the origin of life and the universe

nativeastral

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since there is a wide spectrum of beliefs here, religious and secular, would anyone be interested in sharing their ideas, comprehension and understanding on the origin of life with regard to the beliefs and myths of your particular religion and how or if it is reconciled with modern science's accepted theory of natural selection ?

apparently children get confused between the origin of life and the origin of the universe [scottish education document]. maybe l am too since l am starting to believe nothing is inanimate matter?!

l'm not really up on the creationist issue so an update on that wouldn't go amiss either.

l would be particularly interested in creation myths and the underlying meanings they convey. do they/can they accord with modern quantum physics [as abstruse as it is]?

ie can the narratives 'match' up coherently so that the past present and future conveys an undeniable truth, a perennial wisdom still singing a song that the young steeped in scientism nowadays can still relate?
 

citizenzen

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Buddhism is all about cause and effect.

Science has never been an enemy to Buddhism.
 

nativeastral

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nativeastral,

Here is a thread on the Theosophical version of the origin of the universe

http://www.interfaith.org/forum/theosophys-origin-of-the-universe-8366.html

One important distinction is that, according to Theosophy, God emanted from the Darkness, rather than the other way around, as in the Christian version.

immediately l thought of black holes/dark matter anti, no, ante matter [the pre matter in your post]. Though in genesis it was also black to begin with until g#d moved over the [ocean] and separated light/dark.
thanks for link.
 

nativeastral

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Buddhism is all about cause and effect.

Science has never been an enemy to Buddhism.

do they accept hindu origin myths or have they 'created' their own narratives [perhaps from other ancient sources] or did Buddha not speak of origins? he must have had to define nirvana [end] in contrast to beginnings?
 

nativeastral

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oops my mistake, no teleological end nor beginning but eternal [?] cylces, so no time nor place [in space?]. need to do more reading on buddhism; will check the excellent past threads on this forum.
 

juantoo3

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apparently children get confused between the origin of life and the origin of the universe [scottish education document]. maybe l am too since l am starting to believe nothing is inanimate matter?!

Not to worry, the sky won't crash down on your head for not understanding. Abiogenesis is the study of the origins of life, and is quite a separate study from that of the origins of the universe. It is also quite a different study than evolution. :)

l would be particularly interested in creation myths and the underlying meanings they convey. do they/can they accord with modern quantum physics [as abstruse as it is]?

No. Quantum physics is such a new way of looking at things, and creation myths are centuries if not millenia old. Heck, most sciences still haven't incorporated quantum physics, and frankly its a bit too early to do so anyway. The concept has yet to fully fledge. Who knows? Ten years from now it may be shown to be a wild goose chase, barking up the wrong tree. We won't know until we better explore the avenues it presents.

I will throw out one wild card to consider...Mandelbrot sets.

As for creation myths, those I have heard from Native American traditions have nothing to do with quantum physics. They are ways of explaining why the tribe relates to certain things/animals/plants/situations and circumstances in traditional ways.
 

Nick the Pilot

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Nativeastral,

Thanks for taking a look at the idea of pre-matter. No, I see pre-matter as quite different than dark matter which has been discovered in the universe. (For those readers out there who do not know, dark matter is matter in the universe that has not been discovered, but is postulated to exist, in order to explain gravitational behavior of galaxies.) Pre-matter is the basic ‘substance’ from which all physical matter is constructed. (According to the theory, if dark matter exists, it is composed of pre-matter, just like all other physical matter is.)

Here are two more things about pre-matter. First of all, it is called by the word Mulaprakriti, which I believe is a Sanskrit word. Also, the Blessed Virgin Mary is merely a symbol of pre-matter. Mary symbolizes pre-matter, and the baby Jesus symbolizes our physical universe which has been produced from pre-matter. (This, it is said, is the real meaning of the symbology of Mary and baby Jesus.)

I am delighted that you have mentioned darkness, God, and light, as mentioned in the first chapter of Genesis. In my belief system, it is said that God emanated from the darkness, while Genesis says the opposite happened, that darkness ‘emanated’ from God. It is my belief system’s contention that Genesis originally said that God emanated from darkness, but the order was later reversed for political reasons by pre-Biblical writers.

It is my belief system's contention that there is a God, but God is not almighty, and that God emanated from the Darkness.

One more thing. Genesis says in the third sentence that spirit moved across the waters. These waters are the very pre-matter (Mary) that we have been talking about. It was the interaction of spirit (light) and pre-matter (water) that created our physical universe (Jesus, God). This makes more sense than the disjointed and intentionally altered story in Genesis.
 

seattlegal

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oops my mistake, no teleological end nor beginning but eternal [?] cylces, so no time nor place [in space?]. need to do more reading on buddhism; will check the excellent past threads on this forum.
Buddha said that conjecture on origins of the world would cause madness and vexation to whomever conjectured about it.
 

Nick the Pilot

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"Buddha said that conjecture on origins of the world would cause madness and vexation to whomever conjectured about it."

1. I do not believe Buddha would say such a thing.

2. Such statements cause me to call myself a non-Buddhist. I believe in a soul, today's Buddhists are not allowed to believe in a soul, and this makes me perfectly content to not call myself a Buddhist. (Buddha said there is no such thing as an eternal soul, which fits in my belief system quite nicely.)

I strongly encourage people to conjecture on the origin of the world. Such intellectual activity has great value. I am sure that Buddha would agree with me.
 

seattlegal

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"Buddha said that conjecture on origins of the world would cause madness and vexation to whomever conjectured about it."

1. I do not believe Buddha would say such a thing.
Acintita Sutta

"There are these four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them. Which four?
"The Buddha-range of the Buddhas1 is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.
"The jhana-range of a person in jhana...2
"The [precise working out of the] results of kamma...
"Conjecture about [the origin, etc., of] the world is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.
"These are the four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them."

2. Such statements cause me to call myself a non-Buddhist. I believe in a soul, today's Buddhists are not allowed to believe in a soul, and this makes me perfectly content to not call myself a Buddhist. (Buddha said there is no such thing as an eternal soul, which fits in my belief system quite nicely.)

I strongly encourage people to conjecture on the origin of the world. Such intellectual activity has great value. I am sure that Buddha would agree with me.
Learning to deal with madness and vexation is a good thing, imo. :)
 

nativeastral

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Not to worry, the sky won't crash down on your head for not understanding. Abiogenesis is the study of the origins of life, and is quite a separate study from that of the origins of the universe. It is also quite a different study than evolution. :)



No. Quantum physics is such a new way of looking at things, and creation myths are centuries if not millenia old. Heck, most sciences still haven't incorporated quantum physics, and frankly its a bit too early to do so anyway. The concept has yet to fully fledge. Who knows? Ten years from now it may be shown to be a wild goose chase, barking up the wrong tree. We won't know until we better explore the avenues it presents.

I will throw out one wild card to consider...Mandelbrot sets.

As for creation myths, those I have heard from Native American traditions have nothing to do with quantum physics. They are ways of explaining why the tribe relates to certain things/animals/plants/situations and circumstances in traditional ways.

hello and thanks for the term abiogenesis.

is qm a 'new' way? when l start reading eastern philosophies wave/particle spirit/matter seem dissolved or are 'ways' of seeing same thing. interestingly unlike western philosophy [ok lets blame descartes again,nah,he worked within a christian dualistic paradigm!] who see mind and matter as distinct, it is consciousness that is distinct from the mind, which is conceived of in a material way [can look up ref's if needed].

didn't realise mandelbrots were mathematical sets; but have always thought fractuals in nature was evidence of 'design'. have delved into therapies many of which [reflexology.polarity therapy,taoist,subtle bodies] have the macrocosm of the whole body in parts of. and the structure/patterns of water [photos by a japanese l think] changed by healing etc. electro- magnetic energy we literally know 'the tip of the iceberg' scientifically speaking.

if youve posted any american indian cosmogony previously l would be interested to read. but yes early religions were perhaps as durkheim said societies worshipping themselves [and so totems of real and super imagined animals and beings reaching high high], basically finding, making meaning and order within the environment and remembering the ones gone before.
still awe and reverence to nature and its forces inculcated a respect and honour to the earth and its resources sadly lacking which put me off corned beef from argentina and mcdonalds hamburgers, ok l cant save the rain forests but if we all did our bit...:)
 

nativeastral

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hi nick
from your theosophy post [#19 l think]

'Spirit's flame (the Ray that was emitted) merged with coldness of pre-matter. That act created energy. This living energy linked each one of the individual points of light with the “sea” of existence.'

seems like electro magnetism again ?[and imagined michealangelo's ceiling 'creation']!

l am familiar with the seven rays system through interest in chakras and alice bailey books on esoteric astrology [the science of triangles and sacred geometry] but have a t-shirt with 'i know nothing' on it with regard to its teachings as concealed.

suffice to say she says 'for matter is spirit at its lowest point and spirit is matter at its highest' [pg 340 of the 'true clue to cancer/capricorn relationship'; 'esoteric astrology']

as l just flicked through the book l thought it may be of interest to post
'the great invocation' here

From the point of Light within the Mind of God
Let Light stream forth into the minds of men
Let Light descend on Earth

From the point of Love within the Heart of God
Let Love stream forth into the hearts of men
May Christ return to Earth

From the centre where the Will of God is known
Let purpose guide the little wills of men-
The purpose of which the Masters know and serve

From the centre which we call the race of men
Let the plan of Love and Light work out
And may it seal the door where evil dwells

Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth

[btw here cosmic christ seen as avatar, initiator of humanity's path]
 

nativeastral

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Buddha said that conjecture on origins of the world would cause madness and vexation to whomever conjectured about it.

thanks, he was not called awake for nothing! an old roman catholic woman told me not to get in too deep with philosophy when she heard l was studying. thinking such speculations too ungodly probably bringing doubt and scpeticism, yet echoing neitzsche's [?] aphorism along the lines of 'don't look into the abyss else it looks back at you'!
 

Nick the Pilot

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nativeastral,

You said,

"...he was not called awake for nothing!"

--> Correct!

"an old roman catholic woman told me not to get in too deep with philosophy when she heard l was studying."

--> I, too, have encountered this fundamentalist attitude many times, both from Christian and Buddhist sources.

"thinking such speculations too ungodly probably bringing doubt and scpeticism...."

--> You have hit the nail on the head. Let's call this by its true name -- the protection of fundamentalist dogmatism. Fundamentalists of all types do not want people asking critical questions about their dogma. Such questions probe at weaknesses within a dogma, and fundamentalists hate such questions. I find it humerous to hear the idea that thinking deep thoughts on the nature of the universe will drive us crazy. This is the protection of fundamentalism of the most obvious type.

I (along with thousands of other people who share my belief system) believe that doubt and scepticism are healthy things. (I think you agree?)

My belief system is just the oppositie. Fundamantalism is forbidden in my belief system. We actually encourage critical thinking and open-minded questions that probe untruths guarded by fundamentalism. I am glad to have found such belief system.

"seems like electro magnetism again?"

--> Enegry comes in many forms. (If I remember correctly, electromagnatism is one of the four types of energy.) Energy is a third component that is often left out of discussions of the emergence of the universe. Yes, spirit and matter interacted to create our universe. But spirit and matter needed energy to do that.

"...matter is spirit at its lowest point and spirit is matter at its highest."

--> It is an axiom in my belief system that spirit and matter are only two forms of the same thing. They are two forms of the same thing, moving in opposite directions.
 

nativeastral

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soul is the spirit of the matter
matter is the soul of spirit
spirit is the matter of soul
spirit is the soul of matter
soul is the matter of spirit

energy information consciousness
its a divine mystery
 

juantoo3

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hello and thanks for the term abiogenesis.

No problemo. It is an interesting study.

is qm a 'new' way? when l start reading eastern philosophies wave/particle spirit/matter seem dissolved or are 'ways' of seeing same thing.

Certainly a possibility. Given Einstein's supposed infatuation with Buddhism it is possible there may be some subtle influence.

Merely my own humble observation, but it seems to me that "Eastern philosophies," specifically Buddhism and Hinduism as applied to "agreement with science" seem sufficiently vague and amenable to be found in agreement with pretty much anything anybody cares to throw out there. I confess to a great ignorance of particulars, but those rare "scriptures" trotted out as confirmation seem to me rather vague and tenuous. Again, that is only my feeble and humble opinion, as I am certain others would soundly disagree as is their perogative.

Of course, one point that I feel demands mention, is whether or not spirit is energy...or matter? Does it matter? :D ;) Add in "spooky action at a distance" and Schroedinger's cat, and it all becomes quite interesting. At this point in time though QP is not much more than speculation with a series of sub-atomic particle collisions as validation and reference. I find neutrinos are quite interesting.

interestingly unlike western philosophy [ok lets blame descartes again,nah,he worked within a christian dualistic paradigm!] who see mind and matter as distinct, it is consciousness that is distinct from the mind, which is conceived of in a material way [can look up ref's if needed].

I'd love to see any references, if not too much bother. I know little of Descartes, just the usual casual mention in passing. I am not so sure seeing mind as distinct from matter is entirely unfounded. Is mind energy, or is it matter (here we go again) and what is its relation to spirit? I have recently read a very interesting article interviewing a fascinating scientist about his work, and I was hoping for a chance to insert a reference. An article in the Feb 2009 edition of Discover magazine interviewed Gerald Edelman. It goes on to mention Dr. Edelman recieved the Nobel Prize in 1972 (I presume in medicine) for "work describing the structure of antibodies."

I have seen previous mention elsewhere of Dr. Edelman and his current research with Artificial Intelligence. Dr. Edelman quotes William James, a pioneering researcher into the then infant field of psychology, as having said; "consciousness has the following properties: It is a process, and it involves awareness."

According to Dr. Edelman, an entity can be conscious, and yet non-living. That is how he describes AI, in particular his current model BBD (brain-based device) AI named Darwin 7.

With this in mind then; how do we differentiate between soul and spirit, matter and energy, wave and particle?

if youve posted any american indian cosmogony previously l would be interested to read.

Nothing significant. I keep hoping someone better versed would come along. But I may explore that avenue better before long. I have contributed quite a bit about prehistoric cultures, and my photo albums here at InterFaith are filled with numerous cave paintings and prehistoric artifacts. I find that period of time fascinating to study.

but yes early religions were perhaps as durkheim said societies worshipping themselves [and so totems of real and super imagined animals and beings reaching high high], basically finding, making meaning and order within the environment and remembering the ones gone before.

I'm not familiar with Durkheim, although the name has crossed my path more than once. I'm not so sure I agree with this assessment though. Its possible I don't fully understand what you are getting at... if not inconvenient, would you expand on this?

*still awe and reverence to nature and its forces inculcated a respect and honour to the earth and its resources* sadly lacking which put me off corned beef from argentina and mcdonalds hamburgers, ok l cant save the rain forests but if we all did our bit...:)

Yes, what I take away from what I find in the cave paintings and artifacts does seem to point to this end, but it also transcends this alone. They didn't worship particular animals or plants, per se. There seems to be an overarching principle that binds and ties all these seemingly disparate ends together.
 
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nativeastral

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hi juan
can't seem to copy/paste pdf files here [perhaps because they are from a database?], but here is a wiki link for monistic idealism and qm
Amit Goswami - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

the other article, by paul schweizer, was on mind/consciousness dualism in sankhya/patanjali yoga philosophy. Where mind [manas,buddhi,anamkara] is in the material realm, prakrti, and consciousness [equated with atman/soul?] is from purusa, the immaterial, formless and unchanging; the mind here is seen as inherently unconscious and is only 'illuminated' by purusa [spirit/energy?] via the more refined buddhi substance [intellect] then filtered through the rest instantiating consciousness.


This reminds me of my previous post, l remember now l meant to say 'soul is the marriage between spirit and matter'. that stuck in my mind.

sorry didn't get a chance to look him up. l like W.James as he distinquished between institutional and personal religion, a pragmatist who took seriously para psychology. He was influenced by Swedenberg and the transcendentalists.
his 'varieties of religious experience' is still l think relevant and available online. Apparently he denied the 'fact' of consciousness at one point, saying there is only 'drops' of experience. A.N.Whitehead is another interesting thinker influenced by James and Einstein, founding process theology.
Alfred North Whitehead - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

With reference to Edelman, another guy to look up is David Chalmers who was ridiculed for suggesting a thermometer could be conscious! he brought up the conceivability of the 'zombie' argument, against the prevailing materialism and reductionism of science which wants to eliminate consciousness/subject in their 'objective' endeavours as 'epiphenomenal' [ie extraneous]; physical science can explain how the brain works, the structure and function, but cannot account for the way you feel, the taste of honey, the phenomenal aspect of subjective experience, the explanatory gap or hard problem so called. Though calling himself a naturalist he has flirted with panpychism [proto consciousness in matter hence the thermo!].


juantoo3;189971 With this in mind then; how do we differentiate between soul and spirit said:
how indeed, l suppose its all about reconceptualising physics time/space, information and energy transfers as we now 'know' it but unless you can measure/resonances? c.f evolutionary panentheism forum link here.

would love to say more cos lve side stepped your question..l dunno!
will get back:) soory bout more links than thinks

Émile Durkheim - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

Nick the Pilot

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Native,

You have brought up several fascinating topics, for example, that of the difference between spirit and matter. I see spirit and matter as being just two different forms of the same thing.

I would not say that mind/manas is equated with spirit/purusha. The way I see it, mind/manas emanates from spirit/purusha. Would you agree?

I would also not say that spirit/purusha is unchanging. You do? Some theists say God is immutable, while some non-theists (myself included) say God is mutable. (This is why some non-theists choose to be non-theists, because we feel God by definition is mutable, and therefore cannot be almighty.)

You cited the idea that mind is inherently unconscious and is only 'illuminated' by purusha. I would agree, but not completely. You do?

You also cited the idea that manas/mind is inherently unconscious and is only 'illuminated' by spirit/purusha via the more refined buddhi/intellect, and then filtered through consciousness. Rather, I see manas as a more concrete form of buddhi, which is in turn a more concrete from of purusha. Do you see it differently?

I would also characterize purusha as spirit, rather than spirit/energy. I also would characterize prakriti (or more technically, mulaprakriti) as matter rather than matter/energy. Do you see a need to distinguish between spirit, spirit/energy, matter, and matter/energy?

You say that 'soul is the marriage between spirit and matter'. I think that really depends on the definition of 'soul.' Rather, I would say that everything in the universe is the marriage between spirit and matter, and I see our having a 'soul' as merely a temporary state of being along our path to a higher level. (I would not say great Bodhisattvas/Archangels have a soul, but I think Christians would.)
 

nativeastral

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hi nick
l had meant to post pdf articles but as l couldn't l just summarised the dualist version so it was schweizers interpretations; it was really to indicate how some indian philosophies do not equate mind with consciousness but with matter, which would help western science get over Descarte's hard cast mind/body duality that has plagued the philosophy of mind/science due to it has to be said Christianities extreme separation of flesh and spirit. So in this respect materialists can say mind is brain, but still have to account for consciousness which some say is 'emergent' rather than 'inherent' or 'immaterial' or 'supernatural'.

My quote [which must have came from somewhere but can't recall] was to illustrate western science's emphasis on concrete matter, religion's on abstract spirit, with the soul having to be 'saved' or liberated but l see it as really the embodied medium of creative energy and of life itself, downgraded in christianity to the snake,dragon,from water and eve's expulsion, all negating 'goddess energy' or sensuality or shakti, if you like.

back to the article, mind is equated with prakrti [the primal substance and insentient or unconscious], composing of the faculties manas [perceptions and cognition] and buddhi [reason,intuition] - the mental, coupled with ahamkara [ego or phenomenal self] which appropriates the mental experiences to itself, posseses them.

so as you say the mind or mentality is 'lit up' only from the illuminative purusa via the more refined buddhi 'organ' which is then coloured according to the manas/ego. So content can be separated from consciousness per se, another boon to neuroscience which have had problems dealing 'objectively' with 'subjectivity' [the other article better explained the dissolving of the duality poles via idealistic monism and quantum tanglement/collapse].

am sorry nick as l do not know how to multiquote you l have to keep scrolling down [annoying!]. As purusha is conceived as the cosmic man in the rig veda who was sacrificed to create matter then yes prakrti 'emanates' from purusha or spirit [or world soul?], both therefore equalling creation. l would agree with you then that 'creation' does change and that spirit/matter are two sides of same coin. So how do you define energy in all of this?

l am not sure whether hinduism sees Brahman as Ultimate Reality as eternal and unchanging [therefore immutable] but certainly atman or soul within the individual must be capable of change/purification due their belief in karma and reincarnation?.

Yet In this article purusha is regarded as ontologically different from prakrti, and is the undifferentiated Self, pure awareness and unchanging consciousness, manifested through the 'organs' of the mind, and having no gunas or tendencies. it is matter that has movement and form, so by including mind in the realm of matter mental events are granted causal efficacy [ie thoughts are 'material' which is what science had been saying, eliminative materialism anyways]. So prakrti is merely the medium for spirit purusha to manifest, not the source of consciousness, hence the 'problem' for science.

Like l said, these are from an article which sought to reconcile mind/body problems in philosophy; there are many darshanas or schools, dualist and nondualists. lt was a shame l couldnt paste them on for folk to compare the two of them.

quote nick;
You say that 'soul is the marriage between spirit and matter'. I think that really depends on the definition of 'soul.' Rather, I would say that everything in the universe is the marriage between spirit and matter, and I see our having a 'soul' as merely a temporary state of being along our path to a higher level. (I would not say great Bodhisattvas/Archangels have a soul, but I think Christians would.) unquote.

So what continues to the higher level? the soul as a vehicle? l like the wisdom portrayed in astrology [which btw equates the moon with soul/mind] and l intuitively see a truth in reincarnation [if we believe in the law of conservation] but have no definite ideas, prefering the mystery of it all:)
 
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