In 'The Beginning' ?

Casual conversation between friends. Anything goes (almost).
User avatar
Mantrik
Posts: 1113
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:55 pm
Contact:

In 'The Beginning' ?

Post by Mantrik » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:37 pm

It always makes me smile when people accept the premise that there was a 'Beginning' and focus on what, when, how, where, why, and of course who (God etc.)

Why do people blindly accept a Beginning and rarely consider a continuum without beginning or end ?

We have models like the Mobius Strip but of course that is iterative and inevitably returns to the same place, so where is our model of a continuum which moves forwards eternally, and has always done so? Sure, we may have cycles, but we move on.

https://www.space.com/38982-no-big-bang ... e=facebook
http://www.khyung.com

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्)

User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 5149
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: In 'The Beginning' ?

Post by Queequeg » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:11 pm

maybe because our poor little brains are wired to see cause and effect and when we throw infinity into the mix, it causes our synapses to burn out.

not to make it about the Lotus Sutra, because, after all, it is always all about the Lotus Sutra... but this is the what the Buddha addresses when he reveals his immeasurable life span... cue the argument about whether the Buddha is talking about a beginning or not... or an end or not... he describes his awakening in the infinite past and our awakening in the infinite future which leaves us stuck in the middle with you.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Saddharmapundarikasutra, Upaya Chapter

User avatar
PuerAzaelis
Posts: 958
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: In 'The Beginning' ?

Post by PuerAzaelis » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:13 pm

Mantrik wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:37 pm
Why do people blindly accept a Beginning ...
Ordinary people are not philosophers, they’re very weak, vulnerable, simple and scared beings who need to feel safe and secure. The easiest way to do that is to hide out in ideas that limit you.
Generally, enjoyment of speech is the gateway to poor [results]. So it becomes the foundation for generating all negative emotional states. Jampel Pawo, The Certainty of the Diamond Mind

For posts from this user, see Karma Dondrup Tashi account.

User avatar
Vasana
Posts: 1577
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:22 am

Re: In 'The Beginning' ?

Post by Vasana » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:14 pm

Mantrik wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:37 pm
Why do people blindly accept a Beginning and rarely consider a continuum without beginning or end ?
Because both are equally mind boggling and people prefer a more familiar boggle to a new one. To be fair, most people who have heard of the big crunch/bounce theory will often mention it if the big bang is mentioned. The reality is that most people don't know of these alternative theories in the first place

Cosmological speculation for me is like the parable of the arrow - I don't think we can really arrive at any certainty about cosmology until we're fully realised.
'When alone, watch your mind. When with others, watch your speech'- Old Kadampa saying.

User avatar
SunWuKong
Posts: 262
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Contact:

Re: In 'The Beginning' ?

Post by SunWuKong » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:51 pm

Mantrik wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:37 pm

We have models like the Mobius Strip but of course that is iterative and inevitably returns to the same place, so where is our model of a continuum which moves forwards eternally, and has always done so? Sure, we may have cycles, but we move on.
The movie Groundhog Day?
“Nothing holy, just vast empty space!”

User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
Posts: 7786
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Re: In 'The Beginning' ?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:33 am

Weariness and confusion.
"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

-Jeff H.

User avatar
Mantrik
Posts: 1113
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:55 pm
Contact:

Re: In 'The Beginning' ?

Post by Mantrik » Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:10 am

SunWuKong wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:51 pm
Mantrik wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:37 pm

We have models like the Mobius Strip but of course that is iterative and inevitably returns to the same place, so where is our model of a continuum which moves forwards eternally, and has always done so? Sure, we may have cycles, but we move on.
The movie Groundhog Day?
That movie means going back to a sort of beginning and repeating it, so like the Mobius strip model. If we have cycles of creation and destruction they need not repeat, but can take place along a linear timeline, on after another.
http://www.khyung.com

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्)

User avatar
Mantrik
Posts: 1113
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:55 pm
Contact:

Re: In 'The Beginning' ?

Post by Mantrik » Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:15 am

I also considered this with respect to states of being.

Shamans talk of entering trance and 'returning'.
Vajrayana practitioners may consider self-generating as a deity is followed by a 'return' to their normal self.

I believe neither to be true. We can't return to a past state of being, either body or mind, which I guess fits in with the Dzogchen idea that we do not 'return' from self-generation, with all that entails, but rest in that state and carry on with our life, seeking to integrate it.
http://www.khyung.com

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्)

pael
Posts: 468
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:49 pm

Re: In 'The Beginning' ?

Post by pael » Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:28 pm

Mantrik wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:37 pm
It always makes me smile when people accept the premise that there was a 'Beginning' and focus on what, when, how, where, why, and of course who (God etc.)

Why do people blindly accept a Beginning and rarely consider a continuum without beginning or end ?
Followers of Abrahamic God say he is without beginning or end. That's why atheist accept a Beginning. Otherwise they feel they have to accept God.
May all beings be free from suffering and causes of suffering

User avatar
SunWuKong
Posts: 262
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Contact:

Re: In 'The Beginning' ?

Post by SunWuKong » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:03 am

I was asked if i could remember before i was born; then also after i died. I can't remember either.
“Nothing holy, just vast empty space!”

User avatar
cyril
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:47 am

Re: In 'The Beginning' ?

Post by cyril » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:47 am

Mantrik wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:37 pm

Why do people blindly accept a Beginning and rarely consider a continuum without beginning or end ?
On a relative level, there is always a beginning the individual relates to. Earliest memories, birthdate, etc. The rest is extrapolation.
"You have to make the good out of the bad because that is all you have got to make it out of."
- Robert Penn Warren -

User avatar
Mantrik
Posts: 1113
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:55 pm
Contact:

Re: In 'The Beginning' ?

Post by Mantrik » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:28 am

cyril wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:47 am
Mantrik wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:37 pm

Why do people blindly accept a Beginning and rarely consider a continuum without beginning or end ?
On a relative level, there is always a beginning the individual relates to. Earliest memories, birthdate, etc. The rest is extrapolation.
I'm not sure I accept the concept of an earliest memory. I can't remember what my earliest memory was in my mind when I was a baby or a toddler, only what I can remember now as my oldest memory. I think it is all part of the mental continuum and for some that may include past life memories etc.
Interesting how those memories also change as we get older. Sometimes they are experiences we were told about and now think we remember.

Birthdate as a beginning is an artificial anniversary we have given importance, in part because we have created 'dates' to carve up our lives.

Perhaps we have a deep psychological need, allied to security, for something which seems finite, even if it is our own invention. We can't grasp infinity as a concept, but we can handle the various Creation myths, or even the idea of cycles of creation, preservation and destruction.
http://www.khyung.com

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्)

User avatar
cyril
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:47 am

Re: In 'The Beginning' ?

Post by cyril » Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:07 pm

Mantrik wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:28 am
cyril wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:47 am
Mantrik wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:37 pm

Why do people blindly accept a Beginning and rarely consider a continuum without beginning or end ?
On a relative level, there is always a beginning the individual relates to. Earliest memories, birthdate, etc. The rest is extrapolation.
I'm not sure I accept the concept of an earliest memory. I can't remember what my earliest memory was in my mind when I was a baby or a toddler, only what I can remember now as my oldest memory. I think it is all part of the mental continuum and for some that may include past life memories etc.
Interesting how those memories also change as we get older. Sometimes they are experiences we were told about and now think we remember.

Birthdate as a beginning is an artificial anniversary we have given importance, in part because we have created 'dates' to carve up our lives.

Perhaps we have a deep psychological need, allied to security, for something which seems finite, even if it is our own invention. We can't grasp infinity as a concept, but we can handle the various Creation myths, or even the idea of cycles of creation, preservation and destruction.
Of course. But if I ask you now what your earliest memories are, you would certainly come up with something for the moment. If later on, you discover that you can access even earlier memories, that doesn't change anything. It just moves this empirical beginning to an earlier period. Of course, just like the birthdate, this personal beginning is a mere convention but most people relate to it in the same way they relate to their name, family, nationality and so on. Then, it is a facile thing to extrapolate. This why, IMO, the idea of a "Beginning" appears to fit the human psyche better than the beginningless time paradigm.
"You have to make the good out of the bad because that is all you have got to make it out of."
- Robert Penn Warren -

User avatar
Mantrik
Posts: 1113
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:55 pm
Contact:

Re: In 'The Beginning' ?

Post by Mantrik » Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:33 pm

cyril wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:07 pm
This why, IMO, the idea of a "Beginning" appears to fit the human psyche better than the beginningless time paradigm.
Oh yes, I agree. It is not usually part of human nature to be comfortable with a bottomless pit or even an infinite universe - people like boundaries, even though they often say they wish to be free of them.

I draw a tenuous analogy with Dzogchen as representing freedom from limitations in comparison with what seems to me to be an obsessive need to list and define every element of Buddhist theory and practice I see elsewhere.

I suspect there is a very wide spectrum between those who cannot grasp anything unless it has the appearance of facts, listed and annotated, and those who understand that you cannot know what wine tastes like by reading the label and knowing how the bottle is manufactured. If we accept all manner of finite elements to our existence because they are presented as fact yet are actually unproven, we may be more comfortable I guess.
http://www.khyung.com

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्)

User avatar
TharpaChodron
Posts: 566
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:13 am
Location: California

Re: In 'The Beginning' ?

Post by TharpaChodron » Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:17 am

Someone, perhaps a physicist, told me that everything is actually happening all at once. Now,whether that's true or corresponds to the Buddhist view of time/space, I'm not sure. I'd like to hear some opinions on that.

Bristollad
Posts: 329
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:39 am

Re: In 'The Beginning' ?

Post by Bristollad » Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:29 am

These type of discussions always remind me of young children who at an early stage of learning about numbers insist that there is a biggest number, or a smallest number. They can get quite upset until they understand that this is not the case.

User avatar
Mantrik
Posts: 1113
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:55 pm
Contact:

Re: In 'The Beginning' ?

Post by Mantrik » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:33 am

TharpaChodron wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:17 am
Someone, perhaps a physicist, told me that everything is actually happening all at once. Now,whether that's true or corresponds to the Buddhist view of time/space, I'm not sure. I'd like to hear some opinions on that.
Interesting idea. I can get my head around the concept of an infinite flow, but struggle with the idea that there can be such a thing as a 'moment' in time. How long is it? If it lasts for any duration at all, can it still be a moment? If it doesn't last at all, can it exist in time?
http://www.khyung.com

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्)

User avatar
Mantrik
Posts: 1113
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:55 pm
Contact:

Re: In 'The Beginning' ?

Post by Mantrik » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:45 am

Bristollad wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:29 am
These type of discussions always remind me of young children who at an early stage of learning about numbers insist that there is a biggest number, or a smallest number. They can get quite upset until they understand that this is not the case.

I'm hopeless with Maths. I know we have an Infinity symbol and concept, and that dismisses the 'largest' idea.

How do we represent the ideas that there is no 'smallest' though ?

I assume zero is not a number, so the smallest number depends on how much we carve up the bit between 1 and 0, so we never run our of zeros to add to 0.00000000000000000000000001 after the decimal point. A quantity is not getting smaller, but our units of measurement, the new decimal numbers, are. When we measured in whole untis, there must surely have been a lowest number, plus or minus 1 ?
Last edited by Mantrik on Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
http://www.khyung.com

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्)

shaunc
Posts: 649
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:10 am

Re: In 'The Beginning' ?

Post by shaunc » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:59 am

Maybe I'm not a philosopher, but I could never understand why questions like this were important to people.
Perhaps many people that are drawn into following different spiritual paths are navel gazers.
Even if someone could answer these type of questions with 100% accuracy I still can't understand how their lives would be improved.
Good luck and best wishes.
Namu Amida Butsu.
Shaun.

User avatar
Mantrik
Posts: 1113
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:55 pm
Contact:

Re: In 'The Beginning' ?

Post by Mantrik » Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:10 am

shaunc wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:59 am
Maybe I'm not a philosopher, but I could never understand why questions like this were important to people.
I think people find such things important if they find comfort and security in boundaries they can believe in.

I think many of those attracted to spiritual paths are actually seeking that comfort from a defined set of beliefs, rules etc.
The last thing they want is to have those accepted premises challenged. Creation stories are vital to some religious people, as we know, and the idea of there being existence before God created the world, freaks them out. Look across at the 'Cosmic Egg' thread and you see the idea that the first step is for something to arise from nothingness. Some spiritual folk would rather accept such things rather than challenge it and make the edifice of their lives wobble.

So, far from being 'naval gazers' they are more 'saviour seekers' in my experience, although I refer to wider life; here on DW is not at all representative of that as it is a discussion forum.
http://www.khyung.com

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], Grigoris, Majestic-12 [Bot], Norwegian and 50 guests