COSMOLOGY

and including Epistemology, Ontology, logic, all examined for relevance to spirituality.

galaxy.JPG

A galaxy far beyond our ordinary vision, seen only by the Hubble telescope.

COSMOLOGY March, 2004

Cosmology: The astrophysical study of the history, structure, and dynamics of the universe.

When one looks around and experiences the sight of objects, smells the agreeable and the disagreeable, touches the skin of their composition, it becomes difficult to deny our material existence. These things do exist, because we observe them and desire that they should exist. The nature of, so called, solid objects, is that they consist of an orderly collection of indescribable minute points of energy or force alignments, separated by vast distances of emptiness. This description applies from the smallest of the atoms or their so-called constituents, to the largest of the planets or suns floating in our heavens. In the mind of physicists, solidness of objects is due to the reluctance of, say one atom’s electron refusing the closeness of another atoms electron, thereby preventing the passing through of atoms, or clumps of atoms named molecules, of material. This thinking is despite the agreed upon, vast spaces between the points of energy. Man can quantify, manipulate, evaluate and predict interactions of their observations but still cannot understand what it is they play with. One would tend to think they might be approaching material theories in the negative. The conception they seek is not possible; because they themselves are of the nature they do not understand. Time or the catalogued sequence of events, is an even more misunderstood or at least not as fixed as a constant would imply. In theory proposed by man, time is calculated into the physical or material understanding to try to explain the inconstant nature of the physical world. As an example a radioactive material will change over a calculable time into a substance having a different nature. A scientist will tell you that a measured lump of pure radioactive iodine will change over time called a half-life into non-radioactive material. One cannot deny the existence of the world we experience but purely physical or philosophical methods will not begin to unravel the mystery of Creation. However, when one observes reality using different aspects, new realities or equally valid presentations begin to present themselves. These become acceptable to different individuals not finding total satisfaction with existing physical theories. They appear valid because there realities become more obvious as their study becomes more diligent, not unlike that of the busy scientist concentrating on the bombardment of nuclear particles in an accelerator, or an astronomer observing the heavens above with ever increasingly powerful telescopes. What does appear to be transpiring from such a concerted effort is that the universe is ever more complicated when viewed from a materialistic plane and is leading, although seldom admitted by workers in the field, to a more metaphysical approach. One cannot deny that the material Creation is there for study, but one should not avoid the other point of perspective. The limitations of all knowledge pursuit, is a functional problem with the mind’s expectations and limitations. Man’s exposure through his lifetime to others seeking insight, and exposure to untruths or nonsense has to be filtered out and all, only apparent truths, avoided. Hence, if one desires the truth of what our world contains, then one should enter the next step to true knowledge and that is to start over.

Epistemology: The branch of philosophy that studies knowledge. Whether that which we believe to be true is actually true or false.

When it comes to knowing of something whether an object exists or whether a sound is made when we are not present, much of our belief is based on inference. Because of our experience we believe that if something occurred or was witnessed and our senses were affected in some way, that it must be a common experience to others and should be accepted as such. When we feel the heat of fire we learn a lesson. Whether the lesson is valid in all cases is another matter. It may be we see the fire through an optically perfect glass and the resultant radiation from the fire is minimal and doubt enters our mind. We are troubled by the paradox brought about by the same visual cue but having an unexplained sensual or lack of, effect. Thus one might have to determine if knowledge can ever be pure without some sensual comparison or experience. The mathematician, who gathers observations and by intellectual pursuit formulates a theory, waits in future anticipation as to proof of the mathematical concept. The observation is required to validate the mathematical works. In fact though nothing was proven but that the observations were at one time not totally understood, but are more clearly understood in time. There are those who would find that other factors were not considered and with their introduction have made the original “theory” if not completely in error, at least lacking some details. Man cannot anticipate without prior experience, nor can he project himself beyond his reality. Given that even the concept of numbers required for pure mathematics has to have some basis to begin with in that counting fingers has to have some kinds of integers to be manipulated. Man assumes to be true that which he feels he has experienced but can’t totally accept this axiom because additional experiences may conflict. Man cannot trust in what he regards as truth except for a time when a conflict arises; the more conflicts the less trust.

Ontology: (The classical meaning but now applied to descriptions of methods and processes used in various programming tools.) Tries to answer the question; “What is man?” as opposed to, “Who is man.” Phrased another way, what does it mean to be a Being, for human beings or animals, vegetation, rocks, planets, stars and so on.

My reality is that I appear to exist, along with others of my kind and along with a whole Creation all about me. Except when I fall asleep. Does one still have being when the mind disconnects from the reality surrounding the body? If one enters an environmental chamber without any physical or visual and audible cues, yet still remaining awake, what is the effect of such deprivation? (The possibility of such an exposure is minimal because one begins to hear their heartbeat and notice the coursing of blood through their body.) Existence in such a case is evident but is it because we still have something to experience? Only one outside observing the situation for the benefit of the other answers the question. We have Being, and it would follow that the physical world must also have Being. Yet, what happened while we were sleeping? Aside from dreams when it is known that there is some brain activity, we know of nothing existing or Being. One could admit that Being is a physical form (not yet resolved) in a material environment composed of something, which seems tangible to an observer.

Logic: The process man uses to determine truth by utilizing various methods, determining principles, and establishing laws.

By trying different methods, man decides on principles and by observation, determines laws. Some laws over time may be so “logical” and found not to be disputed by anyone that they become axioms. Axioms have to be extensively clarified to hold their place as an axiom as; “Things which are equal to the same thing are equal to each other.” This may hold true for one battery operated motor having the same horsepower as another in a different location, and the third one driving a pump using AC from an outlet, but it is not necessarily equivalent in size, speed, or weight. A penny just minted looks like all the other pennies just minted, so there would be few arguments as to their equivalency. Using all the technology available at the time of minting, there may be no detectable difference in the pennies so the axiom holds. However, should new technology arise it may be that the stamping varies penny to penny and they are not now equivalent. Therefore it must be that logic is dependant on present knowledge. Mathematically, a proof today, may have failed to include an unrecognized factor. The well-known formula originally taught in schools changed from E=Mc2, to quite an extensive series of letters and numbers recognizable to only a select group of interested people.

Summary:

In all attempts for man to explain his material world there are imperfect assumptions. He is only one part of the very stuff that he is attempting to understand. All mans’ looking begins with the premise that what he sees, touches, hears and figures out is real. This binding thought prevents man from observing from a different perspective. As long as man remains at the same level as that which he tries to analyze, he will not see things from whence he should be observing. He truly is not observing from a 3 dimensional point of view but from a 2 dimension equivalent. To “see” what the nature of our reality is, one must remove his thought from the reality that is containing him. To at least attempt a metaphysical approach, would be a start, but one will have to go beyond to actually get to the truth. One could study to satisfy ones own curiosity, but without a truly open mind and continuous evolution of thinking they will have lost that which they seek through time constraints i.e. old age.

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