Was Schrodinger’s Cat Enlightened?

Schrodinger’s famous thought experiment illustrates an important Buddhist teaching. Although Schrodinger originally created this experiment to illustrate the absurdity of applying Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics being applied to everyday objects, it’s genius can be used to show us other things and challenge our individual experience of reality. In the experiment, Schrodinger places a cat in a closed steel box where a deadly poison stands ready to be released by a Geiger counter and an atom that decays at an unknown rate. At any time during the experiment, the cat is either dead or alive. We do not know the status of the cat until we directly observe the situation in the box. This illustrates the idea of superposition as the cat technically exists in all possible states until the observation.
What can we learn from this that can be applied to a Buddhist practice? None other than that we are already enlightened and we just don’t know it yet while we have not been able to observe it properly. Many Buddhist teachers explain that enlightenment is closer to us than our skin. This is due to the understanding that we all have the potential to be a Buddha, the fact that we all have the Buddha nature. This means that because the Buddha, also a man, realised enlightenment so can we. We are simply in a state of superposition until we begin to observe, look deep inside with meditation and learn to see ourselves as the perfect beautiful beings that we already are. We need to look inside the box of our minds with trust and purposeful dedication that what we see and what we are is nothing short of amazing. We need to learn to think inside of the box long before we begin to think outside of the box. Most of us have reversed this process only to miserably fail at whatever it is that we are trying to achieve. Do we try to teach someone something that we cannot do ourselves? Are we putting the cart in front of the horse? Can we be of good use to others when we are suffering in an uncontrollable way ourselves, or can we be of best use to all when are in a position of surplus and wisdom?
A well-composed meditation practice shows us our natural beauty and divine essence that we have had since beginningless time but have unfortunately due to our own ignorance we have learned to forget it. Let us, therefore, learn to be fully alive whether we are in Schrodinger’s box or not. It is really a choice that we must make to either wallow in our own sorrow or chose to realise our full potential for the benefit of all beings.
In any given moment in any given situation, anything is possible. Superposition gives us a gateway to understanding our unlimited potential and what we see and how we see it is what we receive. And here we can choose to see a comedy or a tragedy it is up to us. Meditation gives us the chance to do this not only on the meditation cushion but perhaps more importantly in daily life.
So was Schrodinger’s cat enlightened? Yes, but he may not have realised it, much like us.
Let’s choose to be amazing…

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