Well hello there. I’m going to share a bit of my story and how I’ve come to be here in this moment with you.
I’m someone who from a young age showed signs of a pretty high intelligence. Unfortunately my school work certainly didn’t show it. In fact, it was so bad that in 4th grade my parents received a call from the school wanting to do an I.Q. test to find out if I had “issues” which required special education. After testing they found my I.Q. to be almost 150 at the time. Turns out the reason I was doing so terrible in school was because I was bored out of my mind, which was a theme that carried on for most of my school days.
The boredom produced by school actually did have a great side effect. An absolute thirst for obtaining knowledge on my own. I was intrigued by science in particular. I started working with computers at 5 years old and was programming (albeit in BASIC at the time) by 6 years old. Writing code developed my math skills which was a blessing when it came to advanced science topics, especially pertaining to physics. If I recall correctly I think I was about 11 or 12 years old when I picked up several books at the library on General and Special relativity. This began a fascination and appreciation of the universe we live in and just how strange and bizarre it can be sometimes. Take for instance time dilation (time itself will bend, meaning run faster or slower for an observer due to differences in gravity or velocity) which sounds almost insane to our normal way of thinking. Yet once you start to truly understand it, not only does it make perfect sense, but it’s stunningly beautiful and allows you to begin seeing the world in which we live very differently.
Now my parents were never the fanatical religious type as I was growing up, but they certainly did and still do have their beliefs. I on the other hand could never find myself to get to wrapped up in Christianity. There were far too many things that simply made no sense to me from a scientific standpoint. When any of these things were questioned, the only answer was that I must “have faith.” There are just too many things that defy the understanding of science to be ignored. I just couldn’t bring myself to “have faith” in something like that. I won’t go into the multitude of reasons, but if you want to hear a representation of just a couple of the ideas and concepts that I struggled with myself, you can have a look at this video by Richard Carrier.
Having resolved that I couldn’t accept a “faith” in something that went against every grain of my scientific being, I instead began to just have my own thoughts about the nature of the universe. Over the years I had established many of my own beliefs. I had these concepts and ideas that just felt right for me. They weren’t things I had read in a book, instead they were just answers I found by looking inside of myself.
What I would have never imagined was that I was already a Buddhist. I just didn’t know it yet since I had no idea what Buddhism even was.
That all changed when I finally met someone who came to be one of my closest friends. When I first met him he was a friend of a co-worker. I didn’t know anything about him and certainly had no friendship with him. Yet there was a presence about him, just something that drew me towards him. I heard him mention (to his friend) that he needed to find a place to stay for a few days until he got on his feet. Without even thinking I offered to put him up at my home. I remember walking away from the exchange almost confused as to why I had done this for a complete stranger, and yet it just felt right.
He stayed with me for probably about a week and a half or so. During that time I came to learn that he was Zen Buddhist. Being curious I asked a lot of questions about exactly what that meant. As I sat there listening to him talk about it I suddenly realized that everything he spoke about, the ideas and concepts he was trying to explain about our existence all fell perfectly in line with the ideas and concepts I had come up with on my own all those years earlier. It was in that moment that I realized I had been a Buddhist all along.
And so began my journey of walking the path of Zen. The more I read and learned the more I was fascinated. Not just because of how perfectly it aligned with my previous thoughts, but because of how well it meshed with the hard science I had studied all my life.
One of the areas of physics I was keenly interested in was that of the ridiculously small. Well beyond the scale of the atom, I was enamored by the world of the quanta. The little itty bitty particles that make up the atoms. Quantum physics was a passion for me. The more I learned the more knowledge I craved.
These two worlds collided for me. Each reinforcing the knowledge I had gained from the other. I can’t even put into words the remarkable feeling this gave me. Science was supposed to be the anti-religion. Where all other religions failed to pass the tests of science, Buddhism seemed to simply be confirmed.
So that’s what this site will be about. In it I will reveal the truths that I have discovered along my journey in the hopes that it may help others in their own journey. The science side is very hard and fixed, while the Buddhist side can be quite subjective. That’s one key to Buddhism that made it so powerful to me is that you aren’t told what is or isn’t. There is no book that gives you the answers. Instead you’re only instructed on how to look inside your own being so that you can find these answers on your own, within yourself. Now you might think this means that there is no conformity, that each person would have wildly different answers. Fortunately that’s not what happens. Though each Buddhist may have different experiences, the answers they form on the nature of the universe all align with each other. When you “get it” you just get it, and it’s the same it everyone else that gets it gets. Unfortunately the “it” that you get can’t really be quantified into words, though it’s easy to derive through abstract concepts if someone else gets it or not. That’s where for me Quantum mechanics steps in, because in many respects it gives us the hard fixed words to be able to express “it.” Even further, it’s backed by research and data from experiments.
If Buddhism is the musician, quantum mechanics is the instrument giving the song it’s voice.
If you’re looking for a next step, I recommend you read The Introduction.