Richard Rose gave a public talk on the theme "Zen is Action." And he laid out a Zen-like dharma in his personal teaching, public talks and writing. In one of his unpublished communications he described the path as "subjective, subtractive, immanent, and designed for immediate changing and becoming."
I came across a story relating how Socrates was sitting near the gates of Athens and was interrupted in his thinking by two travelers. Each said he was considering a move to Athens and wanted to know what kind of city it was. The first man gave a negative description of the city he was coming from, and Socrates told him he would find the same in Athens. The second man gave a glowing review of his hometown, and Socrates likewise told him he would find the same in Athens.
Experience is subjective, isn't it. In fact, all experience takes the form of objects in our consciousness. We are the viewer, not the view (or you could say that the viewer is closer to what we really are than the view). We are the unknown subject in the subject-object equation.
If self-discovery were an objective process, we could find the truth in a book, or in our thoughts or our dreams. Neurologists search for the self by studying the brains of "other subjects" (i.e., objects). The Dana Foundation's January '09 "Brain in the News" newsletter contained an article from "In Search of the God Neuron" by Steven Rose (no relation to Richard Rose as far as I know) printed in the December 27, 2008 London Guardian. He cited that, of the 100 billion nerve cells (neurons) in the human cortex and 100 trillion connections between them (synapses), brain researchers could find no general command center. Instead, multiple, bidirectional pathways connect all regions of the brain.
Jonah Lehrer, in Proust Was a Neuroscientist, cited a study by Nobel laureate Richard Axel, whose lab "engineered a fruit fly with a glowing brain, each of its neurons like a little neon light" in order to study how the fruit fly was able to distinguish odors. Axel's conclusion: "No matter how high we get in the fly brain when we map this sensory circuit, the question remains: who in the fly brain is looking down? Who reads the olfactory map? This is our profound and basic problem."
The scientists are trying to study a subjective field (the mind) by an objective process (brain activity as sensory data). It's not going to work. The Great Undertaking is going within by looking within for that subject. We don't learn the truth about what we are but become consciously aware of It.
-- Art Ticknor, Solid Ground of Being
Art Ticknor will be at the Gainesville Philosophical Self-Inquiry group's meeting this Monday @6pm.