Is gravity impermanent

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Is gravity impermanent

Postby salaatti » Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:34 pm

Hey, I have understood from buddhist teaching that everything is impermanent and actually nothing is same for even two seconds. But science has showed that gravity is always the same. Or actually it may be that space and universe will rip a part, but still gravity has been same for billions of years.

Is here any scientist on the forum who would like to comment on this,

thanks
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Re: Is gravity impermanent

Postby Sanghamitta » Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:46 pm

Salaati, The Buddhist teaching is that things are impermanant, and also that things arise when the conditions for their existence arise. When conditions for things cease to be ,those things no longer come into being. So when the conditions for gravity exist, gravity also exists. When those conditions no longer exist, there is no gravity. Gravity is dependent on mass. No mass, no gravity. Objects with mass are themselves impermanant.its not that gravity is somehow floating around even when there are no objects with mass. When there is an object with mass gravity arises. The same with us actually. When conditions for our existence arise we exist. When those conditions no longer exist neither do we. Gravity, clouds ,mountains, people, worlds, are all arising in dependence on conditions.
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Re: Is gravity impermanent

Postby vitellius » Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:07 pm

There are arupa (non-material) worlds according to suttas; there is no matter in such worlds. And from time to time the Universe collapses with only arupa plane left. So we may speculate that there is no gravity at that time :)
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Re: Is gravity impermanent

Postby dustyzafu » Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:56 pm

salaatti wrote:Hey, I have understood from buddhist teaching that everything is impermanent and actually nothing is same for even two seconds. But science has showed that gravity is always the same. Or actually it may be that space and universe will rip a part, but still gravity has been same for billions of years.

Interestingly, we really don't know that. Gravity appears to be constant throughout time and space in the observable universe, but the potential exists that gravity isn't universally homogeneous. There's no great necessity to discuss this, however, because a local approximation serves us very well and "local" on a cosmological scale is bafflingly big, but there are compelling anomalies, odd movements of very big things, when we get to the edges.

Regardless, as pointed out above, gravity isn't a thing.
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Re: Is gravity impermanent

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:00 am

dustyzafu wrote:
salaatti wrote:Hey, I have understood from buddhist teaching that everything is impermanent and actually nothing is same for even two seconds. But science has showed that gravity is always the same. Or actually it may be that space and universe will rip a part, but still gravity has been same for billions of years.



Regardless, as pointed out above, gravity isn't a thing.


Gravity isn't constant, the weight we are changes depending on where on the planet we are, altitude and so on, conditioned things are imperminant, but to understand this we first must understand what the Buddha was talking directly about!
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Re: Is gravity impermanent

Postby pink_trike » Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:35 am

salaatti wrote:Hey, I have understood from buddhist teaching that everything is impermanent and actually nothing is same for even two seconds. But science has showed that gravity is always the same. Or actually it may be that space and universe will rip a part, but still gravity has been same for billions of years.

Is here any scientist on the forum who would like to comment on this,

thanks

Science knows that there are at least three factors that can cause changes in the strength of the gravitational field...fluctuations in the oceans, polar and glacier ice, and the atmosphere. It doesn't know to what extent these fluctuations may extend to over vast periods of time.
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Re: Is gravity impermanent

Postby dustyzafu » Tue Sep 15, 2009 5:06 am

Manapa wrote:Gravity isn't constant, the weight we are changes depending on where on the planet we are, altitude and so on, conditioned things are imperminant, but to understand this we first must understand what the Buddha was talking directly about!

What I and I think the OP are talking about is that the behavior of gravity is often supposed to be constant across time and space - if you have the same masses at the same distance, all else being equal, you'll always get the same force between the two. Therefore, some fetishize gravity as a thing in itself. My point was that we don't even have a full description of gravity, much less any assurance that it's homogeneous. I certainly don't mean you'll weigh the same everywhere.
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Re: Is gravity impermanent

Postby salaatti » Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:30 am

oh, thanks guys. I had understood that gravity is a kind of field in the universe.
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Re: Is gravity impermanent

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:57 am

dustyzafu wrote:
Manapa wrote:Gravity isn't constant, the weight we are changes depending on where on the planet we are, altitude and so on, conditioned things are imperminant, but to understand this we first must understand what the Buddha was talking directly about!

What I and I think the OP are talking about is that the behavior of gravity is often supposed to be constant across time and space - if you have the same masses at the same distance, all else being equal, you'll always get the same force between the two. Therefore, some fetishize gravity as a thing in itself. My point was that we don't even have a full description of gravity, much less any assurance that it's homogeneous. I certainly don't mean you'll weigh the same everywhere.


just because the mass is the same doesn't mean gravity is the same on each, I was refering to earth alone the gravity at any point can actually change depending on the amout of people in the area, as found in certain experiments at a university in the states and shown on Mythbusters where they used the equiptment which discovered this.
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Re: Is gravity impermanent

Postby mudra » Sun Nov 01, 2009 4:29 am

I always understood the teaching to be "all composite phenomena/things are impermanent". Which is a little different from "everything" is impermanent. Impermanent in this contexty would be "constantly changing" whereas permanent is not so much eternal as not changing for the duration of its existence. E.g. the lack of true self of a person doesn't change for as long as the person exists.
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Re: Is gravity impermanent

Postby jcsuperstar » Sun Nov 01, 2009 4:53 am

nibbana is permanent too, so not everything is impermanent
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the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Is gravity impermanent

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:15 am

When asking "Is gravity impermanent?", it may be worthwhile distinguishing between a couple of points, all of which may come under the broad idea of "gravity" in non-specialist terms, but which for the sake of this question, may lead to very different answers.

1. Gravitation - in the Newtonian sense. Newton's law of universal gravitation states that every object in this universe attracts every other object with a force which is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of distance between their centres.
2. Gravitation - According to general relativity, the observed gravitational attraction between masses results from the warping of space and time by those masses.
3. The specific gravitational force exterted by planet earth upon objects, such as that which stops us flying into space.

Moreover, wrt to Buddhism, when Buddhism is making statements like "sabba-sankhara anicca", or "sabba-dhamma anatta", etc. all these sankhara and dhamma are referring to phenomena, and not to the laws relating phenomena. For instance, paticcasamuppada is not considered a dhamma in the sense of a phenomena (by most schools), even though it is considered a dhamma as an abstract principle. The principle itself is paticcasamuppada, whereas the objects subject to this principle are paticcasamuppanna. Quite different, and not to be confused.

So, whereas the specific force that, say, makes my body "fall downwards" is one thing, whereas the general principle that there is going to be an attractive force between my body and the earth, is another. The former will vary, with my own mass, the mass of the earth, and the distance between myself and the (center of) mass of the earth. However, the principle itself does not.
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Re: Is gravity impermanent

Postby nowheat » Sun Nov 01, 2009 12:15 pm

salaatti wrote:Hey, I have understood from buddhist teaching that everything is impermanent and actually nothing is same for even two seconds. But science has showed that gravity is always the same. Or actually it may be that space and universe will rip a part, but still gravity has been same for billions of years.

Is here any scientist on the forum who would like to comment on this,

thanks

The Buddha did not say that "everything is impermanent", he said that "All constructed things are impermanent." Is gravity constructed?

The concept of gravity is a construction and is impermanent: We don't even understand why gravity is such a "weak force" so our concept of gravity will change when we come to understand it better.

Gravity is a force -- is a force a constructed thing? If it is constructed it's on such a huge scale that we don't get to see the change. I have read some theories that after each big bang the way the laws of the new universe would act might be different from the ways ours do, so in that case even the laws of the universe would be "constructed" and would therefore be impermanent.

:namaste:
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Re: Is gravity impermanent

Postby notself » Sun Nov 01, 2009 3:45 pm

nowheat wrote:
salaatti wrote:Hey, I have understood from buddhist teaching that everything is impermanent and actually nothing is same for even two seconds. But science has showed that gravity is always the same. Or actually it may be that space and universe will rip a part, but still gravity has been same for billions of years.

Is here any scientist on the forum who would like to comment on this,

thanks

The Buddha did not say that "everything is impermanent", he said that "All constructed things are impermanent." Is gravity constructed?

The concept of gravity is a construction and is impermanent: We don't even understand why gravity is such a "weak force" so our concept of gravity will change when we come to understand it better.

Gravity is a force -- is a force a constructed thing? If it is constructed it's on such a huge scale that we don't get to see the change. I have read some theories that after each big bang the way the laws of the new universe would act might be different from the ways ours do, so in that case even the laws of the universe would be "constructed" and would therefore be impermanent.

:namaste:


The word is not "constructed". It is "conditioned". Gravity is conditioned by mass and mass is conditioned by gravity. Since mass is continuously changing, so it gravity.
Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he is indeed the noblest victor who conquers himself. ---Dhp 103
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Re: Is gravity impermanent

Postby Modus.Ponens » Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:13 am

I think the question would be better expressed as: Are the (true) laws of physics permanent?

Personaly, I think they are.

This subjetc raises a philosophical question very hard to answer: do the laws of physics exist even if we didn't? are the laws of physics just concepts created by us or do they exist independently of us, as absolute laws? good luck answering these questions! :tongue:
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