Tuesday, July 9, 2013


I seem to be having a lot of trouble focusing this year. It's gotten so bad that at the beginning of this month i sat down and wrote up a list of the ONLY books i was going to allow myself read this month and in August. There are a few books that i enjoy and want to get through before starting anything new.

Imagine my surprise, then, when i realized last night that i had completely forgone the almighty list and spent the day with two new books! (hanging my head in shame...)

The first, "How to Practice Dharma: Teachings on the Eight Worldly Dharmas," by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, has been yelling at me to start it for months. The second, i simply stumbled on. I don't even remember what i was looking for yesterday, but in the online search results up popped a link to a pdf copy of the book "The Shape of Inner Science: String Theory And The Geometry of The Universe's Hidden Dimensions," by Shing-Tung Yau and Steve Nadis. I had never heard of the book, but when i first opened the file all i had seen was "The Shape of Inner Science," and i thought this was about consciousness, the mind, or something along those lines.

Well, my original list is now in the dust bin as i can't stop. Both books are just too exciting to put down. And lest you think that they have nothing in common, consider these tidbits from Inner Science, where the author is discussing Einstein's use of Reimannian Geometry in his development of his General Theory of Relativity.

"Equipped with Riemann’s metric tensor, Einstein worked out the shape and other properties—the geometry, in other words—of his newly conceived spacetime. And the resulting synthesis of geometry and physics, culminating in the famous Einstein field equation, illustrates that gravity—the force that shapes the cosmos on the largest scales—can be regarded as a kind of illusion caused by the curvature of space and time."

Or this, in the next paragraph:

"Suppose that two people start at different spots on the equator and set out at the same speed toward the north pole, moving along longitudinal lines. As time goes on, they get closer and closer to each other. They may think they are affected by some invisible force that’s drawing them together. But another way to think of it is that the assumed force is really a consequence of the geometry of the earth and that there’s actually no force at all."

Gravity is an illusion? Assumed forces can be the consequence of the geometry of the space you inhabit? The next time someone questions the idea of emptiness and the idea that conventional reality is an illusion, ask your listener if they believe in physics and mathematics.

Two great books to spend the rest of the week with!

P.S., Yesterday it was 100% fine, today it looks like the top of my cherry blossom tree is dying. :-(


Steve Finnell said...


Lao Bendan said...

Thanks for the invitation. Am i missing something? I don't see that you are following my Buddhist blog. ????

If you are just spamming everyone trying to get followers, i admit that surprises me. How, in any way, could someone with any true religious beliefs think that spamming people is justified in their religion.


William Kendall said...

Steve is a bloody hypocrite of a spammer who's been doing this for years. Self righteous prat who should do the universe a favour and stop breathing. He turned up at a blog I follow today. Too bad he's still alive.

Lao Bendan said...

Well, i certainly wouldn't go as far as that. Everyone has the right to be alive, even if they are worthless spammers. I'd simply say, too bad he's still active and allowed to use a computer. But, i wish him the best of lives no matter what he's done.