Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Finish a heat wave and one more book review

Well, it seems that over the last couple of days the west coast of the United States has been covered in some sweltering heat. This wouldn't be so bad if we had air conditioning, but "you don't need that in the Northwest". Whatever. It was darn hot (95 F) and we weren't handling it too well. Miranda seemed fine for the most part but we were giving her the nicest parts of the house to keep her cool.

I almost got down to the last ditch efforts in cooling devices. One is the ever popular spritzing bottle filled with water and a fan. This really works well if you can a humidifier as well, but does tend to leave the house a little more water logged. The other option is use a bucket of ice and a fan. We decided to tough it out over the couple of days and managed to be fine, although tigger spent a lot of time laying on the floor in the kitchen.

miranda 002

The Universe in a Single Atom : The Convergence of Science and Spirituality

The Universe in a Single Atom is a book by Dalai Lama XIV which goes into how he feels Buddism and the scientific method meet. His Holiness has had the opportunity to meet with some of the greatest scientific minds and has used those times to gain a greater understanding of state of science and attempt to apply them to philosophies and manuscripts within his faith. At times, I found this book to feel like a sales pitch for how Buddism is a religion that works hand in hand with science through the use of first person, introspective studies whereas science utilizes the third person, observant methodologies. But there are other times in this book, that he is able to bring about a real focus on some of the issues that we will soon have to face as a result of the great advances we have made in science.

I enjoyed this book. I attribute that to the fact that I enjoy the exercise of thinking on various focused topics. His Holiness is talks on the topics of Quantum Mechanics, the Big Bang, Evolution, Genetics, and Consciousness, and puts them in context of his beliefs and faith which provides an interest context in which to work though. One example is where the Dalai Lama shows how the Big Bang can be applied to one of manuscripts of Buddist teachings where the universe is of a cyclical nature and that the scientific studies have made many conjectures where this is a possibility where the universe will collapse the spin out yet another universe for the matter that once created the old.

Based on this, I recommend this to those that enjoy this sort of mental exercise and would like to learn a little of Buddism along the way.


dustin said...

Hey, I can't seem to find you email address anymore. Anyway, I'm helping with our 10yr reunion and was interested in getting your address and phone number as well as any info you may have on AY

Anonymous said...

andy's caption:

Leg warmers: always a hit.