October 12, 2005

The Big Ideas Lead to Each Other...

This is a followup to this post: http://ejohnlove.blogspot.com/2005/07/grokking-einsteins-big-idea-legacy-of.html

I just watched "Einstein's Big idea" on PBS. This is an episode of the "Nova" science program which shows (dramatically as well as factually) how Einstein's famous equation E=mc2 came to be discovered, and the historical developments and personalities in physics which led up to it.

The historical development of physics seems to follow the concept of integration: ideas previously thought to be incompatible and unrelated (such as electricity and magnetism) were eventually found to share something in common or to be different sides of something else.

From my meager study of the ideals of monotheistic religions, I see a similar goal: a oneness with God and others in your society by internalizing and integrating examples of compassion, cooperation and self-sacrifice into one's personal approach to everyday life.

Buddhism, a non-theistic religion that's does not have a god, teaches that all people and things are interconnected and interdependent, and that ultimately, the very concept of one's ego (a personal concept of "me", and how it is separate from "you") is an illusion, an artificial division.

I also have seen an integration between religions and science. Eminent physicists such as Albert Einstein and Steven Hawking have often compared physics' search for a Grand Unified Theory with knowing the mind of God. Religion has likewise absorbed ideas of science, such as how some progressive Christians might claim that God created the Big Bang.

It's a shame that while this gradual compatibility of life philosophies is ocurring, old divisive (human) tendencies such as greed, selfishness or "me first" attitudes towards individuality seem to continue to undermine what we could otherwise have in common.


Anonymous said...

I've been reading about "M-theory" a bit over the past few months, and it is very satisfying... when I can fit it into my head. It's the kind of thing you have to keep on the front burner, lest you lose track of the logic and have to start all over. For me, anyway.

The most beautiful idea that comes of this for me (as a Catholic) is that Gravity is possibly the conduit for the Holy Spirit. Some physicists suggest this. I love the idea that science and mysticism are compatible. It means everyone can just stop fighting.

Doesn't it?


Anonymous said...

Hua-yen Buddhists expounded Einstein's equasion and the holographic universe theory in China about 1500 years ago, based on their understanding of the Buddha's teaching of a thousand years before that. Buddhism did not start out as a religion, and yet is not a religion at its core. The human mind is capable of far more than our present-day cultures allow it to manifest. I love Einstein to bits because he did not let conditioning stop him. And the, ha, big as heck, he gets proven correct. Fancy that!