Deepest Mystery

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chuck.drake

#1
There seems to me to be a parallel between the science of the East, which I consider to be the systematic study of consciousness having started roughly 2500 years ago with the Vedas, and Western science, which is a a study of the apparent physical world.

The greatest Eastern sages, and now including contemporary "awakened" individuals from across the globe partake of an enormous body of knowledge that explains much about consciousness, identity and a path to end suffering here in this physical manifestation. But the greatest mystery remains--how something comes of nothing. Or for the sage how this relative reality manifests out of the singular absolute.

While in Western science, we also have an enormous body of knowledge about many different disciplines, but when we drill down to the very deepest level we basically come up with the same mystery. How did this reality appear from nothing with the big bang. And maybe even how do the apparent physical objects of reality actually manifest from the quantum soup.

Those schooled in Eastern thought accept these mysteries as unknowable from this physical existence and even adopt a devotional stance toward it.

It seems as if most involved in Western science feel that ultimately even the deepest mysteries will eventually be solved.

Are these two paths in some way convergent?
 
#2
Certainly is a mystery, but its not necessarily whether something came from nothing. We have two choices:

  • Something came from nothing.
  • Something has always existed.

The BBT doesn't speak to either of those since it starts after there already was something.
 
#3
Certainly is a mystery, but its not necessarily whether something came from nothing. We have two choices:

  • Something came from nothing.
  • Something has always existed.

The BBT doesn't speak to either of those since it starts after there already was something.
Whatever the case, both concepts are pretty much unfathomable for our mind and fall in the "supernatural" category, for those who like those kind of labels...
 
C

chuck.drake

#4
Certainly is a mystery, but its not necessarily whether something came from nothing. We have two choices:

  • Something came from nothing.
  • Something has always existed.

The BBT doesn't speak to either of those since it starts after there already was something.
Or it can possibly be both right. Something always existed that was "nothing" or no-thing and out of that some-thing arose.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#5
To be fair to the West, philosophers of the Greek and Scholastic traditions, at least, were also concerned with the something from nothing problem and took it seriously. Nowadays you have people erroneously pointing to a quantum vacuum as nothing, but this doesn't do anything to answer the question.

You see something similar with the pile up brute facts, though we do see some people digging into those as well when they question assumptions about time, causality, and the laws of physics - even asking if any of those exist*. So you kinda see some convergence on that score? I think certain problems, like the question of Something from Nothing, are more philosophical problems than scientific ones. Others, like choice of metaphysical paradigm, are philosophy interpreting scientific findings. Of course whether any aspect of reality falls outside of the science's ability to examine is itself a philosophical question.

All that said, Chuck you might enjoy Mattews' Why Has the West Failed to Embrace Panpsychism? as it touches on the development of Western thought toward abstraction of reality in comparison to the Tao. (board thread here)

*Time:

Does Time Exist?


Causality:

Surprise! Naturalistic metaphysics undermines naive determinism, part I

Surprise! Naturalistic metaphysics undermines naive determinism, part II

Laws of Physics:

Frozen Accidents: Can the Laws of Physics be Explained?

Is the Search for Immutable Laws of Nature a Wild-Goose Chase?
 
#6
This too.

It seems that most people assume that time is a fundamental property of experience and thus existence. But I don't think that's true. Time comes about when we reflect upon experience in memory and anticipate incoming information, or when we try to measure the properties of existence like motion, but that has nothing to do with experience itself.
 
C

chuck.drake

#7
This too.

It seems that most people assume that time is a fundamental property of experience and thus existence. But I don't think that's true. Time comes about when we reflect upon experience in memory and anticipate incoming information, or when we try to measure the properties of existence like motion, but that has nothing to do with experience itself.
Yes. Time is certainly another big mystery. I remember seeing on one of those smart fellow's shows about quantum mechanics that there is nothing in physics to stop time from moving backwards--to stop a glass from unshattering for example. But it just doesn't happen that way.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#9
Can we make sense of the world?

Is reality intelligible? Can we make sense of it? Or is the world at bottom an unintelligible “brute fact” with no explanation? We can tighten up these questions by distinguishing several senses in which the world might be said to be (or not to be) intelligible. To make these distinctions is to see that the questions are not susceptible of a simple Yes or No answer. There are in fact a number of positions one could take on the question of the world’s intelligibility – though they are by no means all equally plausible.

Consider first the distinction between the world’s being intelligible in itself and its being intelligible to us. Suppose there is, objectively speaking, an explanation of why the world exists in the way it does. Whether we can grasp that explanation is another question. Perhaps our minds are too limited to discover it, or perhaps they are too limited to understand the explanation even if we can discover it.

Might we turn this around and suggest also that the world could be intelligible to us but not intelligible in itself? This proposal seems incoherent.
 
#10
Yes. Time is certainly another big mystery. I remember seeing on one of those smart fellow's shows about quantum mechanics that there is nothing in physics to stop time from moving backwards--to stop a glass from unshattering for example. But it just doesn't happen that way.
Perhaps it does happen. If it did happen, how would you be able to tell?

edit. At 1 minute in, water flowing upwards looks perfectly natural...
 
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#11
Perhaps it does happen. If it did happen, how would you be able to tell?

edit. At 1 minute in, water flowing upwards looks perfectly natural...
This is a great thread, and this is a great video. But I totally disagree that water flowing backwards looks natural.
 
#12
Certainly is a mystery, but its not necessarily whether something came from nothing. We have two choices:

  • Something came from nothing.
  • Something has always existed.

The BBT doesn't speak to either of those since it starts after there already was something.
I've been wondering about this. What if the cosmos is much much stranger than we thought, and sometimes it exists and sometimes it doesn't.
 
#13
I've been wondering about this. What if the cosmos is much much stranger than we thought, and sometimes it exists and sometimes it doesn't.
Interesting, but would that not still be a version of the other two? If the universe keeps popping out of nothing, it one. If it stops existing but starts again through some relation to how it was before then its the other? I dunno, could be its own category!
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#19
On the subject of Nothingness, perhaps Musashi's Book of Void might be worth a look?

(I've not read it myself, it came up while I was discussing something else.)
 
#20
I think it's possible that the Universe might be a Block-Universe in a B-theory type of time, and hence, it doesn't require a cause for it's existence, nor it came from nothing.
 
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