BUDDHISM AND SCIENCE PART 1– PHYSICAL SCIENCES The Buddha Editorial Note: This unpublished short article was written by Grandmaster Wong more than twenty years ago in the 1980s. Kind is Vacuum It is certainly a pity that many individuals, consisting of
most Buddhists, are not
conscious that most of the current, interesting discoveries in the sciences today are a verification of what the Buddha has actually taught more than 2500 years ago. It is a lot more remarkable to discover that the Buddha’s mentor remains in higher depth and scope than these scientific discoveries. For example, the popular but little understood quote of the Heart Sutra,”Kind is emptiness, and vacuum is type “, represents the most recent paradigm of the brand-new physics, which not just has revolutionized the world view of Western societies. but likewise has provided us with computer systems, lasers, nuclear power, understanding of the DNA and the science of molecular biology. Till just recently the scientific world view was mechanistic and deterministic. Scientists were so positive of Newton’s laws of mechanics, that they declared they might properly and objectively predict every event in deep space if just they had the relevant measurements. The universe and guy himself were considered as makers; any subjective experiences, as in religion, were related to with suspicion if not with disdain. Later on, Dalton and Thompson opened remarkable vistas of the atomic and the electronic worlds to scientists.
Then Rutherford demonstrated that more than 99.99% of an atom is “empty space “! Scientists were so sure of themselves, and the public so sure of them, that leaders of many religious beliefs felt threatened. However science has actually never ever been a danger to Buddhism. Buddhism is most likely unique among the world’s terrific religious beliefs that scientific discoveries boost Buddhist beliefs. In truth, although the details differ, the main goal and approaches of both science and Buddhism are comparable. Both resolve themselves
to the concern: what is truth? Both disregard dogmas and authority, and accept reality based just on empirical examination and confirmation. It is therefore not a surprise that their discoveries are similar, albeit those of Buddhism preceded science by lots of centuries. About 25 centuries prior to Dalton and Thompson, the Buddha has taught about anu, paramanu and rupakalapa, which correspond to the Western aspect,
atom and particles. Even the size of the paramanu estimated by the Buddha is similar to that of the atom approximated by researchers today. And long prior to Einstein’s theory of relativity, which eventually led to the replacement of Newtonian physics, the Buddha has taught that rupakalapa is constantly becoming kriya, and vice versa, or in modern-day scientific terms, matter and energy are continuously inter-changing into each other. Einstein’s ideas of area and time are likewise preceded in Buddhism. For example, a year in the Catumaharajika Heaven, the divine realm simply above our human world, is 1800 human years. The Buddhist concept of the ksana represents the shortest time an occasion happens in space at the sub-atomic level. Not only the clinical concepts of atoms and particles find their parallels in the Buddhist ideas of paramanu and rupakalapa, however that science has shown the “things”that makes up the world is not hard, strong items, however essentially” empty space”! The size of the atom, previously believed to be the basic component of deep space, is too minute for our comprehension, however if we compare it to a football field, then its nucleus is like a grain of sand in the middle, and its electrons like specks of dust at the periphery, with terrific vastness of”void”in between. When people can conceptualize this clinical reality, they unexpectedly have a better (however still incomplete)understanding of the Buddhist teaching that”kind is vacuum”. The Buddhist mentor is even more extensive. In physics,” type is emptiness”issues only matter; however in Buddhism, this teaching likewise handles the other skandhas or aggregates of understanding, thought, procedure and consciousness that
make up man and the incredible world. Moreover, Buddhism likewise describes the reverse,” vacuum is form”, whereas physics does not. In truth physicists, now understanding that the so-called external truth is in fact a production of mind, are puzzled why various people experience
the same psychological development. Simply put, if what we view is a production of our mind, then why do you, I and every other person view the exact same collections of elemental particles as the exact same phenomena, such as a home or an elephant, and not something else? In Buddhism, this is described by the doctrine of reliant origination, which describes how transcendental, undifferentiated supreme truth is transformed in twelve phases into separate and differentiated phenomena. The World is an Impression Max Slab shocked scientific circles when he announced that energy is emitted not continuously however in chunks which he called quanta, leading to the birth of quantum physics, considered by numerous scientists as the excellent clinical achievement of today twentieth century. De Broglie completed the shock
when he proposed that not just are waves particles, but particles are likewise waves. For instance, if an observer sets up his device to measure an electron as wave, that electron will look like wave; if he sets up his apparatus to determine it as a particle, it will appear as a particle! In other words, whether a sub-atomic occasion happens as energy or matter, depends on how the observer observes it. This idea has been taught in Buddhism more than 25 centuries ago, and the Buddha’s teaching is a lot more extensive, as it deals not just with the sub-atomic level, but also with the macro-level, not only with the world of male, but also consists of the entire universe. The Buddha has actually long taught that the human world, as well as paradise and hell, are a production of mind. In science, this important principle that discusses the dual homes of particles is now known as Neil Bohr’s concept of complementarity, which really supplements Einstein’s theory of relativity. Bohr’s principle explains the complementarity of the wave-like and particle-like homes of truth, whereas Einstein’s theory describes the relativity of time and space, along with of
matter and energy. In Buddhism, these 2 ideas of complementarity and relativity are handled holistically in higher scope and depth, varying from the infinitesimal sub-atomic particles to the unlimited cosmos. The Buddhist teaching of pratiya-samutpada discusses that at the infinitesimal level dharma(or sub-atomic forces and particles) might takes place as the finest matter or as unbounded energy. At the boundless scale, depending whether a being is enlightened or not, reality might manifest as samsara, i.e. the sensational, or as nirvana, i.e. the transcendental. Another bombshell was dropped into clinical circles by Heisenburg, who proposed the concept of unpredictability, which is closely related to the principle of complementarity, and which postulates that it is inherently difficult to be certain of both the momentum and the place of any sub-atomic occasion. For instance, if an observer wants to be entirely particular about the momentum of a sub-atomic particle, then he will know nothing at all about its area, and vice versa
. Generally, what is observed falls within the range of these extremes, i.e. observers, depending upon their option, view differing measures of momentum and location of a sub-atomic event. Thus the observer ends up being an essential part of his observation. To put it simply, there is no such thing as objective external truth. Again, this essential clinical discovery validates what has actually been taught by the Buddha long back. Additionally, what the Buddha has actually taught is more profound: in Buddhist mentor, this unpredictability happens not only at the sub-atomic however likewise at the macro level. Buddhism has actually always firmly insisted that the external world we view is an impression. Greater astonishment is yet to come. All these discoveries, the proofs of which are so frustrating in numerous duplicated experiments, that scientists are required actually against their common sense to accept what common people without such clinical details would consider unreasonable or absurd. Listen to what a few of today’s best researchers need to state about reality: Quantum theory informs us that absolutely nothing can be determined or observed without interrupting it, so that the role of the observer is important in comprehending any physical process. So important in truth that some people have actually been led to believe that it is the observer’s mind that is the only truth -that everything else consisting of the whole physical universe is impression.– Alastair Rae. For what quantum mechanics says is that nothing is real and we can not say anything about what things are doing when we are not looking at them.– John Gribbin. Even the world we understand may not be
- made up of items. We may only be noticing systems moving through a vibration dance of frequencies. Pribram suggests that the reason we equate this vibrating dance of frequencies into the strength and objectivity of deep space as we understand it is that our brains run on the exact same holographiclike principles as the dance of frequencies and has the ability to convert them into a photo
- much the same as a television transforms the frequencies it receives into a more meaningful image.– Michael Talbot. This is what Buddhism has actually been teaching, not only at the sub-atomic level, however for the whole cosmos. The Buddha has taught that the separate, differentiated phenomenal world which normal individuals view is an illusion. Ultimate reality, experienced by informed ones, is consistent and undifferentiated. Gladly, science is starting to understand this fantastic cosmic reality. What Karl Pribram, a leading neurophysiologist of the world today, is stating about the truth of consciousness, David Bohm is stating about the truth of sub-atomic particles, i.e. eventually reality is holographic. David Bohm, considered by some as the greatest living researcher today,
refers to that level of reality in which particles or occasions appear to be separate, i.e. the level of reality we exist in, as the explicate order; and he refers to that substratum of reality in which all separateness vanishes, where all entities end up being a continuous wholeness, as the implicate order.
Bohm says: In terms of the implicate order one may state that whatever is enfolded into whatever. This contrasts with the explicate order now dominant in physics in which things are unfolded in the sense that everything lies only in its own particular region of space (and time)and outside the regions belonging
to other things. In Buddhist terms, the explicate order experienced by common people is samsara; the implicate order experienced by informed beings is nirvana. Samsara and nirvana, or explicate and link order, are ontologically the very same; the distinction refers spiritual viewpoint. Numerous Worlds and Numerous Galaxies The profundity and modernity of Buddhism in
the scale of
the unlimited universe is similarly amazing. At a time when most people believed there were just one world, one heaven and one hell, and centuries before Copernicus found that the earth was not the centre of deep space, the Buddha has actually taught that there are numerous worlds in numerous galaxies. Buddhist sutras record that numerous worlds make
up a small-world-system, numerous small-world-systems make up a middle-world-system, numerous middle-world-systems make up a big-world-systems, and there are numerous big-world-systems. It is even more extensive than the modern huge parallel that numerous stars comprise a galaxy, many galaxies comprise a universe, and there are
countless universes, since by the term” world” the Buddha implies” time-space “, and even on our earth itself there are numerous”worlds”in the many various realms of existence operating at various time measurements. Historians and archaeologists think that civilization is just a couple of thousand years of ages, which man has actually existed for just about a million years.
It is certainly amazing that they as well as average researchers are so egocentric and geocentric to firmly insist that ours is the only civilization not only in this unimaginably undersized part of the universe, however likewise in this inconceivably quick period of time the universe is known to exist. If we proportionately decrease the scale of the time man is understood by science to exist on our earth, it resembles informing a 100-year old man that for 99 years he was a savage, running about nearly naked and utilizing stone weapons to chase after wild animals, and only in his last 100th year he is civilized. In this one civilized year, for 350 days guy was, according to the attitude of some mediocre researchers,
superstitious or unscientific, as he just knows science for less than 15 days. The scenario is much more striking if we compare the age of science upon which a mediocre researcher uses to evaluate the universe, to the age of the earth. If we reduce the age of the earth, which scientists have actually approximated to be 4 billion years, to 100 years, then proportionately science as the average scientist understands it, has actually existed for less than 0.0000007 seconds. Hence, while nobody ever recommends that science is not useful, it is similarly risky to firmly insist that just science can supply the last word on reality or truth. How wise, then, is it to depend our understanding of reality or truth on just one person, despite the fact that he is an enlightened one, as it may seem the case of the Buddha’s teaching? Firstly, the Buddha has actually regularly reminded us not to accept his teaching on faith alone, nor on his authority, however we must assess his mentor to the best of our understanding and experience. Secondly, it should be remembered
that the Buddha is not just the individual of Siddharta Guatama Sakyamuni. Sakyamuni represents the physical symptom of the Buddha, who has appeared hundreds of time on earth even in civilizations prior to our present one, and also in other parts of the universe. The Eternal Buddha in his” benefit bodies”also appears in other worlds of presence, often understood by different names, such as Amitabha Buddha, Bhaisajyaguru Buddha, Padmapani Buddha and Kasyapa Buddha. The Buddha in his Spiritual Body is the Supreme Reality, infinite in time and area.
The Buddha’s mentor for that reason represents the teaching of eternity and infinity. For this reason, it is no surprise that the findings of modern science coincide with the Buddha’s mentor. The Buddha has actually taught that people and other sentient beings have existed on our earth and in countless stars and worlds because eternity, and have achieved really high levels of civilization. The Western Paradise of
Amitabha Buddha, for instance, is located countless worlds away in another galaxy, and has actually existed given that 10 aeons earlier, i.e. because our world was born then damaged, and born again for nine times. The Buddha has actually also taught that our Saha world in this aeon has existed for 12.8 billion years; astro-scientists, after various previous mistakes, have approximated that our planetary system is between 10 and 20 billion years. While many astro-scientists today think that deep space began with a huge bang, the Buddha has taught that the universe has no start or ending, although our present universe, like other universes and all other phenomena terrific and small, undergoes the procedures of birth, growth, decay and death. This concept is now being seriously investigated by lots of distinguished astro-scientists.,
as in such theories like the steady-state universe and the pulsating universe. Like what most of today’s scientists think as the pre-biotic soup, the Buddha also has actually taught that our world was at first inorganic, covered by water and bombarded by flashes of energy for countless years. But unlike most scientists who believe that life developed from inorganic matter, the Buddha states that the very first life types on earth were transferred here from other parts of deep space. Great researchers like Sir Fred Hoyle(world popular for his knowledge on components in stars)and Francis Crick(co-discover of DNA)suggest a comparable idea. Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe postulate that life was not just
sent here from smart civilizations somewhere else, however new genes of life continue to get here from outer space in the form of naked nucleic acids or brought within germs, infections and even pests. Crick recommends that life in the world was infected on purpose by some sophisticated alien technological societies. Cosmology of the Saha World Let us have a short look at what the Buddha has taught regarding the cosmology of our Saha world. According to Buddhist teaching, the Saha world is
supported successively by” the wheel of space”,” the wheel of wind “, “the wheel of water “,” the wheel of metal “and” the wheel of earth”. On top of the wheel of earth is the world’s fantastic ocean. In the middle is Mount Sumeru, rising 84,000 yojanas into the sky, which exercises to be about 135,000 times higher than Mount Everest. Surrounding Mount Sumeru at gradually increasing distance, are 7 concentric layers each of alternate”golden range of mountains “and “fragrant seas”. Beyond the outermost circle of the 7th golden range of mountains, throughout the world’s fantastic ocean are the 4 excellent continents, among which is Jambudvipa, the southern continent, where we live. It is obvious to many individuals that this cosmology of the Saha world does not fit the information gathered from contemporary geography and astronomy. I was thinking about this issue when suddenly the picture of our earth in the kind of a world flashes across my mind, and right away it struck me as how familiar this Buddhist description is. The Buddha explains the Saha world not
from the ground, but
seen from space. The golden range of mountains and fragrant seas are not range of mountains and seas on our earth(they are not discovered in Jambudvipa), however refer figuratively to heavenly bodies and space. It is likewise substantial that while lots of ancient cosmologies taught that our world was supported by mystical creatures like cosmic elephants and turtles, the Buddha’s teaching shows that celestial bodies are suspended in area, as suggested by the wheel of void. We are unsure what the other wheels remain in regards to modern astronomy. The wheel of wind may describe the atmosphere, the wheel of water to the hydrosphere, the wheel of metal to the core, and the wheel of earth to the mantle of the various celestial bodies. Or these wheels may refer to something else which science has yet to find. Let us not forget that much of the most significant clinical discoveries in
history have been taught in Buddhism because long back. One need to likewise keep in mind that what researchers perceive on other planets may not be the very same as the understanding and experience of their inhabitants due to the fact that other beings have different kinds of sense understanding and consciousness. For instance, what appear to our earthly researchers as sulphuric acid on the surface area of Venus, and barren craters on the surface area of Mercury, may be some forms of Eden to Venusians and Mercurians, simply as even on our earth what is hard rock to humans may be prisons to hell inhabitants, and what is thin air might be where divine beings construct their
stunning palaces. Andrew Jackson Davis, the founder of contemporary spiritualism in the West, who properly described the world Neptune prior to it was found by astronomers, stated that the inhabitants of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn might communicate with spirits. Thus, the discoveries of the physical sciences validate the Buddha’s mentor. The discovery of the secrets of atoms and sub-atomic particles, the relativity of time and space, energy and matter, the concepts of complementarity and uncertainty, the impression of the external world, and the presence of myriad worlds and galaxies, parallel the profound mentor of the Buddha. Astonishing Buddhist wisdom is found not just in physics and astronomy, but also in the life sciences,
which will be explained in the next Part. The Cosmos LINKS Buddhism and Life Sciences Courses and Classes Source