Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Physics parallels Buddhism on universe

Physics parallels Buddhism on views of a cyclic, timeless universe
Cole Korponay (ViewsHound.com, Aug. 24, 2011)
It is absolutely possible that something happened before the "beginning" of our universe.

“You often hear cosmologists say that the Big Bang is the moment when space and time began, [so] there’s no such thing before the Big Bang. The truth is the Big Bang is the moment where our understanding ends. We don’t know what happened before the Big Bang, but it’s absolutely possible that something did.”

So says Caltech theoretical physicist, Sean Carroll. Carroll’s proposal that there once was a realm of space and time that preceded our universe’s Big Bang is part of a cosmological model first toyed with by theoretical physicists, including Einstein, in the 1930s.

It is known as the Cyclic Model or Oscillatory Universe. A basic form of the theory posits that the universe we live in is one component of an interconnected dual system of bouncing universes.

The amazing natural wonders of Earth (Yosemite National Park)

The first begins with a Big Bang and expands for a period of time. Upon reaching some thermodynamic limit of expansion, it then experiences a “Big Crunch,” as the universe begins to shrink back toward a singularity. [In Buddhism one speaks of periods of world expansion and world contraction, with "world" referring to a manifold world-system.]

This force then propels the Big Bang of a second universe outward in the “opposite direction,” and the cycle continues back and forth perpetually. Within this framework, a Big Bang can therefore be defined as the event after a period of contraction and before a period of expansion.

Furthermore, our universe may be the first, sixth, billionth, or some infinite number universe to exist in this cycle. Let’s consider what exactly is meant by a universe... More

When Maha Brahma (the "Great Supreme") created one universe in the multiverse

Timelessness (akalika) in Buddhism
The Timeless Doctrine (UrbanDharma.org)
[Buddhist scholar, author, and former Sri Lankan Ambassador to the US, Dr. Ananda Guruge has] often wondered how Buddhism came to be called akalika, which means "timeless" -- that it exists for all time.

The more I see the changes that have taken place in Buddhist culture or religion, the more I see how it keeps on adjusting to the needs of different eras, populations, individuals, the more I see that it has been possible for the Buddha to evolve a message that would remain eternally fresh.

So if Buddhism has an application today, and if Buddhism has a place in modem life, it is because of that timeless relevance, emanating from a set of eternal values. To talk of a characteristic of being eternal is a very paradoxical way of presenting or describing a religion which has the principle doctrine of impermanence at the bottom of it.

The characteristic of timelessness comes from the fact that it had understood that everything continues -- but continues in a flux, in a process of continuing change and evolution. Thus Buddhism was able to adjust to different times and civilizations. We can therefore without any hesitation approach any aspect of Buddhism as something relevant and applicable to us today. More

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