Jundo Tackles the 'BIG' Questions - IV (Random Universe?)

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  • Byokan
    Treeleaf Unsui
    • Apr 2014
    • 4280

    #16
    I dimly perceive that the only "meaning" of life is the whole thing, every last bit, and therefore can never be reduced to a few lines. I wouldn't want it to be reduced to a few lines, actually. The universe "means" what it is.
    I think that, since I have an oar in my hand, I was meant to row.


    Gassho
    Lisa
    sat today
    展道 渺寛 Tendō Byōkan
    Please take my words with a big grain of salt. I know nothing. Wisdom is only found in our whole-hearted practice together.

    Comment

    • Tomás ESP
      Member
      • Aug 2020
      • 575

      #17
      Millions of people play and only one wins the lottery. This person might feel special, but he was probably just lucky. Maybe it is the same with our lives. Out of the infinite number of planets, galaxies, and maybe universes, we won a lottery ticket. Doesn't make me feel special, but I do feel lucky and grateful. Regardless of what is true, I row row row. Thanks!

      Gassho,
      Sat

      Comment

      • Jundo
        Treeleaf Founder and Priest
        • Apr 2006
        • 39272

        #18
        Originally posted by Tomás Sard
        Millions of people play and only one wins the lottery. This person might feel special, but he was probably just lucky. Maybe it is the same with our lives. Out of the infinite number of planets, galaxies, and maybe universes, we won a lottery ticket. Doesn't make me feel special, but I do feel lucky and grateful. Regardless of what is true, I row row row. Thanks!

        Gassho,
        Sat
        My new book talks about this a bit, and I argue against it with this example: Yes, what you say is true for someone to win one lottery, or even three times.

        A Massachusetts couple just can't stop winning. Between Janet Pflaumer-Phillips and her husband, Kevin, they've won $1 million scratch-off prizes -- three times. Janet Pflaumer-Phillips (Massachusetts State Lottery) The Massachusetts State Lottery made the announcement on Wednesday, noting that Janet won on the new “Diamond Millions” $30 instant ticket and claimed her winnings two days prior. She purchased the ticket at A&A Petro in Middleborough.


        But we might be have said to have won 13.7 billion years of lotteries without a miss, in perfect sequence. At what point does one begin to consider that, just perhaps, there is a fix in with a corrupt official or a loaded computer at the State lottery office?

        I won't bore you with all of this, and it is still a rough draft ...

        Seemingly, for you and I to be here now, subjectively considering the outcome, we have been the winners ... not of a single lottery where some seemingly unlikely happening happened because something had to happen (although it is not clear why anything had to happen, and why there had to be a lottery in the first place) ... but of a string of back to back lotteries, stretching 14 Billion years to the first expansion of this universe. One might consider the string of events as a new roll of the wheel in every second and fraction of a second within which any one (1) single factor of physics, chemistry, stellar, solar or planetary development, biology, evolution and history had to hit a certain finite number, all to continue to roll our way in order for us to be here now pondering the string of events. No exceptions, not one, can be tolerated, as shown by the fact that we are here to look back and ponder all the a priori steps and stage necessary to our being here to ponder.

        One left turn of a space rock whose right turn would have put our planet out of the game, one needed atom out of place, one star the was not quite hot enough, our world a little too close to our sun, one microbial, piscine or mammalian forefather who fell prey to a predator before having had time to breed, a drought, flood or infection that wiped out an ancestral village, any two grandparents who never met or never loved on just the right night, one sperm that missed its egg, and seemingly ... according to how science now seems to consider cause and effect ... we would have been out of luck. Just one.

        Oh, there might have been more than one chain of events that could have wound around to our front door (the dinosaurs would have been just as wiped out by a different meteor hitting in that moment in place of the one that did, thus clearing the way for the age of us mammals), but it seems in hindsight that the chains leading away from our door are so very very many more.

        Imagine the universe as a mysterious casino. We are not sure of the origins of this casino, but here it is, complete with a very special roulette wheel, That wheel is a matter of life and death. Anyone spinning, truly, is playing with their life because, apparently, only a relative handful of slots will leave the spinner breathing, while a vastly greater number of outcomes result in instant death. The ball is rolled, the player remains alive, signifying that she has been very, very lucky … but that is just how the ball rolls. Good for her.

        But imagine further that the game is changed such that, instead of one roll, her life depends on successfully hitting a handful of slots, again and again without fail, in an incredibly long series of spins stretching back through time. Minute by minute, second by second, continuing on for billions of years, the wheel is spun and the ball rolls with her life in the balance. One single miss, one single fall anywhere amid the greater sweep of deadly outcomes, and game over. Each roll, in each instant through the eons, is a crossroad between being and not. Nonetheless, low and behold, in spin following spin without fail, we have a winner. No matter where she places her bet on the table, it is that number which is called.

        Now, again, if someone goes into a casino, spins the roulette wheel and hits the jackpot 10, 1000 or 10,000 times in a row, well, it could be dumb luck. No less, if someone hits their number 100 times a minute for 14 Billion years, it could be dumb luck too ... although billions of trillions of times more luck. That is just how the wheel turns. But at what point would someone in an actual casino begin to entertain doubts, think about a rat, call the gaming commission, consider that things are not what they seem, that there may be magnets in the wheel and a shady character named “Rocko” with his foot on a pedal? Perhaps the table is weighted, or slants, or the ball is somehow loaded? Perhaps there is some as yet unknown fix or cheat that is in. In fact, to common sense, such a rigging of the table seems much more plausible by Occam’s razor, especially given how seedy this casino is.

        Something is very strange about our being here, and I will bet that there is something more going on than meets the eye. Science just does not know what that “something” is yet, because science is always one generation away from realizing how wrong it has been all along. Oh, I don’t mean that our present understanding of how the world works is totally wrong, because it is not and I have great faith in scientists and the scientific method to overturn centuries of supposition and ignorance. I simply mean that our understanding is bound to be incomplete, just as scientists of the past though that time is constant until Einstein showed them it is not, or until Quantum Mechanics demonstrated the Newtonian physics may only be true above the subatomic world. I will place a wager that what we know about the history of the universe, including the seeming randomness of evolution, is true ... yet not complete ... as a description of what is actually going on.

        Before I go any further with this topic, I just want to note my protest regarding how folks from that other religion use similar arguments to stuff their Jehovah or Creationism into the cracks of this mystery. That is not what I am talking about at all. It could be that there is some “intelligent designer” who has rigged a game or simulation of some sort, with amazing technology or power, by which it only appears in the game that there is random evolution, but actually there are hidden parameters in the programming that limit or channel outcomes. That would not be unlike the multi-player fantasy quest game my teenage plays which depicts a world of seemingly endless variety, with choices, surprises and doorways to pass through all along, yet the outcomes are actually finite and the world far from as free as it seems. That is a possibility. Some respected scientists and philosophers today believe that the odds of our world (including your reading this book right now) actually being part of a simulation you are experiencing being run by some advanced species could be 50% in their eyes. Certainly, the graphics on my son’s newest fantasy game are so realistic that I sometimes feel that I am looking at wizards standing right outside my window rather than on a screen. The latest virtual reality equipment adds movement, dimension and actual physical sensation to the experience. A physicist friend of mind tells me that it might not actually take that much computing power to create the experience of being in a whole universe if we merely create at any one time the room or horizons and sky that we can see at any one time (in other words, no reason to animate the world beyond a door or over horizon until we wish to go there, whereupon the world we leave behind can be easily erased). It is a possibility.

        Or, there may just be some principle, force to other factor that is perfectly natural, with no intent or intelligence behind it at all, but which shapes outcomes. How miraculous it must have seemed to our ancestors that “magic” acorns always produce oak trees, and not apple trees, until they had some early understanding of genetics. How strange that cannon balls fall to earth, and do not continue on indefinitely unless shot into space, until we had some basic understanding of gravity. Are they pushed down by some god’s invisible hands? How mysterious the chromosome, until we understood the double helix. In other words, our knowledge now is not wrong, but there are likely additional forces and principles at work that await discovery. It is the best explanation for our being here to think about it all: I think, therefore I wonder.
        Gassho, J

        STLah
        Last edited by Jundo; 08-18-2020, 07:56 AM.
        ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

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        • Tomás ESP
          Member
          • Aug 2020
          • 575

          #19
          Thank you for sharing Jundo. It is interesting to compare your modern outlook with that of the historical Buddha, that for better or for worse, we are stuck in a cycle of Samsara. Funny enough, despite the suffering, I am grateful for this life. Looking forward to reading your book!

          Gassho,
          Sat

          Comment

          • Jundo
            Treeleaf Founder and Priest
            • Apr 2006
            • 39272

            #20
            Originally posted by Tomás Sard
            Thank you for sharing Jundo. It is interesting to compare your modern outlook with that of the historical Buddha, that for better or for worse, we are stuck in a cycle of Samsara. Funny enough, despite the suffering, I am grateful for this life. Looking forward to reading your book!

            Gassho,
            Sat
            The passage actually appears in a section of the book in which I am trying to "resuscitate" (pun intended) rebirth in modern terms.

            Gassho, J

            STLah
            ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

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