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  • Writer's pictureBhang, Youngmoon

Does this universe have the beginning and the end or have the cycle?

I love the philosopher A.N. Whitehead quote "It also requires the whole universe in order to be itself”(Science and the modern world>) Because, this sentence expresses that even a single grain of sand that fell on the ground would not have been possible if the current universe had not arisen right exactly in this way.

From the chapter of human mind, <순야타 suññatā 空>

Does this universe have the beginning and the end?

In the very beginning of our world, why this specific state that a sphere weighing about 9 pounds with a size of -27 powers of ten centimeters arisen? We cannot know the reason. Even if it has a cyclical structure that repeats the beginning and the end, it is not only a possible conjecture that it can be different every time. Moreover it is impossible to understand why this universe has been started and what was before the beginning. For that reason, various approaches that humans can understand - experimentation, simulation, and creation - are only presented as to the reason or basis for its initiation.

But the most sensible answer would be 'I don't know’. The world can be measured but cannot be described.

Do I transmigrate?

Some streams of the Han River flow into the West Sea and some flow into the East Sea of Korean Peninsular. The water that enters the sea becomes salty seawater. Can we recognize that specific water flowing from the Han River in the seawater evaporates and turns into rain clouds and specifically rains on the Han River? Various waters have already flowed into the streams that flowed out of the Han River, and as they enter the sea, they meet numerous waters.

Obviously water circulates. But it cannot claim its origin, we can’t separate specific water that came from the Han River from the ocean. If it rains someday, falls back into the Han River, it doesn’t mean that the Han River water will return to the Han River. We have no way to know which water enters, evaporates, and falls again.

Just as there is inevitably ambiguity in defining 'myself', there are inevitably unknown parts in defining the universe. The conviction that I will be reborn and reincarnated kind of thought comes from a lack of understanding of 'myself' and the universal phenomenon.

There is no way to know all of the reality of the universe.

But it is important to know that it is - we can’t understand everything.

Am I born and die once?

The continuity of 'myself', the subject of birth and death, is actually a small understanding of a phenomenon resulting from a very rare probability. Humans are clearly able to understand how they can be understood as continuity is not guaranteed in all processes such as cell division, cell replacement cycle and brain development in infancy. We go through so many changes from a simple cellular state until we establish our identity through brain development. The situation of maintaining the status in quo of myself is in a state of delicate balance.

The interesting thing is that no matter how much one tries to assert any inner existence of ‘I am', in reality, from the beginning of ‘myself', its maintenance is totally impossible without external factors. Human uses the Earth's atmosphere to breathe and kill and digest other living things. This is the most basic self-maintenance activity. The things that make up the ‘I am' in self-sustaining activities sustain themselves through things that come from outside. Returning to the state of the simplest cell - egg and sperm - none of the elements that constitute me come from me.

So, who dies?

Does this universe flicker once and for all?

What is the universe? Everything that happens.

What is all that happens? How can I say that?

What can we know? So how do we know that does this universe has the beginning and the end or have the endless cycle? Even if we look at the beginning and the end and cycling in simultaneity, is there any way for us to understand any previous universe that very different from the present universe?

Most of the imageries shown by modern physics are metaphors for explaining, obviously these are not true description. From the visualized atomic model, most of the terms used to describe are same as these. Visualized model is metaphor not the fact as it is. We have a tendency to judge everything on the basis of the present state and our empirical understanding. However, we continue to learn from modern science that there are phenomena beyond our understanding. Observation is a fountain of knowledge deeper than insight.

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” - Hamlet Act 1, scene 5

Then, what is the flickering of all that happens, the totality? For humans, the afterlife is a reason for the refusal of death and the the cosmology is reason for the justification of asserting itself. The understanding of death and its rejection have planted the desire for eternal life in almost human civilizations. It appears in various forms, and various narratives about the afterlife act as a kind of safeguard that acts as a moral pressure in almost human civilizations.

What if I have soul and it is true existence, my immortality presupposes my unchanging continuity. But it doesn't take so long to understand that it is based on a misunderstanding of all of this. If not, they are just not trying to make eye contact with the cold and true reality.

We should also imprint in our mind that immortality means to become a being that has been sifted at some point. Living creatures change over generations. We don't know exactly what the direction is and will be, but if we can maintain self-individuality endlessly, we can't make a fundamental change in ourselves. This is also the logic chosen by C. S. Lewis in the old days to apologize for Christian soteriology.

What does it mean to acquire transcendental knowledge?

Actually, it just means fundamentally denial of our own death. Also, the desire to acquire any transcendental knowledge has a 'temper' to maximize the legitimacy of one's own assertion.

It is very important to understand that the nature of everything is a phenomenon, not an existence.

It is also important to understand that "knowing everything" implies both ontologically and phenomenologically contradictions.

It just doesn’t make any sense.



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