Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Karma + GIGO

Each human organism is born with karmic dispositions, characteristic ways of acting.
Then it receives social input, Garbage In, Garbage Out.
Thus, karma + GIGO = a person.
Serene reflection meditation unravels GIGO and addresses karma.

However, organisms die before the issues are resolved.
Organisms were not designed but evolved.
Therefore, no designer is responsible.
I think that karma is genetic, not reborn.

Monday, 6 February 2017

What We Can Say

We cannot meet the Buddha because he died a long time ago.
He was alive and we will be dead.
If he were alive now on another continent or planet, then we probably would not meet him.
However, he and we exist in different regions of space-time.

Therefore, we can say, "The Lord calls," meaning the Buddha.
Also, the One calls.
THAT is always here and now.
But It is not a person.

The One and the Buddha correspond approximately to God the Father and God Incarnate in Christian theology.
But only approximately.
Buddhism sometimes sounds like theism, sometimes not.
In particular, there is no Creator.

The Buddha addresses the cause of suffering but is not the cause.
He treats the wound caused by the poisoned arrow but did not shoot the arrow.
The One, not a person, is not responsible for Its internal processes.
It is our responsibility to respond.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

The Duality Of Thought

We manipulate the environment with hands and think about it with brains.
Thought both reflects and distorts reality.
Mythological thought personifies and mystifies aspects of reality.
Ideological thought rationalizes and legitimizes existing social relationships.

However, society changes and ideas change with it.
Scientific thought is tested against empirical reality.
Beliefs and psychologies diverge from reality.
The thought, "Where was God in the Holocaust?," combines belief with reflection.

"Experience of God" must mean "experience of life, theistically interpreted."

Monday, 30 January 2017

The Fall

Being ascended from unconsciousness into consciousness. However, the first moment of this ascent was also the moment of the Fall into suffering or unsatisfactoriness, as formulated in the First Noble Truth of Buddhism. Unconscious organisms respond to environmental alterations but do not feel or sense them. Feeling and sensation are the earliest stages of consciousness. An organism that has become conscious feels hot when it is hot and senses heat when there is a nearby source of heat. The feeling of bodily states probably preceded the sensing of anything external.

A conscious organism dislikes excessive heat or cold and therefore moves to a more comfortable position. It dislikes hunger and likes eating, therefore seeks food. Naturally selected organismic sensitivity to environmental alterations quantitatively increased until it was qualitatively transformed into conscious sensation because two kinds of sensation, pleasure and pain, have survival value. They are also interdependent. Hunger when unable to eat and satisfaction when eating are opposite ends of a single spectrum or two sides of a single coin. Therefore, there was no Paradisal state of consciousness before suffering.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Challenges Of Life

(i) To cope with practical tasks, most basically to survive/earn a living.
(ii) To do more, e.g., to run a business or to advance in a career.
(iii) To engage in meaningful activities that might not become a means of livelihood.
(iv) To understand and respond to society and life.

I have always been impractical and unambitious but interested in (iii) and (iv).
Some people let their received religion address (iv).
Judgementalism is unnecessary. People differ.

Monday, 9 January 2017

What Is The World Made Of?

According to Carlo Rovelli in Reality Is Not What It Seems (Allen Lane, 2016), p. 168:

Newton thought that reality was space, time and particles;
Faraday and Maxwell added fields;
Einstein 1905 united space and time;
Einstein 1915 united space-time and fields as covariant fields;
quantum mechanics referred to space-time and quantum fields;
quantum gravity has just covariant quantum fields.

It is not surprising that covariant fields generate space-time because surely space and time are relationships in any case. Newtonian space was relationships between particles and Newtonian time was relationships between relationships between particles. Now particles are regarded as quanta of fields.

What is counter-intuitive is that there are quanta of space. Mathematically, the number one can be divided into endless smaller fractions but apparently a volume of space cannot be divided into endless smaller volumes.

Addendum: Quantum gravity is a theory of fields but not yet a unified field theory.

Quanta Of Space II

Faraday's lines of force were infinitely thin and continuous and filled space whereas the closed lines or loops of quantum gravity are discrete and finite and are space.
The loops are links between points called nodes.
Each node is a quantum of space.
Two nodes are separated by a small area.
Photons are in space whereas nodes are space.
-Carlo Rovelli, Reality Is Not What It Seems (Allen Lane, 2016), Chapter 6.