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Buddha and the Scientist - Where East Meets West

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posted on Dec, 11 2011 @ 04:37 PM
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I decided to go ahead and combine several subjects into one thread, as I see them as all relevant to modern interest, at large.

As a fairly recent newcomer to the Dharma (teachings) of the Buddha Shakyamuni, what first struck my interest was the unusual similarity of the concept of emptiness with that of quantum/particle science. Being an expert in neither, I will try to show only that the similarity is curious indeed. And I do love a mystery!

Scientist:
Brian Swimme on emptiness and the Quantum Vacuum:


"I'm coming out of science. So my way of thinking about this unmanifest realm is that it is actually what in physics we call the "quantum vacuum," which was discovered in the twenties. When we think of a vacuum in Newtonian terms, we think of it as being a place empty of things. But in quantum physics, it turns out that the vacuum is actually pure generativity. It's constantly foaming forth with reality, elementary particles that then cascade back into non-existence. You can't go anywhere with this in science because you can't study it. There's nothing to study. But it's there. It's real. So what we do is study its effects or manifestations, which we began to do in the forties. There's no question now for a physicist about the reality of the quantum vacuum. Right now in the room, there are all kinds of particles that are foaming into existence and foaming back out of existence. That's what we mean by the unmanifest. So you could say that at the root of reality is space, time, and foam." From 'What is Enlightenment' , Newsletter - 2001, Moksha Press ; Emptiness and the Quantum Vacuum


Buddhist:
The Dalai Lama; excerpt:


The paradoxical nature of reality revealed in both the Buddhist philosophy of emptiness and modern physics represents a profound challenge to the limits of human knowledge. The essence of the problem is epistemological: How do we conceptualize and understand reality coherently? Not only have Buddhist philosophers of emptiness developed an entire understanding of the world based on the rejection of the deeply ingrained temptation to treat reality as if it were composed of intrinsically real objective entities, but they have also striven to live these insights in their day-to-day lives. The Buddhist solution to this seeming epistemological contradiction involves understanding reality in terms of the theory of two truths. Physics needs to develop an epistemology that will help resolve the seemingly unbridgeable gulf between the picture of reality in classical physics and everyday experience and that in their quantum mechanics counterpart. Dalai Lama on "Emptiness, Relativity and Quantum Physics"

The Heart Sutra:



Listen, Shariputra, form is emptiness, emptiness is form; form does not differ from emptiness, emptiness does not differ from form. The same is true with feeling, perception, intention, and consciousness. "Hear, Shariputra, all dharmas [phenomenon] are marked with emptiness...

Moving right along, then. What would you think about Tibetan UFO's?









...it would be illogical to conclude that life is possible only on this planet...Buddhist scriptures mention the presence of life in other world systems and an infinite number of universes. - Dalai Lama

edit on 11-12-2011 by lowundertheradar because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 11 2011 @ 04:42 PM
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The image link shows a picture of a disk shaped ufo, drawn in the 10th. century. Very curious. and here is another ( please excuse the fact that I'm still unable to download images):
Close-Up UFO

edit on 11-12-2011 by lowundertheradar because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 11 2011 @ 04:44 PM
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reply to post by lowundertheradar
 

7 0f 9, please assimilate me

Perhaps science is an additional language that describes and conveys age old wisdom. It seems time and time again, much of the sages wisdom becomes confirmed as our technology evolves. It reminds me of the aether, as being the sum of all experiences past and present, which ties in with the TOE, theory of everything. The more we know, the more we are one it seems.
Here is a vid series on Buddhism and science:

spec

ETA: The Tibetan UFOS are new to me, but fascinating none the less. I shall do a little digging..
edit on 11-12-2011 by speculativeoptimist because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 11 2011 @ 04:55 PM
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Scientist:

Microtubules are considered to be key components in non-local, quantum processes critical to human consciousness. Discovery of the liquid crystalline nature of the human body provides further support for our model. Microtubules, DNA and the entire brain are described as communicating non-locally with virtually unlimited memory storage capacity. Quantum Consciousness



Buddhist:

According to the Buddhist explanation, consciousness is said to be nonabstructive and nonphysical... Although our bodies are an aggregation of chemical or physical components, a kind of subtle agent of pure luminosity constitutes the life of living beings. ~ Dalai Lama "The Way to Freedom" pg.79.


I was hoping to go on with this thread, bringing in such subjects as tum-mo (inner-heat) produced by experienced yogis and the many Buddhist "other worlds", but I'm afraid I posted too quickly and have simply lost it's overall appearance. But you get the gist.
Life is so full of wonders, even in this mechanistic age. Om Swasti!
edit on 11-12-2011 by lowundertheradar because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 11 2011 @ 04:57 PM
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reply to post by speculativeoptimist
 

OK, I've heard of cylindrical, triangle, bat-wing, and several other shapes, but dick-shaped is a new one on me.



posted on Dec, 11 2011 @ 05:02 PM
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reply to post by Rich41357
 

h, where do you see a phallic craft?



posted on Dec, 11 2011 @ 05:05 PM
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reply to post by Rich41357
 


Freudian, much? Thank you, I've corrected my misdick.
Complete lol!
edit on 11-12-2011 by lowundertheradar because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 11 2011 @ 05:34 PM
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reply to post by lowundertheradar
 



Moving right along, then. What would you think about Tibetan UFO's?


I was right with you until you got to the UFO thing. Those are hats:



www.masterpieceonline.com...

Each of the four official sects had their own color hat; black, white, red and yellow Of course, they did communicate with the "Sky People," but the extraterrestrials apparently didn't need flying machines.



posted on Dec, 11 2011 @ 05:40 PM
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reply to post by lowundertheradar
 


Star and Flag, friend, glad you made this post. Quite a few years ago, I read a book: Awakening the Buddha Within: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World The book is about a disillusioned 'Nam Vet who traveled to Tibet looking for something to define himself. He spent a great deal of time with the Monks he found, and found the
Buddha within. This book really spoke to me, and I gained a lot of wisdom from reading it.



posted on Dec, 11 2011 @ 06:02 PM
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I have no comment on your extrapolations from the book. I only saw this and want to recommend this book to everyone to whom it is available.

Very good discussion style writing here, and as a Zen Buddhist, I can definitely appreciate the cooperation between a scientist and a Buddhist.

Nice OP too



posted on Dec, 11 2011 @ 06:07 PM
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reply to post by DJW001
 


Thank you for clarifying them as "hats", but I have to wonder about that assumption. For instance, the Gelugpa yellow hat is known to have begun being used in the late 15th century, and the Sakyapa was started in 1182 CE, about a hundred years after this painting was made. There doesn't seem to be an exact corollary for the images as "hats" and we may see into it what we wish, just like facial recognition patterns.
edit on 11-12-2011 by lowundertheradar because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 11 2011 @ 06:14 PM
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Here is an excerpt from an excellent book *The Quantum and the Lotus* I hope you find it as interesting as I do.

I was drawn to the book because of my sometimes linear thinking head butting with my growing Buddhist inclinations in searching for answers I couldn't find in other areas of research.


Book Description
Publication Date: December 4, 2001
Matthieu Ricard trained as a molecular biologist, working in the lab of a Nobel prize—winning scientist, but when he read some Buddhist philosophy, he became drawn to Buddhism. Eventually he left his life in science to study with Tibetan teachers, and he is now a Buddhist monk and translator for the Dalai Lama, living in the Shechen monastery near Kathmandu in Nepal. Trinh Thuan was born into a Buddhist family in Vietnam but became intrigued by the explosion of discoveries in astronomy during the 1960s. He made his way to the prestigious California Institute of Technology to study with some of the biggest names in the field and is now an acclaimed astrophysicist and specialist on how the galaxies formed.

When Matthieu Ricard and Trinh Thuan met at an academic conference in the summer of 1997, they began discussing the many remarkable connections between the teachings of Buddhism and the findings of recent science. That conversation grew into an astonishing correspondence exploring a series of fascinating questions. Did the universe have a beginning? Or is our universe one in a series of infinite universes with no end and no beginning? Is the concept of a beginning of time fundamentally flawed? Might our perception of time in fact be an illusion, a phenomenon created in our brains that has no ultimate reality? Is the stunning fine-tuning of the universe, which has produced just the right conditions for life to evolve, a sign that a “principle of creation” is at work in our world? If such a principle of creation undergirds the workings of the universe, what does that tell us about whether or not there is a divine Creator? How does the radical interpretation of reality offered by quantum physics conform to and yet differ from the Buddhist conception of reality? What is consciousness and how did it evolve? Can consciousness exist apart from a brain generating it?

The stimulating journey of discovery the authors traveled in their discussions is re-created beautifully in The Quantum and the Lotus, written in the style of a lively dialogue between friends. Both the fundamental teachings of Buddhism and the discoveries of contemporary science are introduced with great clarity, and the reader will be profoundly impressed by the many correspondences between the two streams of thought and revelation. Through the course of their dialogue, the authors reach a remarkable meeting of minds, ultimately offering a vital new understanding of the many ways in which science and Buddhism confirm and complement each other and of the ways in which, as Matthieu Ricard writes, “knowledge of our spirits and knowledge of the world are mutually enlightening and empowering.”



The Universe in a Grain of Sand
excerpted from The Quantum and the Lotus


The Interdependence and Nonseparability of Phenomena
The concept of interdependence lies at the heart of the Buddhist vision of the nature of reality, and has immense implications in Buddhism regarding how we should live our lives. This concept of interdependence is strikingly similar to the concept of nonseparability in quantum physics. Both concepts lead us to ask a question that is both simple and fundamental: Can a "thing," or a "phenomenon," exist autonomously? If not, in what way and to what degree are the universe's phenomena interconnected? If things do not exist per se, what conclusions must be drawn about life?

Trinh Xuan Thuan: Buddhism rejects the idea of a principle of creation, as well as the radical notion of parallel universes—though it may accommodate the idea of multiple universes. To Buddhism, the extraordinary fine-tuning of the physical constants and the initial conditions that allowed the universe to create life and consciousness are explained by "the interdependence of phenomena." I think it's time to explain more about this idea.

Matthieu Ricard: To do so, we should first return to the concept of "relative truth." In Buddhism, the perception we have of distinct phenomena resulting from isolated causes and conditions is called "relative truth" or "delusion." Our daily experience makes us think that things have a real, objective independence, as though they existed all on their own and had intrinsic identities. But this way of seeing phenomena is just a mental construct. Even though this view of reality seems to be commonsense, it doesn't stand up to analysis.

Buddhism instead adopts the notion that all things exist only in relationship to others, the idea of mutual causality. An event can happen only because it's dependent on other factors. Buddhism sees the world as a vast flow of events that are linkebeing.publicradio.org...



posted on Dec, 11 2011 @ 06:24 PM
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reply to post by DJW001
 


Why are the "hats" floating? And they look a lot like sombreros...



posted on Dec, 11 2011 @ 07:19 PM
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reply to post by ItanimuliiluminatI
 


I agree, they don't look anything like the photo above and one of them does seem to have "portholes". Also, these earliest known Buddhist hats had very long, distinctive lappets on each side, which were often pinned up and behind. All the Lama and governmental hats I've seen so far look nothing like this thangka painting. But I'll keep an open mind, nonetheless.



posted on Dec, 11 2011 @ 07:47 PM
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reply to post by lowundertheradar
 


Hats, what hats? i can't get my eyes off your avatar!



posted on Dec, 11 2011 @ 09:18 PM
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Great thread lowundertheradar. I've always had an interest in the area's where philosophy and science come close to meeting.

It is amazing how close the human mind can get conceptually about the nature of reality long before there is any scientific 'proof' that such phenomena exist. And this is a lesson to anyone who refuses to believe anything which cannot be measured or percieved via the senses.

Many western myths and schools of thought when viewed on a metaphorical level also come close to bridging the gap between science and spirituality.



posted on Dec, 11 2011 @ 09:32 PM
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luckily buddhists - unlike jews, christians, muslims - do not dwell on positive-reinforcement based begging of salvation from a select human designated to speak and command for and as Supreme God.

ancient fareast vedic/tibetan philosophy meets modern western/nearestern delusion, indeed.



posted on Jan, 2 2012 @ 05:16 AM
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Hi


I didn't know where to post my question, so I did post it here. I was wondering what it means this pendant or something. I have image. I found it on my grass in front of house. I need your help. And look at the bottom is some text or writing.

1)
2)

Thank you, and have wonderfull 2012!

edit on 2-1-2012 by sroks because: (no reason given)




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