1. Joined
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    12 May '10 11:56
    If reality transcends logic (according to the Buddhist viewpoint), then why can math accurately predict and model nature's motion?
  2. Standard memberblack beetle
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    12 May '10 12:41
    Originally posted by Beyer
    If reality transcends logic (according to the Buddhist viewpoint), then why can math accurately predict and model nature's motion?
    It seems to me you are not well versed neither about quantum mechanics nor about the Buddhist philosophy!

    At first, reality does not transcend logic -it transcends the delusional concepts and the delusional mental fabrications. Furthermore, the universe is in no sense classically mathematical -neither the way the Pythagoreans were claiming nor according to Galileos’ beliefs, who stated that "the Universe is a grand book written in the language of mathematics" and all that jazz. You believe that “math accurately predict and model nature's motion”, but this is false because the universe is not completely mathematical and isomorphic to a specific mathematical structure. In fact we are using quite well the language “math” in order to decipher the various real but empty phenomena that take place in our real but phenomenal world, however at specific, deeper levels of observation the classical approach does not hold.

    Of course quantum mechanics and the Buddhist philosophy are extremely close; in my opinion the best by far book regarding this matter is Graham Smetham’s “Dancing in Emptiness”. I had the pure joy to read two chapters of that excellent brand new book almost a year before its publication and I was amazed by the way Smetham conducts his core thinking -and of course I bought it on the spot when I received a short notice from Lulu.com regarding its availability. I strongly believe you should give it a try😵
  3. Standard memberkaroly aczel
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    12 May '10 14:56
    Originally posted by Beyer
    If reality transcends logic (according to the Buddhist viewpoint), then why can math accurately predict and model nature's motion?
    The "nature" that we see is only a small part of reality.
    It is like the face of reality. Very few penetrate the surface.
  4. Cape Town
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    12 May '10 15:03
    Originally posted by black beetle
    .. but this is false because the universe is not completely mathematical and isomorphic to a specific mathematical structure.
    Is this something you get from Buddhism? Something you guessed? Or where did it come from? It certainly is not a known scientific result.
  5. Standard memberblack beetle
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    12 May '10 15:38
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Is this something you get from Buddhism? Something you guessed? Or where did it come from? It certainly is not a known scientific result.
    You can start with Hut, Alford and Tegmark with the paper "On Math, Matter and Mind" at http://www.sns.ias.edu/~piet/publ/other/mmm.pdf

    Of course this thesis I offered earlier is known to several Buddhist systems too; the meditators are aware of the fact that they have to know the difference between apparent and genuine reality (this approach is known as two truths), and they have to conduct discrimination between the way the phenomena appear and the way they really are. So the Buddists discriminate between the classical reality and the metaphysical-ontological reality, which is in my opinion identical with the reality that is revealed by the quantum physics. In fact both approaches are related to the main ideas of superposition, interdependence and wavefunction. Even the Mandalas are depictions of atoms!
    😵
  6. Cape Town
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    12 May '10 16:19
    Originally posted by black beetle
    Of course this thesis I offered earlier is known to several Buddhist systems too; the meditators are aware of the fact that they have to know the difference between apparent and genuine reality (this approach is known as two truths), and they have to conduct discrimination between the way the phenomena appear and the way they really are. So the Buddists ...[text shortened]... superposition, interdependence and wavefunction. Even the Mandalas are depictions of atoms!
    😵
    I am not sure how any of that translates to the claim you made earlier.
  7. Standard memberPBE6
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    12 May '10 20:10
    Originally posted by black beetle
    You can start with Hut, Alford and Tegmark with the paper "On Math, Matter and Mind" at http://www.sns.ias.edu/~piet/publ/other/mmm.pdf
    This paper seems like it was fun to write, but it also seems to boil down to quite a bit of navel-gazing and spit-balling. For a much better discussion of math, matter and mind, I highly recommend Douglas Hofstadter's "I Am A Strange Loop" (in some ways a sequel to his Pulitzer Prize-winning "Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid", in that it clarifies the message of his previous work).
  8. Joined
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    12 May '10 20:17
    Originally posted by black beetle
    It seems to me you are not well versed neither about quantum mechanics nor about the Buddhist philosophy!

    At first, reality does not transcend logic -it transcends the delusional concepts and the delusional mental fabrications. Furthermore, the universe is in no sense classically mathematical -neither the way the Pythagoreans were claiming nor accord ...[text shortened]... otice from Lulu.com regarding its availability. I strongly believe you should give it a try😵
    I am reading "An Introduction to Zen Buddhism", and the author, D.T. Suzuki, seems fairly avid to point out that logic is a barrier to penetrate through for satori to be experienced. This is exemplified by koans throughout the book. Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I thought their purpose was to break a person's fixation on logic?

    Newtonian physics and quantum mechanics both pertain to mathematics. And both are very accurate in their depiction of nature. Just look at all the newfangled technology we possess. I'd think it wouldn't work if it didn't have a hold on reality. But it does. So my question is, if reality does not depend on logic, then why does logic describe it so well?
  9. Standard memberblack beetle
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    13 May '10 00:11
    Originally posted by Beyer
    I am reading "An Introduction to Zen Buddhism", and the author, D.T. Suzuki, seems fairly avid to point out that logic is a barrier to penetrate through for satori to be experienced. This is exemplified by koans throughout the book. Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I thought their purpose was to break a person's fixation on logic?

    Newtonian physics and quantum mec ...[text shortened]... uestion is, if reality does not depend on logic, then why does logic describe it so well?
    The koans are not based on illogical concepts but on the necessity of bringing on the fact that the phenomenal reality has no inherent being. Transcending dualism in the Zennist tradition is not related to "breaking a person's fixation on logic" but to "breaking a person's dualist fixation on the attachment in the phenomena". This is the reason why Suzuki points out at his "Introduction to Zen Buddhism" (Grove Press, N.Y. 1964, page 88) that "..satori is the bringing forth/ development of a world that was not grasped by the dualist mind". This means that the shifting of the point of attention of the enlightened (non delusional) person (who has a satori) is not related to a conceptualised understanding but to her/ his non-conceptual awareness.

    Math and technology work fine at the level of the classical realm but they offer no solutions regarding how reality arise at the level of the collapsing of the wavefunction. So they have a hold on a certain level of reality but they have no hold at the sub-atomic level of reality, an almost pure mind-only level at which the dualist approach goes down the drain. The logic applied in quantum mechanics is not the same to the logic applied in Nwetonian physics. So our phenomenal reality (that depends on our common dualist approach) is not justified neither by the quantum mechanics nor by the Buddhist approach😵
  10. Standard memberblack beetle
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    13 May '10 00:31
    Originally posted by PBE6
    This paper seems like it was fun to write, but it also seems to boil down to quite a bit of navel-gazing and spit-balling. For a much better discussion of math, matter and mind, I highly recommend Douglas Hofstadter's "I Am A Strange Loop" (in some ways a sequel to his Pulitzer Prize-winning "Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid", in that it clarifies the message of his previous work).
    Thank you, I will try to read both;
  11. Hmmm . . .
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    13 May '10 01:43
    Originally posted by Beyer
    I am reading "An Introduction to Zen Buddhism", and the author, D.T. Suzuki, seems fairly avid to point out that logic is a barrier to penetrate through for satori to be experienced. This is exemplified by koans throughout the book. Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I thought their purpose was to break a person's fixation on logic?

    Newtonian physics and quantum mec ...[text shortened]... uestion is, if reality does not depend on logic, then why does logic describe it so well?
    Been a long time since I read D.T., so really can’t comment on how he uses terms.

    The function of koans—as well as poetry that employs language in an elicitive, rather than a propositional, mode—is to lead one to clear-mind. Clear-mind is just being aware of what is, prior to conceptual thinking about it. Nothing wrong with conceptual thinking: but reality—such as it is, however it is—is prior to whatever/however we think about it.

    The Buddhist (Sanskrit) term is tathata, which means (roughly) “suchness”. Perceive the world (and yourself) in its “just-suchness”, and then apply your thinking mind (logically, of course).

    Now, one thing to keep in mind is that tathata includes you. No one can separate themselves in order to have some “view from nowhere” from which to survey the rest of the universe. The Whole includes us. The Whole is, by definition, without boundary. We are all both in and of that whole. (This is what Buddhists and Vedantists generally mean when they talk of the “One”.) Therefore, all our views are perspectival.

    Here is a koan:

    Behind the makings of the mind,
    before all thoughts, words and imaginings,
    can you find an “I”
    that is not just another thought?

    —E.g., a thought-complex about yourself, a set of definitions and concepts. Are not you, existentially, prior to all such?
  12. Hmmm . . .
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    13 May '10 01:491 edit
    I want to add my own view to black beetle’s comment about “inherent being”. The emphasis here is on inherent. This goes to the Buddhist principle (or the Taoist or Vedantist principle) of non-separability.

    An analogy: one cannot separate the gulfstream from the ocean in order to study the “beingness” of the “gulfstream-itself”. This is not to say that the gulfstream is not an actual phenomenon. But it has no “inherent being” separate from the ocean, of which it is.

    [There is no proper analogy for the Whole, so all analogies drawn are thereby limited.]


    ____________________________________________

    EDIT:

    I don’t think that even in the Western canon of philosophy, to say that reality “transcends” logic is the same as saying that logic is violated. Logic is a truth-preserving way of thinking about reality.

    If a Buddhist were to offer some analysis that violated, say, modus ponens, I would reject what she was saying.

    I think we need to be cognizant of what kind of “language game” a given writer is using. A koan, for example, represents a different kind of language game than does a statement of propositional logic.
  13. Standard memberua41
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    13 May '10 02:53
    Originally posted by vistesd
    An analogy: one cannot separate the gulfstream from the ocean in order to study the “beingness” of the “gulfstream-itself”. This is not to say that the gulfstream is not an actual phenomenon. But it has no “inherent being” separate from the ocean, of which it is.







    I don’t think that even in the Western canon of philosophy, to say that reali ...[text shortened]... me as saying that logic is violated. Logic is a truth-preserving way of thinking about reality.
    It is silly to describe a gulfstream without reference or awareness of the ocean. Indeed, it's actually impossible to! By removing the ocean, the gulfstream is a different thing entirely.


    And yes. Logic is just a human measurement, a system of checks if you will. Nature doesn't necessarily follow it as it gives rise to it.
  14. Hmmm . . .
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    13 May '10 03:41
    Originally posted by ua41
    It is silly to describe a gulfstream without reference or awareness of the ocean. Indeed, it's actually impossible to! By removing the ocean, the gulfstream is a different thing entirely.


    And yes. Logic is just a human measurement, a system of checks if you will. Nature doesn't necessarily follow it as it gives rise to it.
    Agreed on all points. The analogy was an attempt to point up that kind of absurdity from a non-dualist point of view.
  15. Hmmm . . .
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    13 May '10 03:45
    SOME BUDDHIST BASICS:

    This is in my own terms, according to my own (rather Zen/Taoist) understanding. I think the same stuff can be found in Seng T’san (the 3rd Zen Patrirarch).

    The primary metaphysical assertion is that of the Whole: that everything there is inheres in one cosmos that, by definition, has no boundaries (to speak of “inside” and “outside” makes no sense).

    One can think of this in gestaltic terms: figure and ground. The ground is never explicit, but only implicit. Nevertheless, we can only perceive any figure because there is a ground against which to perceive it. The figure may be singular (e.g., a tree) or collective (e.g., a forest). The ultimate implicit ground is the Whole—that is, everything else that we are not focusing our attention on.

    The Whole is fully manifest in all the phenomena that constitute it. There is no unmanifest “leftover” at any time (thus there is no real figure/ground dualism). Nevertheless, it makes no sense to speak of the Whole as a “sum of parts”, since all is interwoven; one cannot properly speak of separable “parts”, even to sum them. Everything that is, is from, in and of the Whole—the all-of-all-of-all-of-it, without another. We are all, not only in the same boat, but of the same boat.

    Thus ontological non-dualism.

    Tathata: the just-so-suchness of this gestalt, of which I also am. Tao: the way that the Whole is manifest in figures/forms and their inter-connectedness.

    The Whole in its just-so-suchness is coherent. If it were not, then it would not—cohere; and we would likely not be here to speak of it. The appropriate (“logical” ) way to live is in harmony with this coherence (the Tao).

    Illusion arises when we begin to think that this coherent gestalt can be somehow “broken apart”. For example, as Terrier Jack has pointed out, thinking that I have a separate, enduring ego-self (or ego-construct) that is not subject to tathata, the just-so-suchness of the Whole. The result of such illusion is dukkha—sometimes translated as suffering, sometimes as (existential) anguish. When one realizes the truth (experiences satori), the anquish is extinguished.

    The Buddha’s prescription is the eight-fold path. That is too many “folds” for me to keep in mind, therefore I follow the Zen way. The Zen way consists of techniques (various kinds of “meditation”: e.g., koans, zazen) to attain the clear-mind-awareness in which one realizes one’s own nature as a transient manifestation of the Whole.

    There is some disagreement as to whether satori is necessarily a permanent state, or a progression through several satoris (e.g., the Rinzai master Hakuin), or a process. I tend toward the last view (which may just mean that I have not realized satori fully and finally). When I find that I am floundering in some kind of existential anguish/suffering, it is because I have succumbed once again to illusory thinking. I have not permanently overcome that; I just know how to get out of it.

    The Buddha’s philosophy—like that of Epicurus or the Stoics—is fundamentally therapeutic. The point is not to adhere to some (any!) doctrine or dogma, but to escape from dukkha. Whatever can be questioned, should be questioned (the Buddha said as much). I would prefer that people view the Buddha-path (of whatever variety) as akin to learning to play a sport: learning the techniques that best fit, practicing, adjusting as necessary. Any sport has a coherent structure. The coherent structure of Buddhism is the tathata/Tao. The “sport” is just living well (with thriving well-being, joy, serenity, etc.) within the existential conditions within which we find ourselves—and enhancing the total environment of well-being by helping others.

    As I said before, there is no pretense to infallibility (at least not on my part). Nor is there any Pollyanna wishful thinking about the existential conditions that we (or others) find ourselves in. I think that Terrier Jack has spoken well to that.

    As far as other metaphysical notions found in Buddhism—such as karma and reincarnation—I have nothing at all to say about such things.
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