Thursday, January 9, 2014

Time and Enlightenment

Dear readers,

Sorry for the lack of updates recently and of 2013. But I think I don't have the time now to write a full well done article too, yet I must write this note down to be expanded further later on before I forget it. Please excuse the brief and non-explanatory, non-citing nature of the following words.

From this article:
Physicists has experimental verification that time is emergent from quantum entanglement and not absolute. There has been books like "the end of time" by Julien Barbour which uses the Wheeler-Dewitt equation (that unites quantum and gravity) as the main basis for the interpretation in Physics that there's no time, but the idea in the article above is less interpretation, more hypothesis that is tested.

Time exists only for the observer inside the universe that entangles with the entangled particles in the universe itself. If an external observer uses a clock to measure absolute time against entangled particles in the universe, there is no observable change. The experiment is done using a toy model of the universe and verifies the hypothesis.

This reminds me strongly of the experience of enlightened beings vs unenlightened beings in Buddhism. I do not know if enlightened beings dwell outside of the universe, but it is said that Nibbana, where enlightened beings attain to, is not a place, does not change, is timeless, unconditioned, without suffering. This is in direct contrast with all conditioned things in the world. All conditioned things are subject to change, therefore they are not free from suffering. To attain to Nibbana, one has to see the impermanence, non-self and suffering nature of all conditioned phenomena and let go of all clinging of the five aggregates which compromises our world. To let go of clinging sounds to me like disentangling oneself from the rest of the universe which is changing, then in Nibbana, you see that there's no changing.

Yet there are some problems to be addressed in this parallel, is it true that all of the universe would stop for an outside observer or just the entangled parts, or is everything entangled to each other despite decoherence? The paper is in ArXiV now, so it has not been peer reviewed, it might contain some mistake.

There are also beings like Brahma, form and formless, who might conceivably live outside of the universe, then where does that leave Nibbana to? Why does Physics presents so close a story to Buddhism? Perhaps only a Buddha can answer these questions.

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