Friday, January 15, 2010

There is no "IS"

How do we define reality?
How do we define what “is” is?
Obviously for an old fart like me the answer is simply “faith” but for my younger and educated audience that answer is not sufficient.
Logical, reasonable and a scientific explanations are the only views of the world and reality accepted.
But the problem with logic and reason is that you can not build any logic or reasonable argument on nothing.
You need some a priory foundation to start your argument.

About 2300 years ago, Euclid a Greek mathematician, stumbled on this rather unpleasant problem when he attempted to create a perfect mathematical system based on pure logic and reason.
He could prove almost everything mathematically except for 5 axioms or postulates that could not be proven.

For more than 2000 years Euclidian geometry was considered a true representation of “reality”, until 1823 when two young mathematicians Janos Bolyai and Nicolai Lobachevsky decided to challenge Euclid’s axioms and thus created a new geometry.
Using the same mathematical and logical principles as Euclid, the young mathematicians came to a totally different conclusion of what “is” is.
In this new geometry our “reality” was a curved space, nothing like Euclid had envisioned.

"It depends on what the meaning of the word "is" is.
If the - if the - if 'is' is and never has been, that is not - that is one thing.
If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement.”
Bill Clinton

So what happens if we challenge the scientific axiom that the world, reality, is material?
Afterwards nobody has ever proved that we live in a material world.
And no, Madonna doesn’t count.

Imagine that we have a pair of magic glasses that allow us to see reality at any scale we desire.
Imagine looking through these glasses at a piece of bread and a piece of cheese.
At first we would see a definitive difference of what bread is and cheese is.
Even when we increase the magnification to say, molecular level, we could still see what bread is and cheese is.
But magnify that vision at atomic level and suddenly there is no more bread or cheese.
At atomic level the cheese and bread disappear, the only thing we see are atoms.

Continue to look deeper and even the atoms will disappear.
Continue to look even deeper and matter, “mass” will disappear as well.
What remains when there is nothing to see is “is”.
What “is” is, it is not material at all.
Our material “reality” it is in fact just an illusion.

And no. this is not some new age Buddhist BS, even some open minded scientists have come to the same conclusion and there is a strong new current of scientific thought – see the string theory development – that challenges the material view of the world.


mickael said...

hi Buddha,

let me tell you a joke about another greek named socrates:

one sunny day socrates' friend came to him and said:
- i bring exciting news to you!
- wait, wait. before you say anything, there's a triple filter i want to apply to these news. - socrates replied - tell, are these news true?
- well, i can't say, i've just heard them one place..
- so, not true. yet there's a second filter: are these news in any way useful to me?
- no, socrates, i don't think so.
- there's a third filter still: are these news at least pleasant?
- no, they are not at all.
- so, my friend, you wish to tell me something untrue, useless and unpleasant. are you certain i must hear it?
- i think not. of course, socrates, you're right.

that's one of the reasons socrates was considered the wisest man of his time. and also the reason he never found out that his wife cheated on him with one of his students. :)

there are plenty of theories about what this universe is and is not. some of them are very interesting and exciting. some are boring and incomprehensible. so far not one of them has helped me to take a sip of water when thirsty.

so, my advise is simple: don't wander wondrous worlds. they are all the same. no need to seek new. eat when hungry. sleep when tired. smile and be well. :)

good luck.

Quantum_Flux said...

Fractal Dimensionality

Ted Bagley said...

"so, my advise is simple: don't wander wondrous worlds. they are all the same. no need to seek new. eat when hungry. sleep when tired."
It's all well and good until you go speaking to another human. ;)

mickael said...

how is it different, Ted?

Ted Bagley said...

Did I say different? I didn't mean that. I meant something else. ;)

mickael said...


if you remember, i'm russian, so my skill in english is quite limited. perhaps it is the reason i do not see much effect in the wordplay you suggest. otherwise it seems that you are undecided on the matter yet. will you elaborate?

good luck.

Buddha of Hollywood said...

When people talk and exchange ideas, we all learn and grow.
When people divide the world in "right" and "wrong" in "us" vs "them" - we all lose.
Keep your mind open and your spirit light.

Darshan Chande said...

Interesting post. But did not quite get the relevance here.

And seen in your last comment that you don't go for "right" and "wrong". But at some level there IS something "right" and something "wrong". There I would go for "right" alone. If it divides the world then that's not my problem, I can say. Why should I be diplomatic just to keep the world together at the expense of what's right?

Rich Dansereau said...

As Einstein showed, everything is relative so one's view is inherently skewed by their relation to the object, idea, etc. I completely understand the need for balance and the ultimate struggle between oneness and entropy. With that said, I have to agree with Darshan's comment about standing for the inherent rightness of something. I believe that hands off in the name of not choosing what one believes is right (and by implication, what is wrong) negates our place in the universe. We are part of the universe so, whether we like it or not, everything we do will impact it. It is against my essence to sit by idly while the wrongs of the world savage that world and its inhabitants. It is okay to participate in the world.

Ted Bagley said...

Sometimes when you speak in riddles, you get one back. That's all. No Russian about it.