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is dark matter emptiness etc......

chanrattchanratt Veteran
edited August 2010 in Modern Buddhism
is dark matter the same stuff as we call emptiness. Truth Seeker started a excellent thread in this very forum entitled Emptiness and it has got me thinking. Is the empty part of the atom dark matter-emptiness?

another question....i get the 'everything is made of the same stuff' point of view, but what i cant wrap my head around is when buddhism talks of us being the same as the sound we hear or the wind in our face. I can see us being the same as a rock because it is made of atoms etc, but sound waves etc?

Comments

  • edited June 2010
    Nice question! Also there is truth to the fact that the universe is made up of 99% space/void and 1% matter....or something like that. It seems even our own bodies are more space than matter. But, when I consider what "emptiness" is in Buddhist terms it has more to do with one's view. In meditation we slowly let thoughts loose there meaning making content. So the thoughts about emptiness fade away too. :) So it seems that your question is closer to a scientific question, maybe even dealing with quantum mechanics, than a question about what "emptiness" IS in Buddhist philosophy or practice....IMO
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited June 2010
    not empty of material. emptiness does not mean nothing there. the ocean is emptiness. The rainfall is emptiness. Your stomach and body are emptiness.

    empty of self. (intrinsic emptiness)

    empty of other. (extrinsic emptiness)
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited July 2010
    I would think it would be correct to say that it is neither dark matter, nor not dark matter, neither atoms, nor not atoms. And as far as sound waves go, neither the same, nor not the same.
  • edited July 2010
    chanratt;115927 said:
    is dark matter the same stuff as we call emptiness.
    The concept of emptiness is a skillful means that points to an experiential realization. The concept of emptiness describes a kinesthetic reality.
    The concept of emptiness is an antidote to seeing independently existing entities. The concept of emptiness is used to refer to the subjective pole of awarenesss. The concept of emptiness is used in different ways.


    Emptiness is not some mysterious cosmic essence. The "Tao of Physics" style drawing of parallels with "the cosmic void" misses the point... and is overplayed.
  • fivebellsfivebells Veteran
    edited July 2010
    Hear hear.
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman Possibly imaginary giant hedgehog Chasing dinsdale Veteran
    edited July 2010
    chanratt;115927 said:
    ...i get the 'everything is made of the same stuff' point of view, but what i cant wrap my head around is when buddhism talks of us being the same as the sound we hear or the wind in our face. I can see us being the same as a rock because it is made of atoms etc, but sound waves etc?

    Traditionally everything, including us, is made up of the 4 primary elements and their derivatives. So for example the wind in our bodies ( eg breathing and flatulence:o ) is just the same as the wind which makes the trees move about. Sounds waves are just vibrations in air molecules.

    P
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited July 2010
    ( eg breathing and flatulence:o ) is just the same as the wind which makes the trees move about.
    Except when you're inside an elevator.:lol:
  • jinzangjinzang Veteran
    edited July 2010
    Emptiness is not the absence of substance. Emptiness is the non-existence of a thing apart from its causes and conditions. For example, a rainbow only appears when sunlight, rain, and observer all come together in the right configuration. It has no separate objective existence. All things are like this. All are the result of the coordination of their respective causes.

    Through meditation we come to see that the self that we hold onto so tightly is nothing more than a name. It is something we attribute to certain physical and mental factors, but has no existence apart or above these factors. It is only a concept we hold when these factors come together. When we truly see this there is no separation between us and our experience. The sense of separation between observer and observed is lost. This is what is meant when Buddhists (usually Zen Buddhists) use such phrases as becoming the sound.
  • edited July 2010
    This thread reminds me of the 'if a tree falls in a forest and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound?' conundrum. What is sound? Sound can be most loosely described as the observer's perception of pressure waves moving through a medium (air). Similarly, what is color? Color is just an observer's perception of light waves as they move through a medium. Color and sound are completely manifest from our own minds.

    Just like Schrodinger's Cat, no finite state actually exists until it has been observed. The existence of observation is everything.

    p.s., jinzang, I really like the rainbow example.
  • ThailandTomThailandTom Veteran
    edited July 2010
    according to science and the latest theory, everything is in fact composed of minute strands of string. Not literally the string you have on your yoyo, but strands that make up the atoms that make up what you see. Yes the vast majority of existence is in fact space, a void, but these strings are all vibrating at different pitches and are what makes up everything. If you want to look into thisjust search string theory on youtube or google. It is after all a theory, such as the one proposed that sais the world was flat, or we were at the centre of the universe. I have recently heard that the universe is meant to be flat... It seems science keeps evolving and correcting itself over time never truly grasping the true nature of reality, tom :)
  • edited July 2010
    ThailandTom;119761 said:
    aI have recently heard that the universe is meant to be flat... It seems science keeps evolving and correcting itself over time never truly grasping the true nature of reality, tom :)
    Tom, the notion of the Earth being flat or curved is quite different than that of the universe being flat or curved. Dealing with the Earth, flat literally means flat like a piece of paper, and curved literally means curved like the surface of a ball. When discussing the curvature of space, it's not a debate about whether - "viewed from outside" the universe - it looks like a ball or a piece of paper. It's that space, itself, is curved.

    To think about this, imagine space as having 3-D grid lines, so you could see how far apart one point in space was from another. Locally, of course, these lines would appear straight, but if you were to "zoom out", so to speak, curved-ness implies that the lines would diverge (or, however unlikely, converge).

    A great way of visualizing this concept is by looking at a flat, rectangular map of the world. Perhaps you might notice that Greenland appears huge on these maps, but that is simply a consequence of the stretching of the dimensions when translating the surface of a sphere to a rectangle. The curving of space works essentially in the reverse fashion. Instead of the illusion that space becomes stretched from a curved surface, and put onto a flat one (as with the map-globe analogy), the illusion is that space is flat all around us while the reality is that there is much more surface, or space, in all outward directions.

    This is what is called hyperbolic space. M.C. Escher brilliantly conceived of this in a number of woodcuts such as the one below:
    image
    All of these flying fish are exactly the same size in hyperbolic geometry, though they appear to get smaller and smaller toward the edge of this circle. The space depicted here is actually infinitely large, yet the circle we see in this representation technically has no real boundary; instead, because of this curved spatial geometry, everything shrinks down to the point of becoming infinitely small to the point that the objects cease to extend out any farther from our center viewpoint. However, if we were to move about in this space, skipping down a few "rows" of fish, we would see the exact same picture because of the very fact that the fish are actually the same size.

    Mathematically, hyperbolic spatial geometry is equivalent to a negative-radius sphere: a sort of inverse of the positive-radius spheres which we know and love.


    But if that's more than you really wanted to know, I sincerely apologize; I suppose I'm prone to a bit of scientific rambling from time-to-time.

    BB
  • ThailandTomThailandTom Veteran
    edited July 2010
    Wow, thank you for that in-depth and great explanation :) Physics and quantum mechanics has always intrigued me, but I never followed it up at college or university, I followed my talent instead...

    However, as much as this is a fantastic description it is missing my simple point in a way. I was merely stating that as we advance technologically and intellectually, science does too. Obviously we know things today that are a fact, but if you look back in time science does keep correcting itself. It is VERY interesting in my opinion how scientists are staying things in modern times that correlate so much with certain teachings od buddhism :)

    Tom
  • edited July 2010
    ThailandTom;121194 said:
    I followed my talent instead...
    Okay, now I'm curious, what talent is that??

    ... But back to the topic ...
    I was merely stating that as we advance technologically and intellectually, science does too. Obviously we know things today that are a fact, but if you look back in time science does keep correcting itself. It is VERY interesting in my opinion how scientists are staying things in modern times that correlate so much with certain teachings od buddhism :)
    Great point. IMO, this is the most wonderful thing about science; that despite any predetermined internal or external belief or influence, proven fact and logic trumps all else. Where flip-flopping is considered political suicide, self-correction is really the crux of the scientific experience. I'm not sure who said this, but I love this quote: "When the facts change, I change my mind. Pray tell, what do you do, sir?"

    I believe science and Buddhism are two different roads toward ultimate reality - with the pureness of mathematics as the tool of the former, and the pervasiveness of meditation as a tool of the latter. It is said that Plato believed in two fundamental absolutes, the Good and the Beautiful. Where those two ideals converge, the Truth resides. It is truly wonderful that a species as minuscule as ourselves - but a speck of dust on the infinite table of the universe - is able to conceive of such an ideal; and even, daresay, miraculous that there exist these two means of catching a glimpse of it.

    BB
  • ThailandTomThailandTom Veteran
    edited July 2010
    I studied graphic design at college an university and then decided after finishing the first year at university and ending up in the middle of the second that I wanted to leave the western world all together lol.
    I think that mathmatics could lead to great places of understanding, the advances in quantum physics are truly intriguing to me, even as a lay peron who has little understanding of the subject. But tools used in science which are not mathamatics are created by humans and therefore I think cannot measure or observe true reality. It only ever throws up delusion in my opinion..
    Anyway, back to topic yes :)
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited July 2010
    Someone asks Shamar Rinpoche to explain emptiness - "what do you think emptiness is?

    Response: Whatever it is that you're thinking, that's not it".

    :)
  • edited August 2010
    BB: Sweet picture, did this remind anyone else of a kaleidoscope?

    My 2 cents on emptiness is that we're always experiencing emptiness, because we're always experiencing things that are not emptiness. Some guy (Alan Watts, maybe?)
    said "Nothing is that which brings something into focus". I think it's right in front of us, but we don't always notice it because it's almost too close to us.
  • cazcaz Veteran
    edited August 2010
  • ChrysalidChrysalid Veteran
    edited August 2010
    chanratt;115927 said:
    is dark matter the same stuff as we call emptiness. Truth Seeker started a excellent thread in this very forum entitled Emptiness and it has got me thinking. Is the empty part of the atom dark matter-emptiness?
    Dark matter is matter that doesn't emit or reflect light (electromagnetic radiation), and so we can't see it directly, only observe the effect of it's gravity well on nearby visible matter.
    chanratt;115927 said:

    another question....i get the 'everything is made of the same stuff' point of view, but what i cant wrap my head around is when buddhism talks of us being the same as the sound we hear or the wind in our face. I can see us being the same as a rock because it is made of atoms etc, but sound waves etc?
    A wave is energy that is in constant motion, and thus constantly changing in both it's nature and form. For example, a wave in the sea is composed of moving water, but if the wave hits a cliff it becomes a wave of sound in the rock and air. Maybe people compare a wave to a person's mind because the mind is also in a state of constant flux, never the same thing from moment to moment, but like a wave in the sea it has the illusion of being a distinct object.
    Or maybe not.
    Marmalade said:
    My 2 cents on emptiness is that we're always experiencing emptiness, because we're always experiencing things that are not emptiness.
    I've been trying to wrap my head around emptyness too. I think, from what I've read, emptyness refers to an objects inherent lack of permanence and identity. Like, if you have an oak tree we know it grew from an acorn, but it is an acorn no longer, it has been a sapling but isn't one anymore, at some times of year it is a tree with leaves, at others it is only branches. And one day it will no longer be a tree, it will be a dead trunk that is a birds nest or a telephone pylon, or a ship's hull. The "tree" is only the name we gave to one stage in a process.
    Or again, maybe not. I think sometimes I think too much.
  • chanrattchanratt Veteran
    edited August 2010
    thanks for all the replies, and it seems that since starting this thread i have finally grasped the concept of emptiness.
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