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  • hardie karges 1:04 pm on December 13, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , conservation, energy, matter, physics   

    Buddhism and the Laws of Conservation of Energy and Matter… 

    Live simply to simply live. Everything else is excess. But this is the hardest thing for most people to do, because we tend to see our lives as games of addition and subtraction, zero sum, such that our gains come at the expense of others, and there must be someone keeping score somewhere for there to be any playing field to begin with.

    This is a logical fallacy, of course, and the actions of multiplication and division are no better, they the flip sides of each other, just like addition and subtraction, in which to multiply 3 x 4, for instance, is to automatically divide the lot into twelve equal parts, regardless of what the original quantity consisted of, and regardless of any intent, real or supposed.

    But our lives on this planet, in this universe, for all practical purposes must be presumed to be zero sum operations, regardless of the amendments to the law of conservation of mass and energy which are at the heart of classical mechanics and physics. We simply have no other basis on which to proceed. The fallacy lies in the postulation of an all-powerful creator at the center of his creation, manipulating his puppets with heartstrings, no matter that such details are not in evidence.

    But the zero sum holds, unless and until we find something more or better. So we have to assume that all actions are followed by equal and opposite reactions, more classical physics. Thus we are wise not to rush to judgments and short-sighted utilizations of scarce matter and energy, regardless of the fact that, if the system is indeed a closed one, that matter and/or energy is still there, albeit perhaps changed now into a form that makes it much hard to retrieve and re-purpose for other uses.

    For instance: do we really want to burn a piece of wood, resting assured that the molecules still exist somehow somewhere, when the act of burning deprives us of a house and home in the process? Probably not. Thus the forms that matter and energy take are of supreme importance to our old-fashioned lives on this old-fashioned planet, regardless of the quantum effects which may or may not accrue, given the time and resources necessary to process that new information.

    For now we are limited to the systems which define us, five or six senses, a language or our choice, and a system of rational thought that results from these origins. Whatever we use, and effectively change forever, may not be retrievable for future use. Thus it is better to use resources sparingly, lest they be lost to us effectively forever.

    The Christian-Capitalist-Democratic myths of eternal life, resources, and freedoms are simply not backed by empirical observation. Yes, the game is zero-sum, as far as we currently know, in terms of matter and energy, but not ideas. Ideas are empty, and so without limit. Still there are no winners, and there are no losers. This is not a game. We are playing for keeps here.

     
  • hardie karges 12:45 pm on November 15, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Ecclesiastes, Gurkha, , Nepalese, Pete Seeger, , physics, , The Byrds   

    Buddhism by the Book: Circular Arguments in Cyclical Existence… 

    “In springtime grow flowers. In summer grow fruit. In autumn count blessings. In winter take root,” I once said in a playful moment. In Christianity, of course, that sentiment is made famous in the quote, “To everything there is a season,” as originally expounded in the Biblical selection Ecclesiastes 3: 1-13, and brilliantly revised early in my lifetime in the work of Pete Seeger’s “Turn! Turn! Turn!,” and made famous by The Byrds, back when they were skinny.

    The meaning and essence of the thought expressed, of course, is the rhythm and circularity of the seasons. But I think it works equally well in Buddhism, or any other belief system, for that matter, in that by extrapolation, it perhaps can apply to the entire universe.

    We know little of the universe, though, so it is usually visualized in its macrocosmic view as planets in motion, even if the reality is equally a microcosm, if not more so, i.e. particles. But in its macro view, we see the revolution of moons around planets around stars around a poorly defined black hole center, and that is usually enough to convince us that there is at least some order to the universe, with or without an omnipotent creator, with or without an omniscient plan, aka ‘intelligent design.’

    This is again one of the pet projects of fundamentalist Christians, notwithstanding the likelihood that a God of true engineering capabilities could have come up with many mind-blowing designs, rather than the same one over and over with design adaptations that can easily be explained by natural selection if not epigenetics.

    But most Buddhists find their circularity in various iterations of the theme of rebirth and past lives, something which was never really the Buddha’s Big Idea, but which he’d have likely been foolish to reject, but not the latter-day obsession with it, in an almost inverse proportion to its scientific viability.

    But that is the difference between religion and philosophy, that religion craves certainty, even where no certainty exists, and not casual musings, or even a healthy dialectic. Scientists have no such illusions. And the best philosophers are scientists, and vice versa, with or without the background in math or Plato.

    So physicists today get an undefined Dark Matter occupying most of the universe, philosophers get Wittgenstein’s defenestration of language, and Buddhists after 2500 years get a soft pad on a cold floor with some bloke blabbing in the background, when I’d really rather meditate ‘like the Buddha did’—silently.

    In almost every ancient Buddhist text, if you translate ‘samsara’ as ‘the world’ instead of ‘cyclic existence,’ it stills makes as much, if not more, perfect sense. Coincidentally the language which today preserves more Sanskrit than any other language, Nepalese aka Gurkha, uses the word ‘sansara’ to mean ‘the world,’ no accident. In Hindi they use ‘dunia,’ from the Arabic. They probably got tired of cyclic existence. But let’s not argue. The only thing to argue for is the end of all argument. That is the only cyclic existence that I know…

     
  • hardie karges 7:42 am on January 27, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , metaphysical, , physics, , , universe   

    Buddhism 202: Does Mind = Self = Soul ? 

    IMG_2747Yes, I’m talking about that theoretical ghost in each of our machines. So the first time a human being saw his reflection in still water must have been incredible, our hero unbelieving, disbelieving, unsure if what’s he’s seeing is really him, himself, and so now aware of self, for maybe the first time, previously only aware of everything other…

    Now whether our hero had language at this point is unknown, but whatever it was, it probably wasn’t much, bunch o’ nouns and maybe a few verbs, an adjective or two like special sauce, maybe even an adverb for a side garnish. But our hero must’ve looked like Groucho Marx, sans cigar, or maybe even Marcel Marceau, bluffing and feinting and miming himself in the mirror, trying to test whether it’s really real or not… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 3:26 pm on June 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , colon, , , Klee Irwin, physics, , ,   

    What is #Reality? #Buddhism, #Quantum #Physics or Colon Cleanser, hmmm… 

    Okay, so I have my frustrations from time to time, doubts about my direction and misgivings about my methods, wishing I were more successful and feeling powerless to do anything about it. After all, these things do work themselves out, don’t they? Yes, they do. The problem is that I know exactly what to write to make myself more popular, but it just wouldn’t be honest, so I just can’t do it…

    I know exactly what people want to hear: that we’re all connected, that you are the center of the universe, that you and I are intimately connected to every living organism that has ever existed on this earth, that this very moment is the eternal now, that this is the eternal wow, that every moment that has ever existed is encapsulated in this very moment without end, that we’re all in this together, that one day there will be a better day and a better place… (More …)

     
    • tiramit 8:25 pm on June 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for this ‘connection’. Wow, incredible video: “all time is affecting all time all of the time” – making it up as we go along…

    • hardie karges 9:53 am on June 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Yes, indeed it seems that way, God help us…

  • hardie karges 7:02 am on June 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , physics, Uncertainty Principle   

    #Buddhism and the #Uncertainty #Principle of #Nowness 

    img_0953There is no hotter topic in Buddhism these days, or New Age-y esoteric philosophy, than nowness—the Eternal Now, the Infinite Present Moment, etc.—not even mindfulness nor lovingkindness. This is at least partly due to Eckhart Tolle’s popularization of the topic, no doubt, but neither is there any doubt about where he got it, either—Buddhism and/or Hinduism…

    So I’ve got two questions in relation to this subject: 1) What exactly are we talking about, anyway, and 2) why is it so popular? Well, part of the problem with this issue is that it’s never really been defined, exactly what’s being referred to, as if that should be obvious, and any discussion would destroy some of its mystery, and hence some of its power, SO: I’m going to do the same, for the time being, and head to question number two… (More …)

     
    • quantumpreceptor 12:27 am on June 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Hello HK,

      Great blog I very much appreciate your take on the uncertainty principle it rings very true for me.

      However I might add that thoughts are definitely allowed in meditation. There are teachings that tell us not only that they cannot or should not be avoided and that they actually can be used as tools on the way. A good example would be this. You are meditating and you have a thought that keeps coming back and distracting you from your object of meditation. What to do? Focus on this thought and watch where it comes from, where it stays for a while, and where it goes when it ceases to exist. In this way the thought becomes the object of meditation and you will realize that you cannot hold on to the thought any better than anything else. This is explained in detail by the 9 th Karmapa in the book “ocean of deep meaning”

      Have an amazing day,

      QP

  • hardie karges 6:56 am on April 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Easter, , , , physics,   

    Easter and Buddhism: Religion of Passion, i.e. Suffering… 

    img_1893Christianity is the only modern religion based on emotion, rather than reason, submission, devotion or some other. Christians apparently LIKE suffering—read: passion—and so don’t avoid it but seek it out, with daredevil stunts, extreme sports, torrid romances and hot hot bodies, buffed and tanned and laid in the sand, for hours at the time, until well-done…

    Somewhere along the way we decided we liked all that and the word ‘passion’ took on new meaning, with a positive connotation, in life and in love. We’ll suffer for our art gladly, just like we’ll suffer for our sport, and we’ll suffer for love, just like Christ suffered for us, i.e. the ‘passion’, celebrated every year around this—Easter—time… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 5:16 pm on December 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , physics   

    Philosophy and Physics: Conundrums and Continuums… 

    img_1034The conundrum of existence is that consciousness inhabits flesh, some how some way, or that flesh possesses consciousness, if viewed from the opposite perspective, inside out upside down, impossible to say which came first, or whether they came simultaneously like all the best sex, though the material paradigm always takes precedence in the material world…

    If I told you that the obvious answer to the conundrum of existence is to blow your brains out—immediately—then you’d naturally assume I’m suicidal or worse, manic depressive or maniac oppressive, some schizo or combo, all of the above, and I’d say I’m the same as you, just not your installment plan, one drink one smoke at the time, until death do us part… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 8:47 am on May 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , physics,   

    Religion 202, Physics 101: Spirituality and Light… 

    IMG_1184

    Buddhist shrine in Sri Lanka

    Many religions, especially the New Age-y kind, use light as a prime metaphor, imagining this light and imagining that light as it assumes shape and form in your mind’s eye.  My ‘white light of spirit’ is not imaginary, though, even if still a bit metaphorical. That light for me is exactly the same light that any good physicist refers to, the equivalent of electricity and magnetism and one of physics’ four prime forces, together with gravity, the strong (nuclear) force and the weak (interactive) force.

    For the uninitiated, that weak force is: the fundamental force that acts between leptons and is involved in the decay of hadrons. The weak nuclear force is responsible for nuclear beta decay (by changing the flavor of quarks) and for neutrino absorption and emission…

    Got it?  And the strong force is: the force that holds particles together in the atomic nucleus and the force that holds quarks together in elementary particles.

    Simple, right?  These last and latest forces derive from quantum mechanics, and the study of smaller-than-microscopic realities that are probably best described as mathematical, i.e. the theory works, even if it doesn’t make (common) sense.  But then, neither do gravity and electromagnetism (light).  We’re just more accustomed to them, and they are available to us on a macroscopic level.  (More …)

     
    • peaceof8 10:15 am on May 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      That was very thought provoking. I will for sure be noodling around in my mind DNA vs souls/ancestors/inner child. It makes me want to give reincarnation a second look, based on science and maybe a little whoop-t-do in the family tree. Interesting! I like your pragmatic approach to spirituality.

  • hardie karges 8:49 am on February 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Albert Einstein, gravitational waves, James Joyce, physics, quantum mechanics, quarks   

    A Quark for Muster Mark with a Side Order of Wavy Gravy… 

    Scientists have come up with a new name for the recently discovered gravitational waves that Einstein theorized more than a hundred years ago: Wavy Gravy. So far there has been no word from Hugh Romney on the subject…

     
  • hardie karges 10:40 am on January 31, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: dance, physics, , sound   

    Living in the Material World, a Dimension of Suffering—and Dance… 

    IMG_0379So if my analogies and metaphors prove timely and sufficient, and there really is a higher dimension of light (electromagnetism) analogous to heaven, definable and measurable, and there really is a lower dimension of gravity analogous to hell, definable and measurable, then what does this dimension, this dimension here—our human dimension—consist of, and how is it measured?

    Continuing with our analogies and metaphors, and lacking the possibility for any exact truth, I’m guessing it’s a lot like sound, measurable as the speed of the sound wave, and easily definable as an accessible physical constant in our world, if not technically a ‘force’ (if we can understand it, then I don’t think it qualifies as a ‘force’):

    In physicssound is a vibration that propagates as a typically audible mechanical wave of pressureand displacement, through a medium such as air or water—Wikipedia.

    IMG_0387‘Mechanical’ is the important word for our purposes, for what is our world if not a world of mechanics? ‘Pressure’ and ‘displacement’ also define our circumstances and illustrate the previous physicist’s conundrum of ether, the idea that something must be there, everywhere, that vacuum as a normal state is simply not possible. This was also the problem of rocket science, that propulsion must push ‘against’ something, even if that ‘something’ is only air.

    That’ll do, hence propellers flapping their little wings like birds in migration while heavenly bodies just look on smiling silently. And that’s as far as Newton got—physical forces with equal but opposite reactions. It took Einstein and others to break the consciousness barrier that would allow Brownian motion, photons as particles of light, curved space and ultimately: quantum mechanics, which makes no sense, but which has been proven over and over.

    IMG_1588It makes no sense because it’s really describing a dimension—or two—beyond our common sense one of sound and percussion, probably even beyond the next higher dimension of light (electromagnetism), which we can intuit, and posit as a force, and on into something entirely different. ‘Percussion’: yeah, there’s that, too, the fun part of our dimension.

    Ever seen a small child swinging hips and boogeying like there is no tomorrow? Yeah, they get it young, don’t they, the essential physical and mechanical nature of our existence, the eternal external dance that we call ‘life’? From there it’s all downhill, of course, as the innocence of dance becomes the cynicism of sex, and the bellies turn tricks to stay full (just joking)…

    And with percussion comes repercussions, of course, Newton’s equal but opposite reactions, and their ramifications in the psychological world of human existence, tempting fate and cursing God, or cursing fate and tempting God. But here we are: low-flying angels or high-flying animals, ready to rock out as only we humans can, mechanical particle/waves propagating in a physical medium, not rare, a dimension of suffering, but also of dance—sounds good to me…

     
    • davekingsbury 12:00 pm on February 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      (sings) … I got rhythm … I got music … I got my girl … who could ask for anything more? Our evolved instincts may be most visible in dance, natural to kids as you say … grace is dance, now all we need to do is dance our way through thought which your elegant yet natural style does. Thanks.

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