Does everything change?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
alfa
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Does everything change?

Post by alfa »

Namaste,

The most important thing in Buddhism is that everything changes, nothing is constant. But what of electrons. protons? They are constant and never undergo any change. How will Buddhism explain this?

Alfa
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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Does everything change?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala »

alfa wrote:But what of electrons. protons? They are constant and never undergo any change.
Where did you read this?

The truth never changes.

‘The splendid royal chariots, once so beautiful, grow old and decay,
but the teaching of the wise is ageless and never changes,
this is what the wise talk about among themselves.’ ([url-=http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Pesala/Por ... isada.html]Porisāda[/url])
alfa wrote:
Hatred never ceases through hatred in this world;
through love alone does it cease. This is an eternal law. (Dhp v 5)

There never was, there never will be,
nor does there exist now,
a person who is wholly blamed or wholly praised. (Dhp v. 228)
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Dan74
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Re: Does everything change?

Post by Dan74 »

Electrons and protons also decay, just extremely slowly. Besides they are not "things."
_/|\_
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retrofuturist
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Re: Does everything change?

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings Alfa,
alfa wrote:The most important thing in Buddhism is that everything changes, nothing is constant. But what of electrons. protons? They are constant and never undergo any change. How will Buddhism explain this?
Everything experienced changes.

Look internally and see if there's any aspect of your experience which does not change.

Teachings on the five aggregates, six senses etc. will assist in helping you to see that every aspect of experience changes. If you're not familiar with them, I would recommend some study...

The Five Aggregates - Study Guide
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/study/khandha.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

MN 149: Maha-salayatanika Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Metta,
Retro. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"Why now do you assume 'a being'? Mara, have you grasped a view?" (SN 5.10)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)
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ground
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Re: Does everything change?

Post by ground »

alfa wrote:The most important thing in Buddhism is that everything changes, nothing is constant. But what of electrons. protons? They are constant and never undergo any change. How will Buddhism explain this?
I doubt that "everything changes" is appropriate phrasing because this phrasing implies there being a "something" that undergoes change and that after the change has been undergone this "something" is the same "something" with changed "properties". But this is would seem to be a strange view because it would presuppose a permanent sort of "essence" in the "changing something" being the agent of changing or the stage of change occuring.

Kind regards
David2
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Re: Does everything change?

Post by David2 »

Not everything changes.
Energy is constant. Nobody could ever observe energy being created or destroyed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_of_energy" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

But the appearances of this energy change.
SamKR
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Re: Does everything change?

Post by SamKR »

alfa wrote:Namaste,

The most important thing in Buddhism is that everything changes, nothing is constant. But what of electrons. protons? They are constant and never undergo any change. How will Buddhism explain this?

Alfa
Hi alfa,

Who says electrons and protons are constant? In fact, according to today's physics electrons and protons, including many other subatomic particles, undergo changes extremely fast.

Sameer
David2
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Re: Does everything change?

Post by David2 »

SamKR wrote: Hi alfa,

Who says electrons and protons are constant? In fact they, including many other subatomic particles, can undergo changes extremely fast, according to today's Physics.

Sameer
Yeah, electrons and protons are not constant, but after their decay there still is something. Radiation for instance, which then has exactly the same energy as the electrons or protons.
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Re: Does everything change?

Post by SamKR »

Rahula wrote:Not everything changes.
Energy is constant. Nobody could ever observe energy being created or destroyed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_of_energy" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

But the appearances of this energy change.
Energy [as defined by Physics] is not constant, IMHO. Not even for a microsecond.
Based on mathematical tools, and experimental evidences it is widely held by the physicists that the energy and matter including everything physical we see in this universe, were created at some point of time in distant past, and most probably will disappear in distant future.
Last edited by SamKR on Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
SamKR
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Re: Does everything change?

Post by SamKR »

Rahula wrote:
SamKR wrote: Hi alfa,

Who says electrons and protons are constant? In fact they, including many other subatomic particles, can undergo changes extremely fast, according to today's Physics.

Sameer
Yeah, electrons and protons are not constant, but after their decay there still is something. Radiation for instance, which then has exactly the same energy as the electrons or protons.
Even after their decay, if there remains something, they will be changing extremely fast.
And, radiation, without doubt, changes extremely fast.
David2
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Re: Does everything change?

Post by David2 »

SamKR wrote:
Rahula wrote:Not everything changes.
Energy is constant. Nobody could ever observe energy being created or destroyed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_of_energy" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

But the appearances of this energy change.
Even energy is not constant, IMHO. Based on mathematical tools, and experimental evidences it is widely held by the physicists that the energy and matter including everything physical we see in this universe, were created at some point of time in distant past, and most probably will disappear in distant future.
The common view of science is:
-Nobody can say what was before the Big Bang.
-All matter is going to change into radiation in the far future. The density of this radiation will be extremely low because the universe will have grown HUGE. So there will be neither any living being that can see nor will there really be anything someone could see because the density of the radiation will be much to low to observe this radiation.

But, according to most scientists, energy won't dissappear.
And, radiation, without doubt, changes extremely fast

Depends on how you define "changing."

Actually, radiation can stay the same for a very long time. For example, the light that comes from the Andromeda galaxy has travelled about 2.5 million years until it arrives at the earth. Most of this light has not changed in that 2.5 million years because the space in the universe is rather empty. There is nearly nothing it could react with.

Of course, radiation changes its location pretty fast. It can travel every second 7.5 times around the earth. :)
Last edited by David2 on Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
SamKR
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Re: Does everything change?

Post by SamKR »

Rahula wrote:
SamKR wrote:
Rahula wrote:Not everything changes.
Energy is constant. Nobody could ever observe energy being created or destroyed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_of_energy" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

But the appearances of this energy change.
Even energy is not constant, IMHO. Based on mathematical tools, and experimental evidences it is widely held by the physicists that the energy and matter including everything physical we see in this universe, were created at some point of time in distant past, and most probably will disappear in distant future.
The common view of science is:
-Nobody can say what was before the Big Bang.
-All matter is going to change into radiation in the far future. The density of this radiation will be extremely low because the universe will have grown HUGE. So there will be neither any living being that can see nor will there really be anything someone could see because the density of the radiation will be much to low to observe this radiation.

But, according to most scientists, energy won't dissappear.
Even if the total energy may not disappear [which I doubt], energy [or the carrier of energy, for example, electromagnetic radiation] at each nanosecond is going changes extremely fast.

I would say, based on my little knowledge of physics, that everything physical in this universe is not still even for a nanosecond. Everything is vibrating, moving, and changing in extreme pace.

On the one hand It's mind boggling; on the other hand I find it very logical because without such extreme pace of vibration of matter-energy, there could be no existence of physical world as we see today.

If Buddhism says "Everything changes.", then I believe Buddhism is perfectly right. Here everything means everything: the physical world and the mental worlds.
Of course, as Bhante Pesala said, "The truth never changes."
SamKR
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Re: Does everything change?

Post by SamKR »

Rahula wrote:
SamKR wrote:
Rahula wrote:Not everything changes.
Energy is constant. Nobody could ever observe energy being created or destroyed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_of_energy" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

But the appearances of this energy change.
Even energy is not constant, IMHO. Based on mathematical tools, and experimental evidences it is widely held by the physicists that the energy and matter including everything physical we see in this universe, were created at some point of time in distant past, and most probably will disappear in distant future.
The common view of science is:
-Nobody can say what was before the Big Bang.
-All matter is going to change into radiation in the far future. The density of this radiation will be extremely low because the universe will have grown HUGE. So there will be neither any living being that can see nor will there really be anything someone could see because the density of the radiation will be much to low to observe this radiation.

But, according to most scientists, energy won't dissappear.
And, radiation, without doubt, changes extremely fast

Depends on how you define "changing."


Exactly!

Actually, radiation can stay the same for a very long time. For example, the light that comes from the Andromeda galaxy has travelled about 2.5 million years until it arrives at the earth. Most of this light has not changed in that 2.5 million years because the space in the universe is rather empty. There is nearly nothing it could react with.

Of course, radiation changes its location pretty fast. It can travel every second 7.5 times around the earth. :)


I think "change" implies [or should imply, in my opinion] any change in at least one of these: location, speed, direction, time, frequency, wavelength, etc. etc...

If there is change [even if very slightly] in any one of these, then that is change. Isn't it?
Last edited by SamKR on Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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retrofuturist
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Re: Does everything change?

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings,
SamKR wrote:I think "change" implies [or should imply, in my opinion] change in at least one of these: location, speed, direction, time, frequency, wavelength, etc. etc...

If there is change [even if very slightly] in any one of these, then that is change. Isn't it?
But what practical application does this have? Could such knowledge be liberating?

Metta,
Retro. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"Why now do you assume 'a being'? Mara, have you grasped a view?" (SN 5.10)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)
SamKR
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Re: Does everything change?

Post by SamKR »

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,
SamKR wrote:I think "change" implies [or should imply, in my opinion] change in at least one of these: location, speed, direction, time, frequency, wavelength, etc. etc...

If there is change [even if very slightly] in any one of these, then that is change. Isn't it?
But what practical application does this have? Could such knowledge be liberating?

Metta,
Retro. :)
It has huge practical application. Such knowledge is extremely helpful for liberation. Liberation from attachment to such physical matter-energy as well as mental phenomena which change unimaginably fast but appear relatively constant due to illusion!
Direct experience of such extremely fleeting changes will give rise to insight of anicca, dukkha, anatta and to disenchantment with the physical-mental phenomena. Such insight and disenchantment will lead to nibbana.
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