Carlson, Chester – He took deep personal comfort in meditation and quiet contemplation
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
David Owen - Copies in Seconds: How a lone inventor and an unknown company created the biggest communication breakthrough since Gutenberg—Chester Carlson and the birth of the Xerox Machine
It is impossible to say exactly what Carlson felt about the more eccentric of his wife's beliefs - Dorris herself was never certain what he thought - but he did not dismiss them, and he treated some of them, including psychic phenomena, as subjects worthy of scientific investigation. In 1965, he visited a "dream laboratory at a hospital in Brooklyn, where experimenters were trying to determine whether the content of subjects' dreams could be influenced by telepathic suggestion.
"I was the subject one night and the results were quite interesting," he wrote in a letter to Roy.
"Both I and the two experimenters picked the same painting print as most closely matching my dreams. When the [telepathic 'sender'] came in it turned out that she had been looking at that one, chosen from a dozen others."
He also increasingly shared his wife's interest in spirituality and in the ancient Hindu texts known as the Vedanta, or the Upanishads, and in Zen Buddhism. He had devoted much thought throughout his life to human suffering, both as a fact and as an ontological issue, and he took deep personal comfort in meditation and quiet contemplation - activities that complemented his solitary outlook and his preference for modesty and simplicity. Once, upon returning from a Buddhist retreat he had attended by himself, he felt so happy and so emotionally rejuvenated that he picked up Dorris and swung her around - a gesture that was at odds with his normally placid demeanor and with his spinal arthritis, which prevented him from dancing and had given him a permanent stoop. Dorris was astonished, and so was the housekeeper, who gasped, "Oh, Mr. Carlson!"