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Author Topic: An existence that had not begun and an existence that may have an unclear beginn  (Read 1153 times)
GregKaye
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« on: 10/09/09 @ 21:39 »

There is a view that considers that existence has, in some way, always existed.  I am not here to argue against this view.  I am just wondering what it might be called.  I've begun to use the term Alwaysism in description of the view that existence has always existed.  The term Alwaysism seems to carry the central message and yet I'm wondering if there may be an established or at least a more sophisticated terminology that might be used. 

I would be interested in hearing views on appropriate terminologies to use and on any other thoughts regarding eternity and, with this in mind, perhaps I can mention another of my difficulties.  I don't know of an opposite to always and the best I have been able to directly think of is not-always.  My trouble is that the concept of Divinism that I have mentioned elsewhere presents an ultimate chicken and egg scenario.  The creative potential for existence has a developmental path within existence and then the creative potential for existence creates existence.  Its an ultimate form of inbreeding but with a hopefully positive outcome.  It is a situation that might not be considered to have always existed any yet it may be difficult to define its beginning.  The issues seem to be quite tricky.
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Gareth Southwell
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« Reply #1 on: 10/09/09 @ 22:27 »

I think the idea that the universe had no beginning and may have no end is termed the Steady State or Infinite Universe theory. The opposite to this is the Big Bang theory, though I guess this is just one example of cosmogenesis, or the idea that the universe had a beginning, and thus may also have an end. (I'm not big on cosmology, so please someone correct me if I'm wrong.)

I think Steady State theory is now considered obsolete, because of the evidence that the universe seems to be both expanding and cooling down (thus suggesting that it was the result of a violent explosion - big bang). However, I suppose someone could revive this type of theory if they argued that the expansion was only a part of the process - I think the Hindu cosmology argues for something like this.

However, if we're talking about life (and not just the physical universe itself), then there are other distinctions. The idea that life has not always been around suggests that it has arisen from somewhere, so we are either looking at creationism (God created life at a particular time) or - scientifically - what is called abiogenesis (chemicals combining in the primordial soup to produce the building blocks of life out of inanimate matter - this is the majority scientific view). The opposite to this latter view suggests that life can only come from life (biogenesis), and so for this to be the case then it must have already existed (always?) in some form. One theory that lends itself to this view is panspermia, which argues that the seeds of life are dotted around the universe, just awaiting the right conditions to flourish.

Once again, not really my field, so feel free to correct me anyone. Very interesting topic!

« Last Edit: 11/09/09 @ 12:21 by Gareth Southwell » Logged

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GregKaye
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« Reply #2 on: 11/09/09 @ 16:36 »

Great points all and thanks.
Steady State terminologies have the advantage of being familiar having been applied to the universe and there is definitely a potential that they may also be applied to the wider conceptions of existence.  Steady state terminologies, by their nature, are very suggestive of a state within existence that, as the name suggests, remained steady.  This goes slightly beyond my wishful ideal of a terminology that might have limited itself so as to have merely implied an endless history.  Such is life.

Interesting point about Hindu cosmology as well.  It's interesting that they had conceptions that are only just coming back into vogue.  Certain versions of string theory such as the popular "M theory" are similarly interpreted to indicate that the universe exists in a wider context.
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Gareth Southwell
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« Reply #3 on: 11/09/09 @ 16:47 »

You need to be clear what you mean by 'existence' here. What is the 'wider conception of existence'?
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CygnusX1
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« Reply #4 on: 14/09/09 @ 21:26 »

Regarding terms "always" and "not-always"... perhaps consider the terms eternal and timeless, or infinite and finite.

The Big bang theory (?) posits that at time=zero a singularity exists, which must be in some state of non-change, (since time does not yet exist). In fact, if you reason with it, time is merely the measurement of rate of change of motion, without motion, without a change of state, time does not exist?

Therefore at time=zero singularity, indicates an indefinite state or eternal state?
What was the prime mover which gave rise to the big bang, and thus to time itself?

The Hindu position, (or one school of philosophical thought on creation), is that the whole universe, matter and non-material forms arise from Brahman, (the creator). Brahman may also be included as the prime mover in the non-theistic philosophies of Hinduism, for example Advaita, (pure non-dualism). Which attempts to explain that ALL things arise out of Brahman, and thus resolve back into Brahman - that the changing and impermanent universe, and thus time that we perceive arises out of Brahman - which is itself in a state of eternal non-change.

A Universe of change arises out of a state of non-change? a paradox? maybe not... its all about potential - does the eternal state of non-change have within, the potential for change?
 
Since Brahman is unknowable by our mere mortal and even supernatural notions, it is beyond comprehension or explanation, and to witness Brahman is to return to Brahman, (a state of nothingness - or always-ness, eternal bliss like non-being). Since all is Brahman (pure non-dualism), we are in fact Brahman, only we are oblivious to this nature as we only understand the universe in terms of duality and separation.

For more info regarding Advaita see Hinduism "schools of Vedanta" > http://www.hinduism.co.za/schools.htm

Here's what wiki says about Brahman..

"In the Hindu religion, Brahman (ब्रह्मन्, brahman, nominative brahma, ब्रह्म) is the unchanging, infinite, immanent, and transcendent reality which is the Divine Ground of all matter, energy, time, space, being, and everything beyond in this Universe.[1] The nature of Brahman is described as transpersonal, personal and impersonal by different philosophical schools. "

more here > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahman

« Last Edit: 14/09/09 @ 21:35 by CygnusX1 » Logged

You are neither earth, water, fire, air or even ether.
For liberation know yourself as consisting of consciousness,
the witness of these.
[The Song of Ashtavakra (Ashtavakra Samhita) Chapter 1.3]
Gareth Southwell
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« Reply #5 on: 15/09/09 @ 14:32 »

I wonder about equating time with change. Isn't it possible to conceive of a changeless place that nonetheless exists over a period of time? I would think time is more to do with consciousness.

As for the singularity - well, it is all very well saying such a thing, but what is this but another fairy tale? Because it's science, people tend to overlook the fact that we are talking about things which (a) cannot be adequately proven, and (b) reach the limits of our own ability to conceive.
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