Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Buddhist Beginningless Universe

I was reading a book by His Holiness, The Dalai Lama Called, "The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality. My own intuitive experience as a life long adult conscious soul traveler has been of a universe that to some degree always has been. I think sometimes that if one looked at galaxies like say, jellyfish in the ocean one might get a better idea of how this all works. Even if all the jellyfish one year get beached on a shore and die, there still are other jellyfish elsewhere that will breed and some of them might beach themselves the next year and die but they don't all die unless the ocean becomes impossible for them to live in. And even then someone might put jellyfish in fish tanks and breed them. I know it is strange to think of galaxies like one does jellyfish but since I intuitively experience planets, Stars, Nebula and even galaxies as being alive, jellyfish is a very good way to illustrate what I'm saying. And by saying there may be galaxies beyond any we can now see and maybe millions or billions or even trillions of them beyond that group or groups, it is my belief that there are many more galaxies in the universe by far than jellyfish in all the seas of Earth.

In the Chapter in the book called "The Big Bang and the Buddhist Beginningless Universe" on page 81 in about the middle of the first paragraph it says, "Both the Abbhidharma and the Kalachakra give the technical term trichilicosm(which I believe corresponds roughly to a billionfold world system) to convey this notion of vast universe systems, and both claim that there are countless such systems. So in principle, although there is no "beginning" or "end" to the universe as a whole, there is a definite temporal process of a beginning, middle and end in relation to any individual world system.

The evolution of a particular universe system is understood in terms of four principle stages, known as the eras of (1) emptiness (2) formation (3) abiding, and finally (4) destruction. Each of these stages is thought to last a tremendously long time, twenty "medium aeons" and it is only in the last medium aeon of the formation stage that sentient beings are said to evolve. The destruction of a universe system may be caused by any of the three natural elements other than earth and space--namely water, fire, and air. Whichever element led to the desruction of the previous world system will act as the basis for the creation of a new universe.

At the heart of the Buddhist cosmology is, therefore, not only the idea that there are multiple world systems--infinitely more than the grains of sand in the Ganges, according to some texts--but also the idea that they are in a constant state of coming into being and passing away. This means the universe has no absolute beginning. end quote.

Now, I know many scientists are very attached to "The Big Bang Theory" because of the microwaves that permeate all space but what if there are millions or even billions or trillions of "Big Bangs" and our is only one of them? This would refute the one big bang but still leave the traveling microwaves as proof of our one little single big bang, wouldn't it? So, what scientists may have dicovered is something that has been going on trillions of times both before and will be trillions of times after our big bang contracts. So this would validify the Beginningless universe.

However, even time is not a constant even within our solar system let alone the galaxy. So unless you are all soul travelers who can travel beyond the galaxy how could you know for sure? And even then would you believe your senses?

So, how can all this be proved? The answer is different for every person.

1 comment:

Sue said...

That's a very beautiful and heart-warming explanation, thank you.
The jellyfish analogy is particularly lovely!