Titles of similar nature abound in many books, articles, websites and docuseries. Most of them basically outline and narrate things in similar contents and fashions. Let us try to avoid repeating that line of thinking in this piece. Instead, I will try to present aspects of this interesting topic in simple fundamental terms – philosophized at times, and enriched by the wealth of enlightened ancient wisdoms. In earlier articles, in Natural Order, Natural Equilibrium, The Fluidity of Nature, Social Order, Social Fluidity, The Sanctity of Nature’s Wonders, and others (see in Website Links and Profile) – aspects of the laws of Nature were featured.
Let me attempt to explain the laws differently – in terms of processes, and ultimate goals or objectives in two acronyms: SPIRIT – Something Perpetual Irreversible and Reversible, Interdependent and Transient; aiming to achieve STILL – Something Tranquil and Irreversible in Lucid Liberty. The pasted image is created to illustrate this approach. It is this quest of Nature aiming to establish – equilibrium from disequilibrium – order from disorder – balance from imbalance – symmetry and stability from asymmetry and instability – that drives everything in the universe.
It is important to understand this quest from the viewpoints of both processes and objectives – otherwise there are real risks that one is likely to remain embroiled in attempts to understand the processes without ever comprehending what the real objectives are. Further, it is essential to connect Matter that we all see and readily perceive – with Immatter, with one of the most important elements being the phenomena of human mind (see The Power of Mind). This connection is emerging as the new frontier of our modern understanding - despite the fact that 6th century BCE enlightened ancient wisdom had clear directions of the role of mind in modulating the actions of Matter or material processes – with the vice versa role of matter. In this piece I have revisited this ancient wisdom for clarity of explanation and understanding. With this, here are some brief elaborations of the two acronyms I have suggested.
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In short, these are the processes of Nature we all experience everyday – in our lifetime – in uncertain but coherent pursuits – the perpetual interactive but collaborative dynamics of the Systems of Fluid, Solid and Life (see Warming Climate and Entropy). Some of them we readily understand – in some cases, more than our ancestors did – simply because we are born in a different time. Our common intuitive knowledge has gone through reincarnation after reincarnation – enriching us in the kaleidoscope of time and space – in the evolving canvas of spacetime. The systems – creating boundary conditions upon one another – drive themselves in Collective Unison – in characteristic scales and intensity that define them – to smooth out inequalities – to even out asymmetries.
The term collective unison or harmony is emphasized for a reason. It is because, by not understanding this Natural quest in true perspectives – the Western notion/tenet is formulated suggesting that inequality and asymmetry are the norm of things – as if they are rigid. Therefore, procedural rules of business were designed to account for this notion (it dominates the world thinking today by the dint of worldwide Western influence for over 5 centuries; the notion itself developed by the perpetual wars and conflicts in Europe; Leo Tolstoy (1828 – 1910) once said . . . this way of life is incompatible with the much more natural law of love . . .). It essentially says that real substantive Truth does not matter – truth is what the powerful says it is.
Accordingly, to perpetuate, even to accentuate this notion – to survive and dominate – the rules of business have yielded the practices of attrition, deception, destruction and elimination of the competition and opponent (it got its boost, with the Charles Darwin, 1809 – 1882 saying of ‘Survival of the Fittest’; although Darwin theorized and illustrated many other brilliant things that defined the evolving canvas of the life system – this saying was emphasized and popularized by the ruling seats of power to serve their interests; albeit, under the veils of all different sorts of polished information campaign. His saying . . . if the misery of the poor be caused not by the law of nature, but by our own institutions, great is our sin. . . is totally ignored). And, obviously the first rule of business to control and contain the opponent – is to impact what matters most to the competition – monetary and economic affairs – as they are the sources of wealth and power. The perpetuation and sustenance of these tasks – asks for backing them up by information campaign (to influence the lens of observer/reader/viewer – such that the consumer of the information will perceive things – consciously or unconsciously – in line with the intended propaganda/campaign purposes/policies) and fire power.
In the backdrop of this arrogance of power (see some glimpses in Democracy and Larry the Cat) – lies the Nature’s true SPIRIT, which says to realize the fact that competition is healthy and beneficial – if things are conducted in just and righteous way respecting everyone’s interests. When elimination of competition (in particular, when the competition is assumed formidable) is promoted – it opens the door for pursuance of malicious unsustainable monopolistic practices. Thus, Nature’s SPIRIT quests – of collective unison, happiness and harmony – were shelved to collect dust (see glimpses of it in The Grammar of Industrialization) by actions conducted in line with the predominant view of things. It is not difficult to see that the practice was reinforced by 'Lord Shepherd-Docile Lambs' and humans as 'Sinner' psyche – that pervaded past human actions of power play in the West (and by its outreach to the rest of the world) – and continues to pervade actions in present times (see Something Different).
Apart from this human-made insinuation, some breakdowns do occur for other reasons, during the processes of pursuit, like:
All these SPIRIT processes, in brief, happen in different Force Field domains (see The Quantum World, Force Fields in a Coastal System). Fundamental to this – is the ubiquitous Gravitational Force Field or GFF (see Einstein’s Unruly Hair) and the Electromagnetic Force Field or EMFF (for the sake of brevity, among others, only these two Force Fields are highlighted, others are active in their respective domains, see further in The Quantum World). The former defines all that we perceive as Nature. The latter governs things mostly in invisibility, but in the measurable domain of frequency, amplitude and phase. This field is responsible for transfer of energy – for example, in the two-way motions from IMMATTER to MATTER, and vice versa. The equivalence of the two – the matter-energy equivalence – has come to light in the early 20th century – by the works of a brilliant mind in modern time – Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955).
In ancient times, the fundamentals of SPIRIT – was figured out by one person, the first of its kind in history – he was the Shakyamuni Gautama Buddha (624 – 544 BCE, The Tathagata; Let there be Light - and there was Light). While the Western portrayal of the nature of SPIRIT (in suggesting that attrition, deception and elimination of competition must be pursued to prevail) – arose from frustration and hopelessness (that nothing can be done to undo this portrayal – therefore, the weak must live with it – and the strong must fight to prevail) – the Buddha relied on Nature as it truly functions – to bring in the enlightened message of hope – with the clear-cut definition of the Way, he has enunciated. This way is not the way of mistrust, deception and animosity – not to eliminate the competition – not to let the weak become weaker – but to work in collective unison and harmony – just as the true nature of SPIRIT is. And that, if pursued through the right path of wholesomeness – humans, by themselves in freedom and wisdom, can overcome the difficulties and complete the whole processes of SPIRIT – to attain STILL.
By the Two Universal Laws (one must understand these laws are not what are commonly known as the human-made checklist laws; the Buddha called them the Truths - Sachha or Satya that govern everything in the universe) the Buddha discovered – the Law of Impermanence (Anicca, symbolized as an Incomplete Circle; an indication of both incompleteness and of over-powering influences that leaves a residual; see the physics of it in Characterizing Wave Asymmetry) or Transience; and the Law of Dependent-Origination (Patticca Samupaddha) or Interdependence (symbolized as an Eternal Knot) – he laid the rational basis and foundation on which all of the described SPIRIT processes can be cast, interpreted and explained. These two laws were delivered and illustrated by the Buddha as Anattalakkhana Sutta, and Paticca-Samupadha-Vibhanga Sutta, respectively. In Quantum Mechanics (see The Quantum World), the locked interdependence is termed as Quantum Entanglement (QE).
The dynamic interlink between Transience and Interdependence - makes everything in the universe conditioned. This means again - that nothing exists without a cause, without causing an effect. The reality of impermanence, while obvious – must not lead to hopelessness and frustration – rather it should be understood that the Eternal Knot is not rigid – but transformative as in the fluidity of things that defines Nature – all heading to Complete the Circle without leaving a residual, to Untie the Knot.
The reality of the two laws is so ubiquitous that the discovery has become common human knowledge now - although it is doubtful whether the deep meanings and implications of them really permeated into the human thought processes and societal interactions. The forward grinding of the Wheel of Time (see TIME) to infinity – the Arrow of Time (see Entropy and Everything Else) – in the entangled cause-effect, action-reaction duo, the Eternal Knot – all SPIRIT processes pertain to these two laws. Told or untold, indeed, all subsequent theories, laws and teachings had this foundational base.
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MATTER and IMMATTER
There is more than what we readily understand of the nature of the driving engine or motivator behind the processes of SPIRIT. This is the Universal Dynamics of Matter and Immatter – the Shin-Gi-Tai. As pointed out in previous paragraphs, while matter or material processes are rather obvious – one needs to have a clear grasp of what immatter is. The role of immatter in the cloaks of human mind in modulating material processes and vice-versa – is something of a mystery – although Buddhist thoughts (The Tathagata) had clear directions to this mystery. One of these directions says that in the presence of an agitated and unguarded mind – it is difficult to avoid the effects of subjectivity in views of things. The late 19th to the early 20th century birth of Quantum Mechanics (see The Quantum World) shed fresh light on the role of human mind – the observer-observed, the subject-object relationship.
It says that one’s impression of the observed or the object – is a modulation of the observer’s state of mind. The observed, in turn modulates the impression of the observer. It lies in the same vein as the Eternal Knot of the action-reaction, cause-effect duo. A saying (see further in The Power of Mind) of Max KEL Planck (1858 – 1947) – the father of Quantum Mechanics – is remarkable on this, All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force . . . We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.
This wisdom (see Something Different) has been with us since ancient times – only for reasons of ignorance or otherwise – we were not aware of, or really understood it. Also, we have not understood it in the past – because we were too much obsessed with matter – ignoring the wisdom of the importance of immatter as the motivator. Buddhism (The Tathagata) says that mind, the sixth sense, as the forerunner of everything one does – and by its very nature of instantaneous roaming in space and time that include the domains of the 7th and the 8th levels of consciousness – gives birth to new consciousness in us together with the five body senses. The works of thought processes originating in the universe of mind – immediately indicate three important particulars:
Now, let us attempt to see what the Matter-Immatter Dynamics implies:
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The SPIRIT quests that result in short-lived, quasi or transitory equilibrium of different sorts – happen all the time. This is Nature’s efforts of reversibility to achieve perfection from imperfection. Imagine the tiring pursuits of SPIRIT – from one sort of dynamic equilibrium to another – the circle is never completed, the eternal knot is never untied. If one knot is untied – another appears in a different configuration. The pursuits exhaust the actors – therefore, aspiring to reach peace and happiness in STILL is so universal.
Understandably, the tenet of inequality and asymmetry as something rigid denying the Nature’s law of fluidity or dynamic equilibrium – is neither the norm nor justifiable. Therefore, the notion of working with Nature rather than against it – is gaining so much attention and popularity in recent times. It is healthy and wise.
As shown in the image, the dynamic equilibrium is not the end – rather incremental and gradual accumulation of all such achievements head to STILL. The rationale for heading to STILL can simply be understood from the facts of one’s experience – that when one is happy, peaceful and harmonious – the efficacy of his or her works, performance and relationships – increases manifold. The same aspiration also happens in every system – we call it Nature. But, while SPIRIT must head to STILL – any gain by prolonging the scale of transience during the SPIRIT processes – must also be appreciated and valued.
Is achieving STILL certain? Well, as everything else in Nature – that works in Matter-Immatter dynamics – there is no surety of things (see more in Uncertainty and Risk and The World of Numbers and Chances). One more reason for this lack of surety is – that some of Nature’s Actions are not predictable. These actions are characterized by high impact episodes – in Frontal Wave Force Field (as described in Force Fields in a Coastal System) mode. Such episodes jeopardize everything – painstakingly achieved incrementally and gradually.
But, when accumulation of the achieved gains happens – if it happens (therefore something rare) – a Lucid Liberty – STILL is finally secured. The Incomplete Circle is finally completed – the Eternal Knot is finally untied – the Emptiness or Sunyata attains its ultimate enlightened meaning - and the Full Moon begins to shine brilliantly bright. In Buddhism (The Tathagata; Let There be Light - and there was Light) – this STILL has a name – it is called NIRVANA.
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The Koan of this piece:
The moment one behaves in arrogance and disrespect – the moment one behaves with overzealousy and unnecessary adulation – Nature knows the person is a liar, vengeful and untrustworthy.
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- by Dr. Dilip K. Barua, 14 August 2023