Quantum Mechanics, Johari Window, And Lotus Sutra – May 7, 2012 Meditation

Quantum Mechanics, Johari Window, And Lotus Sutra

This all started by my reading an article that stated that particles behave differently when they are observed from when they are observed. In experiments done the results seemed to support this possibility. I won’t go into details here, though as someone fascinated by math I found it intriguing.

The article got me to thinking about how we live our lives. If we break down our actions into those that are observed and those that are not we have two possibilities. Now if we consider there are two possible observers, others and ourselves, we have four possibilities.

O = observed (actions)
U = unobserved (actions)
S = self
T = others

Giving us four possible combinations
SO = self observation
TO = others observation
SU = self unobserved
TU = others unobserved

Yesterday in my blog I talked about how we practice, or don’t, Buddhism in the seemingly insignificant moments between significant or memorable moments. Today I would like to approach it from a different direction.

It is easy to make effort to practice Buddhism when others are observing our behaviors. It is even easy to be mindful of practicing when we are thinking about it. But how deeply have we inculcated our practice so that it influences those aspects of our lives we are not aware of, or unobserved by either ourselves or others? I think the true depth of our practice is revealed when we are not even aware of making any effort even though we are.

Ok, perhaps this is a little bit too theoretical, so let’s look at it from another angle, though slightly different. Johari Window is a theory that considers what we know about ourselves and what we don’t, as well as what other know and don’t know.

Briefly the Johari Window breaks down awareness into four area, or panes in the window. The four panes are, what you know about yourself that others also know, what you know about yourself that others don’t know (your secrets, if you will), what you don’t know about yourself that others know (how other see you), and finally what you don’t know about yourself and others don’t either (could be repressed traumas, or beliefs uncovered).

The ideal in this model is to try to learn more about yourself that you don’t know, learn how others perceive you, and to uncover unknown influences in your life and behaviors.

When we practice Buddhism we seek to bring ever greater aspects of our lives into harmony with our theoretical beliefs. We seek for a continuity that manifest enlightenment, a unity if you will. So, if we say we are Buddhist, and that is what we think we believe, then through a deeper integration of our practice this belief will be increasingly apparent in all areas of our life, observed and unobserved, known and unknown.

Here are some quotes from the sutra that demonstrate some of the Johari Window.

Known to us – known to others

“World-Honored One! After your extinction, we will expound this sutra in the worlds of the Buddhas of your replicas and also in the place from which you will pass away. Why is that? It is because we also wish to obtain this true, pure and great Dharma, to keep, read, recite, expound and copy this sutra, and to make offerings to it.”. (Lotus Sutra, Chapter XXI)

Not known to us – known to others

“He fastened a priceless gem inside the garment of the man as a gift to him, and went out. The drunken man did not notice what his friend had given him. After a while he got up, and went to another country. He had great difficulty in getting food and clothing. He satisfied himself with what little he had earned. Some time later the good friend happened to see him. He said, `Alas, man! Why have you had such difficulty in getting food and clothing? I fastened a priceless gem inside your garment on a certain day of a certain month of a certain year so that you might live peacefully and satisfy your five desires. The gem is still there, and you do not notice it.”. (Lotus Sutra, Chapter VIII)

Known to us – not known to others

“My disciples are performing the Bodhisattva practices secretly though they show themselves in the form of Sravakas. They are purifying my world though they pretend to want little And to shun birth-and-death.” (Lotus Sutra, Chapter VIII)

Not known to us – not known to others

“I have many treasures. My storehouses are filled with gold, silver, and other treasures. But I have no son [other than the missing one]. When I die, my treasures will be scattered and lost. I have no one to transfer my treasures to. Therefore, I am always yearning for my son.’ The father thought again, `If I can find my son and give him my treasures, I shall be happy and peaceful, and have nothing more to worry about.’ “World-Honored One! At that time the poor son, who had worked at various places as a day worker, happened to come to the house of his father…. Seeing the exceedingly powerful father, the poor son was frightened. He regretted that he had come there. He thought, `Is he a king or someone like a king? This is not the place where I can get something by labour. I had better go to a village of the poor, where I can work to get food and clothing easily.”. (Lotus Sutra, Chapter IV)

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About Ryusho 龍昇

Nichiren Shu Buddhist priest. My home temple is Myosho-ji, Wonderful Voice Temple, in Charlotte, NC. You may visit the temple’s web page by going to http://www.myoshoji.org. I am also training at Carolinas Medical Center as a Chaplain intern. It is my hope that I eventually become a Board Certified Chaplain. Currently I am also taking healing touch classes leading to become a certified Healing Touch Practitioner. I do volunteer work with the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (you may learn more about them by following the link) caring for individuals who are HIV+ or who have AIDS/SIDA.