Wednesday, March 19, 2014

There was no "Big Bang" (audio)

Dhr. Seven, Ashley Wells, CC Liu, Wisdom Quarterly; Mitch Jeserich, KPFA Berkeley, 3-19-14
A first point, a first cause, a prime move(r) -- the Big Bang is no better than positing an all-powerful God who did it, yet we fool ourselves by using words to say nothing.
Recent reports of a major "breakthrough" on inflation less than a trillionth of a second after the purported Big Bang are exaggerated, but for good reason: There are Nobel Prizes at stake.
No doubt banging has gone on in space, big banging worse than the worst gang banging at The Bada Bing in Jersey. Nevertheless, there was no BIG Bang, a beginning to everything. Recently a scientist was being interviewed (maybe on NPR audio or C2C) and admitted that "the Big Bang" was not the beginning of everything, just the beginning of our ability to find a beginning, the edge of the knowable. What a gyp.
Buddhist cosmology: 31 Planes of Existence
We were not all raised with the fantasy-tale that science had an answer to the origin of the universe? But now there are multiverses, and scientific uncertainty is expressed more openly, and even if a Big Bang occurred ~13 billion years ago, that in no way says that was IT, that was the beginning of all, the first cause.
There is no sensible or meaningful first cause, and one would become deranged pondering such a question. It is one of the Four Imponderables in Buddhism -- which not only would never lead one to enlightenment but would certainly, if persisted in, drive one to madness. Here is a simple analogy to see why: A professor starts drawing a circle on a chalkboard, and after the 33rd loop asks the class,
Count chalk loops or watch me pole dance.
"Where does this circle start?"
"Wherever you first placed the chalk," they answer.
"Where was that?"
"Hmmm, we didn't notice."
"Where does it start now?"
"Well, after you started it -- at some arbitrary point -- it ceases to have a meaningful 'beginning.' Any point, pick a point. Is that your point?"
"Yes, if you track and analyze the chalk marks, undoing each of the 33 or million loops to reveal incontrovertible forensic evidence of the first track, the original loop, what will it get you?"
"It will tell us exactly where you first set the chalk down!"
"And what will that tell you about the beginning of a circle?"
"Of a circle, nothing. But of this circle, nothing... Hey, wait a minute!"
"Exactly! This won't tell you who or what set it, or why, or where chalkboards come from, or what chalk is for, or anything else that matters about our existence. It will only lead to endless speculations and enduring academic careers that result in nothing about the true nature of existence (such as the Three Marks or how YOU or your life, such as it is, came to be).
A better bang to find
"But if one were to meditate, one could potentially see for oneself how things (galaxies, universes, and people) originate, turn, and fall away -- again and again and again."
It is possible with Buddhist meditation on the Four Elements (not four material things but four primary or fundamental qualities of materiality) to begin to see the ultimate "particles" of perception (called, in Buddhist physics, kalapas). One can go from the smallest, these features of matter, to the most cosmic -- world expansions and world contractions. And what is another word for the transition between those two periods (aeons) than a Big Bang?
There is a Big Bang, but there was no "the Big Bang," no beginning. And if we crave to know about the first in the endless cyclical series, it would tell us nothing of the space it blew up or into or created as it blew, or the matter that burst into expansion (inflation), or subsequently collapsed and caused yet another implosion, which gives rise to another explosion.
Hmm, maybe lines and symbols?
Worst of all, assuming the insanity for pondering this imponderable is not the worst thing, you and science will be none the closer to finding or figuring out "how it all began." Keep blowing up infinitesimally small particles at CERN/LHC instead.

No comments: