Was Einstein a Buddhist?
Einstein and Buddhism - Some interesting links
Einstein is said to have remarked that "The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible" - see The unreasonable effectivess of mathematics
Other Essays on Buddhism and Scientific Rationalism
Quantum physics and the
EPR ( Einstein Podolsky Rosen Paradox )
'...Basically, what quantum theory says is that fundamental particles are empty of inherent existence and exist in an undefined state of potentialities. They have no inherent existence from their own side and do not become 'real' until a mind interacts with them and gives them meaning. Whenever and wherever there is no mind there is no meaning and no reality...'
Computer science and Artificial
'...According to Buddhist philosophy this [limitation of Artificial Intelligence] is hardly surprising, as the Mother of All Algorithms is itself NOT an algorithm and never could be programmed. The Mother of All Algorithms is the formless mind imputing meaning onto its objects (i.e. imputing meaning on to the sequential and structural components of the algorithm as it is being written).. '
'.....in the final analysis the entire number system has been generated by the play of mind on emptiness, in the complete absence of the need to refer to any material thing, or things, which are being counted. Numbers do not exist by reference to physical reality, nor are they self-existent, abstract 'things in themselves'...'
'...One interesting aspect of emergent phenomena is the different causal and organisational relationships which appear at different levels of investigation. For example, ecology emerges out of biology, which emerges out of chemistry, which emerges out of physics, which emerges out of mathematics, which emerges out of the mind contemplating the empty set. Each level of investigation has its own explanatory relationships, yet if we check carefully there is no 'added extra' coming from the side of the objects. (Everything is algorithmically compressible without remainder, there are no mysterious ingredients added as we progress from lower levels to higher levels). Emergent phenomena emerge from the mind of the observer, not from the object being observed...'
Evolution and taxonomy
'....The biological species concept does not reflect any underlying reality. A species is purely a snapshot of an interbreeding population of organisms at a particular epoch in time, and as time progresses the characteristics of that population will gradually change in response to selective pressures....Buddha taught that all things are impermanent, constantly arising, becoming, changing and fading . Buddhist philosophers consequently rejected the Platonic idea of production from 'ideal forms' as being the fallacy of 'production from inherently existent other'. ...there is nothing whatsoever that is inherently or independently existent..'
'...And so we continue along the via negativa - examining everything that could possibly be the root cause of what we are, including our beliefs, expectations, attachments, memes, mental processes, habits, evolutionary history, instincts, memories, childhood traumas and so on - and discarding each in turn. Eventually, when all things and all relationships have been exhausted, we become aware of the emptiness of our Self. It isn't nothingness that we become aware of, it is pure formless mind , which is empty of any defining or determining essence...'
'...The fact that the mind is formless means that it is unconstrained, and hence has immense potential. The mind can comprehend all objects including its own creations. The description of the root mind as 'formless' doesn't just refer to its non-material nature, but it emphasises that it is unlimited, non-mechanistic and totally free from any structure and all the other algorithmic constraints . In Buddhist psychology the root mind is non-physical and non-algorithmic. The mind cannot be understood in terms of circuit diagrams and flowcharts. It is pure awareness...'
'..Both quantum theory and Buddhist teachings on sunyata suggest that as soon as an observer's mind makes contact with a superposed system, all the numerous possibilities collapse into one actuality. At some instant one of these possible alternative universes produced an observing lifeform. The first act of observation by this mind caused the entire superposed multiverse to collapse immediately into one of its numerous alternatives..'
Life the Universe and
'...We see the world in terms of 'things' because our genes are telling us to grab resources. But if we take a step back and view the universe in terms of geological and cosmic timescales, it is apparent that there are no inherently existent things, only processes of continual change. All phenomena are dependently-related and empty of any defining essence....Individuals, buildings, artifacts, species, continents, planets and stars are transient phenomena caused by the temporary coming together of parts....'
on the mind, personal relationships, meditation and the spiritual path.
If we regard Buddhism as a combination of a philosophy, psychology and religion, then how much mileage can we get from the first two aspects before we have to start invoking religious faith?
Christian versus Buddhist worldviews