Light Cone – The scientific explanation for Kamma

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Light Cone – The scientific explanation for Kamma

Postby SarathW » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:02 am

I believe that the Kamma can be explained by using modern physics. If we accept that light can be viewed as a wave or a particle, then we can argue that the particle can also be viewed as a wave.
If we use this knowledge with the theory of light cone, past Kamma (cause) is the past light cone and the future rebirth (effect) will be the future light cone.
Buddhism teaches us that our present existence is the result of our past action (past light cone) and our future existence (future light cone) is based on our present action. :idea:

Any thoughts?


“A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking, http://www.fisica.net/relatividade/step ... f_time.pdf
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Re: Light Cone – The scientific explanation for Kamma

Postby daverupa » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:13 am

Kamma isn't light, which poses one problem.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Light Cone – The scientific explanation for Kamma

Postby SarathW » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:39 am

I am not talking about visible light. Did you mean the whole light spectrum? :)
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Re: Light Cone – The scientific explanation for Kamma

Postby Sadge » Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:02 pm

Shaky at best?
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Re: Light Cone – The scientific explanation for Kamma

Postby manas » Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:42 am

Hi Sarath,

some of the ideas in quantum mechanics do, I agree, seem to jibe with Buddhist concepts. But when it comes to how exactly kamma works, I think we had better consider this:

Acintita Sutta: Unconjecturable
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
© 1997–2013
___________________________________

"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 Buddhas[1] 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."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


With that forewarning, yes it is an interesting subject. I have a speculation regarding the field (in wave form) which, when observed by human consciousness, 'changes' into solid particle form. Every volition - thought, word or deed - leaves an impression on the field in it's latent, waveform state, to return as consequence at some later stage; and because the field is in wave form, virtually anything can be made from it; thus, when the time is right for a kamma to ripen, the right effect easily goes to the right person, because all that has to happen is that that person's observing conscious awareness manifests the particle forms / experiences that are fitting, according to kamma.

If that sounded unclear, well it was just speculation on my part, and stricly speaking, we are probably not supposed to ponder it so much... :tongue: but just so you know, yes I have thought about it also.

:anjali:
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Re: Light Cone – The scientific explanation for Kamma

Postby binocular » Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:24 am

SarathW wrote:I believe that the Kamma can be explained by using modern physics. If we accept that light can be viewed as a wave or a particle, then we can argue that the particle can also be viewed as a wave.
If we use this knowledge with the theory of light cone, past Kamma (cause) is the past light cone and the future rebirth (effect) will be the future light cone.
Buddhism teaches us that our present existence is the result of our past action (past light cone) and our future existence (future light cone) is based on our present action.

Any thoughts?


Last I heard, doubts about the Dhamma don't get dispelled by resorting to non-dhammic theories about things ...

:yingyang:
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Re: Light Cone – The scientific explanation for Kamma

Postby Buckwheat » Sat Apr 13, 2013 1:20 pm

SarathW wrote:Any thoughts?

I mean this with all do compassion, but I think your hypothesis is like this:
Samaññaphala Sutta wrote:Just as if a person, when asked about a mango, were to answer with a breadfruit; or, when asked about a breadfruit, were to answer with a mango.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.
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Re: Light Cone – The scientific explanation for Kamma

Postby James the Giant » Sat Apr 13, 2013 4:07 pm

Sarah, you are sort of right when you say:
Buddhism teaches us that our present existence is the result of our past action (past light cone) and our future existence (future light cone) is based on our present action. :idea:

And the Light Cone thing is right in a sense, in that it is the total of past events that effect us here in the present.

But you see, that is just a sciencey way of saying "What happened in the past affects us now, and what happens now effects the future."
Which is not new, because we already know this. The Light Cone thing is just a different way of saying it. Apart from it being a Karma Cone instead. I wonder how fast Karma travels?
So in that way, yes, you are right.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
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Re: Light Cone – The scientific explanation for Kamma

Postby m0rl0ck » Sat Apr 13, 2013 5:00 pm

There is nothing sacred about modern physics or the scientific method. They are just arbitrary rules and explanations, just ideas. You might as well try to explain the dharma with cave paintings. The object is to see reality, not make up new and "better" views.
Joshu was asked,
"When a man comes to you with nothing,
what would you say to him ?"
Joshu replied, "Throw it away!"
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Re: Light Cone – The scientific explanation for Kamma

Postby manas » Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:31 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:There is nothing sacred about modern physics or the scientific method. They are just arbitrary rules and explanations, just ideas. You might as well try to explain the dharma with cave paintings. The object is to see reality, not make up new and "better" views.


But what does 'sacred' mean? For me, a quick definition might be 'the search for truth - along with any concepts which embody or describe it - when that truth is also attuned to the highest moral good'. (Or something like that, that was just off the cuff.) I agree that mechanistic, materialistic science has often ignored the moral dimension of truth - but that has not been universally so; furthermore, not all scientists still believe in the mechanistic model of the world (in which consciousness is derived via the complex interaction of matter). In fact that world view is looking quite outdated now.

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Re: Light Cone – The scientific explanation for Kamma

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Apr 14, 2013 4:56 am

Ok so in my last post substitute "special" for sacred. I should have known better than to use such a loaded word.

There is a certain kind of wrong view that is about intellectual conceit and being smart and wanting to feel fashionable and cutting edge. If there were a dharma 10,000 years ago, the type of person prone to this error would have been comparing the dharma to cave paintings. Two hundred years ago the type of person prone to this error would have been comparing the dharma to steam engines. Today, this type of person compares the dharma to modern physics.
Joshu was asked,
"When a man comes to you with nothing,
what would you say to him ?"
Joshu replied, "Throw it away!"
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Re: Light Cone – The scientific explanation for Kamma

Postby alan » Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:27 pm

Kamma refers to intention. There is no way to prove or disprove it by way of science, and no need to do so.
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Re: Light Cone – The scientific explanation for Kamma

Postby Digity » Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:23 pm

Light cone has nothing to do with karma. At best it's past/future concept might be a good analogy for karma, but that does not make a proof! Science is far more rigorous than that. Flimsy analysis like this leads to a lot of pseudo-science.
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Re: Light Cone – The scientific explanation for Kamma

Postby SarathW » Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:48 am

Hi all
Thanks for all your answers and effort you put in to it. To me, Dhamma means nature. So Dhamma should not be alienated from science.
I think that science has not caught up with Dhamma as yet. For me, the science has strengthen the faith in Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha.

Not even science, Buddha’s management skills, amazed me.
Think about, his teaching methods and Vinaya (code of conduct) education methods etc which he implemented 2500 years ago.

I agree with you that this knowledge is not contributing to the final liberation and we have to let it go so we can free ourselves from all conditioned things. :)
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Re: Light Cone – The scientific explanation for Kamma

Postby Digity » Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:26 am

When you read about things like evolution, Big Bang, etc and realize they don't contradict the Buddha's teaching and in some cases were even taught by the Buddha (e.g. contraction/expansion of the universe) then it definitely builds one's faith. In the early going things like this helped, but as I've gotten more into Buddhism it's become more about the practice.

I don't think science really needs to catch up with Buddhism. The teachings are fine on their own, but it doesn't hurt when you see scientific studies supporting meditation, etc. However, you have to keep in mind these scientists aren't necessarily Buddhist and their studies are not really capturing everything. So, these studies are interesting, but they only grasp small aspects. The really heart of the teachings are a personal journey and that's a realm science doesn't really touch upon.
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Re: Light Cone – The scientific explanation for Kamma

Postby alan » Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:59 pm

SarathW,
If Dhamma means nature, then it means nothing. Because how can you define nature?

I'd advise you to take a closer look at the Dhamma and its implications. You may find that looking for scientific explanations becomes irrelevant, once you get a better understanding.

Wish you the best on the path.
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Re: Light Cone – The scientific explanation for Kamma

Postby mogg » Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:44 am

SarathW wrote:I believe that the Kamma can be explained by using modern physics. If we accept that light can be viewed as a wave or a particle, then we can argue that the particle can also be viewed as a wave.
If we use this knowledge with the theory of light cone, past Kamma (cause) is the past light cone and the future rebirth (effect) will be the future light cone.
Buddhism teaches us that our present existence is the result of our past action (past light cone) and our future existence (future light cone) is based on our present action. :idea:

Any thoughts?


“A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking, http://www.fisica.net/relatividade/step ... f_time.pdf

I'd stay away from this kind of speculation SarathW, its neither necessary nor likely to yield fruit.

As an aside, Ajahn Brahm is a Cambridge educated Theoretical Physicist (and was a scholarship student to boot), if there was some neat kamma/physics tie in, I'm sure he would have pointed it out by now :)

As it stands, he publicly says that all those years of study were a complete waste of time. Forget the science, practice the 8fold path!

With metta
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