Back to Home

God & Science Forum Message

Forums: Atm · Astrophotography · Blackholes · Blackholes2 · CCD · Celestron · Domes · Education
Eyepieces · Meade · Misc. · God and Science · SETI · Software · UFO · XEphem
RSS Button

Home | Discussion Forums | God and Science | Post

Be the first pioneers to continue the Astronomy Discussions at our new Astronomy meeting place...
The Space and Astronomy Agora
The Buddhist Truth: The True Entity(reality) Of All Phenomena T

Forum List | Follow Ups | Post Message | Back to Thread Topics | In Response To
Posted by Glenn on March 30, 2004 15:18:56 UTC

Quantum electrodynamics can make no such statement untill it knows what consciousness IS.
Humans do not know what it IS. You attempt to qualify something we do not understand with a variable that we have no evidence of.

Regarding to the LAW OF CAUSALITY, Science pursues causal laws by an anlytical and inductive approach. In sense, then, scientist are concerned with the "how" of things, whereas BUDDHISM is concerned with the "why". The two concepts are not mutually exclusive, even though they may be propounded on different levels. Causes and effects perceptible to physicists invariably accord with scientic laws of causality; even the uncertainty theory concerning the movements of elemental particles is a lAW of sorts, though perhaps one signifying no more than that the causes for the seemingly haphzard movement of the particles have not yet been determined.Causes are, after all, frequently more complex thatn they seem at first. It is, for instance, imposibble to explain human behaviour completely in terms of Frued's theories, though his contribution in introducing the priciple of causality to the study of the mind was immense. More to the point, it ferquenly happens that one cannot explain contagiious diseases as being caused solely by bactaria or viruses, because not evrybody exposed to the germs contracts the disease. In this case, unseen internal factors often cause different poeple to react differently.

The appraoch of physicist is to examine perciptible phenomena. Ultimately, so is that psycologist,for, although they seem to be working in a spiritual field, they are nevertheless basing their studies on obsevable mental phenomena. Psychology seeks to pursue its study into the subconsciuos and unconscious areas of Human Life, but psycologist will admit that there are many cases to which their laws of causality connot be applied. Specifically, they are unable to explain that elements of the human mind that is in that latent condition of "KU"(Jp),or "sunyata" (sanskrit) , often translated as nonsubstantiality(emptiness) or voidness.

Buddhism attempts to cast light of wisdom into these deeper spheres of life, where the standards used in the study of obsevable phenomena lost effectiveness. Basically, scientific laws of causation are limited because the involve concepts of time and space, but the realms of the Human mind and of Human Life transcend these limits. Only in the Buddhist theory of Causality can we grasp the workings of the mind(consciousness) in the state of "KU" or non-substantiality.

The Buddhists have told us that behind this changing world and its illusions there is the Buddhist Void or ,perhaps, what other people called Absolute Reality (God). Like, according to the Buddhist (and Bahá'í) teachings, it is possible for us to avoid the pains caused by the accidents and changes of this world. The Lord Buddha advises us to seek the Absolute or the Unconditioned. We do not have ample words, however, to speak of this Supreme Reality. The Buddha discusses It in His famous verse in the Udana passage in the Khuddaka Nikaya: "There is, O monks, an Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unformed. Were there not, O monks, this Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unformed, there would be no escape from the world of the born, originated, created, formed. Since, O monks, there is an Unborn, Unori ginated, Uncreated, Unformed, therefore is there an escape from the born, originated, created, formed. What is dependent, that also moves; what is independent does not move. Where there is no movement, there is rest; where rest is, there is no desire; whe re there is no desire, there is neither coming nor going, no ceasing-to-be, no further coming to be. Where there is no ceasing-to-be, no further coming-to-be, there is neither this shore [this world] nor the other shore [Nirvana], nor anything between them." (Udana 8:3; Khudda Nikaya, in "Minor Anthologies," p 98)

Although the Buddha employs such wording as the `Unborn, Unoriginated,'in His Writings, Bahá'u'lláh, the Prophet-Founder of the Bahá'í Faith, uses the word `God.' Both agree, however, that these are only words used as a name for something that we humans can never fathom. Consequently all endeavors to interpret this Verity are only relative; it is conceivable that even contradictory statements can also be valid. When we consider various approaches to the "Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unformed," each culture has a distinct manner of perceiving this Reality that may seem to be dissimilar. These dissimilarities are caused by the limitations of human minds. This Reality is One and is transcendent to our frail understandings to represent It. According to Ba ha'u'llah, the Buddhas are the Manifestations of the Absolute or Ultimate Reality in this world. Each Manifestation is the "Light of lights" and not in Himself just "another" light. Relative to humanity, however, He is in all respects the Absolute.

Bahá'u'lláh states that the Word of God is not the Essence of God. We can thus unravel whether or not the Void of Buddha refers to the Word of God or to the Absolute, the Unknown, the Ancient One. The Word of God must be distinguished from the Absolute ( or Ultimate Reality). If God equates to the Absolute, then the Word of God cannot equate to the Void of the Buddha. The Buddha equates the "Void" with the Absolute rather than to the Word of God. Instead, the Word of God is a Manifestation of the "Void" whenever the "Void" is referred to as the Absolute.

The concept of all the Buddhas being embodiments of the Universal Mind is clarified by `Abdu'l-Bahá, the oldest son of Bahá'u'lláh. Special characteristics of the Universal Mind incarnated as the Buddha and as any of the Holy Manifestations of God are ad dressed, when he states: "The universal divine mind, which is beyond nature, is the bounty of the Preexistent Power. This universal mind is divine; it embraces existing realities, and it receives the light of the mysteries of God. It is a conscious power , not a power of investigation and of research. The intellectual power of the world of nature is a power of investigation, and by its researches it discovers the realities of beings and the properties of existences; but the heavenly intellectual power, which is beyond nature, embraces things and is cognizant of things, knows them, understands them, is aware of mysteries, realities and divine significations, and is the discoverer of the concealed verities of the Kingdom. This divine intellectual power is t he special attribute of the Holy Manifestations and the Dawning-places of prophethood; a ray of this light falls upon the mirrors of the hearts of the righteous, and a portion and a share of this power comes to them through the Holy Manifestations." (Some Answered Questions, page 218)

What is the first thing that emanated from the Ultimate Reality we call God? `Abdu'l-Bahá explains, "The first thing which emanated from God is that universal reality, that the ancient philosophers termed the `First Mind,' or `Universal Mind', and which the people of Baha call the `First Will [or Word of God].' This emanation, in that which concerns the action of the world of God, is not limited by time or place; it is without beginning or end....Though the `First Mind' or `Universal Mind' is without beginning, it does not become a sharer in the preexistence of God [Ultimate Reality], for the existence of the universal reality in relation to the existence of God is nothingness."(Some Answered Questions, page 203)

Democritus once said, "Nothing exists except atoms and empty space." How do forces, such as gravity or electromagnetic forces, stretch out from one atom to another through the empty space in between? In 1832, physicist Michael Faraday introduced the idea of a "field," the capability of space to be affected by the presence of a particle. A familiar case is a magnet communicating its presence to iron filings. Faraday viewed the space around the magnet as being "strained."

Modern physics, at every turn, is coming face to face with a reality that goes beyond our rational ability to describe or understand. In quantum physics, the heart of matter springs from a "void," an "emptiness", a "quantum soup" that can only be conceived of in terms similar to the "Ground of Being" of the mystic. What is this "nothingness" that lies at the very core of the physics of the infinitesimal and the infinite? Is it different than the nothingness of which Buddhists speak? `Abdu'l- Baha declares that "existence and nonexistence are both relative. If it be said that such a thing came into existence from nonexistence, this does not refer to absolute nothingness. For absolute nothingness cannot find existence, as it has not the capacity for existence...Therefore, though the world of contingency exists, in relation to the existence of God it is nonexistent and nothingness." (Some Answered Questions, p 281)

The "void" or "nothingness" of quantum physics is distinctly different than the "Void" of Buddhism. The "void" or "nothingness" of quantum physics is like a gigantic "vacuum fluctuation" from which physicists think the universe came about. If God created the universe from a void or nothingness, then we should carefully look into the properties of that "void or nothingness" from which our being came. The vacuum is just the physicist's word for "void" or "nothingness." Over 100 years ago, this empty void was considered to be filled with a thin, transparent medium called ether through which light waves and electromagnetic waves, in general, are propagated. This seemed to be natural to physicists, since waves are usually observed as vibrations of something. For example, sound waves are vibrations of air, water and solids.

In 1887, however, physicists Albert Michelson and Edward Morley developed an ether "drift" experiment to try to measure the relative difference in the speed of light while the point of measurement moved towards the sun in the morning as well as away from the sun in the evening as the earth rotates about its axis. This ether "drift" experiment assumed that if space was filled with ether, the measurements should indicate a higher speed of light as the earth moved through the ether towards the sun as well as a lower speed of light as the earth moved through the ether away from the sun. But no change in the velocity of light was ever observed! (Einstein, Letters)

It was Albert Einstein who declared that the speed of light is constant regardless of the velocity of the observer towards or away from the source of light. This hypothesis formed the basis of his relativity theory. He also declared that there was no need for ether, that light and all electromagnetic waves were thought of as wavelike disturbances in an independently existing electromagnetic field. Ether was considered "superfluous". He proposed that ether does not exist. For quite a while, few ever questioned his authority about ether. The question, however, still exists, how can we be sure there is no ether? Even an electromagnetic field is an abstract mathematical theory or entity that we cannot directly observe either. (Einstein's Scientific Papers)

According to `Abdu'l-Bahá, we can categorize realities into two types, sensible and objective or intellectual and abstract. Realities that are perceptible to the senses are objective or sensible realities, whereas a reality that "has no outward form and no place and is not perceptible to the senses" is an intellectual or abstract reality. Way before Einstein's proclamation and way before the results of the Michaelson-Morley experiments, `Abdu'l-Bahá explained in "Some Answered Questions" that ether was no t measurable. This did not mean, however, that ether did not exist. As `Abdu'l-Bahá states, "ethereal matter, the forces of which are said in physics to be heat, light, electricity and magnetism, is an intellectual reality, and is not sensible...If we wis h to deny everything that is not sensible, then we must deny the realities which unquestionably exist. For example, ethereal matter is not sensible, though it has undoubted existence. The power of attraction is not sensible, though it certainly exists. From what do we affirm these existences? From their signs. Thus this light is the vibration of that ethereal matter, and from this vibration we infer the existence of ether."(Some Answered Questions, pp 84,190)

How does a force field manifest itself in the intervening void? In quantum electrodynamics (QED), the field is quantized, i.e., is broken down into quanta as virtual, not matter, particles called messenger particles. These are called field particles. They transmit the force by traveling, at the speed of light, between different matter particles. These "messenger" particles are called photons in QED. Other forces, such as gravity and nuclear forces, have their own distinct messengers. Messenger particles are the way we can visualize transmission of forces in "empty space."

These messenger particles are also called "virtual" or "ghost" particles that are continuously created and destroyed in very short times, as predicted by quantum electrodynamics (QED) and that have been observed in the so-called "empty void" or vacuums. This tends to confirm that the so-called "empty void" of physics is not really empty nor a void after all but is an ethereal world. Ether is infinitesimally smaller than any known or hypothesized particle and does indeed exist! It is continuous as far as we know. It has now been recognized that theories exist in which the most elementary objects are lines or loops ("strings"), rather than points. These strings can also be considered as vortex loops of ether.

Real particles can travel from point to point. They conserve energy. They make clicks on Geiger counters. Virtual particles do none of these. Messenger particles, as force transmitters, can be real particles, but more frequently they appear in the theory as virtual particles; so the two terms are often the same. Virtual particles carry the force message from particle to particle. A virtual particle is a logical construct of quantum physics. The number of these exchange photons varies inversely with the square of the distance between the particles involved. When you rub a balloon and stick it to the ceiling, or feel the pull and push of magnets, you are witnessing the results of migrant photons invisibly doing their work.

In this view, the so-called "empty void" can be overflowing with these ghostly particles: virtual photons, virtual electrons and positrons, virtual quarks and antiquarks, etc. (A positron is identical to the electron except that it has a positive charge . A positron is sometimes called an anti-matter particle, as predicted by quantum theory. Quarks are particles out of which protons and neutrons are formed. An anti-quark is a quark with equal but opposite charge.) In this whirling, energetic "empty void," a real particle's properties are also modified. Luckily, these modifications are very small. But they are measurable. As an example, consider a real electron. There is always a cloud of fleeting virtual photons around it. These communicate to all space and particles in space that an electron is present. This cloud of virtual photons also influences the electron's behavior. Furthermore, a virtual photon can decay, very transiently, into a positron and an electron pair. In a blink of an angel's eye, the p air is back together again as a photon.

Today, physicists realize that the pristine absoluteness of the vacuum state or "empty void" is vastly more complex than previously surmised. (As we noted before, the "empty void" of physics is not the same as the "Empty Void" or Ultimate Reality of Buddhism.) This may be only the tip of the iceberg; a zoo of particles zoom in and out of this ethereal void. So the ether or "empty void" is now a reference frame for energy, at least potential energy. The "empty void" is overflowing with energy and particle s. Particles do indeed pop in and out of this apparent void. These particles come in all shapes and sizes, and flit in and out of existence over time and space. They are created instantaneously and then usually swiftly vanish almost as quickly as they app ear. As long as they are far way from other "matter," this on and off play repeats itself continuously. Both physicists know and non-physicists hear about this eery ballet of appearance and disappearance of multitudes of particles of all sizes and shapes. There are quantum mechanics rules for this turbulent weirdness of the so-called "empty void."

These dancing particles borrow energy from the "empty void" and pay it back when they return. Like Cinderella particles, they have to disappear back into the "empty void" before the end of a time measured by an extremely tiny fraction of a second, as specified by Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. However, if sufficient energy is provided from the outside, like the Prince spending his energy in search of his Cinderella, then the virtual and transient appearance can be converted to real existence, and the Cinderella particle goes to and remains in the Prince's castle for good! Obviously the greater the energy used to produce a particle out of the "empty void," the greater will be its mass, but the less frequently it will appear.

Some physicists argue that the laws of nature came into being with the universe. If that were so, then these laws cannot explain the origin of the present universe, because the laws would not exist until the universe existed. If these laws existed prior to the origin of the universe, they become like Plato's perfect Forms that act as blueprints for the construction of the ephemeral world of our perceptions. In our search for reality, we must turn to the ancient problem of whether the laws of natureexist i n an independent Platonic realm. (Plato, pp 456-459)

Plato had a dualistic vision of reality. One was the physical world, fleeting and impermanent, that was caused by the "Demiurge". The other was the realm of Forms or Ideas, eternal and unchanging, acting as sort of abstract templates for the contingent world of creation. Plato also considered mathematical objects to belong to this Ideal realm.

The Word of God, the Primal Will, is reflected into infinite Forms. The totality of Forms is the created names and attributes of God concealed within the Primal Will. There is a distinct parallelism in meaning between the Forms of Plato and the names and attributes of God. A Creator creates through the Word of God the existence of creatures that manifest Its attributes. `Abdu'l-Bahá states that: "the names and attributes of God require the existence of objects or creatures upon which they have been bestowed and in which they become manifest...Because they convey life, they are called Life-giving; because they provide, they are called Bountiful, the Provider; because they create, they are called Creator; because they educate and govern, the name Lord God is applied. That is to say, the divine names emanate from the eternal attributes of Divinity." (Promulgation, p 219)

Most of the laws of physics, as we know them or not, could be applied to some kind of primal substance, whatever it is. Plato's Timaeus consists of several arguments that might help us to understand. Plato's writings say that all contingent things consist of both primordial matter, the primary substance of the universe, and a subtle counterpart, the form or fashioner, which limits or shapes the primary substance into specific things.(Plato, pp 456-472)

Here we have "primary matter" that was caused by the Word of God or (in Plato's terms) the "Demiurge". The other realm is the domain of Forms or Ideas, called names and attributes that are eternal and unchanging, also caused by the Primal Will of God. T he Word of God is Its own cause. The Word of God is transcendent to but the Cause of primary matter (called the recipient) and also is the Cause of the active force, the Forms or totality of the names and attributes of God (called the Fashioner). Primary matter never changes its characteristics. As Plato describes: "[Primary matter] continues to receive all things, and yet never takes a permanent impress from any of the things that enter it; it is a kind of neutral plastic material on which changing impre ssions are stamped by the things which enter it, making it appear different at different times. And the things which pass in and out of it are copies of the eternal realities whose form they take in a wonderful way that is hard to describe... For the mome nt we must make a threefold distinction and think of that which becomes, that in which it becomes, and the model which it resembles." (Plato, p 67- 68)

Strictly speaking, God the Creator cannot be described in terms of attributes. The attributes of God's Essence are completely and utterly unknowable. "As to the attributes such as will, knowledge, power and other ancient attributes that we ascribe to that Divine Essence, these are the signs that reflect the existence of beings in the visible plane and not the absolute perfections of the Essence of God that cannot be comprehended. As we consider `created'[Some Western Buddhists prefer the translation `made '] things we observe infinite perfections. If the created things exist in the utmost regularity we infer that the Creator, on which depends the existence of these beings, cannot be ignorant; thus we say He is All-Knowing. It is certain that it is not impotent; it must be then All-Powerful". (Bahá'í World Faith, pp 342-43)

The Word of God (Universal Mind), as `Abdu'l-Bahá states, is the Will of God. To Bahá'ís It is the "First Mind," the "Universal Mind," the "Primal Will," the "Command of God" or the "Fashioner". The Fashioner, as the Word of God, is not limited by time or place; it is without beginning or end. Since every contingent thing must have an origin, the Word of God is the Cause that has preceded the contingent world, that is being continuously re-created or "re-made" at all times. The Word of God is man's mystery, through which man must approach God.

As Bahá'u'lláh says in His Tablet of Wisdom, the Word of God "is higher and far superior to that which the senses can perceive, for it is sanctified from any property or substance. It transcendeth the limitations of known elements and is exalted above all the essential and recognized substances. It became manifest without any syllable or sound and is none but the Command of God which pervadeth all created things. It hath never been withheld from the world of being... Every thing must needs have an origi n and every building a builder. Verily, the Word of God is the Cause which hath preceded the contingent world - a world which is adorned with the splendours of the Ancient of Days, yet is being renewed and regenerated at all times." (Tablets pp 140-142)

All things are manifested from two entities: The "Fashioned" and the "Fashioner". The Fashioned is the primordial substance or primary matter. The "Fashioner" is the collective set of the names and attributes of God, the Word of God, the Inner Reality of all created things. Bahá'u'lláh mentions two principles inherent in the Word of God, the active force and its recipient. He states that the active force and its recipient "are the same, yet they are different. Thus doth the Great Announcement inform thee about this glorious structure. Such as communicate the generating influence [the attributes of God, that are collectively one as the Fashioner] and such as receive Its impact [primary matter or the Fashioned] are indeed created through the irresistible Word of God which is the Cause of the entire creation, while else besides His Word are the creatures and the effects thereof." (Tablets, pp 140-2)

`Abdu'l-Bahá qualifies God's attributes by saying: "God is the Ancient, the Almighty; His attributes are infinite. If He can be limited to human ideas, He is not God. Strange it is that, not withstanding these are self-evident truths, man continues to build walls and fences of limitation about God, about Divinity so glorious, illimitable, boundless. Consider the endless phenomena of His creation [or the contingent universe]. They are infinite; the universe is infinite." (Promulgation p 274)

The Manifestation of God is the totality of all the names and attributes of God. On the Word of God made manifest as a Messenger of God on earth, Bahá'u'lláh states: "Unto this subtle, this mysterious and ethereal Being He hath assigned a twofold nature; the physical, pertaining to the world of matter, and the spiritual, which is born of the substance of God Himself. He hath, moreover, conferred upon Him a double station. The first station, which is related to His innermost reality, representeth Him as One Whose voice is the voice of God Himself...The second station is the human station, exemplified by the following verses: `I am but a man like you.'" (Gleanings, pages 66-67)

What are the connections between the "empty void," ether, primary matter, space and time? What constitutes space and time? According to relativity theory, space and time are elastic. The contraction of moving objects and the dilation of time stems from th is. The electromagnetic field can also be described as a space-time curvature, distortion or warp. Space-time, according to Einstein, is elastic and is shaped or conditioned by various transitory forces or fields.

The all-pervading ether acts in the physical world as a quantum reality filled with an infinite number of forms that give ril and real particles, and ban ks of energy from which mass, motion, charge, spin, energy, and whatever else is born. From this all- permeating ether also comes the world of the spiritually formed beings. From what `Abdu'l-Bahá says, ethereal matter is the basic substance and generator of all created things, both material and spiritual. This ether, according to Bahá'u'lláh, has "the cl osest likeness to the human spirit." (Tablets, p 146)

This ether, consisting of primary matter together with the active force that fashions it, becomes the "empty void" as an invisible power known only through the forces it exerts, such as electromagnetic radiation. This ether is an eternal reality that is spiritual in nature and corresponds to the constituent substance of all things, including that of the human spirit, that is fashioned with all of the names and attributes of God.

The Void of the Buddha and Hinduism is beyond all power of words to explain. All the great Mahayana masters insist that this Void cannot be understood. In Sanskrit it is called Sunyanta, in Japanese Ku or Mu, in Chinese, Mu. All of these simply mean "Nothing." (No pun intended.) The best source for getting to know what can be known about it without a lifetime of Zazen is the Heart Sutra, the Paramita Sutra's very brief form. The key phrase there is: "Form is Emptiness [Void] and Emptiness is Form."(Suzuki , p 95) Although the Buddhist Void or Emptiness is equated with the Absolute, this does not mean that the Absolute is "Form" itself. The Absolute in reality is formless, without any form, name or attribute. This quote from the Heart Sutra is referring to a Manifestation of the Absolute, which is the totality of forms of all kinds, both physical and mental.

From the considerations made before, primary matter must be spiritual, formless, continuous as well as permeate the entire universe as "part" of the potential "inner reality" of all created things. Primary matter is the "Fashioned" and must be spiritual in nature. Primary matter has potentialities but is without form. It takes on form in its potentiality to become different things. The Fashioner, the Word of God, is above and separate from primary matter. The "Fashioned" is primary matter, that must also be spiritual in nature.

In an invited lecture to the Emperor of Japan, the famous Buddhist Professor Dr. Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki, chose vital doctrines from the various Buddhist sects and presented what he claims to be the Essence of Buddhism: "As I see it, this is the summit of oriental thought as developed by the finest Buddhist minds, and represents Japan's contribution to world philosophy...We need to see God face to face, that we may live in each other...In Christianity self is non-assertive, and God stands above and besides the self. There is always a sharp distinction between the two, and the two are never merged. If there is a merging it takes the form of merging the self in God, and God never merges Himself in the Self. There is no mutuality between the two. In this sense Christianity( or Judeo-Christian religion) is thoroughly dualistic, whereas in Buddhism God stands on the same level as man. God becomes man and man becomes god. Christians may think this reflects on the dignity of God, but Buddhism asserts not only the merging but the distinction i s retained, for merging does not efface distinction. God and man are distinct yet mutually merged." (Suzuki, p 67)

In addition, the immortality of the soul is linked with the concept of creation by an almighty deity. But i don't think that "life" can be created or destroyed just like the matter and energy nor it can be created or destroyed.

If we look into the body(matter), there is a greek term called "pneuma": something whose presence within the body give life, and whose absence means death. So, it's just like postulating that the soul ,which created by a deity, outside of man's own existence.If man were made to live by some outside force or power, his body would indeed be no more than a machine,and he himself a mere puppet. For many philosophies attempt to find the truth somewhere beyond phenomena, or postulate some fundamental existence that rests beneath all phenomena.

I believe that the principle or LAW that unites the cells and organs into living beings exist "within" life(energy) and "within" the body(matter), and there's no need to set up a deity or pneuma outside of man's own exitence. We must look into the body as the manifestation of LIFE(in which buddhism described it "empty"(sunyata) in nature), for the LIFE-FORCE or power is inherent in the body. It is this force which among other things, harmonizes the body's parts and enables man to absorb from without that which necessary to maintain life. This active positive life-force within the body is the fundamental essence of life, and it is one with the life-force of the universe.

From the Buddhist viewpoint particularly in the teachings of the Lotus sutra,in other words, each individual life (all phenomena) is one with the cosmic life (true entity). Nor does this cosmic life (true entity) exist separately from each individual life (all phenomena).

The "true entity"(reality) (jisso) of "all phenomena" (shoho) does not, however, mean that the true entity is contained within all phenomena or vice versa, nor does it assume the existence of some being that exists beyond all universal phenomena and governs them. Western philosophers and other non-Buddhist thinkers and systems of thought have long sought some truth or essence either beyond or behind phenomena. The Judeo-Christian idea of an absolute God as the creator of the world is a good example of how these other philosophies removed the ultimate truth from all real phenomena. The inevitable result was a split between God and man or between Creator and creature. Churches and priests took over as the "authorized" intermediaries between the two, and they grew so powerful that the people were treated like vassals.

Buddhism is totally different. The Buddhist finds truth in reality itself; he discovers the underlying truth by steadily and carefully observing man and the things around him. "The true entity of all phenomena" is, therefore, a philosophy that sees into the real aspect of every reality in the universe, especially human life. All phenomena and the true entity are "two but not two," for one cannot exist without the other. This is what binds the true entity and all phenomena together, making them one and the same, even though they may seem to be different. All phenomena --- the sun and the moon as they rise and set, the ebb and flow of the seas, the bending of trees before the wind --- in the eye of Buddhism all appear as the action Mystic Law(Dharma),Buddhist truth. Unlike the Lotus Sutra, which gives careful, deep treatment of this principle, all the other sutras deal solely with the phenomena themselves and point out only differences among them. The Lotus Sutra sees beyond the superficial differences and discovers the Mystic Law equally permeating the depths of all. This is what sets the "perfect and all-embracing Lotus Sutra" above the "provisional teachings of discrimination." The principle of equality meant by "the true entity of all phenomena" is an expression of the Buddha's great and impartial wisdom, which recognizes the potential for Buddhahood or enlightenement in all people alike.

Take for instance Newton's law of gravitation. It is a law of physics and, even if it is not directly parallel to this Buddhist principle, we know that it operates throughout the universe. Regardless of who discovered it or whether it was "discovered" at all, the law of gravitation has always existed, and all things move according to it. To the eye of physics, the movement of the sun, moon, and stars, the changes in the tides, an apple falling from a tree --- all these are understood in terms of the law of physics. Without understanding gravity, people merely see an apple ripening and falling to the earth, yet a physicist recognizes the law behind this phenomenon, that gravity is working between two objects, the earth and the apple. This law keeps on working whether one is aware of it or not, but he cannot apply it to anything if he cannot first identify and analyze it. Then again, to know about gravity and not do anything with that knowledge may be a serious waste. Only when we translate this knowledge into some practical use by creating an airplane, spaceship or something else of value to man, can we enjoy the benefits of the knowledge we have gained from the law of gravity.

In Buddhism, the true entity of all the movements of the universe is Law, which underlies all phenomena. Common mortals see nothing but the trees waving in the wind, yet the Buddha sees the mystic rhythm of Mystic Law,buddhist truth, pulsing within. To him the sun's radiance is the harmonious manifestation of the Mystic Law that fosters all kinds of life on earth. Every aspect of our life is made up according to the Mystic Law, and we always act in rhythm with it. Merely to realize this fact is, however, still a theoretical understanding. Anyone who does not know how to bring his life into oneness with the Mystic Law would be like someone falling in an attempt to fly, ignorant of the law of gravitation. He would fall into one suffering and then another, only getting more and more deeply confused.

Follow Ups:

Login to Post
Additional Information
About Astronomy Net | Advertise on Astronomy Net | Contact & Comments | Privacy Policy
Unless otherwise specified, web site content Copyright 1994-2024 John Huggins All Rights Reserved
Forum posts are Copyright their authors as specified in the heading above the post.
"dbHTML," "AstroGuide," "ASTRONOMY.NET" & "VA.NET"
are trademarks of John Huggins