Reply To: Hello! I’m happy to be here

  • Mike Todd

    July 3, 2023 at 3:15 pm

    Thanks, Andrei. I am, and always will be, very much a beginner. But that doesn’t stop me from musing out loud here and elsewhere. (If you aren’t already aware of them, you might find SMN, The Scientific and Medical Network, as well as The Galileo Commission and SAND, Science and Non-Duality, rewarding fora if, like myself, you feel that science and spirituality complement each other and should be integrated.)

    Kamo no Chomei is an important figure in Japanese* literature, a 12th century eremite poet and essayist who wrote genre-defining works, most notably Hojoki: My Ten Foot Square Hut. He is, I suppose you could say, the quintessential recluse. (Sometimes it’s necessary to withdraw to one’s hut or cabin in order to dive deep so that one can surface again. The latter is just as necessary as the former.)

    When Easwaran says that “we are not cabin-dwellers”, I believe he means that we are not meant to be confined, with respect to both our inner and outer worlds, but rather that we should explore our “wider … native land”, which is to say, consciousness: we should be renaissance “men” or polymaths of our inner and outer worlds, attending carefully, by all manner of intellectual and experiential means, to psychophysical reality.

    Regarding uncertainty, you know what they say about death and taxes, but it needn’t be the case that embracing uncertainty entails what Max Velmans and others have called “ontological insecurity” – quite the opposite, in fact. Prof. Velmans has an interesting story, especially if you’re curious about, or familiar with, psychedelics, as well as an equally interesting philosophy of consciousness:

    *I’m a sucker for many aspects of Japanese culture – art and aesthetics, literature, spirituality, and, of course, food and drink. There are several curious correspondences between Japanese aesthetics in particular and elements of Dr. McGilchrist’s thesis, most obviously in the cases of fukinsei (natural asymmetry) and yugen (the implicit).