A dialogue with a book, Buddha Science (by Steve Daut)

I do like the liberal edit policy CFI has taken, just wish more people were using CFI, as in posting to begin with.

I’ve pretty much finished all nine chapters, but will dribble out the last few over the next week.
It gave me a chance to revisit my introduction and try cleaning it up a little, and since I can, I figured I should update this post.

A conversation with Steve Daut’s book “Buddha Science” by citizenschallenge

(edited July 14, 2023)

Introduction to a dialogue with Steve Daut’s Buddha Science.


I want to begin with a little personal background to offer some context for why I want to have this virtual dialogue with the words and ideas in a book.

I was born in 1955 in the midst of the greatest leap in geological and biological scientific understanding humanity has ever experienced. One ageless mystery after another was being exposed and explained with descriptions of rational natural physical processes, from biology, to geology, to astronomy, and everything in between.

Thankfully I was born to a couple of secular, intelligent and engaged parents who allowed me to ponder the “deep questions” that fascinated me, free of the god-fearing browbeating that shut down so many other curious young souls.

Before I ever learned about religion or philosophy I was already enthralled by the deep questions: Who am I? Why am I? What am I? How did this world come into existence? Why doesn’t my mind have control over the impulses inside of me? Trying to imagine the universe and infinity, and being allowed the freedom to wonder about the mystery of this God people were talking about. I was also encouraged to think about living things, and wonder at the Evolution that unfolded on this singular planet.

About five years ago, in a burst of epiphany, I arrived at a succinct and fundamental description of our human existence, namely Appreciating the Physical Reality ~ Human Mind divide. In the past five years that kernel of insight has continued resonating, leading to cascading insights as new appreciations keep sprouting from that seed of understanding.

I also came to realize “Earth Centrist” describes my outlook better than any other label.

Internally, the past few years have provided a wonderful feeling of mysteries resolved and the peace of having arrived at a solid foundational understanding, after a lifetime of proactive learning and seeking.

Externally, in sharing this evolving perspective, I’ve been surprised and frustrated at how difficult it is for others to grasp what seems to me straight-forward, if not self-evident.

Recently, Steve Daut’s Buddha Science was introduced to me, I was curious, though I wound up purchasing it more out of courtesy than expectations. To my surprise Daut’s narrative and facts were clearly enunciated and his writing was solid, none of the flights-of-fancy or other red flags that turn me off. He does a wonderful job of describing a lot of current spiritual/philosophical thinking, and he kept it grounded, and he kept me turning the pages.

The book offered my Earth Centrist perspective a wonderful virtual discussion mate for contrasting my outlook against. That is, Earth Centrism v. the traditional religious/philosophical dualistic rut that permeates much of today’s thinking.

There’s very little about the facts of Steve’s story that I’d want to dispute. My thinking is embedded in the same matrix of facts that he’s working with, but for whatever twist of fate, I’ve managed to step outside of myself - to recognize and absorb the reality of “deep-time,” this planet Earth, her pageant of Evolution, one step beyond us self-absorbed, self-serving, thin-skinned, hubristic, ruthless, humans.

I’ve been in contact with Steve Daut and he’s given me his permission to use Buddha Science as my workbook and I thank him.

Since I’m focusing on highlighting my particular Earth Centrist perspective, I skip long, yet interesting sections of Daut’s book, where my comments would be superfluous.

I encourage you to purchase a copy of Daut’s Buddha Science (mail@stevedaut.com), it’s a short (130 pages, 232 endnote citations) simple read and his telling is worth thinking about uninterrupted.

What follows isn’t a critique, so much as a comparison of perspectives, a dialogue between me and a book. Me being an Earth Centrist, viewing the world through Evolution respecting, bottom-up lens.

Buddha Science by Steve Daut

©2016 - ISBN 978-1-943290-15-4

For a copy: mail@stevedaut.com


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*Last night I read this to my wife. I knew I’d find fault and would be editing, I’d been focusing on getting momentum going on this project, but it was worse than I thought. Perhaps the learning experience while writing the rest of the chapters helped me read this in a slightly different light, evolution in action.

edited July 26, 2023


Chapter 1, Buddha Science, The Elephant


Chapter 1a, Desperately Seeking Reality

¶1 “What is Reality?”

I would respond that our human reality can most succinctly be defined as Physical Reality. That is atomic matter, biology, and the rules they abide by, including our biological body/brain. Beyond that, all there is, is our Human Mind, which our physical body produces and through which we perceive our body and the world, and our gods for that matter.

“Can we ever cut through the haze . . .”

It would help to realize the haze is a product of our own imaginations.

Tackling that challenge begins with finding an answer to the, “Who are you?”, question.

Only after coming to terms with the “me, myself & I” mystery does the “Reality” question start opening up.

¶3 “Why have we looked so hard in so many ways for so many years?”

Because we are curious mammals extraordinaire with a profoundly inquisitive introspective active mind driven by biological imperatives that trace back to the dawn of time.

¶4 “I’m convinced that it’s not where we look, but how we are looking. In looking we cling to (our) certain(ties), to the idea that we can find ultimate answers.”

Not just how we are looking but also what are our expectations, as in searching for ultimate Truth. This world is too big to take it all in and each creature can only observe from our unique center.

¶6 “… But the approach we take to answering the question, and even the language we use to talk about reality affects the answers so much that we can’t even see the insight provided through other approaches.”

My point exactly, I speak of the Abrahamic mindset, self absorbed, convinced the Earth and her resources are here for us to consume as fast as possible. That attitude renders us blind to how our framing of the basic questions hobble our understanding and behavior.

“Is reality purely physical?”

Physical Reality is atoms, molecules, biology the stuff that can be observed and measured and all the laws they abide by. Earth’s Biology produces life and creatures with ever increasing levels of awareness; mind; consciousness; eventually arriving at a self-consciousness producing human mind.

Consciousness, mind is the meta-physical product of a living organism needing to communicate with itself.

I believe it could be stated that a biological creature producing mind is no more mysterious than a coil of wire and a magnet in motion producing electricity. There too, experts still can’t adequately answer, what is electricity, nor exactly how it works.

But philosophers don’t marvel at that, why the double standard?

“… we all seem to fall into the trap of thinking that if you don’t see things the way I do, you must be wrong. …”

Let me suggest it’s more a matter of how far one strives to see. Do we want to limit ourselves to our own mindscape and the comfort of our ego, or do we strive to consider what’s beyond those bounds?

Appreciating the Physical Reality ~ Human Mind(scape) divide, it seems to me a foundational concept, a benchmark to help us recognize and respect our consciousness and the disconnect we feel with the “real” world, and that too many feel with their own bodies.

¶7 “… Each man is too busy clinging to the details of his particular experience to try and find the similarities with what the others are experiencing. If they’d quit arguing, shed their fixed concepts, and try to discover the larger truth that their collective experience is pointing toward, they might be able to piece together a clearer concept of what the elephant actually looks like.”

We’re stuck with ourselves and need to do our learning for ourselves, through good faith curiosity and doing the homework. Not ‘each person’ clings to their routines, some seek knowledge that goes beyond themselves and the circumstance they were born into.

My twenties, thirties found me busy collecting experiences and miles. I did a good deal of hitchhiking, thumb out and pointing down the road, with no idea who was going to give me a ride or what was next, sometime with a destination, sometimes not. The day was an act of meditation in the now moment, striving to absorb the scene and experience.

I wasn’t trying to figure out what the elephant looked like, I was simply sampling the experience as well as I could.

I figured eventually an increasingly accurate impression will develop of itself, I wasn’t in a hurry, too busy enjoying youth and keeping up with work. Attentive to the moment.

Turns out it was a good approach that produced results, such as a personal clarity founded in experience rather than simply convictions and story telling.

Rockie Mountains


Chapter 1b, Planet Silorian

¶b1 “Let’s imagine a world existing in a golden age . . .”

Let’s not.

With apologies, analogy has its purpose, to some extent, after that it’s diminishing returns that I can’t do anything with it.

So I won’t try.


Chapter 1c, The Boundaries We Build

¶c1 “The buddha said that if we can recognize our true nature, we can escape the suffering that comes from feeling separate from the world around us.”

Through my modern USA lens, I don’t think it’s so much about escaping suffering as it is escaping expectations and the disappointments they lead to.

¶c3 “We want to know where we fit and how it all fits together, so we close out ideas that threaten our comfortable understanding.”

Hopefully not everyone is like that.

What happened to thinking “honorably”? Personal character and the will to practice honest introspection. Believing that learning is more important than facade and salving of one’s ego?

Or, is one seeking truthful information and honest understanding - even if it forces one to face up to one’s own failings and need for improvement?

Can I accept new valid information that exposes my errors, then face and over-come the humiliation of having failed and absorb those mistakes in order to learn their lessons, then move on, better informed than before? That is the honest intellectual’s challenge.

¶c5 “At it’s heart, science is an approach, a way of investigating observations …

True enough, at it’s heart:

Science is a set of rules based on an unspoken understanding that, we need each other, to keep ourselves honest.*

Honesty is science’s supreme rule! Evidence driven conclusions, with the rules formulated in a way to exclude human ego, and passion driven biases, from its evidence gathering and deliberations as much as possible.

Anyone, from anywhere on this global can learn the rules and the language of their field, work hard and contribute to the community of experts.

*“*In this book, we want to explore the findings of science to see what they can tell us about the nature of reality, but still remain open to the limitations of the scientific method.

“For our discussion we will break the subject down into chaos and complexity, physical science, science of life, and science of the mind.”

This configuration confused me. Because, at its roots we are dealing with a Physical Reality ~ Human mind divide.

It’s an essential first-base lesson and it becomes a benchmark that opens new vistas that we’ve been blind to.

Among the cascading consequences of such an appreciation is realizing how all we experience, all we see, hear, feel, taste, smell, sense, travels through our physical biological body/brain, which in turn produces our mind (consciousness) and that everything you know, science, religion, God, heaven, hell, art, music, all of it unfolds within our own minds, or more descriptively, our Mindscape.

¶c7 “Mysticism is a belief that union with the absolute (i.e., God) can be attained through contemplation and self-surrender. …”

For me Mysticism is all about striving to walk with grace and to focus on trying to Touch the Earth. Or when it’s really grooving, to touch our evolving Earth, that is, to taste deep-time and recognize that I am an aware filament in the pageant of Earth’s Evolution, my moment is fleeting, but it is mine, and it is here, and it is good.

To feel at home in the world is big.

In that spirit, self-surrender makes sense, to know your self from the inside out, then as a part of the “All”.

¶c8 “… We’re more interested in Buddhist observations about the nature of the world and of perceptible reality. …”

“Perceptible” - “our perception” is a key concept that doesn’t get repeated enough.

We humans, as all creatures, perceive the sliver of the reality we are embedded within.

The physical reality that made us doesn’t shape-shift!

How we perceive it, that’s all over the map - because it is absolutely bound up with the unique body you happen to inhabit and the mood you are in and feedback you’re receiving from the environment and circumstances, etc., etc…

¶c11 “… the message of this book is connection. …”

Speaking of connecting, there’s nothing like a thorough understanding of your body’s evolution, (in context with other creatures’ evolution, their environment, our Earth’s biosphere), to infuse one with a sense of connection and awe.

¶c12 “… Religion and metaphysics exist in the realms of thought and belief. This is tricky when we’re trying to understand something about Reality as a whole, because if we’re not going to limit reality to the physical, then thoughts and beliefs also exist as part of reality.

It doesn’t need to be this tricky.

Appreciating the Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide.

It clarifies that the only “meta-physics" in our lives is the mind that our body/brain creates.

The purpose of excluding the thought process of metaphysics and the beliefs of religion from our discussion is simply to limit the conversation relatively manageable set of topics.

But our thought process is the central key to all this. Grasping that your consciousness is a product of your body interacting with the environment & circumstance, and your consciousness is the source of all your ideas.

Isn’t that the definition of meta-physical?

¶c13 “What do we mean by religion? … In other words, religion is based on the belief that the rules of reality were created by something outside of reality.

“… As long as you can accept the concept of an open reality, there is no inconsistency between a belief in the existence of God and the findings of science. …”

I’ve tried imagining this Open Reality, but it’s not working.

What would visualizing an “Open Reality” concept actually achieve for us?

It seems to hinge on semantics rather than the observable world we live in.

“… science is purely an attempt to describe a closed reality based on what we can observe and infer from those observations . . .”

Fair enough, after all science’s specific remit is to study physical reality.

Honestly observe, accurately measure, repeatability, strive to minimize ego driven biases in pursuit of understanding, honest constructive debates.

¶c14 “… God may well exist, by whatever name you wish to use, but such discussions are well beyond the scope of this book. …”

Of course our gods exist. They exist in our minds and hearts.

Thinking about Evolution offers an interesting idea for a satisfying non-cosmic story for our Gods.

It starts with considering the awareness of life, living organisms from the first cells and then eukaryotes and the increasing complexity of creatures that followed. Consciousness striving to do better, eventually evolving into humans with an introspective learning mind that could image God, and fill that imagined god with substance.

¶c15 “Metaphysics, on the other hand, is a search for the rules of reality that can be deduced, but not tested in an experimental context. …”

Meaning, metaphysics is susceptible to human ego, human vanity, human envy, human avarice, human insecurity, human vengeance lust and human manipulation.

Without objective benchmarks rational examination and assessment are impossible.

“… It shares with science the attempt to describe Reality but the basis for description is conception rather than observations. … As such, it’s an intellectual pursuit, one that relies purely on ideas and logic …”

Which is why it belongs within the realm of our mindscape - as opposed to the physical realm of matter and the laws of physics.


Chapter 1d, Can’t we all just get along?

¶d1 “… so let’s try to define what we do want to talk about. … Many principles that we will be discussing here are not limited to science or Buddhism. Writings on non-duality can be found in many traditions. … Philosophical discourse regarding the nature of reality continued with the Pythagoreans, Plato, and Aristotle, and the conversation continues today.”

¶d3 “A key focus of this book is empirical knowledge, which deals with what we perceive rather than the ideas we form about things. In other words, empirical rather than conceptions.

Yet, empirical knowledge must be perceived and processed via the concepts we form. Perhaps a more useful starting point for this discussion would be first getting clear on :

Recognizing and appreciating the Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide.

…For now, let’s just say that perceptions are about observations, and conceptions are about ideas.

True enough, as far as it goes.

“… So while religion seeks to find meaning beyond our reality and metaphysics explores conception of reality, empirical observations provide perceptions of reality based on direct examination of what our senses tell us."

There’s something missing here. Perceptions are limited by the sensing and processing abilities (& inabilities) of the receiving person, creature, or instrument.

¶d4 “… Buddhism (science) principles include direct perception and inference rooted in empirical perception. …”

¶d6 “… in this book we’ll be exporting the parallels between Buddha Science and formal science. … focusing on similarities, … interested with where the two approaches agree rather than where they differ. …”

And me? I’m going to use Steve Daut’s well considered outline of this very human intellectual spiritual challenge to help me better explain what Earth Centrism is all about.

I’ve read through Buddha Science a couple times and find much to agree with and respect. My intention isn’t to dispute or challenge - it’s a matter of looking at it from my deep-time, down to Earth lens, as opposed to the traditional human-centric lens.

¶d9 “… Matt Flickstein (The Mediator’s Atlas) focuses one different views of reality. He writes: “Truth is one. However, there are two approaches to realizing this truth: via affirma the positive approach, and via negativa, the negative approach. …”

These are paths of mental disciplines.

Not to be overlooked, is the mental discipline of, what shall I be present to?

¶d11 “The scientific path follows positive action to develop concepts and tests in an effort to pry reality loose from hiding. The path of Buddha Science, on the other hand, is based on silent listening, clearing the mind to allow Reality to speak for itself. The main premise of this book is that the approach doesn’t matter to reality.”

“… Reality is the same, no matter what approach you take …”

I like that, it echos a key lesson within, “Appreciating the Human Mind ~ Physical Reality divide.”

¶d12 “… Discoveries in quantum physics were driving scientists to take another look at the connection between science and mysticism, … (Dr. Frijof Capra, The Tao of Physics, 1975) … boundary between mysticism and science … began to fall. …

I’m proud to say Capra’s book was a travel companion for a while, way back in my on-the-road days, as was Robert Pirsig’s Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, good companions for a young thoughtful tramp.

Quantum weirdness and other lessons from the realm of the very tiniest of tiny, right up against the threshold between matter and energy itself. Fun stuff, it probably helped inspire me to start reading up on biographies of those early physics pioneers, trying to learn about them and the physics they were uncovering. Admittedly, I’m handicapped by my lack of complex math skills, still the mind’s eye can follow the fundamentals fairly well.

As for quantum physics, bizarre behavior is to be expected.

Still, I’ve come to realize imaginative storytelling can’t scale up from quantum weirdness examples, up to our macroscopic human realm. It’s deep within the fabric of our reality, still it’s nothing but background hummm for our own day to days.

We should be focusing all that philosophical time & treasure on our middle-ground day to day physical reality.

But, we’re so busy staring into clouds, we’ve forgotten all about understanding and caring about the living biosphere, and planet, we depend on for everything.

¶d13 “… the goal of journey is not the fingers pointing - it is the moon. …”

I thank Steve Daut for the thoughtful intellectual vehicle he’s provided for my journey of discovery.

I encourage you to read his complete book.

Buddha Science, ©2016, For a copy contact Steve Daut:

This is another Cc’s Student’s Workbook, of sorts,

meaning a little repetition is to be expected,

honing concepts and descriptions.

Offering food for thought.

Is there anybody out there?

citizenschallenge at gmail

A conversation with Steve Daut’s Buddha Science, Chapter 2, Two Fingers

Moon over Atlanta Ocean


Chapter 2a, Two Fingers, Pointing at the moon

¶a1 “… We (humans) suffer from the tendency to form concepts that may or may not have anything to do with the words, or intent of the speaker (or author). … Perhaps this just gives us unlimited number of opportunities for subtle and complicated miscommunication. …”

No doubt. It’s a reason why I think the quest for “Truth” is a self deception.

People tend to seek their own truth and everyone is the center of their own world.

¶a6 “Are objects real, or are they just transient event that mark a convergence of smaller events that we call atoms? Since every language is constrained by a particular viewpoint, is it even possible to describe reality with language? …”

Transient doesn’t mean illusion.

Why the need to second guess the transient nature of everything? What other option is there for nature?

Existence flows down the river of time. It is what it is.

Enjoy your transient moment and appreciate being an aware participant in Earth’s pageant of evolution, while you can.

¶a7 “… The Buddha was concerned with the causes of suffering in the world, which he viewed as attachment to our mistaken view of reality. …”

Attachments ~ Expectations, seem like two sides of the same coin.

My particular journey has been a pursuit of clarity and minimizing my expectations of others and the world, because that’s how it was. Finding value within. Striving to take nothing for granted and remaining supple enough to weather the changes as they come.

¶a8 “… As the Buddha taught, everyone must learn the truth for themselves, … Our focus here is about the methods that science and Buddha Science use to acquire knowledge about reality, rather than the reasons for seeking this knowledge.”

This harmonizes with me, though I am leery of the concept (or is it conceit) of “truth.”

For me a most fundamental reality for us, is that, I am not alone, like it or not, we are connected to the people around us and beyond.

On this Earth we are joined by an unimaginable number of beings all having their own needs and points of view. How does the concept of “truth” fit into this melange of society, geology, biology and life?

Truth is always relative.

For me, the best I can hope for is “Honesty,” as in honestly observing, experiencing, and conveying facts and feelings.

©citizenschallenge 2023


Chapter 2b, Two Fingers, Walking the paths

¶b1 “Let’s begin with science. In general, science begins with inductive reasoning as a method to try and understand how things work. This method is a function of the thinking mind, direct observation, measurement, trending. … According to deductive reasoning, I can logically assume that …”

I’ll add that, science is a set of rules based on the unspoken understanding that, we need each other to keep ourselves honest.

These rules make honesty and accuracy the gold standard and strive to remove ego driven bias from its deliberations as much as possible.

¶b3 “Although Buddha Science also starts with observation, it has a much different view of the concepts. It says that concepts get in the way of actually seeing and experiencing the world around us. The methods employed by Buddha Science are therefore designed to clear out all of the noise, thoughts, distractions, and details to achieve silence necessary to experience things as they are. …”

In other words, to help discipline the realm of our mindscape.

¶b4 “Another way to think about the difference between formal science and Buddha Science is to suggest that formal science deals with objective phenomena that can be proven (or disproven) and measured by experimentation and Buddha Science is focused on aspects of reality that can only be felt and understood at the subjective level, but still can be rigorously explored and tested by disciplined mental training. …”

“Mental training” our mind holds all we know and experience.

¶b9 “In fact, mathematically you can never know everything there is to know about a circle because of her pesky little child, pi. Because of pi, if you know the circle’s circumference, or area, or radius, you can’t use any of those to exactly calculate the other two. Here we have the most universal shape, the most natural, comfortable and seemingly simple share we know, and it is mysterious. So is pi irrational, or simply unknowable?"

Sorry, from down here at ground-level, that looks like a contrived philosophical mind game. I know extreme accuracy has its purpose. But, in dealing with our lives, the human side of things, how is it going to help inform us about ourselves and how we perceive the world and deal with challenges?

I don’t understand the point of impossible expectations of exactitude in a dynamic reality, mystifying unavoidable human/natural limits seems silly to me.

¶b10 “… trees are 99.99999999999% empty space …”

That’s looking through the lens of an inaccurate solar system atomic model and a great example of how we deceive ourselves with the way we enunciate our thoughts.

Electrons are not tiny balls of energy, they spin unimaginably fast, their energy is smeared out into energetic clouds.

Thing is, there’s nothing “empty” about the space within an atom’s electron valence shells. (That unfortunate trope, “emptiness of atoms,” ergo, matter is empty, has spawned a great deal of intellectual mischief)

¶b12 “… formal science and Buddha Science generally share the perspective that reality encompasses some elements that are tangible and measurable, and others that are mysterious and cannot be perfectly known or understood. …”

Through my Earth Centrist eyes, what “Reality encompasses” is simpler to define:

Physical Reality

and Human Consciousness,

that is our living mind.

Where all our thoughts, dreams and mysteries reside.

Moon & Venus


Chapter 2c, Two Fingers, Two realities

¶c1 “Buddha Science explains this conundrum with the perception that there are two levels of reality: the dualistic reality of our day-to-day experience, and the ultimate non-dual reality that cannot be fully understood. When we use the term dualistic, we simply mean dividing things into “this” and “that” …”

I believe a more succinct description of the dualistic nature starts with recognizing the profound divide between physical reality and our mind. After that, “this” and “that” gets much easier to reconcile.

Try imagining this physical biological organism we inhabit during our lives, a creature’s act of living is what drives the biological dynamo of consciousness - that is, generating our sense of self, of me, myself, & I, and everything else we know.

Why? Because any organism and body needs to communicate and command itself, along with monitor, and process sensory inputs, and orchestrate responses.

¶c2 “Since non-dual reality cannot be divided, it cannot be measured, compared, or tested the way we measure and test our day-to-day reality. …

That’s a good description of our mind full of thoughts.

¶c3 “… there are two reasons for this inability to describe non-dual reality, first… reality is larger than any concept. …”

¶c4 “… “Second reason we can’t express non-dual reality … with the limitations of our language. …”

The biology of our bodies is a physical reality. Our bodies need to be able to communicate with themselves, it’s a basic organism/creature imperative for survival.

All we know, is perceived and processed through our physical body; followed by further processing in the brain; before being broadcast as ideas running through our mind and body; while giving out instructions to every nook’n cranny of our bodies.

¶ “… But the contradiction is not an inherent property of reality; it is due to the limitation of the language we have available to describe it. After all, our language allows for self-reference that can lead to paradox. …”

A point worth keeping in mind.

¶c8 “According to Buddha Science, non-dual reality can’t be adequately described, but it can be experienced … being “in the zone” … no separation between them and the flow of experience. …”

Being in-the-zone is the product of disciple and training bodily reflexes and internal communication and learning to shut down our constant upper-level conscious chatter, thus allowing our body’s complex systems to focus on accomplishing the task at hand without interference.

¶c13 “Even though these various views of non-dual reality are very different from each other, they all point to a reality that is larger and different from the one we experience day-to-day. … as soon as we

¶c20 “… in the broadest sense non-duality can be understood as indivisible Reality. …”

I look at this from a much more biological Evolutionary perspective.

I believe the actual duality that deserves much more attention is the duality between a creature’s thoughts (mind) and body (physical reality).

After all, consciousness* is the inside reflection of a biological body getting on with the job of living, it’s a self-consistent necessity that every organism must achieve, if it’s going to thrive.

It also explains so much about the constant tensions and struggles between our flesh & spirit that challenge all of us humans, each in our own way. This kind of awareness opens up strategies for constructively taming the beasts within us.

The rest of the categorizations and explanations and variations discussed in these paragraphs belong within the realm of “Mind.” How we think about things and process incoming information, while integrating all of it with past information, etc…

On the other side of that is geology, biology, physiology, physical matter. It’s organized life that spark’s awareness, and creatures, and consciousness, and the meta-physical realm of our thoughts in all their majesty. Therein lies the duality of my Reality.

*****(key thought: Consciousness is a spectrum.)

¶c22 “… Reality cannot be divided, except in our minds, … According to the Buddhist principle of “dependent origination,” even matter and mind are co-dependent. Reality is non-dual.

¶c25 “… We view our world through a lens of duality , and we come to believe in separate beings and phenomena occupying an objective universe. But if non-dual reality is indivisible, these divisions are artificial no matter how real they seem … Separate, independent beings and phenomena cannot exist. The disconnect between these two levels of reality is the basis for our existential sugaring, and Buddha Science has developed certain principles to help us understand both the levels of reality and the relationship between them. Now we let’s take a closer look at these principles.

I don’t think it needs to be this convoluted. Reality can’t be divided by our minds because there’s nothing to divide it into.

See Dr. Solms and Dr. Damasio for more on consciousness from a biological perspective, David Sloan Wilson for Evolution’s relevance to our lives.

©citizenschallenge 2023

I thank Steve Daut for the thoughtful intellectual vehicle he’s provided for my own adventure.

I encourage you to read his complete book.

Buddha Science, ©2016, Steve Daut - For a copy: mail@stevedaut.com

Really quoting Daut’s text here. Not CC’s

Attachment is a concept in Buddhism that’s often misunderstood. The view of self, that can attach, is part of the difficulty. From the link:

“[A]ccording to the Buddhist point of view, non-attachment is exactly the opposite of separation. You need two things in order to have attachment: the thing you’re attaching to, and the person who’s attaching. In non-attachment, on the other hand, there’s unity. There’s unity because there’s nothing to attach to. If you have unified with the whole universe, there’s nothing outside of you, so the notion of attachment becomes absurd. Who will attach to what?”

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Because that is the relative functional exclusivity the brain and it’s experiential perspective of reality operates. Relatively, each one of us IS factually the center of our individual POV.
However our brain can create several POV, such as depth perception, 3D representations,

Note that many animals have the same ability for solving complex mathematical patterns. Example : Sonar (echo) location, triangulation, hive building, etc.

Our exceptional brain enables us to compile, analyze, solve, and respond to long term trends and predict future events. This ability is not exclusive to humans, but probably most advanced in animals with large neural networks to acquire learned and memorized knowledge against incoming experiential (measurable) data.

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Chapter 3, Buddhism


Chapter 3a, Buddhism, Buddha Science

(edited July 28)

¶a1 “… (Buddhism’s) four noble truths can be stated as follows:

  • Life is unsatisfying, and causes suffering and anxiety.
  • We suffer because all things are impermanent, yet we crave pleasant things and push away unpleasant things.
  • We can escape the suffering.
  • Outlines a path that leads to escape from suffering.

I’m sharing these “Noble truths of Buddhism’ for a point of reference, with the single observation that reading it, I can’t help but notice that it reflects the same self-absorbed human outlook, that is the hallmark of the “Abrahamic mindset” that I sometimes pick on.

This exercise is all about me trying to convey an Earth Centrist, evolutionary bottom-up perspective on our human conundrums, which requires the ability to think outside of oneself.

In any event, I can only tell this story from my perspective, and though I’m rather ordinary, with 68 years I’ve come to appreciate I was blessed in circumstance, body, health, mind and heart - so mine was never a search for the solution to human pain, I was simply busy trying to make sense of the wonder of the creation I found myself embedded within.

Although writing those lines, I now recall my adolescent “weltschmerz” was quite intense. But, once I got out of high school and got on with living my life, things got too crowded for that sort of self-indulgence.

¶a2 Siddhartha Gautama, … came to thoroughly understand “the human problem, its origins, its ramifications, and its solution. The four noble truths are a simulation of this understanding and how to achieve it. Enlightenment is simply, “seeing things as they are rather than as we wish or believe them to be. …”

I was fortunate (though I didn’t always appreciate it at the time), coming from a lower income family, my dad always worked, mom at home raising us, and we always had enough, a home, food, clothing, etc. With secular parents who loved us and loved introducing us to the wonders of our world, and frugality, while doing a good job of shielding us from the ugly. In my formative years there was no dealing with serious pain, betrayal or hopelessness, it was simply never part of our childhood so it didn’t weigh down my thoughts and spirit the way it does those people who don’t get lucky and who experience deprivation, abuse and nasty attitudes their young years.

Meaning that my internal dialogue, my observations, thoughts, inquiries were free to be self indulgent: Who am I? Who are these people around me? Why does the landscape look and change as it does? Where did I come from? Why doesn’t my mind control my body’s impulses? What’s evolution all about? What’s growing old all about? Who is God? Why is Earth so fantastically special? Fun interesting stuff like that.

¶a4 “This empirical aspect of Buddhism is best summed up in these words that the Good Reads website has attributed to the Buddha:

  • Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
  • Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.
  • Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teacher sand elders.
  • Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down from many generations.

This resonates with my own practice and aspiration.

“But after observation and analysis when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”


¶a6 “Buddhist tradition describes three types of “facts” and the method used to qualify them as factual:

  • Direct perception, known through the five senses.
  • Hidden facts, known by reliable inference.
  • Extremely hidden facts, known by reliable testimony.

… (these are) empirical observations.

¶a7 “… the first work of a Buddhist is to see things as they are, without the distorting influence of concepts - thoughts, expectations or ideas. … For most, it’s a gradual process, an incremental series of changes in perception and of the way they relate to the world. …”

Along with the occasional epiphany when disparate facts and ideas fall together into a new insight that forever changes one’s perspective and the way one relates to oneself, others, and the world.

I easily accept that I never see things “as they are” - I see things “as I perceive them,” and my perception isn’t always accurate. That’s a critically important distinction worth understanding. The challenge is to perceive as critically and completely as possible, this requires striving to be cognizant of one’s own biases and limitations.

As Daut goes on to explain, we need to do our own homework, each must figure out these lessons for themself. I’m 68 and it’s only in the past few years that the final pieces of the puzzle have come together for me. Which is why I know it takes effort and why I’m trying to explain myself to others. I believe this under-represented perspective could be helpful to some.

¶a9 “It is not that people who have achieved some level of enlightenment never form concepts, but they are fully aware that these mental formations are not Reality.

The mental impression of Reality is never Reality itself. …”

That’s important. Though I have a more straightforward suggestion for that message.:

Our mind is the product of our living body/brain with its multiple sensing systems. We perceive Reality through our particular filters, body and brain, then are left with our impressions of Reality.

How could it be any different?

That said, the biological matter and function of your body/brain is part of physical Reality and it produces your Mind, which in turn, is our meta-physical Reality.

Seems to me that’s the Duality we should be meditating on and coming to terms with.

¶a11 “… a Buddha makes their observations from the “inside,” (instead of) from the “outside” and is therefor subjective. … Traditional science, on the other hand, says that we can observe aspects of Reality from the “outside,” so we can make unbiased, objective observations.”

¶a12 “… from the perspective of Buddha Science, we live life from the inside, and the challenge is to avoid getting so enmeshed in this perspective that we cling to it as if it’s Reality itself. …”

I’m not sure what happened there, what I know is that when I think of the inside, it’s about my body, it’s biology, my blood and genes studded with innovations that go back millions, hundreds of millions of years, and more.

My consciousness grows out of my body. That is, my “Mind” is the inside reflection of my body communicating with itself and dealing with the world out there.

There is the outward material manifestation of my body, and there is its inside awareness of itself. That’s where the meta-physical wonder that is our thoughts in action, or more descriptively our mindscape is to be found - via biology, not philosophy. How we process those facts becomes philosophy.

¶a14 “… how do we distinguish between observation and simply personal conclusions? … the distinction goes something like this: our senses record information, which is converted into perceptions by our mind, and then the intellect converts these perceptions into concepts or idea. …”

As an Earth Centrist I process all that quite differently.

“Observation” is a recording of information, but it’s our entire body that’s reacting to that information before moving to brain and thought.

Your conscious mind is busy trying to make sense of what is happening,

while your body is taking care of the heavy lifting (fight or flight, flirt or fade away, etc.) -

and then your mind relays that story back to yourself,

as mind develops its action plan for explaining what has just been experienced,

and is being done by the body in response.

Then we move on to the next moment.

{Interesting side thought:

“We humans don’t have free will, we have free “won’t”.” Dr. Mark Solms}

¶a15 “… Chaos Theory … This is also one way to think about the two levels of reality - ultimate Reality as the attractor, which is the broad shape of Reality that is timeless and unchanging, and the smaller patterns of reality that we see at the day to day level, which constantly change and flow. …”

Poetically that sounds nice and there may be timeless principles.

Still, there’s nothing unchanging about the entire universe that we have ever been able to observe with our instruments, or our hearts for that matter. Change and time moving forward is about the only unchanging thing we do know about life and Reality.

What’s the point in pretending it away?


Chapter 3b, Buddhism, What Buddha Science Sees

¶b1 “… but at the ultimate, non-dual level, time has no meaning.

What of it? At the ultimate level, nothing has meaning.

What are we reaching for?

I’m concerned with the way our human minds process information in the here and now.

Why question Time? How does the question advance anything constructive?

I’m sorry, I have a tough time seeing these suggestions that “time has no meaning” as anything other than frivolous self-indulgent intellectual entertainment.

There is nothing this side of esoteric physics equations (math) that doesn’t move forward with time, from the oscillations of atomic particles, to the waves crashing on the coast, to the blood pumping through our bodies and every dang thing in-between.

Is their intellectual object to remove all benchmarks to Reality?

Seriously, what does the fascination with wishing away time, or change, say about our own minds and What We Choose To Be Present To , while avoiding the actually physical Reality unfolding in front of us?

“ … The observations we will be discussing are interconnection, karma, impermanence, and illusion.”

¶b2 “The observation of interconnection says simply that everything is connected to everything else. …”

Daut spends a few pages exploring interconnectedness and Karma and its worth the read. Since, I don’t have anything to add, I’ll keep my Earth Centrist’s project moving forward and breeze through the next few pages.

If you find any of these snippets worthy, consider reading the complete book, Buddha Science, it’s interesting and deserves your time.

¶b12 “The second observation to discuss is karma. Although karma is often associated with the idea of rebirth into multiple lifetimes, the actual Pali word simply means action, work or deed. …”

¶b18 “… the third observation of Buddha Science, everything is in the process of becoming, and this process never ends. …

¶b23 “What about the soul - is there some intangible, immaterial essence of self that persists forever after the body dies? If this soul is not dependent on physical being then it couldn’t have been created when you are born.

Our soul is the product of consciousness; and consciousness is a product of our physical body getting on with the act of living.

It’s not: “I think, therefore I am!” In our real world here on Earth, it’s entirely a matter of “I am, therefore I think!”

An easy metaphor for the mystery of biology creating consciousness, (mind & soul) - is a metal coil and a magnet creating electricity. Transient, unique onto itself, and it disappears when the dynamo stops spinning, and scientists remain baffled by it.

¶b24 “The fourth observation of Buddha Science is that the world we think we experience is an illusion. …”

What makes it an illusion? That it’s transient? Why that?

To me it makes much more sense to realize that all creatures create ongoing impressions of the information that relates to their particular being. Then they do their best with what their senses collect.

For a fascinating, even revolutionary, expose’ on the story of Earth’s creatures sensing their way through Reality, read: “Ed Yong’s, An Immense World, sensing the reality around us.

¶b25 “The ultimate expression of this conventional view is that we, as individuals are somehow separate from Reality. …

Sounds about right and I think it’s a shame.

I believe there’s another down to Earth & constructive approach to all this confusion and angst.

“… But our efforts at reconnection will not succeed because we never lost the connection. There is no connection to lose, because we are an integral part of Reality itself. …”

Sure, why not, it’s plenty true that our bodies never lost connection with Earth.

The problem is, that our modern human mindscapes most certainly have lost touch with those connections to ancestors and Earth. That’s what desperately needs rediscovering.

¶b26 “… The point that Buddha Science says, if we cling to our belief that we are somehow separate from the rest of Reality, we will never escape the suffering that we create through this clinging. …”


Although in our modern society I think it’s become more a problem of the delusion of our expectations. That is, for the haves.

The have-nots . . . I can’t go there . . . for them, today’s problem is total loss of hope, with no place to run, no redemption in sight, only increasing horrors in the here and now, as a crowded modern global society continues ignoring the challenges that are starting to boil over.


Chapter 3c, Buddhism, A way of seeing

¶c1 “The Buddha Science line of inquiry can be summarized as practices that result in a perspective with two parts. These are the practices of developing mindfulness and acting without intention. The resulting perspectives will be called awakening and equanimity. …”

Okay, still it should be clear both of these parts reside within our Mindscape, as opposed to the physical world of matter, biology and the laws of nature.

¶c3 “Meditation is the primary method … goal is to train the mind to recognize when concepts are forming in the mind and then let go of them in order to free the mind so that unbiased observation of reality can take place … Psychology Today describes mindfulness:

Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by mindfulness mean living in the moment and awakening to the experience.”

Great point, great strategy, great goal, meaningful to achievement.

Something I’ve found worth pursuing is a mindfulness time spent exploring the interior of my own biological body. We have enough amazingly accurate information and imaging of our interior body and brain in all its glory.

Those images are mental tools for building one’s own interior awareness of our own living body, while inhabiting it, while allowing your imagination to explore it. Talk about a spiritual experience, it can be pretty cool!

No woo, simply a deep awareness of your own body, the one your Self inhabits, until death do you part, in all its mind-bending glory.

It’s not simple, but it is a fascinating journey of discovery into the most mind expanding topic on Earth, the human experience. A journey with occasional blasts of enlightenment that will blow away a life time of misplaced dogma.

The beauty is that a thorough understanding of serious scientific evidence is what provides the backbone I need to trust these musings that have lead me to my Earth Centrist perspective.

¶c4 “… the experience of waking up isn’t simply an internal experience, it is a way of interacting with the world. …”

As are all the next steps you take. Be a self aware filament in Earth’s Evolutionary Pageant.

Me, myself and I am, today, the cumulative total of all my experiences and all my days that came before.

My biological body is the sum total of hundreds of millions of years worth of biological research and development with real time testing, modifications, and production. And like new car models every year, every generation was busy changing and improving - while the eons kept racing along.

¶c5 “The next practice to discuss is acting without intention. …”

Worked stone implement

Cc: Allow me some rambling since Daut’s writing has me reminiscing on younger days when I took religious claims and philosophical mind games more seriously.

When “Mindfulness and living in the moment without intention” was within reach as I lived my vagabond years, hitchhiking and taking the moments as they came. Often living without intention. Well, okay, I found that’s impossible, so I settled for minimal intention. Giving others the benefit of doubt, going along with the flow - to a point. Without intention, does not mean, without situational awareness or self-preservation reflexes.

Putting myself on the line, going with the flow, a simple striving to live and absorb as much of the moments as I could. While staying clear of trouble, because: Coyote is always waiting. { hat-tip to Hillerman :wink: }. Rule one, don’t look for trouble, rule two, learn your lessons from it, when you find it.

I was living the age-old birth-right of every curious young person who wasn’t satisfied staying at home, who needed to find out what was out there. To “find the world” and make a place in it.

Unbeknownst to the sincere innocent youth throughout the ages - but, as we soon learn - there’s an ever-present danger in the world, it is full of predators and parasites. Often, not “bad” people, simply self-serving, opportunistic, too self-absorbed to be aware of others as anything more than “things.” Fortunately, there are a lot more good people and we learn to respect and trust and do, and thus gain respect and trust. Or not. By our deeds do we proceed. Karma.

Great times! Got to better understand myself, and others, in a day when people weren’t as scared, angry and unhinged as these days. We were still more open to each other’s humanity and I was fortunately to experience society’s last great hurrah, before our short-sightedness started catching up with us for real, and our self-made future slammed all it’s doors of opportunity to the dreams of youth.

I was young and healthy and polite and liked to take it as it came, having the space to be alone and go my introspective way and strive for a thing American Indians spoke about as: Walking with grace . I’ve touched it on occasion. It feels like a meaningful holy sacrament, and the memory is never lost.

I’ve drunk in the pure joy and the mediative splendor of walking down empty freeways with nothing but wide open western landscape for as far as the eye could behold, or a sky full of stars at night. Making a nest for sleeping, then waking up to the glory of the warming rays of the sunrise. Watching the world wake up, then getting on the road again.

Soaking in the place and the specialness of my moment. There were times I’d just walk for a while, seeing landscapes up close with time to stare, smelling it, touching it, savoring the experience. No matter where you go, there you are! But it wasn’t all lonely roads, plenty of jobs and socializing that kept things ‘real’ . Still, at some point, it was always time to stick out that thumb again, and the show would move on down the road.

Well, except when we drive down into Silverton July ’79, that turned out differently. Didn’t totally stop my traveling, but it gave me a new home, first one since leaving Yosemite.

Nowadays, I’m settled down and blessed to be living across the mountains in the mythical “banana belt’ on 40 rural acres with a ‘river’ running through it. A few thickets of trees, meadows on the ancient river bottom, sage-piñon mesa land on the top side, mountains off to the north (Silverton just yonder), then there’s desert land and more mountains stretching off to the distant southwestern horizon.

I seldom walk my dog, usually it’s a matter of her walking me, as she follows her nose, I follow her. Through thick’n thin ( Occasionally it’s helped to know how to crawl with my toes, knees straight and locked, forearms being forepaws, thermo Carhartt coveralls making it okay, maybe even fun, different view of life from down there, that’s for sure. ).

So these days, my Maddy dog, provides splendid opportunities for living in the moment, without intent and finding what we find.

Once I found a spot a few hundred yards from our cabin with a couple worked stone “tools” and flakes. Nothing fancy, just a couple guys messing around back when. It was a nice overview, under a couple old trees, overlooking the riparian strip that passed below us, a few hundred yards distant. Suddenly I was there, sitting with them, checking out their rock chipping, them looking over the same, but unspoiled landscape, with tons more familiarity and insight than I can dream of.

Time melts away in those moments sitting on the same spot ancestors did hundreds of years ago (in this particular spot - up to thousands of years throughout the greater 4-Corners area). The hands that touched those rocks had the same human curiosity, same pride in their own intelligence, same hopes and need to gossip while working, or sitting and watching. Love and thankfulness and passions flowed through these others, right on this same spot many generations ago.

We gain something from having an appreciation for Earth and our Deep Time history, with its staccato beat of reality altering epochs, one building upon the previous. I am a self-aware filament in Earth’s pageant of Evolution.

I remember another moment when time melted away, walking down the middle of our nearly dried up ‘river”, looking at rocks, their various types and shapes, then finding one. A curious rock that simply fit right into my hand, like it belonged there. I’m without a thought, it comfortably snuggled into my fingers to find a perfect resting points for a firm finger grasp, and a sharp edge. Before a conscious thought, I found myself lightly testing the sharp edge against my forearm, then on a piece of bark, later on I sliced into a piece of meat and it did well. I wonder about of the inspiration that sort of serendipity triggered in early humans.

At the moment I felt a visceral kinship with some ancient person and the way they must have experienced Earth teaching the attentive receptive mind. Lessons that were always there, but that lacked someone to recognize them. With the learning curve that is evolution, suddenly there we were, able to recognize, then appreciate what was being looked at. When inspiration resulted in whole new worlds opening up to us.

Another wonderful ah-ha moment, Canyonlands, walking up to, then staring mesmerized at an awesome old well weathered formation of limestone layers that had evolved into layers of limestone blocks, stacked pretty as a mason could have laid. In a burst of daydreaming, I can imagine some long ago ancient ah-ha moment.

A formation that was probably already known for generations as a landmark. Then one day a primitive person once again stopped to stare at it. Perhaps someone who’d known the rocks since playing on them as a child, perhaps parents even shared myths about the exposure. On this day, a lone niggling something blossomed into that human’s imagination and came to the surface.

An idea formed into a plan with a purpose, and the resources handy, and Mother Nature having transmitted an unspoken challenge to excite those humans into embracing a new idea. By and by, rocks became building material and homes were being built, and humanity experienced another quantum leap.

We’ve been in this cabin some twelve years now, longer than any other patch of land I’ve lived on before. Being fully retired now, I’ve been able to better watch this same 40 acres going through its seasons, to watch weather and plants and wildlife patterns through our day to days and season by seasons, then year by years.

Past six, seven some years with my Maddy dog acting as my guide. Multiple times during the day, night. No two long walks are the same, no two years alike. My ever increasing awareness of the scope of the constant subtle transforming surprises me, though it shouldn’t, yet it does.

Daut’s next paragraphs are good, but outside of my purview. This is about me pointing out where I believe my Earth Centrist, bottom-up Evolutionary perspective offers a fresh constructive lens worth considering. The above was about me sharing a bit of my background, and perhaps a hint at why all this fascinates me so much that I have this need to share it.


¶c5 “If the practitioner can learn how to see (their) leaning, (they) can separate emotion from observation, so the bias can be detected and (their) observations become more accurate. …”

I believe, better clarity can be achieved by starting with the fundamental recognition of the Physical Reality ~ Human Mind divide, and then, working out from there.

¶c6 “This approach towards observation follows from the discussion regarding two levels of reality. In the non-dual view that is ultimate Reality, there is no subject or object, so the only way to get a glimpse of this Reality is to see through a larger perspective.

This brings us right back to appreciating the Physical Reality ~ Human Mind divide benchmark.

Deeply, personally, viscerally appreciating that our mind inhabits a biological body that was hundreds of millions of years in the making.

Beyond that, absorbing that our mind is the inside reflection of our body communicating with itself, while dealing with its physical being and the environment and circumstance it finds itself in.

The experience of your own mind struggling with your own body’s impulses highlights why a deeper understanding of your body, and it’s historic origins might be important for personal wellbeing, along with coming to terms with what life dishes out for you, for us.

¶c13 “This concludes our brief overview of Buddha Science. Now we turn to an overview of science, the second finger that we will examine in our quest to point toward the moon of Reality.”

One of Steve Daut’s tasks is to succinctly describe a Buddha Science path and I think he does a good job of it. I skip over many details because that isn’t my particular focus, I’m in a different discussion with his book, striving to portray my Earth Centrist’s perspective.

If you’ve been finding this interesting and curious about what I skipped over, consider getting a copy of Buddha Science, ©2016, so you can read the rest of Steve’s story. Contact, Steve Daut

Yes I see the irony of that picture of the tool, it’s all about intention, but the finding of it wasn’t.

The only comment I have here is that if you suggest that the mind arises from the physical, then there is no duality, as there is no mind seperate from the physical reality that gave rise to it. In this sense, there us no distinction between the human mind and A.I. If you are suggesting there is a distinction, I’d like to hear what it is.

Human mind is produced by the brain/body system communicating with itself.
It’s also interacting with the outside world.

AI is on silicon chips, there is no living biosphere for it to interact with or thrive in.

as there is no mind separate from the physical reality that gave rise to it.

Right. … … Well, on second reading, not really. I’d suggest:

There is no mind separate from the biological creature that gave rise to it.

Of course, it’s physical reality that gives rise to the biological components, but the creatures and the living biosphere are what matters, and it’s the creatures that create the need for, and systems from which awareness and consciousness can arise.
A spectrum, one where, who knows, AI might have a place somewhere with bacteria and what not.

So this further restricts mind to arising not only from the physical, but the biological? Is that because you consider the only life to be biological life? I refer you to the book “Life As We Do Not Know It” by Peter Ward.

A) Sure

B) Sure, until someone comes up with solid evidence to the contrary. Conjecture doesn’t count.

C) I wasn’t familiar with Peter Ward, although after reading his WIKI bio, I get the feeling I should be. Unfortunately, YouTube doesn’t offer a talk by him on the subject, though there is a 12 year talk about “The Undesigned Universe” I’ll have to listen to.
{Actually I am familiar with him and even watched this talk years ago.}


In the current popular classification system the highest levels are three domains — bacteria, archaea and eukarya, the last of which includes all animals. Ward’s plan places those three domains within a larger dominion, which he calls “terroan” to signify Earth origins. Another dominion he calls “ribosa” because it is based on ribonucleic acid, or RNA. Other dominions could be formed to cover life discovered to have a different base than DNA or RNA.

The dominions would be placed within broader classifications called “arborea,” …
The new system is already necessary, he said, because “alien” life has been created in laboratories on Earth. That includes microbes with at least one amino acid beyond the 20 in the DNA of native Earth life, or organisms that have been genetically modified, Ward said. It also includes some life forms that have been modified to be much simpler than what is normally found on Earth.

“We may never find other life away from Earth, but we have already made aliens on this planet and we will continue to do so at an increasing pace,” he said. “In the last five years we’ve come to realize that we can make microbial life in a lot more ways than Mother Earth did.” …

Okay, I see what you’re talking about. Still that’s all microscopic and ingenious people playing god.
For me, my interests are all about this macroscopic living biosphere of Earth, and people interacting with environments, that’s my #1 reality. The stuff that can survive an extended power outage.



Chapter 4, Buddha Science, Science


I’m engaged in a virtual dialogue with Steve Daut’s written words in “Buddha Science” because I want to better understand where my Earth Centrist, bottom-up-evolutionary outlook differs from his summary of Buddha Science. I am in agreement with the fundamentals he presents and I don’t take issue with the book. Instead, I’m all about using this opportunity as a worksheet that might help me do a better job.

I bring it up because the next chapters are interesting in their own right, however I’m going to skim over much of them because anything I add would be superfluous.



Chapter 4a, Science, Another way of seeing

¶a1 “… (Science) the second finger pointing to the moon of Reality . . . First assumption: we can learn general rules by looking at specific phenomena. … Second assumption: we can separate Reality into smaller chunks and test those chunks from the “outside” without affecting results. …”

¶a2 “… the heart of the scientific method, can be outlined as follows:

  • Make an observation
  • Ask a question about it
  • Conduct research to find out if others have provided answers
  • Form a concept (hypothesis) to explain it
  • Design and conduct an experiment to test the concept
  • Analyze the results
  • If the results do not match your expectations. Come up with another concept to test
  • If the results do match expectations, try more tests to prove or disprove the concept
  • If tests continue to support the concept, accept it as true
  • Any time new tests disprove the concept, modify or reject it and begin testing again.”

¶a3 “… science relies on inductive reasoning to develop general rules to describe Reality. …”

This will be a short chapter, I’ll share quotes worth highlighting in this time when more and more seem confused about science itself.

¶a4 “The idea that concepts can be disproven by testing can be called falsifiability, (popularized by) Karl Popper. …”

¶a5 “This is a major departure from Buddha Science, which states that everything that exists now, and everything that ever was, is interconnected. Therefore, everything is so complexly related that it is impossible to completely understand, intellectually how it all fits together. Inherently, says Buddha Science we observe this truth, but our minds get in the way by trying to form a concept around it. This is pretty much the opposite approach to that of science and its reliance on concepts to discover Reality through inductive reasoning.

¶a6 “… Reductionist science says that Reality can be conceptually understood by studying the pieces and building upon the findings to ultimately combine them into an accurate but useful, map. Holism, on the other hand, say you must try to understand the big picture first and this will tell you how the pieces fit together. …”

I’m a believer in the scientific method of inquiry and debate. As for this “reductionism” vs. “holism,” it seems to me, science, (and personal understanding), requires a certain balance of both.



Chapter 4b, Science, Assembling the pieces

¶b3 “… A key part of the scientific method, however, is to make certain that we don’t confuse our concepts or models with Reality. …”

As a consumer of science news, and lectures, I notice some discussions where speakers come across as though nature needs to prove itself to us. Others talk as though they are establishing thee truth about their subject. As opposed to reporting on the evidence at hand, with a state of the science interpretation, which will be superseded by further evidence, in due time.

The sin is getting lost within one’s mindscape, it’s closely related to the map v. territory problem.

Intellectually, we need to be able to step outside of our skin now and then.

¶b7 “… In this way, the goal of science is to progressively correct and refine its conclusions and to come closer and closer to describing Reality in a way that can be understood and described and therefore is useful.”

I think that’s well said, as is the following

¶b9 “So here is (Daut’s) list of assumptions that are the basis of discovering Reality through scientific method:

  • There really is a world external to us that exists, with or without us to observe it.
  • Reality is rational and orderly, and follows rules that we can discover and describe.
  • We can measure things objectively, i.e. we can step outside of what we are measuring and measure it without affecting it or Reality itself.
  • Pure science and logic will drive the process of discovery, so that any findings contrary to the established assumptions will be greeted with objectivity, embraced, and thoroughly investigate.

¶b10 “The first assumption, that there is a world “out there,” is based on the dualistic concept that there is an “us” and a “not us” - i.e. “not us” is the rest of Reality

That’s exactly what I’m talking about, though I enunciate it differently.

There is Physical Reality, the stuff of matter and biology, the stuff that scientists (and the rest of us) can readily observe and measure. Then there are our thoughts, our consciousness, that thing that springs from within our living biological human organism.

The meta-physics of our Reality, our Human Mind, the home of all we know and think and talk to ourselves and others about.

Upon that meta-physical substrata, we people have built the structures that are our gods and religions, also literature, music, commerce, science, all of it springs from our mind’s musings.

Gaining a deep, fact based appreciation for the biological evolutionary origins of our human mindscape offers a whole new light upon your struggles with yourself and our human condition in general. Unfortunately, it can’t be bottled and sold.

Each of us needs to be driven by our own curiosity and do the homework for our selves.

¶b11 “The second assumption, that Reality is rational and orderly, is ingrained in traditional science, and most specifically in the Newtonian view of the universe as perfectly functioning clockwork, fully deterministic and predictable if we could only gain enough knowledge to know all the governing laws.

Worth adding, the rules of Physical Reality have also been taught and ingrained into the fiber of our bodies via hundreds of millions of years worth of encoding survival strategies in our DNA, strategies to meet the challenges of an ever changing body and Earth, whose fundamental rules don’t change, though who’s biosphere certainly does.

¶b12 “… the third assumption, that everything follows the rules. This is from the inductive method …

¶b13 “The fourth assumption is closely related to the first. Can we really measure things objectively without affecting the results?

This has wider implications. Can we observe or interact with anything and not affect it?

Or, in another light, in the real world, consciousness is not purely observation, rather it’s also interactive, even transactional.

¶b14 “Fifth assumption … does the scientific community have the ability and will to follow the methodology that it has set for itself.

¶b16 “Sixth assumption … mathematics effectively describes Reality.

I have friends who have reduced life down to mathematics, it doesn’t make sense to me.

I look around and see a living world of interactions that can be described with math, but will never be explainable by math. Let alone be experienced by math, that requires a living body with passion and interacting with the living moment.

¶b18 “The next chapters of this book are organized around these various branches of science. We have divided the discussion into four broad categories:

  • Chaos and complexity, which includes considerations and principles that can be applied to all of the other categories.
  • Physical sciences, primarily relativity and quantum physics.
  • Life sciences, which include studies such as biology and genetics.
  • Science of the mind, primarily including psychology, neurology, and consciousness studies.

Couldn’t help but notice that Evolution doesn’t make the grade as a branch of study. It indicates how insignificant Evolution is within our general self-absorbed mental frame of reference. I believe that’s a crying shame that hobbles human imagination, and problem solving, to our own everlasting detriment, witness our society; current biosphere; and trajectories.

Please check out the work of Dr. David Sloan Wilson for insights into why Evolution is relevant to our lives and spirit.

I appreciate Steve Daut for writing out these concepts and I thank him for allowing me to share them in this virtual discussion with his book. If you find his writing interesting, I encourage you to buy a copy of his book, it’s worth the read.

Buddha Science, ©2016, email Steve Daut -

I understand this to mean that while everything in the universe is fundamentally connected and the resulting complexity is unimaginable, this is due to our physical brain limitation. Our brain functions “selectively” as has been demonstrated by the “selective attention test” .
(The Monkey Business Illusion - YouTube).

This does not mean that understanding the mathematical principles is difficult, it is the sheer volume of information that is bein processed at any given time that requires a universe to process and make manifest… :exploding_head:

To be clear you are quoting the book.

Okay, yes it is bigger than us.

Now, on to chapter 5:

A conversation with Steve Daut’s Buddha Science

Book by Steve Daut, ©2016


Chapter 5, Buddha Science, Chaos and Complexity


I continue my virtual dialogue with Steve Daut’s written words in “Buddha Science,” chapter 5. As mentioned in the previous introduce I will also skim over this chapter because it stands by itself. Background matters and I encourage anyone who finds this interesting to invest in your own copy of Steve Daut’s book (mail@stevedaut.com) so you can read the rest of the Buddha Science story.

Here I’m all about trying to highlight where my Earth Centrist, bottom-up-evolutionary, outlook differs from his summary of some current thinking. I’m in agreement with the fundamentals he presents and don’t “take issue” with Daut’s book per se. It’s all about my particular Earth Centrist interpretation of the facts shared.


Chapter 5a, Chaos and complexity, At the movies

¶a4 “… Scientists have found that chaos is virtually everywhere, connecting things in astonishing and unpredictable ways.”

¶a5 ““But chaos is only the beginning. …

These pages were interesting to read but since I don’t have anything worth adding to this discussion regarding chaos, I won’t try.


Chapter 5b, Chaos and complexity, Movies, schmovies

¶b2 “In fact, as the study of complexity has gained traction, chaos has come to be defined as a very special type of behavior that contributes to the complexity of systems. The study of complexity seeks to understand the functioning of whole systems that have many component parts. It seeks to discover and describe how these parts interact, and how the behavior of he system relates to its parts. These efforts lead to a third subject, emergence. Emergence is simply the observation that the behavior of a system is more than merely the sum of its parts. … the three general topic of interest in this chapter are chaos, complexity and emergence. …”

¶b5 “Karma is the Buddha Science moral analog of the butterfly effect. …”

¶b9 (Edward Lorenz and pioneering weather modeling work and chaos effect)

¶b16 “So the concept of a strange attractor is basically a rigorous way to describe a system that never exactly repeats itself. …”

¶b19 “… the Mandelbrot set …”

¶b20 “The very concept of fractals seems like magic. Many systems exhibit patterns that repeat themselves past smaller and smaller scales, which results in many questions about our concept of space and dimension. …”

¶b21 “… in other words, the object itself defines the space rather than the space define the object. …”

¶b23 “…(the two dimensional sheet that gets crumbled up into a ball, what is it now . . .)

“… The concept of fractal dimensions is another way of looking at the relationship between objects and the space. As a Buddha Scientist would say, these concepts have no meaning from the perspective of non-dual Reality.”

This is interesting enough, but it’s all part of our imagination. I believe getting to terms with ourselves and the challenges this Earth bound physical life tosses at us requires something more down to Earth and intellectually tangible.

Starting with a deeper appreciation for our biological selves.


Chapter 5c, Chaos and complexity, Complex but not chaotic

¶c2 “Yet the human body functions as an integrated system. All of the various parts work together for the benefit, or failure, of the whole. This is a complex system with some chaotic elements, but it cannot be considered chaotic as a whole. The study of such systems has become the focus across all areas of scientific study, …”

True enough, and the beauty of those hard sciences studies, especially these past couple decades, is that they clearly show a biological route to understanding consciousness, even if details remain shrouded in mystery. No amount of rhetorical logic games, and impossible expectations, changes that bottom line. The questions we ask, foreshadows the answers we can arrive at.

¶c3 “… This quality is call emergence, because it emerges as a system reaches certain levels of complexity. …”

¶c5 “The property of emergence is a key concept at all scales and systems, up to and including Reality itself. After all, Reality is the ultimate complex system. As a Buddha Scientist might observe, non-duality is the emergent quality of Reality itself.

As an Earth Centrist might observe, human mind is an emergent quality of the biological Reality of our human body. The duality that matters is the one between our minds and physical Reality.

It’s real, yet as mysterious as the origins and details of electricity.

The duality between matter and living biology is tricky, lost in a maze of manmade constructs. We know a fair amount, but the boundaries get fuzzy, too fuzzy for us, earth bound, time bound, human beings to puzzle out.

¶c6 “… (consistent) with Buddha Science that the presence of a separate observer and observed is merely a concept, and has no meaning with respect to non-dual Reality.

I can relate to much of what I’m reading in these pages, but this “non-dual” Reality doesn’t sit right with me.

I know I’m repeating myself, still, the most important duality I’m aware of is the divide between Physical Reality and our Human Minds.

The duality between non-living matter and biology is fascinating, but once removed, like quantum weirdness, and not so interesting as biology creating awareness, and with increasing complexity, increasing levels of consciousness spring forth.

¶c7 “… This leads us again to the two approaches discussed in this book: the empirical observations and inference of the Buddha Science; and empirical observation, conceptualizing, and testing through the scientific method. So now let’s begin to take a look at some additional areas of scientific inquiry, keeping in mind that the principles of chaos and complexity may apply to any and all of them.

No doubt.

From here it’s on to the slippery slope of the quantum physics landscape.

I thank Steve Daut for writing out these concepts and allowing me to share them in this virtual discussion with his book. I encourage you to read his complete book.

Buddha Science, ©2016, Steve Daut - mail@stevedaut.com

A conversation with Steve Daut’s Buddha Science


Chapter 6, Buddha Science, Physical Science


Chapter 6a, Physical Science, It’s all relative

¶a1 “… one of the early lessons instructors often teach in basic scion e courses is that trying to apply common sense to scientific study introduce bbias into the results.

¶a3 “… now it’s time to tackle the other two recent and revolutionary discoveries of science, relativity theory and quantum mechanics, …”

¶a27 “… All of this may contradict common sense, but the problem is not what the world does. It is the concepts we form around it. The universe is the way it is, whether we like it or not. My basic scientific training was correct - let go of common sense. The Buddha would approve. Common sense is only the boat that allows us to deal with the day-to-day world. To gain a deeper understanding of the world, we must leave that boat at the shore.”

That does sound very romantics, but let’s not forget we live on this shore, four dimensions and bodies that confine us - not in the netherworld of quantum reality and Shrödinger’s Cat. That land only our imaginations can visit.


Chapter 6b, Physical Science, Buddha meet Shrödinger’s Cat in a Bar

¶b2 “At the broadest level, the world of quantum physics show us two very distinct levels of reality - that of the day-to-day observations where things seem definable and solid, and a reality of undefined potential, where individual things do not exist, and even the ideas of space and time are only illusions*. Once again, this is a realm that we can only try to understand by forming concepts, (that simply allow a glimpse of this reality.)

“… This quantum Reality underlies and is included in everything we know, measure, understand and experience. …”

Right. At the level of the absolute tiniest of tiny, right at the boundary of matter and free energy. Shouldn’t we expect things to be very strange down there?

The exact size of objects in the Quantum Realm is unclear, but it’s shown that reaching it requires characters to shrink smaller than a proton, which has a diameter around 1.7/10¹⁵ meters. That’s around 10 million times smaller than the smallest virus.


¶b3 (Introducing Erwin Schrödinger and early days of physics., … ¶4 Max Planck … ¶5 quantum physics, the mystery of light, ¶6 effect of heat on metal, discovering quantized electrons and photons, waves particles, ¶9 superposition, quantum computers, ¶11 Schrödinger’s Cat makes its dramatic obligatory entrance.

Schrödinger’s Cat consists of a few imaginary atomic particles, there’s never been a cat.

Scale matters!

Quantum Weirdness makes for great mind-experiments and storytelling, but not so much for constructive clarification of our fundamental human questions.

If you’re not an expert, it’s all mind candy and putty for your preconceptions.

¶b12 “… a good description of the Buddhist view of two levels of Reality. Non-dual a state of unlimited and formless potential, is collapsed by our concerns into the dual world that we experience. …“

¶b13 “… entanglement… that pairs of particles can act as a system . . .”

¶b17 “There is no mathematical reason that time needs to only move forward, but probability theory strongly points to a tendency . . .? ¶19 Why does time always move forward? After all the underlying laws of physics work the same forward or backward in time. …”

For me, this is an example of what it means to get lost within the mindscape.

It’s a mathematical challenge, a mental game.

From its inception this universe has done nothing but move forward and expand. How could time do any differently then move forward, even if the speed isn’t constant?

Reversing course can only happen once the pulse expends itself. Even then, to say that means time will then be running backwards is a guess, it’s not like the spin of atoms will suddenly reverse.

¶b22 “… Higgs boson, … gravity waves, … ¶24 Buddha Science, no beginning no end, … Big Bang, … ¶24 Something from nothing, … ¶26 dark matter and energy, …¶27 David Bohm, …”

¶b28 “Even though the two fingers, science and Buddha Science, may be pointing toward a common view of what our universe is and the basic building blocks that underlie it, we need not go soaring into the universe or shrink down to subatomic size to find mystery. One of the most profound mysteries awaits: that of life itself. Trying to sort out the distinction between matter and energy and mass, time and space is one thing, but how do we understand life? What is life, exactly? How did it come about, and how did it become what it is today? In the next chapter, we will begin pointing our finger toward the mystery we call life.

Don’t let my short shrift fool you. This was an interesting chapter that did a good job of covering a lot of bases and it’s worth a focused read.

Thing is, with me, I started earnestly learning about this history of physics & quantum philosophy and various lines of arguments during the seventies.

Since then geology and biology and astronomy have kept regularly blowing us away. But the philosophical side feels like it’s been stuck dancing around the same old May Pole.

Instead of debates that are important to understanding ourselves and what we’re doing to our own life support systems, the brainiacs are debating the End of Time and Reality because some complex mathematical formulas break down, meaning they can’t figure out what’s inside the tiniest crevice of the tiniest particle, which isn’t even a particle, it’s a smug of energy spinning at crazy speeds.

All the while we haven’t developed the common sense to recognize and slow down our own self destructive tendencies, nor how to nurture each other, let alone this planet.

I thank Steve Daut for writing out these concepts and allowing me to share them in this virtual discussion with his book. I encourage you to read the complete book.

Buddha Science, ©2016, Steve Daut - mail@stevedaut.com

A conversation with Steve Daut’s Buddha Science, Science of Life


Chapter 7, Buddha Science, Science of Life


Chapter 7a, Science of Life, That’s life, I can’t deny it

¶a1 “Let’s begin with the most fundamental question: What is life, exactly? Peter Ward, “Life as We Do Not Know It,” … life is an emergent quality of a complex system, …

¶a2 “Carl Sagan and trying to define life. It’s been impossible. Capacity to change, ¶4 division between living and non-living, …”

It’s a good question, but what do the answers actually offer us regular people in regard to our normal lives?

We live and experience. We know what life is and what death looks like, and what non-living material looks like, and that sometimes the boundaries get momentarily blurry.

Then the hair splitting can begin. One could argue, biological life is never “dead” because, for instance, once a person dies, the microbial world takes over with an explosion of life forms that inhabit and consume the carcass, transforming it’s tissue back into constituent biological elements, that are then reabsorbed into the next life form to come along. There is also time. It can turn living creatures into life-less rock fossils, only to be ground up again, Then absorbed and utilized by another living creatures and so on.

Still, for regular people why over complicate, or over dramatize? Life has more interesting aspects for wondering about.

¶a6 “Life in either sense requires balance, a chain of causes and conditions that allow life to emerge and sustain itself. … James Lovelock, Gaia Theory, Earth as interconnected complex living organism…”

¶a10 “… the pattern of the individual cannot be separated from the broader pattern in the seed…. ¶11 patterns cross not only individual lives, but different life forms as well. … ¶12 individual organisms are constantly changing patterns. …¶13 what about cancer. …

Very true and all of major importance in trying to figure out life on Earth and our own place in the great scheme of things.


Chapter 7b, Science of Life, Karma Chamelions

¶b1 “Not-self does not deny that there is a consciousness contained within the body, but it says that an autonomous and unchanging self is an illusion. …”

From my Earth Centrist evolution-appreciating-bottom-up perspective, I can’t conceive of the notion of anything being unchanging, let alone an “unchanging self.”
It goes contrary to all of my experiences and expectations.
“Not-self” doesn’t compute for me.

I’m a physical biological creature first and foremost.

This consciousness I possess is produced by this body and draped over my biological being. Which can carry on for itself, as for my consciousness (my”self), that could go through all sorts of changes, even check out, but my body remains and carries on - to a point.

Think on that, but not through the shackled eyes of traveling philosophers, through your own experiences. And if you don’t have any, start paying attention.

¶b2 “What about life as a whole? Is there some constant, unchanging essence to this universal quality of things we call alive . . .

“Unchanging” is a very tricky concept and leads to disappointment because nothing physical (or mental) is unchanging, principles might be unchanging, but the conditions those principles depend on will change. So we’re back with the only constant being change.

Poetically, it can be fairly said that life is simply slimly ancient ocean bottom, that wanted to be more. Biology using every resource including geology and time, to explore and exploit possibilities.

Advancing as circumstances allowed, sometimes prospering, sometimes dying back. Change is the one thing, all things, can be sure of.

¶b5 “So how did all this come about? How did life emerge and evolve? …”

That’s one of the beauties of these days. For the first time in human history we people have an evidence based, rational, harmonic across all fields of science, understanding of Earth’s history, which is our history, with a story that is amazingly internally consistent.

This past century people have witnessed mind boggling advances across the board, unfortunately, none of it has helped us in the “wisdom” department. Here we are 2023 and we seem greedier and more blindly ruthless and angrier than ever.

We understand human physiology and neurobiology to an astounding degree, including dramatic images of human consciousness processes in real time and an appreciation for consciousness being a product of complex biological systems.

¶b7 “… Parts of our anatomy can be traced directly through ancestral creatures that existed hundreds of millions of years ago. The biological, chemical, and physical interconnection of life can be considered a form of reincarnation. … In fact, as we will see in the next chapter even the Buddha diagnosis of suffering in the world can be explained through the science of evolutionary psychology.


Chapter 7c, Science of Life, Out, standing in the field

¶c1 “… Ecology is based on the scientific understanding that organism and their environment are inextricably interconnected. Not only does the environment affect the propagation, life, and distribution of organisms, but also organisms affect each other and their environmental surroundings. …”


¶c2 “Communities are critical to the survival of species and therefore of genes, but as communities impact their surroundings, the surroundings also impact the communities in never ending dynamic. …”


¶c8 “Though human beings, as a species, tend to judge these changes as good or bad for the environment, the environment itself doesn’t “care.” It simply adjusts to find new balance, or changes according to whatever new dynamic presents itself. …”


¶c9 “Humans inject intention into the equation. …”

¶c10 “… We evolved a degree of intelligence that allows us to use found objects as tools, to invent new tools, and radically alter our environment in order to raise our own food. …


¶c11 “What is intelligence? … composite of definitions:

The ability to learn through experience education, and training.

The ability to pose problems, by recognizing there is an issue and forming a problem concept.

The ability to solve problems by fashioning a solution to the problem as conceived.


¶c13 “… emergent behavior, … complexity studies, … However, the confusion may not be in the behavior itself, but in our concept of what intelligent behavior looks like.”


¶c16 “So the paradigm has changed. We have the ability to see and understand the interconnectivity of all living beings and the environment. We have the ability to see that there are far reaching effects of the decisions we make and the actions we take. ¶17, Yet, we persist in competing for resources …”

… and worse.

¶c18 “to explore these questions, we need to look more closely at the way our minds work, not only through observations of Buddha Science, but also through the lens of psychology and neuroscience. That will lead us into asking about consciousness itself. We will tackle these topics in the next chapter on the science of mind.”

Recognizing the Human Mind ~ Physical Reality divide is about as fundamental as it gets. Its first lesson is that Religion and Science are both products of our human mind, along with art, literature, music, etcetera. Now we’re prepared for a journey into our mind and its products.

I appreciate Steve Daut for writing out these concepts and I thank him for allowing me to share them in this virtual discussion with his book.

Buddha Science, ©2016, Steve Daut - mail@stevedaut.com



Chapter 8, Buddha Science, Science of the mind


©James Mollison (www.jamesmollison.com)

Chapter 8a, Science of the mind,

To be or not to be an animal?

¶a1 “Ever since Darwin began the evolution revolution, we have struggled to apply or reject “survive of the fittest” to the progress of society . …”

¶a2 “The middle way of Buddhism escapes this dilemma by taking the approach that if we see and recognize our true (Buddha) nature we’ll understand that our animal nature does not give us a true picture of Reality.

Think about those words, our “Buddha nature” and our "Animal nature.” What do they actually say about what we are?

Animal nature sounds like something bestowed upon us. But the fact is, we are evolved biological sensing creatures. Meaning our bodies are animal nature through and through.

Our brains are like most other mammalian brains, but with a slight twist that made all the difference in the world. Could say this is the source of our developed Buddha Nature.

Folds within folds. Rather than simply being aware of our world, we gained the facility to remember, to file away, to recall with increasing efficiency. We enhanced those facilities with effective learning, weaving together memories, calculating into the future and dreaming. Each advance building upon previous achievements.

Until our human/Buddha mind learned to tame, or at least strive to somewhat tame our animal nature.

¶ “We’ll see that our thoughts and ideas are merely conceptions, a result of causes and conditions. …”

Fair enough.

¶a4 “This approach follows from the scientific idea that we can separate ourselves from our objects of study, even if that object is ourselves. … subject and object of study, … or do our minds function at such an unconscious and instinctual level that we can never remove the “log from our own eyes” In order to clearly? If the log is invisible to us, is it still possible to remove ourselves sufficiently to see it in the eyes of others.

Excellent point. Subordinating the Ego making honest understanding the priority. Making the willful choice to evaluate as much information as available. Fact driven outcomes, dealing with the cards where they fall, learning from one’s own mistakes, licking wounds and moving on.

¶a7 “Buddha Science says that the reason we cling and therefor suffer is that we fail to see the world clearly. We do not see the impermanence of pleasure. …

It doesn’t work that way for an Earth Centrist, we appreciate the rhythms of life, savoring the changes that the seasons bring. Appreciating that I am the product of millions of generations worth of change, my animal body and the mind it created. A mind capable of imagining deep time and Earth’s pageant of Evolution.

A most amazing animal, capable of introspection, learning, memory and recall, one with a mind driven by a body/brain built for mastering the world.

From my perspective the Buddha Nature grew out of countless generations of experience. When a new ability entered our lineage’s repertoire, the ability to stop our impulse to act, to process thoughts first, then act. It was the birth of complex planning and will-power.

As Dr. Mark Solms explains, we humans may not have Free Will, but, we do have a Free Won’t! That is, slowing down internal time for a moment, taking a few beats; “considering” options and consequences - allowing the feeling that those “considerations” elicit, dictate one’s actions, as opposed to being a slave to reflex.

¶a12 “Buddha did not present the eightfold path as a way to perpetuate society but as a way to eliminate suffering in the world. It was not a formula to eliminate physical pain and illness, but to eliminate the sense of dissatisfaction we experience when life does not meet our mental image of what it should be

That’s a good point.

Earlier I shared my idea that “expectations” was perhaps our greatest source of unhappiness.

¶a13 “What is craving for existence? In general, it is the need to cling to our beliefs in an unchanging and permanent self.

To deeply appreciate what it means to be an evolved biological animal with a body/brain, mind and the product of Earth’s Evolution.

That was an amazing clarifying moment for me, a lot of lingering loose ends regarding philosophical pronouncements and religious lines of thought, pretty well dissolved into a fully coherent understanding.

Getting used to the impermanence of life is a fundamental part of growing up.

For you the person, life means as much, or as little, as you yourself choose.

My choice has been to nurture the curiosity and growing awareness I was endowed with, and to enjoy this fantastical Earth and her creatures as well as I can during my moment of existence, and it has been a heck of good ride.

¶a16 “The self that we consciously think of is not only constantly changing and inconsistent, but it represents a mere fraction of the complex processes that drive our actions, thoughts, and beliefs. …

Seems self evident, how else could it be?

Take comfort, if you keep doing the homework, you can’t help but grow and change.

… The modular model suggest that, whether we are consciously aware of it or not, we are genetically programmed to prefer actions and hold beliefs in concepts that will help our genes survive. … Buddha Science says: we crave existence.”

We needed to, or we’d have become someone’s lunch long ago.

(Next paragraphs get into addiction & recovery. It’s interesting enough, but beyond my scope, so I’m moving on.)

¶a29 “In the previous chapters, we began from the scientific perspective of objective measure and looked at how the observation of Buddha Science related to those findings. You may have noticed that so far in this chapter, we have taken the opposite approach. We started from the Four Noble Truths of this Buddha and asked if they were consistent with psychological findings. We have taken this approach for three reasons: … (see page 107)

¶a30 “Is there a way to get at this more directly, a way to look at some physical systems to understanding the nature of the brain, mind, and perhaps of consciousness itself? …

What follows is interesting but beyond my scope.



Chapter 8b, Science of the mind,

Brains and minds and self, oh my!

Not much for me here, but I can offer links to a few excellent lectures by genuine pioneering experts, take a listen and see how it’s consistent with the drift of Daut’s story and Earth Centrism.

¶b1 “First, what do we mean by brain, mind, and consciousness? … the soft nervous tissue… coordinating center of sensation and intellectual and nervous activity. …”

Consciousness and the Mind Body Connection – Professor Mark Solms (March 25, 2022)

¶b2 “Definitions of mind are more variable, … the totality of conscious and unconscious brain processes and activity. …”

Antonio Damasio on Feelings, Thoughts, and the Evolution of Humanity (April 29, 2019)
Self comes to mind. A dialogue with Antonio Damasio (October 15, 2014)

¶b3 “Consciousness is the most problematic of the three, … the property that allows us to be aware of the physical mental activities that we are performing. …”

What Do Our Brains Do When We’re Dreaming? - Mark Solms ( July 22, 2021)

¶b4 “Roger Wolcott Sperry (1969) understood consciousness to be a special kind of property that is itself non-physical, but which emerges from physical systems, such as the brain, once it attains a certain level of activity. … consciousness as an emergent property of the brain.”

Split Brain Research - Biological Psychology - Biological Psychology (April 1, 2019)

¶b6 “B. Allen Wallace has said that the mind itself is an emergent process, though its source my not be purely physical. …"

Mind’s source is the biology of body/brain interacting with physical Reality, as for the Mind itself, that’s what’s ‘not purely physical.’

¶b7 “If consciousness is defined as “the self in the act of knowing” as neurologist Antonio Damasio suggests and if “self” is a dynamic, emergent process rather than a static one, permanent thing, they by the time we know what a specific moment of consciousness was, it has already changed. …"

Why is this treated as amazing? As children we are intrigued by the clock’s second hand, never stopping, soon as you call out the time, it moves and a new time comes around, never ending.

I don’t understand why this should be “mind blowing.” There was never a motion picture made that wasn’t a collection of single images, yet when told over time, they tell a coherent changing story. Which is about the only way to tell a story that I know of.

How else are our brains going to deal with the constant movement that is life?

¶b8 “… How do we get from the purely physical processes in the brain to the emergent properties of mind and consciousness?”

¶b9 “You’ll note that by asking the question in this way, we’re making the assumption that consciousness is somehow related to physical phenomena, rather than as some sort of universal property that exist independent of the physical universe."

For me that’s simple. Consciousness serves a purpose. Out there in the vast reaches of space the only thing unfolding is the cosmic interplay of gravity and physics in motion, no need to think - physics already dictates everything.

Only where biology springs into existance, is there a chance for life, and only with life is there the need for consciousness.

Here on this special Earth, consciousness needed to be discovered before interacting environments could ever have formed to begin with!

Evolution wouldn’t have made it to first base, without time and creature awareness driving increasing consciousness.

Dr. David Sloan Wilson explains Evolution’s relevance to our lives.

¶b10 “… However, because mental formations are involved, consciousness does not arise purely from the brain either. …”


Consciousness is a choreography between body, brain, interacting with senses, interacting with the environment, and itself, and interacting with the situation of the moment, then moving on to the next.

“… What we don’t know is whether one gives rise to the other, or if they are related in some other way.”

Evolution on Earth is all about complex interwoven web of feedback loops and environments, no one component gives rise to anything.

Isn’t it more likely a matter of time and each playing its role and collectively giving rise to each other, enabling, engaging, cooperating, completing, which drives change?

¶b11 “One way to study consciousness is to try and create emergent behaviors within computers.

It’s interesting as mathematical computing challenges, but I’m (as are increasing numbers of scientists) convinced it’ll require an evolutionary-biological-genetic-historical approach to understand how evolved creatures found solutions to survival challenges, and it’s this interaction that drove creatures towards ever higher levels of the awareness… ultimately arriving at today’s consciousness spectrum within Earth’s animal kingdom.

¶b15 “Another factor that makes the brain different from computers stems from the basic structure of the brain itself. Brain is not a static piece of hardware, but an organic and interconnected cellular structure.

The brain is way more physically connected to our entire body than most folks appreciate. We are, in turn, more inter-connected to our respective environments, than most appreciate. (to our own detriment on both counts)

¶b18 “First of all, we know that there is definitely a link between brain and consciousness. …”

Okay, so that’s settled.

¶b22 “The point is: we have no idea what the physical world actually is, we only know how our bodies can sense it through equipment we have available to us. … (then on to sense the world)”

One of my points, exactly.

¶b31 “… As we suggested before, it is certainly possible that there is something out there called consciousness that exists independent of our brains, and that our brains are merely receptors of that consciousness, like a radio picking up electromagnetic waves from the air. …”

How? Why is such a thing “certainly possible” out there? Please think it through.

Where is the transmitter for this consciousness? How does it know what to transmit? What’s to sent it, for that matter? How does that transmission know to coincide and keep up with the flood of varied physical and mental incidents that fill our days.

We need to spend more time really thinking about what consciousness is for. Consciousness is all about processing the experiences of a body to help it get through the day and get on with survival.

How can some cosmic something relate to that complexity?

Bodies reacting to the moment, in a real physical world full of unpredictable potential. A world where an infinite array of consciousness interactions happen every moment, with many of them leading to unanticipated cascading consequences with further unintended consequences and so on.

¶b34 “In his book, The "Self-Aware Universe”, physicist Amit Goswami holds the view that consciousness creates the physical world, and that the universe itself has conscious awareness. … He proposes that the universe exist only in a state of subatomic phenomena which collapses into a particular state once an observer is introduced. …”

That’s the stuff of religion and philosophy, not science. As for just so stories, I have my own imagined creation myth to toss into the collection plate:

It has been written:

"God, having no body, can only know God’s creation via the sensory/processing abilities of God’s creations, its creatures.

Creation is all about God constantly striving toward ever better awareness.

God kept striving, appreciating every advance, but always wanting more.

Then success, only through human eyes and longing and greed could God truly appraise the magnificence of God’s creation. And glory in God’s own creation.

We are the Eyes of the Universe.

Sadly, God got too absorbed in God’s own self-glorification.

God forgot all about bestowing some wisdom into the hearts and minds of God’s most magnificent creature, these human beings.

It doesn’t have a happy ending. "

But that has nothing to do with facts, or science, it’s a fiction like a million others we construct.

¶b36 “Over the millennia, we have developed many tools to help us understand bits and pieces of Reality, tools such as Buddha Science, formal scientific pursuits, philosophical, metaphysical, and religious. The best we can do is try to piece together the understanding gained from these various pursuits, and try to develop a better map, a map that may look a little more like the terrain of Reality than the one we have today.

¶b37 “In the concluding chapter, we will try to pull together what we have discussed here, and provide some thoughts and speculation about where we may be headed as we knit together these bits and pieces to try and answer the question we posed at the beginning of this book - What is Reality?

people being people

I appreciate Steve Daut for writing out these concepts and I thank him for allowing me to share them in this virtual discussion with his book.

Buddha Science, ©2016, For a copy contact Steve Daut:

Well that was a satisfying project. Actually considering how many I start, it’s satisfying just for getting finished.

But beyond that, I think it did help me engage in an interesting discussion, it would have been more fun with some living breathing human voices, but I’m learning to deal with things as they are, and not as I wish them to be. The book was enough to rattle my bubble and refine some thoughts, and what the hell, the satisfaction of being satisfied with one’s own effort is a biggy.

These ideas I’ve been trying to form and share are solid and will age well to anyone interested in this general topic. I know this because I’m hearing an echo of its message within more and more serious scientists’ lectures and books and the facts they are collecting.

Dr. - David - Sloan - Wilson explains Evolution’s relevance to our lives.

Of course Damasio and Solms, among others.

July 25, 2023

10/10 - Dialogue with “Buddha Science” - Conclusion (Steve Daut)



Chapter 9, Buddha Science, Conclusion



Chapter 9a, Conclusion, Say again?

¶a2 “… The best we have is concepts. The “real” problem is that we get so enamored of our concepts that we begin to believe they are reality. …”

Now there’s an example of what I refer to as being, lost within one’s mindscape.

¶a3 “… to refresh your memory, these Buddha Science observations are interconnection, karma, impermanence, and illusion.

As we have seen, the idea of interconnection is simply that everything is connected to everything else. …”

¶a5 “… Complexity studies involve the idea of emergence, whereby new properties emerge from the complex interaction of many simple processes. …”

This is why taking the time to learn about Evolution is so important, because its insights have direct relevance to your self and how you get along with your self, your body, your internal dialogue, and dealing with your world?

¶a5 “… Biology tells us that we are collection of part from all over the universe, and that our bodies are the result of eons of evolutionary development. Consciousness itself may be an emergent property resulting from the interconnection of the human (body-)brain, experience, and meant formation. …”

I’m uncomfortable with that wording.

Our Earth’s constituent atoms, and minerals that do come from all over the universe, but then we have some mind boggling mineral evolution, then biology and life, that’s all homegrown, here on Earth. That’s big, and we don’t know of anything in the universe that can hold a candle to this planet Earth.

When are we going to own that - and start feeling a little pride for being a self-aware (or not) inhabitant of this overwhelming Earth with its biosphere and hydrosphere and cryosphere of interwoven always evolving life?

¶a7 “Ecology shows us the complex interconnections of organisms with their environment. Not only is the organism dependent on the conditions of the environment, but the condition of the environment itself is inextricably connected to and dependent upon the organism that exist within it. And these system are also dependent on their past, including all the evolutionary changes and interconnections that occurred to give them their current configurations of entices and functions. …”

Nicely said, worth repeating.

¶a11 “…We build our karma, for better or worse, by every action we take.”


¶a12 “… third major observation, everything is impermanent. Everything is in the process of becoming, … Even the dimensions in which an object exists can change as a flat piece of paper becomes a paper ball.”

Change, expectations, fear of aging, fear of dying, fear of being an illusion. That’s why people need religion, more than they seem to need science.

I need science and observations and experience and fact based learning.

¶a13 “…Only process exists. ¶a14 “Yet the very impressions we receive are constrained by our narrow perspective and the limits of our recording apparatus. …”

Seems a very top down, expectation laden, perspective. The fantastical abilities we people possess, were slowly built up from simpler creatures who needed to adapt to ever more complex circumstances. Our human level of consciousness can only be truly appreciated by having some serious understanding of how over-all animal consciousness developed as creatures evolved.

Ed Yong wrote a book about creature sense that helps put some of these notions into perspective with the sort of rock solid supporting evidence, only scientists can come up with:

¶a14 “… Our sense organs record only a fraction of the physical world around us, and the most sophisticated devices we can create have only been able to measure 4% of the phenomena that science tells us must exist. Science can tell us very little about the remain 96% of the universe that is known as dark matter and dark energy. …

I don’t buy this. We live on Earth, not out in the cosmos, so okay, sure, dark matter/energy is beyond our senses.

How about a more down to Earth perspective, with humans, as physical specimens, working together, and being very formidable animals - even in the wild, even during primitive days. It’s fad to downplay human abilities. We shouldn’t. Heck, it’s what got us here.

¶a15 “… (fourth observation) our impressions of the seemingly solid and real world around us are illusory. Our impressions of Reality are at best, highly limited, …”

Change is real, even if it is ephemeral. I can’t help wondering why people come up with such notions. Change is what physical Reality is! Who are we to decide it’s an illusion because we ourselves can’t make sense out of it? Brings it right back to that self-absorbed attitude.

Change is what time does in the physical realm, nothing escapes that. That’s why it’s so important to live this moment to your best, it’s the journey, not the destination. Tomorrow holds no guarantees, and all that.

Dr. David Sloan Wilson explains Evolution’s relevance to our lives.

¶a17 “… evolutionary psychology and neurobiology tells us that the very belief in conscious control is an illusion. …”

That’s as disappointingly melodramatic over-simplification.

Listen to some pioneering experts on the topic. Spend a lazy rainy day binging on YouTube videos of Dr. Antonio Damasio and Dr. Mark Solms’ enlightening lectures, that span many years and follow the developments in the field, then revisit this topic.

“… but our understanding of the mind shows us that complete objective may never be possible. …”

We should find this surprising? Every human, every being, has its own outlook upon the world, how can we expect “objective” or “truth” to exist within that.

Honesty is my gold standard.


Chapter 9, Conclusion, Pooling our thoughts

¶b1 “So where do we go from here? If our goal is to understand what Reality is, as we stated at the beginning of this book, it may seem like a fool’s errand. …”

I don’t think it’s a fool’s errand. It begins with a one, two punch.

Appreciating the Human Mind ~ Physical Reality divide, and gathering a better awareness of yourself and the evolutionary foundation of your consciousness.

Consider your legs and feet, arms and hands, like no other creature, carrying a superb skull, populated with sensing organs and topped with the most complex thing in all of creation, your brain, to orchestrate the show, that is your body interacting with the world.

It’s self evident that that’s not some accident, it’s endless generations of change in reaction to a changing Earth.

Then comes our mind, your thoughts, your me, myself and I, the thing called consciousness, or soul, it is produced by your living biological body/brain, and the better you understand that, the healthier you are apt to be.

Consciousness is your Evolutionary heritage. For any creature to function it needed to communicate with itself and also command its various components to do the correct job, at the correct times, or it wouldn’t survive to begin with. That’s the bottomline, philosophical pronouncements not withstanding, we have consciousness because we could have never evolved without it!

I mean neuroscientists are filming consciousness in action and it’s still not enough to satisfied philosopher’s impossibly “hard” problems, seems more about human vanity, intellectual competition, and good old chest thumping - than striving to understand human consciousness in context with our biological evolutionary heritage.

¶b14 “But this is still only the way that we can envision it, because we are limited to concepts in three dimensions … But of course, all this is only a concept.”

¶b15 “As I may have mentioned once before, concepts are not Reality. …”

¶b19 “ Yes, embracing the whole is complicated, messy, and incomprehensible at time. Yes, in order to see the larger Reality we must see pain and injustice and destruction. We must see the dark side of ourselves in order to see the light. But we will never see Reality by refusing to see any part of it. …

I’d encourage you to read Mr. Daut’s book and his conclusion chapter for yourself, I’ve chosen to side step the most of it here because I want this to remain focused on better conveying my Earth Centrist’s outlook.

¶b20 “In this book I have tried to capture a part of that collective striving toward understanding Reality. I hope that the concepts contained herein provide a reasonable map of two of those fingers - science and Buddhism - in their ongoing quest to point us toward the moon of Reality. I also hope that this book has piqued your interest for further study and provides a starting point for that study.


That’s about it Steve,

I appreciate your hospitality and our occasional email exchanges. Your book has been a wonderful discussion mate, looking back on my pages, I feel my time was well spent. I do lean in on a couple items, but I also appreciate you were a messenger and those often repeated memes have been disturbed me for a great many years.

Thanks for stopping in at the CFI Forum and starting the ball rolling on this little personal journey. Thank you for writing out these concepts and I thank you for allowing me to share them in this virtual discussion with your book.

Buddha Science, ©2016, For a copy contact Steve Daut .


This has been another Cc’s Student’s Workbook, of sorts,

meaning a little repetition is to be expected,

honing concepts and descriptions.

Offering food for thought.

Some of these posted chapters have been moderately edited since posting here, for the up to date version of all ten installments:)