or for the sake of the small bump of reward-endorphins i feel as i start and when i finish.

this might be too rationalist/materialistic, but it is odd to think that what i perceive as an inability to recognize and feel confidence in my own achievements might be a simple equation of low output of a certain chemical that would alter my intuitions. i hope it is more of a plasticity issue, sequences of firing neurons, and that i can fake it till i make it as they learn better sequences. and, by the way, it is very funny that i think of my neurons as “they.” what is more “I” that my own neurons? if i’m not my neurons, then who am i?

i am not my brain; i am not a captain at the helm of a ship sitting behind my eyeballs; at least part of what i think of as myself is my emotions, and those emotions are directed by chemicals like serotonin and endorphins, and there are more of those chemicals in the stomach than in the brain, so why don’t i assume “Me” is peaking out my navel?



and it doesn’t stop there: why does it feel like Me is only in my body? on the smallest scale that we know about everything is made of atoms. the things around me in my bedroom – desk, bed, blanket, book, empty glass with residue of protein powder and such and such a color and at such and such a distance from myself – are clouds of atoms. atoms are made of particles, and most of them are empty space. that empty space is a vacuum; i and everything around me and everything that i imagine still exists outside these four walls is mostly empty space. a brain takes in what it can process through the senses and uses that to build a desktop display full of folders with programs and apps and word documents named “this is what a desk is” and “this is what anger feels like,” and so on.

so if i am a pile of atoms, mostly made of nothing, and we (the atoms) are sitting on other piles of atoms (bed to floor which is the top of the next ceiling down)…well, what is stopping me from being everything?