20. Something from Nothing?

As stated in a previous chapter in this book, “Contradictions and Double-Standards,” I heard a pastor once try to tell a clever story about a man who challenged God on who could make a better man.  When the man reached down to the dirt to begin making a man, as God supposedly did, God responded, “Make your own dirt.”  I know this pastor thought he was being really clever with this story, and he even got a few chuckles from the congregation.  The problem is, his logic is incorrect, because the first law of thermodynamics states that energy cannot be created or destroyed in an isolated system.  This would include the particular form of energy known as dirt.  All things are ultimately nothing more than different manifestations of the same One – ALL.  That is the only true “eternal” if you will – ALL, or the cosmos, which has always been and will forever be.  ALL was never created.  ALL never began, and will never end, and only manifests itself in countless forms.  This is the only view of reality which does not contradict itself – the fact and truth of oneness, and with it, timelessness.  What we call “creation” is not the manifestation of something out of “nothing,” but the re-arrangement of that which is pre-existing always. Therefore, the idea of traditional “creation” as something coming from nothing supposedly “willed” into existence by a separate God from creation as found in Judeo-Christian belief is the exact same contradiction, and is therefore not true.  Since there can be no beginning and no end to ALL, due to the fact something can always only come from that which is preexisting to itself, including the universe, I have been quite taken with Lawrence M. Krauss’ assertion in his book, “A Universe from Nothing,” which states the universe could have come “from nothing.”

As I listen to many atheists, it is quite striking to me how often they sound no different than their theistic adversaries they so ardently criticize.  I have as little regard for traditional religious doctrine as any atheist, but virtually all theists and atheists fall into the exact same trap of believing time, space, and ego are all fundamental realities, when they are not.  It is this assumption of the fundamental reality of ego, and with it, the belief in the illusions of time and space, of “beginnings” and “endings,” which is the entire problem for those who fall on both sides of the argument, whether one believes in God or not.

Consciousness is synonymous with the principle of stasis, as stated in the previous chapter, “The Principles of Oneness.” Energy is a “thought,” an “idea” of consciousness if you will, born of the beginningless and endless interplay of the two fundamental principles of oneness – stasis, and change, as also stated previously. Quantum fluctuations are said to be responsible for the temporary change of energy in a point of space, or the temporary appearance of energetic particles out of empty space, which gives rise to the belief by some scientists we can somehow get “something from nothing.”  However, the actions of quantum fluctuations are themselves “something,” because all which we describe as “something,” is in truth, action.  All “objects” and “beings” are not really static, but ever-changing forms of energy, and are therefore “actions” if you will.  Since everything is in fact action, then the very actions of quantum fluctuations are themselves “something,” just the same as energy, which negates the idea purported by physicists such as Krauss that something can come from nothing, which is a contradiction.  The very potential for quantum fluctuations – the very fact they happen at all is also “something,” even if scientists would reject this fact.  But because we often define “nothing” as the absence of matter/energy, and not the absence of potential, nor the principles of stasis and change we cannot quantify, some scientists therefore believe that something can in fact come from “nothing,” when it never can, since such a notion is a logical contradiction and therefore an impossibility. From true nothingness – including the absence of the very potential for any given thing to happen or for something to come into existence, only nothing is possible.  Everything must therefore be comprised of that which is preexisting always.  That which is always preexisting, are the fundamental principles of consciousness and change themselves, which are uncreated – that which have always been and will forever be, manifesting the result of their interplay in all actions and all things – including quantum fluctuations. As I spoke with my best friend from college on this, we discovered this description of oneness and the fundamental principles of consciousness and change sound very much like “God.”  It is the closest notion of God in a truthful sense I can think of, but again, consciousness and change are two inseparable principles of one whole – two sides of the same one coin, and not a “separate” and “independent,” dualistic ego with a “will,” “plan,” or “purpose” for what it “does” or “does not do,” as the traditional Judeo-Christian and Islamic God is defined.  Egolessness and unity – not separation, is the Truth of the Oneness of All.

Knowledge of the fact that all beings and things are actions can bring to mind a fascinating description of death by the brilliant physicist Sean Carroll, who describes death as the fact of us “no longer happening” – like a flame that is extinguished. We, like all things are a process, not a “fixed” and “permanent” thing, being or “soul.” When the process of our organism stops, we die, as a flame dies when it is extinguished.  Carroll further illustrates the fact that the claim that some form of personal consciousness exists after our bodies die and decay into their constituent atoms face a huge, insuperable obstacle that the laws of physics underlying everyday life are completely understood, and there is no way within those laws in which the information stored in our brains can persist after we die.  It is a common argument of theists and spiritualists to respond to these facts by saying we do not and cannot know everything about the universe, and therefore the afterlife, “spiritual realms,” and the immortal soul may still exist despite all of the known laws of physics.  I used to find this a fairly compelling argument myself, however while we do not have a complete understanding of everything in the universe, we do have a complete understanding of the physics behind that which we would consider the domain of the “soul” or personality of the individual. While it is true we do not and cannot know everything about the universe, we do not have to with regards to the question concerning life after death, since everything spiritualists and apologists claim the soul can do, such as continue the eternal existence of our personality after we die, receive punishment or reward for our actions after we die, and interact with ordinary matter such as our bodies, cannot be explained by everything we know about quantum field theory.  As far as every experiment ever done is concerned, the Dirac equation is the correct description of how electrons behave at everyday energies – within the relevance to the human brain.  Therefore within this equation, there is no room nor need for an “extra part” of us or a “soul” to explain anything about ourselves.

The bottom line is, according to Sean Carroll, there is no need to be agnostic about the soul because everything we know about that which would comprise the domain of the soul or personality of the individual is already accounted for within the realm of modern science. If you believe in an immaterial soul that interacts with our bodies and brains, then you need to believe that the Dirac equation, which has stood the test of every experiment ever done is wrong, even at everyday energies. You would also have to accept a logical contradiction that somehow, some way, an “immaterial substance” that is “beyond” the laws of physics and the material world can still somehow act on and affect the material world it is supposedly “beyond” at the same time. Sean Carroll goes on to brilliantly explain the absurdity of this proposition.

“Among advocates for life after death, nobody even tries to sit down and do the hard work of explaining how the basic physics of atoms and electrons would have to be altered in order for this to be true. If we tried, the fundamental absurdity of the task would quickly become evident.

Even if you don’t believe that human beings are “simply” collections of atoms evolving and interacting according to rules laid down in the Standard Model of particle physics, most people would grudgingly admit that atoms are part of who we are. If it’s really nothing but atoms and the known forces, there is clearly no way for the soul to survive death. Believing in life after death, to put it mildly, requires physics beyond the Standard Model. Most importantly, we need some way for that “new physics” to interact with the atoms that we do have.”

The ultimate problem with all of these ideas of “something from nothing,” and “life after death,” is the fact there is no separation between these supposedly “separate” concepts because ALL is ONE, since opposite concepts are simply two sides of the same one coin.  The reason they must be two sides of the same one coin is because if they were “independent” and separate opposites, then one would cancel out the other, which would only result in nothingness, which is obviously false, as stated several times before in this book.  Since ALL is One and inseparable – then energy, consciousness, and change are in truth, one and the same, even while energy “appears” to come “in” and “out” of existence.

The bottom line is, there is no beginning and no end to ALL because again – ALL, the cosmos, is ONE, which simply manifests itself in countless forms and actions as a result of the beginningless and endless interplay of the two fundamental principles of Oneness – stasis and change.  What we call the “appearance” and “disappearance” of specific forms such as “universes,” planets, stars, and sentient beings, is what we call “beginnings” and “endings,” “births” and “deaths.” Since no “action” or “thing” is any essential, unchanging reality, then no “thing,” in truth, exists.  That is the part physicists like Krauss fail to see. Krauss states how he is interested in looking for the “end” of the universe, and that is precisely the problem. He is focusing on examining the “end” of a particular form, while failing to look at the ALL of which all forms are just a part. He is looking for the “end,” when ultimately, there is none, since there is no beginning; because regardless of whether or not our particular current universe had a beginning or will have an end, or however many different “big bangs” and “big crunches” may have happened and may continue to happen over the course of infinity to “reorganize” energy of the same One ALL into different versions of a manifested universe is beside the point, since there can ultimately be no “beginning” or “end” to ALL and its Oneness. There is only a beginningless and endless cycle of the interplay of stasis and change, which is therefore timeless.  Once again, we see how the illusion of ego hides the truth of the selfless, timeless, and inseparable Oneness of All.

 

 

Posted in The Christian Contradiction

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