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#2505 - Friday, June 23, 2006 - Editor: Jerry Katz
Highlights reader Martha Ramsey pointed out that the complete version of the Summer Soltice piece from issue #2503 may be read at http://snipurl.com/s7wz. The article was written by James Carroll, a columnist for the Boston Globe. Its worth reading again in its entirety.
In this issue are some contributions to Nonduality Salon by Bob. They're pretty cool.
The Universe According to John Dobson
[Read about Dobson in Wikipedia: http://snipurl.com/s7y6]
Once you know that something is deeply hidden, and if you
is something to do about it, you find people who are doing something
"Why do we have a universe at all?"
Dobson said that thousands of years ago, some early physicists had a
word for the universe that translated as "the changing."
But, Dobson observed, things only change with respect to other
things. So, these ancient scientists said, there has to be something
that is outside of space and time that is not changing, and with
respect to that, we see change.
"So then there is this very interesting question," Dobson said in his
characteristic manner: "If what exists is changes, how the hell do we
see it as changing? Furthermore, if what exists is not changing, and
what we see is changing, how the hell can it do both?"
Dobson's conclusion: It is impossible to change the changeless, and
our perceptions are based on mistaken universe identity.
Dobson says humans need to change their focus. "If you find out that
the whole universe you see is due to a mistake, you have to study
mistakes." Let's say you mistake a rope for a snake, Dobson said.
Three issues crop up. First you failed to recognize the rope as a
rope. Secondly, you jumped to the conclusion that the rope is a
snake. Third, you had to have seen the rope in the first place, or
you never would have thought it was a snake. "If you mistake that for
this, you had to see that," Dobson said. "That's called the revealing
power of the mistake."
Applying themselves to the task of studying their mistake, the
ancient physicists concluded the changes have to show without physics.
"What is mistaken for this universe is not in space and not in time,"
Dobson said, "and is therefore changeless, therefore infinite,
therefore undivided." Going back to the revealing power of the
mistake - if you mistake "that" for "this," you had to see "that" -
Dobson said we had to see the changeless. "That's inertia. You had to
see the infinite - that's electricity. You had to see the undivided -
"That is why the universe is like this," he said. "That's as quick as
you can put it."
If you're confused now, just you wait: The implications of Dobson's
conclusion is that the universe has always been as it is. It is not,
in other words and as conventional science holds, the result of a Big
The Big Bang theory hangs its hat largely on the interpretation of
redshifts. For decades, scientists have used measurement in the
changes in the wavelengths of light to determine what direction
distant objects may be moving relative to the Earth. A shift toward
the red end of the color spectrum indicates a lengthening of the
wavelength, and its source is moving away from the observer. But,
says Dobson, the Universe doesn't have a rule that says if you see
something going away, it had to have started where you are.
"What we are seeing is only a thin shell over what really exists,"
said Singer, who added Dobson believes that what we remember of the
past and what we expect in the future are illusions."
It is a reality that cannot be tested by science. Scientists use
fallibility as litmus. If proof isn't possible, then said idea is
John Dobson's reality cannot be tested by science, but it might just
turn out to be true.
Tozan went to Ummon. Ummon asked him where he
had come from.
Tozan said: `From Sato village.'
Ummon asked: `In what temple did you remain for the summer?'
Tozan replied: `The temple of Hoji, south of the lake.'
`When did you leave there?' asked Ummon, wondering how long Tozan
would continue with such factual answers.
`The twenty-fifth of August,' answered Tozan.
Ummon said: `I should give you three blows with a stick, but today I
The next day Tozan bowed to Ummon and asked: `Yesterday you forgave
me three blows. I do not know why you thought me wrong.'
Ummon, rebuking Tozan's spiritless responses, said: `You are good for
nothing. You simply wander from one monastery to another.'
Before Ummon's words were ended Tozan was enlightened.
The Buddha's description of Nirvana, in the Pali
Canon, as "visible in
this life, inviting, attractive, accessible," is clearly true and makes
perfect sense. So does Master Ummon's statement that the first step
along the Zen Path is to see into our Void Nature: getting rid of our
bad karma comes after -- not before -- that seeing. So does Ramana
Maharshi's insistence that it is easier to see What and Who we really
are than to see "a gooseberry in the palm of our hand" -- as so often,
this Hindu sage confirms Zen teaching. All of which means there are no
preconditions for this essential in-seeing. To oneself one's Nature is
forever clearly displayed, and it's amazing how one could ever pretend
otherwise. It's available now, just as one is, and doesn't require the
seer to be holy, or learned, or clever, or special in any way. Rather
the reverse! What a superb advantage and opportunity this is!
"My ignorance far exceeds yours."
As such, with great humility, wisdom, and foolishness,
Sri Nisargaddata Maharaj admitted: "I do not claim to know what you
do not. In fact, I know much less than you do."
The history of true wisdom is, in essence, a lineage of true idiots.
One of the wisest fools of all, Lao Tzu, confessed in the Tao te
Ching, "I alone have the mind of a fool, and am all muddled and
vague. The people are so smart and bright. While I am just dull and
Likewise, although Jack Kerouac was born in the Occident,
he was a confirmed student of the East. Mirroring the last quote from
Lao Tzu, Kerouac concluded: ".everybody, they never listened, they
always wanted me to listen to them, they knew, I didn't know
anything, I was just a dumb young kid and impractical fool who didn't
understand the serious significance of this very important, very real
So we see, once again, that facts, words, and `truths'
exist only in the realm of the vulgar, and all these categories are
but obstructions to the vision of the wise fool. To make a claim of
understanding is to prove one has neither understanding, nor
ignorance, only pride. Which is to say, in the paradoxical manner of
the eastern sages- in order to be thoroughly stupefied by the miracle
of our incomprehensible beings, one must be thoroughly,
A monk asked Ummon: `What is Buddha?' Ummon answered him: `Dried dung.'
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