What to rely on

img_0563Last night’s talk by Ajahn Viradhammo was inspiring – as usual.  He began by refering to an inscription on a park bench in the Ottawa Arboretum.  The quote is by the architect Frank Lloyd Wright:

Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.

Ajahn Viradhammo quickly associated “nature” with “Buddha-Dharma” and spoke about the trust we can have in the unchanging nature of awareness.

I found this interesting because Wright’s view of Nature is that it is the manifestation of God – which is not that different (and perhaps inspired by) Baruch Spinoza‘s view of God.  Spinoza thought that the study of “God or Nature” (they are, in his mind, co-extensive) was the most pious of activities because studying the mechanisms of Nature was the study of God.

So in this view, understanding the worldly Dharmas (physics, chemistry, biology) and understanding the Buddha-Dharma are part and parcel of the same act.  Scientists are students of the Dharma.