Culture Philosophy Science

The War of the Worldviews: A Zen Review

OK, so I haven’t read the book. Or have I? Quantum theory would say that there is at least one Universe in which I have.

But we’ll stick with the consciousness that I am experiencing now. I haven’t read the book. I’ve seen Deepak tweet about it for a while now. I follow Leonard Mlodinow, and he actually followed me back.

Once I tweeted him saying, “God is Symbol for that which is beyond all thought, beyond what is even capable of being thought.”

He replied, “You sound like Deepak!”  I must admit that made me happy. Happy because Deepak is a hero. Happy because not only did he reply, acknowledging me, making me feel part of the conversation, but also because, though I disagree with him (Do I? Again, there is at least one Universe in which I agree with him, but also one in which I am him!) he was cheery. That was nice.

I don’t like debates. That’s one reason I’ve been reticent to begin reading this or even to watch the videos, but I do feel like the fact that Leonard is such a cheery, warm, nice person, that perhaps some benefit can come from it.

My sister put it best on the phone just a while ago, “Maybe he isn’t coming from it from a place where he needs to win.” Debates could be productive activities if neither side had an absolute need to win, in as much as having a desire to come to the truth.

So I don’t know if this post will even be finished. I’m just doing it “stream of consciousness” starting with a couple tweets I sent today (10/8/11) after watching the first 10 minutes of a video of them debating. Again, not liking debates, that’s all I could watch for now.

So if this goes on, if I can continue and actually read the book, this post might actually get done, or at least expand.

My niece who works at the Wall Street Journal, actually sent me a copy that she saw at their offices without even knowing I knew anything about it. I guess lying around. It is definitely an advanced copy. On it read, “Not for resale.” I feel special. Thanks Michelle!

That fact seems kind of Zen to me already.

So here goes the beginning of my ‘real’ post or the beginning of what I’m thinking:

  •  The Scientific Method didn’t create Relativity or Quantum Theory. Inspiration did. It merely verified them.

OK, so what I’m saying here is that the two greatest scientific discoveries of the 20th Century did not come by way of the “Scientific Method” of which Dr. Mdlinow seems to constantly refer. Those discoveries came through imagination and inspiration. They weren’t discovered through a calculatory method, but rather through a creative method, and then later verified by calculations. These achievements have more in common with the revelatory nature of spirituality and mysticism (at least in their birth) than they do with the systems (Science! Physics! Computers!) that they gave birth to.

  • The Kingdom of Heaven is spread upon the Earth, yet men do not see it.” – Jesus

Why don’t they see it? Here’s a story that might explain:

A young yogi came to his master.
Master,” he said, “You say ‘Buddha is in all things’?
Yes,” replied the master.
“Is the Buddha in me?” asked the student.
“But you said he is in all things.”
“He is in all things, but not in you.”
“But why?”
“Because you are asking the question.”

Do you get it? So the sense of asking the question is actually creating an “Ego” type separation consciousness, actually cutting one off from Unity Consciousness to which one must re-link (“re-ligio” .latin) or re yoke (“Yoga”) in order to have an understanding of that which is beyond thought.


Philosophy Spiritual

Shamans and Medicine Men

Whenever I’m reading a book or watching a video there may be one snippet that really turns the light bulb in my head, or should I say my heart, on. I want to start writing these down so I can have a repository of them to look back on. Two of my inspirations are Deepak Chopra and Joseph Campbell. I saw a video today that Deepak’s son, Gotham Chopra, produced. In one segment he was talking to his father, and Deepak said one of those snippets that caught me like that. The quote comes at the 2:38 mark in the video above.

And so, what Medicine Men have done throughout ages, is actually triggered the body’s response to what it normally wants to do.

I think the reason this struck such a chord in me, in my deep inner self, is that it seems to be saying something that my deep, inner voice has been whispering to me for many years: That the answer is not so much in what to do next, as in what not to do next. In other words the concept of “Being.” There’s a will in nature that is antecedent of our mind, that will take us exactly to where we need to be, if we only would get out of its way. This reminds me also of a quote from Joseph Campbell:

that if you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are (will be) living. (link to full quote)

This reminds me of the thought that wisdom comes from nature, up through the body to our consciousness, not the other way around, down from consciousness to be imposed upon nature. Or the idea from the German Romantic philosophers (Kant, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche) that the brain doesn’t produce consciousness, but rather consciousness produces the brain, and all other “objects.”  It also reminds me of a Timothy Leary quote: that the LSD experience was like driving consciousness down to the cellular level and putting it in touch with what the cells were communicating. Most of the time the mind is only indulged in (or deluged by) stimuli from the outside, macro world (Blake’s “Nobodaddy”), whose messages are blocking out the voice of your soul, which is a spontaneous, instantaneous awareness of your calling or purpose. In a sense, the only thing that you have to do in life, to make if work for you, is to Be True to Your Calling. When you can relax and be in silence, ask yourself calmly, “What is my purpose? Why am I here?” And then wait for your soul’s answer. Not the answer that’s been planted in your head by other people or by society. In the above statement by Campbell, “Your bliss” is equivalent to Your Soul’s True Calling.