The Fabric of the Cosmos: The Illusion of Time

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The Fabric of the Cosmos: The Illusion of Time

Post by Jason » Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:46 pm

Watching the NOVA episode "The Fabric of the Cosmos: The Illusion of Time," and it's interesting because it seems to be agreeing with the ancient Sarvastivadin idea of past, present, and future phenomena being simultaneously present or existing from the point of view of modern physics (an idea that's highly contested by some Buddhist schools, esp. Theravada), or as Albert Einstein put it, that "the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion." Maybe the Sarvastivadins (along with Parmenides and the Eleatics) had it right after all. :D
"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" (AN 7.58).

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Re: The Fabric of the Cosmos: The Illusion of Time

Post by retrofuturist » Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:07 am

Jason wrote:Maybe the Sarvastivadins (along with Parmenides and the Eleatics) had it right after all. :D
Until the past, present and future are experienced at the same time, I don't think I'll be overly troubled by such possible developments. 8-)

Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

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Re: The Fabric of the Cosmos: The Illusion of Time

Post by gavesako » Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:16 pm

If you wait for this new film made by the Matrix directors, you might be surprised:
On its simplest level, Cloud Atlas is a set of six sharply
contrasting stories, each one capable of standing alone
as a complete tale, but only revealing its full resonance
when viewed in the context of the total work. ...

Yet the concept of a
“cloud atlas” appears elsewhere—for example, as a
symbolic representation of the transmigration of souls
—or in a rare recording of Frobisher’s composition that
figures as a plot elements in a separate story. The
multivalent meaning of this one element is an example
of the many prefigurings and reverberations that give
depth and suchness to this ambitious novel.

As a result, the linkages between the six narratives are
difficult, perhaps impossible, to summarize. But let me
propose a (Philip K.) Dicksian way of approaching this
interconnectivity. Imagine that the defining stories of
our lives are not rooted in reality, as many critics
assume, but in other stories. ...

On top of this intriguing structure, Mitchell
superimposes echoes of Nietzsche’s theory of eternal
recurrence. You may recall that this odd and seemingly
implausible philosophical concept proposes a universe
that does not advance chronologically, but merely
repeats itself, over and over again. This cyclical concept
of history does not presuppose any theistic doctrines,
but can be made congruent with a belief in
reincarnation. Mitchell clearly draws on this
metaphysical angle, and sets in motion story elements
that imply that the characters in his six tales may be
reincarnations of each other.

Of course, none of this is presented in the blunt, point-
by-point way that I have just outlined it. Mitchell
works his changes subtly, and even at his most
philosophical, he “clouds” his points in a fog of
ambiguity. He is, after all, a storyteller and not a
theoretician, and the narrative is never dislodged by
the higher order meanings. They merely float above
the action." onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false;

Cloud Atlas

An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.

It's a fantastic book. It tells six stories from six separate time-lines however, each story is mentioned in the story that follows it. Each story ends suddenly and then the author revisits each story to give us each it's closing.

Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

Access to Insight - Theravada texts
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts - Sutta translations

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