News Briefs 05-12-2011

'Little Hubert' Sumlin heads home. RIP.

Quote of the Day:

There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

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Rick MG's picture
Member since:
2 May 2004
Last activity:
13 weeks 2 days

Edit: John Horgan does know there's an enormous difference between Zen Buddhism and other schools of Buddhism, particularly Tibetan, right? If Zen was John's first experience, then it's no wonder he ran away and never looked back!

John Horgan wrote:

During my last [Zen] class, I fixated on a classmate who kept craning his neck and grunting and asking our teacher unbearably pretentious questions. I loathed him and loathed myself for loathing him, and finally I thought: What am I doing here?

So he packs up and leaves, rather than making an effort to confront his ego? He won't want to try ayahuasca then! ;-)

John Horgan wrote:

Am I just rationalizing... So that I can stay sealed inside my cozy intellectual perspective and avoid a deeper confrontation with reality?

Yep. :-P

It's a mistake to think Buddhists find it any easier. The Dalai Lama has to work hard at it, every day. That's the whole point of Buddhism; no expectations, just be, be kindness, compassion, stillness, emptiness, thoughtfulness. Buddhism is a method to cope with life's journey, not a magic wand solution. It's not an equation with an answer either, and that explains why Horgan has a problem with String Theory as well -- if you understand it, you don't understand it!

I'm fascinated by Buddhism, but I don't think I could ever be a Buddhist. Like Horgan, I'm not convinced by reincarnation and karma -- but I still find meaning in Buddhism, and isn't that what's important? The irony, as one commenter posted, is that Horgan may be more Buddhist than most Buddhists are!

Buddhism isn't for everyone, but expecting John Horgan to sit still in Zen class and focus on the candle flame is like expecting Richard Dawkins to enjoy spoken-word poetry night at the local pub. Different courses for different horses. I wish the rationalists would stop rationalising, and find the patience to learn how to switch off their chattering "monkey mind" and let it be. Wisdom is just as important as knowledge.

If you understand,
Things are just as they are.
If you don't understand,
Things are just as they are.

I have a feeling Douglas Adams understood that. ;-)

~ * ~


Leibowitz's picture
Member since:
3 September 2009
Last activity:
1 year 6 days

I was going to comment on the John Horgan piece as well, but it looks like that was summed up for me. Only adding that, for a person like myself, I've realized that the the attempt, or journey, is the destination. That has been, and is still, the hardest realization I had concerning meditation, or whatever you choose to all it. The analytical mind tears the whole thing apart when there doesn't seem to be a destination or epiphany. Maybe for some there is, but not for me. The only epiphanic moments that happen to me occur when those chords and beats form something in my head.

A.Muse's picture
Member since:
17 September 2010
Last activity:
4 years 46 weeks

I skimmed through the article, but it gave me a bit of a headache. And a phrase I read last night kept popping into my mind:

"You can't think outside of the box if thinking IS the box."

It's from a book called the Presence Process.

This article feels like a case of analysis paralysis.

LastLoup's picture
Member since:
6 April 2010
Last activity:
4 hours 38 min

19 was the best, but then this distracted me:

...I forgot how I got here but everyone seems to be heading off in that direction. I hope someone brought food. I have a feeling this is going to be a long journey................