Chapter 5, Buddha Science, Chaos and Complexity
(edited July 29)
I continue my virtual dialogue with Steve Daut’s written words in “Buddha Science,” chapter 5. As mentioned in the previous introduction I will skim over this chapter because it stands by itself. Background matters and I encourage anyone who finds this interesting to invest in your own copy of Steve Daut’s book so you can read the rest of the Buddha Science story for yourself.
In this series I’m all about trying to highlight where my Earth Centrist, bottom-up-evolutionary, outlook differs from this summary of some religious/philosophical current thinking. I’m in agreement with the fundamentals he presents and don’t “take issue” with Daut’s book per se.
Chapter 5a, Chaos and complexity, At the movies
¶a4 “… Scientists have found that chaos is virtually everywhere, connecting things in astonishing and unpredictable ways.”
¶a5 ““But chaos is only the beginning. …
These pages were interesting to read but since I don’t have anything worth adding to this discussion regarding chaos, I won’t try.
Chapter 5b, Chaos and complexity, Movies, schmovies
"In fact, as the study of complexity has gained traction, chaos has come to be defined as a very special type of behavior that contributes to the complexity of systems. The study of complexity seeks to understand the functioning of whole systems that have many component parts. It seeks to discover and describe how these parts interact, and how the behavior of he system relates to its parts. These efforts lead to a third subject, emergence."
"Emergence is simply the observation that the behavior of a system is more than merely the sum of its parts. … the three general topic of interest in this chapter are chaos, complexity and emergence. …”
¶b5 “Karma is the Buddha Science moral analog of the butterfly effect. …”
¶b9 (Edward Lorenz and pioneering weather modeling work and chaos effect)
¶b16 “So the concept of a strange attractor is basically a rigorous way to describe a system that never exactly repeats itself. …”
¶b19 “… the Mandelbrot set …”
¶b20 “The very concept of fractals seems like magic. Many systems exhibit patterns that repeat themselves past smaller and smaller scales, which results in many questions about our concept of space and dimension. …”
¶b21 “… in other words, the object itself defines the space rather than the space define the object. …”
¶b23 “…(the two dimensional sheet that gets crumbled up into a ball, what is it now . . .)
“… The concept of fractal dimensions is another way of looking at the relationship between objects and the space. As a Buddha Scientist would say, these concepts have no meaning from the perspective of non-dual Reality.”
This is interesting enough, but it’s all part of our imagination. I believe getting to terms with ourselves and the challenges this Earth bound physical life tosses at us requires something more down to Earth, intellectually and viscerally tangible.
Starting with a deeper appreciation for our own biological selves and how we were formed out of this Earth via lots of evolving.
Chapter 5c, Chaos and complexity,
Complex but not chaotic
¶c2 “Yet the human body functions as an integrated system. All of the various parts work together for the benefit, or failure, of the whole. This is a complex system with some chaotic elements, but it cannot be considered chaotic as a whole. The study of such systems has become the focus across all areas of scientific study, …”
True enough, and the beauty of those hard sciences studies, especially these past couple decades, is that they clearly show a biological route to understanding consciousness, even if details remain shrouded in mystery. No amount of rhetorical logic games, and impossible expectations, changes that bottom line.
How we ask our questions, limits the usefulness of the answers we receive.
¶c3 “… This quality is call emergence, because it emerges as a system reaches certain levels of complexity. …”
¶c5 “The property of emergence is a key concept at all scales and systems, up to and including Reality itself. After all, Reality is the ultimate complex system. As a Buddha Scientist might observe, non-duality is the emergent quality of Reality itself.
As an Earth Centrist might observe, human mind is an emergent quality of the biological Reality of our physical body in action. The duality that matters is the one between our minds and physical Reality.
It’s real, yet as mysterious as the origins and details of electricity.
The duality between matter and living biology is tricky, lost in a maze of manmade constructs. We know a fair amount, but the boundaries get fuzzy, too fuzzy for us, Earth bound, time bound, self-serving human-beings to puzzle out.
¶c6 “… (consistent) with Buddha Science that the presence of a separate observer and observed is merely a concept, and has no meaning with respect to non-dual Reality.
I can relate to much of what I’m reading in this section, but this “non-dual” Reality doesn’t sit right with me.
The duality between non-living matter and biology is fascinating, but once removed, like quantum weirdness, and not so interesting as biology creating awareness, and with increasing complexity, increasing levels of consciousness springing forth.
I know I’m repeating myself, still it bears repeating, the most important and fascinating duality I’m aware of is the divide between Physical Reality and our Human Minds.
¶c7 “… This leads us again to the two approaches discussed in this book: the empirical observations and inference of the Buddha Science; and empirical observation, conceptualizing, and testing through the scientific method.
So now let’s begin to take a look at some additional areas of scientific inquiry, keeping in mind that the principles of chaos and complexity may apply to any and all of them.
From here it’s on to the slippery slope of the quantum physics landscape.
I thank Steve Daut for writing out these concepts and allowing me to share them in this virtual discussion with his book. I encourage you to read his complete book.
Buddha Science, ©2016, For a copy contact Steve Daut.
Is there anybody out there?
citizenschallenge at gmail