July 19, 2007
Where does the Universe come from?
Throughout the ages, people have wondered, "Where does life come from? Where does the universe come from?"
Science has developed over the centuries trying to answer just such questions. We keep investigating matter to come up with an answer for something that may have nothing to do with matter. Remember that science is not the only way, or highest way to investigate things as spiritual cultivation has developed a means of obtaining answers as well through direct experience rather than theory and speculation. As countless spiritual schools say, if you attain samadhi or the Tao, you can see backwards in time or forwards in time AEONS, the number of which are a function of your stage of cultivation. Then you can find answers to all sorts of questions like this because our awareness is tied diectly into the fundamental nature of reality, for if it wasn’t, we wouldn’t have awareness or life in the first place.
Why can the future be seen? Because via cause and effect and the interlinking, interdependence of phenomena, some things about the far future MUST occur and can be known. They must occur for the interrconnections and karmic returns of cause and effect to take place. That’s why Shakyamuni was able to predict the future Buddhahood of all his students, at which time and for how long their Buddhalands would last, and what they would be like, aeons before this would all happen.
Buddha spoke of what happened in the past as well – karma going back aeons – including how the various galaxies and Buddhalands and even the universe was formed. This is why Buddhism is often called the religion of wisdom because it offers so many explanations. The popular movie THE MATRIX actually contains lots of Buddhism in disguise, but the establishment dared not mention this, despite the movie blaring on TV time and again, because they worried this revelation, and the fact the philosophy inside the movie struck home with people, would threaten Judeo-Christianity.
As to where it all came from, Buddha explains the origins of life in the Surangama sutra, and other sutras and the creation and destruction of galaxies and universe over vast stretches of time. It doesn’t originate from a being called "God," unless by God you mean the Tao or original nature – which is beyond being and non-being. If you call "God" the Tao then everything matches just fine. But if you think of a person you’re off. Of course, that’s the problem with the Western religions controlled by power structures rather than teachings of sages who come and go. Ordinary people lack prajna wisdom and thus want a person in charge of everything, but realized sages of all religions investigaet and then say there are lots of gods and beings in all sorts of realms, but no ultimate creator of REALITY. Ask all these levels of Gods, and they cannot find one either.
But still there is an ultimate, fundamental nature of all things that’s beyond existence or non-existence, being or non-being. And if you want to call that God, fantastic. But don’t think of IT as a person. Only low level samadhi masters call it a person in order to teach ignorant, stubborn people and lead them higher. That type of teaching is for the masses, and simply a form of ethical expeidient means. Once you graduate to a higher level of wisdom and maturity, then you’re privy to the truth, especially through direct experience.
Sages reach the stage of realizing the Tao, and say it is NOT a person, being or life…it is beyond being and non-being, existence and non-existence. That quote you will find everywhere, so the Tao is NOT a person, being, life, god, etc. The fundamental nature of reality is just so, just so. That’s all you can say. Even saying that is too much. ALL the realized sages and saints with attainments — even Christian, Moslem and Jewish sages – assert this. Not intellectuals and academics but those with the high spiritual attainments of self-realization. But regular people do not and cling to the image of a being creating things, like on the Cistene Chapel wall. That’s just fine too because it keeps them in line.
But is it true? Wrong, wrong, wrong — according to the the very same saints and sages of those traditions! To even think such, and make an image of the divine that way, is a violation of the the Ten Commandments, so QED for that.
So what? What’s the point? Where does the universe and life come from — that’s what I want to know, and even if you say this, how can I prove it?
All you have to do is cultivate to a high stage, without any preconceived notions, and you’ll realize the truth of everything yourself. So don’t believe me, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Christianity, Shintoism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, and so forth. Cultivate and see for yourself. If you say belief is good enough when proof is available from personal experience that can correct belief (belief is not fact, just belief), then you’re just wrong. You have your head in the sand, and are just lazy. "God realization" is what you want, but it doesn’t come from worship, it comes from cultivation. Work is involved to reach the natural state free of the false ego.
Anyway, Shakyamuni Buddha had the right approach, the only truly valid approach when he said "Don’t believe me or anyone else, but cultivate and see and you’ll find out for yourself. In fact you’ll find out X, Y and Z. But don’t believe me. You have to prove it through personal cultivation."
Whatever anyone says is no big deal compared to direct experience. Anyone can realize the Tao IF THEY CULTIVATE, but only if they cultivate. Any being with consciousness. Why? Because they already have the Tao. It’s their foundational state. They need not create something or think something. They need to abandon clinging and mental obstructions to the Tao, and the wisdom nature will still shine with realization. The fact we have consciousness, or awareness wisdom to even begin with is just a function of this original nature; without it, there is just inertness, so we can’t even ask why it exists — it’s just an anthropomorphic happenstance that comes along with the whole shebang.
But still, that doesn’t answer the question where does the universe comes from? How did it develop? — that’s still the question if there is no creator. Maybe the universe would be different, and awareness would be shining on a totally different universe with different rules and so forth, so how did all THIS STUFF get here and why is it THIS WAY rather than another way? Why are the laws of physics this way rather than some other? It can’t all just be random, can it?
Once again, Buddhism gives the answer. It is empty of true existence. Everything is defined via a relationship with everything else. There are no single objects out there. Whatever seems to exist simply does so because of interdependent relationships. So there is no real thing in itself. Everything must be defined because of everything else, meaning it all rises together.
So here’s the punchline – now scientists have finally come up with the math behind this..and it WORKS!
The German mathematician Gottfried Leibniz ages ago believed that "reality" was built up from things he called monads that owed their existence solely to their relations with each other. In other words – interdependent origination. This Buddhist picture has been ignored for centuries because it wasn’t convenient for coming up with models or equations for calculating things, unlike Newton’s mechanics. Newton’s mechanics just looks at a small subset of the entire gamut to make predictions, and this simplification works. Hence it was useful and became popular.
Well, two scientists, Cahill and Klinger, have taken that interdependence idea, and together with Godel’s hypothesis, created a model of the universe that explains many many things – Einsteins’ philosophy, impermancne, randomness, you name it. I won’t go into the details — here’s the fascinating reading for you:
One word: cool!