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QED Is Particle Only Theory(Part II)

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Posted by Glenn on November 2, 2004 02:48:11 UTC

What you say about science is incomplete. QED, the most accurate theory in existence, is based entirely on particles, no fields. Everything in QED is hard matter, particles.

I do not particularly like that kind of reality. I do prefer the interpretation of QM where what exists in reality are wave functions like EM waves, that collapse into particle like bundles of energy, just because it is consistent with the Hindu concept of Maya.

Then there is the Bohm interpretation where bothg particles and waves exist, with the waves guiding the particles. There is also a many-universe interpretation, and probably a few more I am not aware of.

But you should not pick one particular interpretation of physics to justify Buddhism, especially when the concepts you are justifying are original in Hinduism and not Buddhism.

We'll, Buddhism expounded of the so-called "Three truths" which explains the ultimate reality of life. These are the "truth of Temporary existence"(i.e matter/particles), the "truth of non-substantiality(i.e waves) and the "Truth of the Middle Way. Buddhist scholars have attempted to clarify and define the true nature of life. Around the third century, Buddhist scholar Nagarjuna, living in India between 150 and 250 C.E,theory of the non-substantial nature of the universe explained that there is no permanent "thing" behind the constantly changing phenomena of life, no fixed basis to reality. For believed that the state of "neither existence nor nonexistence" described in this concept expressed the true nature of all things, this was philosophical view of the Middle Way, the ultimate perspective on life.

Nagarjuna developed the concept of “non-substantiality”(Sanskrit:"Sunyata" or Japanese: "KU" in connection with those of dependent origination and the nonexistence of self-nature(emptiness) taught by the Buddha. Because phenomena arise only by virtue of their relationship with other phenomena, they have no distinct nature or existence of their own; and there is no independent entity that exists alone, apart from other phenomena. Nagarjuna described a Middle Way that regards the categories of existence and nonexistence as extremes and aims to transcend them. The practical purpose behind the teaching of non-substantiality lies in eliminating attachments to transient phenomena and to the ego, or the perception of self as an independent and fixed identity.

The paradoxical nature of this idea, however, makes it somewhat foreign to Western dualistic logic, and has helped contribute to a stereotype of Buddhism as a detached, mystical philosophy that sees the world as a grand illusion. The implications of KU, however, are much more down-to-earth, and are in fact consistent with the findings of contemporary science.

Modern physics, in attempting to discover the essence of matter, has arrived at a description of the world that is very close to that of Nagarjuna. What scientists have discovered is that there is no actual, easily identifiable "thing" at the basis of matter. Subatomic particles, the building blocks of the physical world that we inhabit, appear to oscillate between states of being and nonbeing. Instead of a fixed "thing" in a particular place, we find only shifting waves of probability. At this level, the world is actually a highly fluid and unpredictable place, essentially without substance. It is this non-substantial nature of reality that the concept of ku describes.

Ku also elucidates the latent potential inherent in life. Consider how, when we are in the grip of a powerful emotion, such as anger, this expresses itself in our entire being--our glaring expression, raised voice, tensed body and so on. When our temper cools, the anger disappears. What has happened to it? We know anger still exists somewhere within us, but until something causes us to feel angry again, we can find no evidence of its existence. To all intents and purposes, it has ceased to exist. Memories are another example; we are unaware of their existence until they suddenly rise into our consciousness. The rest of the time, as with our anger, they are in a state of latency, or ku: they exist and yet they do not.

In the same way, life (in all its manifestations) contains vast potentials and possibilities that are not always apparent or obvious, but which, given the right circumstances, can become manifest. This infinite potential is, in fact, the very nature of life.

An understanding of ku, therefore, helps us to see that, despite how we may see them, things--people, situations, relationships, our own lives--are not fixed, but dynamic, constantly changing and evolving. They are filled with latent potential which can become manifest at any time. Even the most seemingly hopeless situation has within it astoundingly positive possibilities.

Does Buddhism are just copied from that of Hinduism? Historically, Buddhism flourished widely in india for more centuries after the Buddha's passing until its distinction within Buddhism and Mahayan Buddhist movement occurs and eventually decline. In India itself, Buddhism was gradually absorbed into Hinduism, virtually ceasing to exist as an independent faith.

Both Buddhism and Hinduism shows similarities in their philosophy or teachings like both religions teach the doctrine of kamma and also reincarnation. However, their versions of both these teachings are very different from the Buddhist versions. For example, Hinduism says we are determined by our kamma while Buddhism says it only conditions us. According to Hinduism an eternal soul (atman) passes from one life to the next while Buddhism denies that there is such a soul (anatman) saying rather that it is a constantly changing stream of mental energy which is reborn. These are just two of many differences between Hinduism and Buddhism on kamma and rebirth.

However, even if the Buddhist and Hindu teachings were identical this would not necessarily mean that the Buddha unthinkingly copied the ideas of others. It sometimes happens that two people, quite independently of each other, make exactly the same discovery. A good example of this is the discovery of evolution. In 1858, just before he published his famous book The Origin of the Species, Charles Darwin found that another man, Alfred Russell Wallace, had conceived the idea of evolution exactly as he had done. Darwin and Wallace had not copied each other's ideas; rather, by studying the same phenomena they had come to the same conclusion about them quite independently of each other. So even if Hindu ideas about kamma and rebirth were identical to those of Buddhism (which they are not) this would still not be proof of copying. The truth is that Hindu sages, through insights they developed in meditation, got vague ideas about kamma and rebirth, which the Buddha later expounded more fully and accurately.

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