Friday, 2 December 2016

Virtual Particles And Isa Upanishad

Blogs flow together. The previous post was equally relevant to James Blish Appreciation. This post is equally relevant to Religion and Philosophy. As usual, Poul Anderson is the link.

"'Space is not a passive framework for events to happen in. It is a sea of virtual particles. They constantly go in and out of existence according to the uncertainty principle. The energy density implied is tremendous.'"
-Poul Anderson, Starfarers (New York, 1999), p. 8.
-copied from here.


space is not mere nothingness but full of potential;
there is continual creation and annihilation and immense energy;
from this "sea" or matrix, our universe emerged.

"The Spirit filled all with his radiance. He is incorporeal and invulnerable, pure and untouched by evil. He is the supreme seer and thinker, immanent and transcendent. He placed all things in the path of Eternity."
-Isa Upanishad IN The Upanishads, trans. Juan Mascaro (Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, Middlesex, 1984), pp. 49-50 AT p. 49.

This translation of Isa Upanishad uses the English terms:

the Eternal
god of light
Lord of creation
fire divine

- but not the untranslated Sanskrit "Brahman" or "Atman" which are common in the Upanishads as a whole. "Brahman" began as the power of ritual, came to be identified with the power of creation and was then hypostatized as transcendent reality. Atman is within. The Upanishadic rishis inherited these terms but also used them to express their yogic/meditative experience. In particular, they identified Atman with Brahman.

I suggest that energy in space:

is incorporeal, although embodied in every organism;
is indestructible because it survives every change of form;
sees and thinks through organisms, although not independently of them.

Therefore, I identify energy with Upanishadic Spirit.

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