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Dear All,

I am going to take a hiatus from the forum from today. As some of you might know, the natural sciences are not my only area of interest; in particular, I am committed to a form of spiritual practice as well, and have been living in a Buddhist monastery as a lay person for the past few years. I have made the decision to deepen this practice further by ordaining as a monk in the Theravadin Thai Forest tradition, and for various logistical and monastic-political reasons this should ideally happen at a traditional training monastery in Thailand. So tomorrow I will be departing for Thailand to seek ordination there.

I think it doesn’t need pointing out that forest monks generally don’t spend a lot of time on Internet forums, so chances are that I will only get to check in here very occasionally, if at all. That being said, there are a lot of question marks and uncertainties, particular in terms of immigration formalities, so it is possible that I need to come back here to Europe in a few weeks once my initial entry permit runs out, and make alternative arrangements from here (meaning I’ll have to find another place to ordain). I will only know once I get to the monastery and start dealing with the local immigration authorities (I see frustration and nightmares on the horizon!), but I’m willing to take that risk. 

I have been debating whether it is useful to present my reasons for going this path - you have seen me here being on about physics and equations all the time, so this might appear strange to some of you. But I’ve decided not to, because when it comes down to it, I can’t really present a convincing rational argument - this decision simply didn’t come about as the result of reason. I will say only that I’ve seen and understood enough in the spiritual practice that I have already done in the last few years, to know that this is the right path for me. The argument is a phenomenological one, not the result of rationality, so it cannot be easily conveyed in a written post. Spirituality ultimately expresses itself in the kind of person you become by engaging in it, and that’s not something you can fake or wear as a mask. You also cannot reason yourself into the monastic life - that is far too weak a basis for anyone to be at peace with that form of life, never even mind to be able to derive any benefit from it. It needs to be a true conviction that arises somewhere deep within, and that cannot be verbally communicated to others.

I will add here that for me there has never been any contradiction between scientific endeavours, spiritual practice, and philosophical enquiry. Not only is there no contradiction, for me these are just aspects of the same underlying motivation to better understand the human condition; hence, if engaged with in the right way, they are complementary and inform each other. I have always felt strongly that it is necessary to achieve some kind of synthesis of these three things for us as a species to make any kind of real long-term progress, since each one in isolation can be misused for harmful and even destructive purposes, as history has sadly shown us all too often.

So anyway, thank you everyone for sharing in these discussions, and I hope I have been able to make some kind of contribution - no matter how small - to this forum. In case I’m not back here for a while, I wish all of you the very best, and hopefully we’ll cross paths again. Keep my account open, just in case :)

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As a Mahayana Buddhist would say:

Great faith, great doubt, great determination.

May you find your Buddha nature, my dear friend, whether be it Theravada or Mahayana way, or any other honest and sincere way, it's a worth pursuit.

Best luck.

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I have always found your posts insightful (when they weren't completely over my head).  You always came across as a kind and respectful person.  I hope your spiritual journey brings you fulfillment. 

Edited by Bufofrog
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Know yourself. The rest can be learned. 

Your perspective and reasoning are valuable here, so I hope you can find some bandwidth and keep us up to date on yourself. Thanks very much for all the learning!

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You are one of the people I've learned a lot about GR from, on this Forum, and a previous one.
You were always appreciated, and while sad to see you go, you gotta do what makes you happy.
Good luck; hope to hear from you again, whenever you can.

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Thank you Markus, for yet another big word. +1

Hiatus means pause or interruption not permanent cessation so I am pleased you have found something worthwhile to move onto and add to you list of accomplishments.

I look forward to welcoming you back someday.


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Certainly one whose answers I personally look forward too, and consider seriously and respect.

Hope you find what you are looking for Marcus! 

Take it easy!

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Hi Markus,

This is regrettable for us. I will miss your expert knowledge on relativity, your honesty, and your nearly endless friendly reactions, even on the most weird ideas that are posted here. This friendliness is already a clear sign that you are on the right track. I also like very much that you showed us all that there is no contradiction between the spiritual path you are going, and a scientific world view. And not to forget, your openness on your autism, and your setting straight some misunderstandings about being on the autistic spectrum from your own experience.

Somehow I nearly feel like I found a kind of friend, possibly I am not the only one that feels that way. I take it as a sign that you are progressing on your path, you are not the first Buddhist I encounter (in real life and on the internet) that gives me such a feeling. So it is an empirical statement ;)

I like the idea of sending you a 'post card' So here is mine:


I've been camping here on my own for nearly 2 weeks (in 1991, but went there a few other times), on the Great Blasket Island at the end of the Dingle peninsula; between the two unroofed houses a bit right from the centre of the picture.

I wish you all the best, and hope very much get further on your path. A deep 'gasho' for you from me. I hope we will meet again, here, or even once in real life. Who knows?


Edited by Eise
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