The ramblings of an Eternal Student of Life
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Monday, December 13, 2010
Philosophy ... Photo ... Science ... Spirituality ...

I just got back from a weekend Zen retreat sponsored by Morning Star Zendo in Jersey City. The retreat was held at the Stella Maris center down along the Jersey coast, in Elberon. That was my first Zen “sesshin”, and I seem to have survived all the silence and meditative sittings. I also managed to do a little bit of reading and photo taking, and a bit of thinking here and there (but not too much; Zen is about living in the real world, not completely in the mind).

So, I posted some of my pics below; a few shots of the Atlantic and the shoreline at various times during the day, and also a shot from the “kinhin” line. That’s the walking meditation exercise done every half hour or so, as to break up all the sitting.

As to my reading and thinking — well, based on something I read about the Buddha, I came up with an idea about the nature of death. This is NOT what I would call a Buddhist idea; I enjoy Buddhism (and its focus on group meditation), but disagree with its doctrines in a variety of ways. Just to be fair, I disagree with ALL major religious doctrines in some way.

Anyway, here is my thought or theory or whatever about death. Death must ultimately submit to its own principle. That is, death must ultimately die. If true, it can ultimately mean two things; i.e., life triumphs, or death does. If death eventually kills everything, i.e. every form of life and motion and energy, then eventually there will be no death, as the universe will be dead. Death will have consumed itself, in a victorious fashion.

Many cosmologists anticipate that this will be the end-state of our own universe, the “heat death” scenario. But the cosmologists, now including Steven Hawking, also say that our universe is NOT the only universe out there. If it was the only universe and the whole of reality, then time began at the Big Bang / Big Inflation event, and does not go back ad infinitum.

However, the beginingless “multi-verse” is looking better and better these days, under the superstring-theory paradigms that are emerging in physics. If so, there was no beginning of time. The “multi-verse” has been happening forever. If so, then the principle of death has also been happening forever, I’d posit, given that death seems so fundamental to the nature of reality (e.g., the second law of thermodynamics and all that entropy stuff).

So then, if death has been going on forever, by now it should have killed everything. But guess what? It hasn’t.

If so, then life is the ultimate principle to reality. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the lives we know and enjoy will go on forever, but . . . something will. And whatever that something is, it will most likely be influenced by our lives in some way. Something of us will go on forever, one way or another.

So here are some pix to ponder that theory by.

ocean

shoreshore

skykinhin

◊   posted by Jim G @ 12:07 pm      
 
 


  1. Jim, I am glad you have concluded that “life is the ultimate principle to reality.” So much more positive than its opposite.

    As I read this blog, I couldn’t help but think of the series “Blue Planet”? All the different kinds of life–and right here on earth! It’s as if one way or the other life WILL find a way to express itself. So, how can life not be the fundamental principle of reality?

    And, once again, your pictures are lovely. I liked each one for different reasons. Beautiful! MCS

    Comment by Mary S. — December 14, 2010 @ 11:01 am

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