April 01, 2009

Saltwater Buddha and the Theory of Everything

I've just started reading Jaimal Yogis's new book, Saltwater Buddha: A Surfer's Quest to Find Zen on the Sea. Yogis recently wrote an article for Tricycle on his life as a young Zen practitioner searching for meaning, and Saltwater Buddha picks up along the same lines.

In reading the first few pages, I was reminded of a piece in The New Yorker last summer about the unemployed surfer/physicist Garrett Lisi, who has attracted considerable attention for his nascent "Theory of Everything," described as the Holy Grail of physics. Of course, his work is highly controversial, and while some well-known physicists hail Lisi as the next Einstein, many more readily dismiss him.

I've never heard the dharma described as a Theory of Everything (Ken Wilber's attempts are something else entirely). But religions do lend themselves to similarly grand claims (think God), and Buddhism has no shortage of followers with admirably high expectations. I'm not in a position to bridge any theoretical ground between Zen and physics, but check out Adam Frank's reflections for more on this. In the meantime, to the beach!

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me's picture

hope the the jamais things doesn't offend.

me's picture

In The Illusion of scepticism we all fall short, Indeed the article was a revelation to many of the beach university. Orwell made a point once about the indiscretion of male human, humour, Unusally we would be proud in the revelation of new mystics, But in this case I truly believe that jamais has hit the nail on the head with every sentanace and analagy in his book. A believable if posssible the chance to the life our fathers would have choosen if not for commitment and law. Would have been gravely sorrowed . Anyway to the true believers this will live on.

Thanks Craig.

Jaimal Yogis's picture

Thanks for turning me onto that Lisi piece Aaron. I'm intrigued. I'm not much of a physicist but since you're on the topic, you might enjoy my recent piece in The Surfer's Path on this subject: Everything is a Wave: http://surferspath.com/features/everything-is-a-wave. I'm really out of my league in writing about physics but, hey, we journalists are pretty much always out of our league.