The main ideas, based on recent books by eminent scientists, are centered.
Editorial notes and opinions are left justified.
Truth, Reality, and Life:
Mysteries, Inconsistencies, Gaps and Voids
Truth (in formal or finitary mathematics)
Objects with unique and non-repeating successors define a domain that can map to the integers
and thereby can be symbolically manipulated, starting from arithmetic and logic.
Sequences of characters and words, and particularly axioms and rules of inference,
are the basis for formal or finitary mathematics,
including systems of mathematical proofs of theorems,
The collection of all true theorems is Truth.
Purported truths may however be undecidable, or unprovable;
e.g., "Words Lie" cannot be a lie, nor truth.
Even mathematical systems of truth prove to be incomplete and inconsistent,
with unprovable theorems and undecidable propositions.
Mathematical Truth exists independent of human thought.
Humans progressively discover Truth,
including geometric shapes, mathematical theorems,
and possibly even some aspects of Gods or Buddhas.
Ontos, Plato's realm for all human ideas and ideals including Truth,
was his idea of ultimate reality: eternal and spiritual.
Yet eternity's Truth, including mathematical truth, is littered, tangled with possibilities.
In biblical terms, "in the beginning was the Word"...
The devil's domain?
What the world wide web will become?
"Words Lie" and "This sentence is false", while apparently illogical,
are like Shunryu Suzuki's Zen Koan, "not one, not two";
body and mind are not one, or two, and instead perhaps are both one and two;
each life is singular, but still our lives while interconnected are plural.
People think of Truth, the basis for morality, as ethereal and radiant.
Buddhist morality cultivates non-harming, compassion and understanding of interconnectedness.
Buddhism's Precepts for non-harming suggests human approaches to Truth,
as in Kobun's translation of the Precepts by the fifth century Chinese zen patriarch, Bodhidharma:
Everlasting Truth (no killing) constantly changing, constantly abiding, not raising the view of origination or extinction
Krishnamurthi joked about "organizing" Truth, but, acknowledging words must be used, wrote:
Ungraspable Truth (no stealing) not arousing the thought of gain, not giving rise to the mind of attainment
Free Truth (no misuse of sex) not raising the view of attachment or fulfillment
Inexplicable Truth (no lying) not expounding or preaching one word
Pure Truth (not arousing delusions) not being intoxicated, not arousing ignorance
Faultless Truth (no dwelling on past mistakes) not talking about sins, not blaming
Equal Truth (no envy or disdain) not elevating or putting down self and others
Pervading Truth (no stinginess or greed) not clinging to a single thing
Truth of No-self (no being angry) not contriving a reality of self
Truth of Oneness (no slandering the Three Treasures) not raising a distinction between Buddhas and beings
"Truth is a pathless land,
The following lines are from "Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness"
by Shunryu Suzuki, the founder of Zen Center in San Francisco.
One must find out for oneself,
One must see the sources of one's thoughts and emotions,
watch them move and change with complete attention,
and in that is the beginning and end of meditation".
"The Truth, or Source, is something beyond our consciousness,
something we cannot approach through our feeling or thought,
or even through our senses.
It is the source of all being, including our thoughts
and whatever we can see, touch, smell, taste, or hear.
Yet through practice (of Zazen) we may realize it."
Reality (of quantum physics)
In Physics and Buddhism, everything changes according to causes and conditions.
Classical physical theories generally describe the world of objects,
and analyze the behavior in space and time of mathematical models of things and fields.
But classical physics, according to the current paradigms of science,
is just an approximation to the ultimate reality of quantum physics:
no objects or things, just fields, distributions and wave functions.
Each quantum, each particle, represents a paradox,
matter, energy, or both? wave or particle? discreet or continuous?
Human consciousness intrudes, within "not one, not two",
your mind's choice of experiment may influence the result!
Although most people still think classical physics is reality,
the current scientific paradigms accord with quantum physics.
Further, almost 40% of our gross national production
is now based on quantum physics.
Buddhism's Prajna Parameta Heart Sutra, and related teachings,
..."form is emptiness, emptiness form" ....
are deeply suggestive of the paradoxes within quantum physics.
In Buddhism and in physics, there is no permanent identity,
just change in accord with causes and conditions.
"The mind is intrinsically empty, naturally radiant, ceaselessly responsive" ...
clearly also can be said of the quantum physical Reality of each being's body.
From quantum physics we know ourselves to be
organs comprised of cells comprised of molecules comprised of particles;
universes of particles within ourselves, interacting and changing.
Life: The Leap to Biology
Earth's Life began three billion years ago
when a cell, in symbiosis with environmental cultures, reproduced itself.
Cells breath, eat, excrete, reproduce, and eventually die.
While DNA apparently encodes for reproduction of cells,
DNA's genes are expressed in response to culture's signals.
About 500 million years ago, communities of cells evolved into organs
each cell independent but interdependent within interconnected communities in cultures.
Cells divided equally, causing exponential growth,
but cultural and organic factors also evolved, such as sex and death.
A few million years ago, homo sapiens evolved.
A few thousand years ago, human knowledge was written and recorded,
Its expansion recently accelerated through technologies such as computers and networks.
Quantum physics suggests that Reality behaves like a giant equation in space-time's four dimensions;
other physicists suggest that our universe is like a giant computer solving that equation in time.
Still others suggest that in four dimensions Reality is fully if probablistically determined.
Yet One's consciousness meanders selectively through space but unilaterally in time,
seemingly through personal experience and free choice.
This notion of a fixed actualization suggests that Life is manifestation of Reality.
But as Suzuki Roshi said, "not one, not two",
"You are perfect just the way you are, and you could stand some improvement".
Your life is not just actualization, and not just free will; perhaps both?
Life may reflect Reality, and conversely.
At one level, we perceive and reason in terms of classical physics,
but the brain includes billions of cells, trillions of interconnections,
and each cell millions of atoms, gad-zillions of quantum particles.
Each being, organ, cell, and particle is emptiness but for energy/matter; changing!
Further, the subconscious is to the conscious mind
as our galaxy is to the solar system, and the earth is to the individual.
Thoreau said "life is like a river running through us".
In Sutras "I am not my body" is cited to comfort the dying.
In Zen, Bankei's "Unborn" fluctuate between Source and Life,
awaiting causes and conditions for manifestation.
Life's Evolutionary Quest for Truth
I speculate that evolution represents Life's quest to Realize Truth
through the Realities of physiology, biology, chemistry and physics,
particularly in an upright posture's straight spine, nervous system and brain,
and particularly during Zazen.
One can argue that Life is by nature an expression of Reality
and that Reality is by nature True, but not the only Truth.
From my mundane view my reality is what is changing
when I stop imagining, desiring, or being deluded.
But I am frequently imagining, desiring, or being deluded, and always changing,
sometimes in response to glimpses of Truth, Reality, or Life.
Yogis, steeped in meditation and deep in sammadhi,
may quiet the mind completely,
experiencing Reality's oneness, and being thereby in union with the universe.
Zen practice,"not one, not two", returns to awareness of breathing,
mindfully straightening posture and observing sensations, thinking and feelings.
Occasionally note any sense of location and localization in consciousness and Self.
Practice the precepts for non-harming, living with compassion, knowing interdependence
embracing right conduct, every good, and all beings.
I would welcome feedback, email Truth, Reality, and Life
Outline and notes for an October 2010 talk on Way Seeking Mind.
Outline and notes for a January 2011 talk on Awakening Mind.
Whimsy of Truth, Love and Beauty.
Back to Mind and Meditation.
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