Believing in nothing - Suzuki

Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by fogpipe, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. fogpipe Registered Member

    Shunryu Suzuki narrated by Peter Coyote

    One of the nice things about believing in nothing is that it doesnt conflict with believing in quantum physics, evolution, or what ever stretch of incredulity your culture imposes

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  3. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    I believe in myself.
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  5. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    The phrase 'believing in nothing' seems to me to be ambiguous.

    I would distinguish between...

    1. Believing in some kind of transcendental something called 'nothing'.

    2. Having no beliefs at all.

    3. Adopting a religious practice concerned with what is and isn't done, as opposed to what is and isn't believed.
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  7. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    Nothing doesn't exist to the Spirits, it lacks that and everything imaginable. It can only exist by the will of Love for a small time as a learning experience for fallen angels or spirits trying to make knowledge and those who go with Know. It's ours until we are everything, every one of us. Nothing exist to our vocabulary and other intrinsics, but this is the lack of knowledge so when we learn we will be whole and not wont be.
  8. Amar Nath Reu Be your own guru Registered Senior Member

    It is not ambiguous. Though it has not been proved but there is a possibility that the universe arose out of 'absolute nothing', something like 'multi-universe' theory. Science has a long way to go. Who knows if this turns out to be correct that existence is only a phase while non-existence is another.
  9. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Go beyond dichotomous thought.
    nothing = non differentiation on a conscious level.
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  10. Light Travelling It's a girl O lord in a flatbed Ford Registered Senior Member

    Belief in nothing is ambiguous. It could mean.;
    Believing nothing really exists.
    Believing in no philosophical or religious ideas but only focusing the mind on the mundane.
    Letting he mind focus on many philosophical or religious ideas but never holding on to any particular one as a 'belief".
  11. Light Travelling It's a girl O lord in a flatbed Ford Registered Senior Member

    Another way to look at it is that even the decision to believe in nothing... does itself constitute a belief system. ?
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  12. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

    I believe (and I stress at this point it is just a belief) Nothing and Something can and do exist, but not necessarily appear, simultaneously. It's dependent upon the observer.
  13. wellwisher Banned Banned

    In a quantum universe, "the something", is defined by the discreet packets known as quanta. Only certain quantum states will appear. Between these quantum states are the gaps of "nothing", where quanta do not exist. A quantum universe has both nothing and something; simultaneously.

    If you look at the quantum somethings, because these only exists in finite ways; they are not continuous, this lowers the odds for things to happen, making the universe more ordered.

    In other words, between any two quantum state, such as hydrogen emissions, there are an infinite number of possible theoretical states if there was only a continuous universe of something . If all the nothing states were occupied by something, every detail of substance would be like a dice with infinite sides of possibility. But because nothing takes up most of the states, leaving only two quanta, the dice become loaded with easier odds for distinct change. The gaps of nothing save time for evolution and change, because it loads the dice. The nothing is traditionally called God; spiritual realm not seen. The ancients were consistent with a quantum universe.
  14. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    It's important to point out that in Buddhism, 'emptiness' (sunyata) typically doesn't mean what we think of when we say 'nothing' (non-existence).Śūnyatā

    It's more of a denial of the idea that substances exist and in particular that they are what they are simply because it's their essential nature to be that.

    Buddhist philosophers interpreted that very strongly, arguing that something with svabhava (own-being) would have to be eternal, it couldn't come into or go out of existence. If something external to the thing caused it to come into being, then it wouldn't be entirely reliant on and determined by its own inner nature.

    Buddhist belief is that everything that exists is causally determined, dependent on conditions and hence temporary and impermanent.

    This line of thinking originated with the Buddha's analysis of the self and his critique of the idea that Westerners would call the eternal soul.

    It wasn't meant as an argument that reality doesn't exist, though some Buddhist metaphysical-idealist philosophers subsequently did try to push the argument in that direction, insisting that reality is a mind-generated illusion.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2015
  15. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    So what, in the view of such a Buddhist, would be an example of something that is wholly reliant upon and determined by its own inner being? The universe? Consciousness?
  16. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    That was a continuing subject of controversy among Buddhist philosophers.

    A very influential and widespread early philosophical movement called Abhidharma tried to reduce all possible experience into what amounted to phenomenal atoms, called dharmas. These were elements of experience that weren't reducible to anything simpler. Different schools produced different lists of dharmas, usually amounting to several hundred. These were divided into conditioned dharmas, those that come into existence momentarily through causation before immediately causing another dharmas, and unconditioned dharmas, those that are eternal and uncaused. The lists of unconditioned dharmas differed but were always very short, comprising nirvana and sometimes space as well. But whether they were conditioned or unconditioned, dharmas were reality's ultimate simples, elements of reality which weren't further reducible to anything else, and were what they were because it was their nature to be whatever they are.

    This kind of analysis could often be very dry and scholastic and some Buddhists rebelled against it. The Prajnaparamita literature began to preach universal emptiness, including 'dharma-sunyata', the emptiness of dharmas. The subsequent Madhyamaka philosophy tried to produce philosophical justifications for the Prajnaparamita teachings. Madhyamikas like the famous Nagarjuna were the ones who argued that anything with own-being (svabhava) must be eternal. So they basically attacked Abhidharma's whole dharma theory, insisting that nothing has an inherent nature that makes it whatever it is, arguing instead that everything becomes it is by causes, extending in an infinite regress into the past. Their motivation for arguing this way was was basically soteriological, based on the belief that anything solid in reality that could be emotionally grasped onto, would be grasped onto, and hence become a hinderance to enlightenment.

    Whether fair or not, many Buddhists thought that Madhyamaka's doctrine of universal emptiness was nihilistic, and the philosophically absolute-idealist Cittamatra (mind-only) school appeared. As the name suggests, they insisted that there is something with svabhava, with it's own inherent nature, namely Mind. They continued to insist that reality was empty, except for them 'emptiness' has been reinterpreted to mean emptiness of subject-object duality. These philosophers argued instead that reality is merely a mental construct, and ultimately indistinguishable from the mind that constructed it. It's also important to note that this Mind that constructs reality isn't any of our individual minds, it's mind in general. So Cittamatra still hadn't abandoned the buddha's original insight that our individual selves are mental constructs and somehow illusory. For Cittamatra, our personal selves are still part of the universal illusion.

    The similarity between Cittamatra and Advaita Vedanta is obvious. Some scholars think that how Shankara interpreted the Brahmasutras and in how he formed his own Hindu philosophy was strongly influenced by the Buddhist philosophical environment around him.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2015
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  17. aboydisappearing Registered Member


    Sometimes, believing in everything means trusting and taking in account several contradictory and opposing ideas. The entire foundation of duality is based on this foundation.

    Your thoughts ?
  18. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member


    sideshowbob, Michael 345 and origin like this.
  19. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

    Nihilism? You can usually believe in science and still live within cultural norms. (Your video was blocked by YouTube, btw)
  20. river

    We have lost our way .

    Believing in nothing is nonsense .
  21. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    I believe in nothing. Nothingness is the most powerful thing there is. The entire universe came from it. Without void, there would be no reality.
  22. river

    How does reality come from VOID ?
  23. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 71 years old Valued Senior Member


    • Sounds deep, mysterious and somehow philosophical wise or
    • As deep as the dirt on the soles of my feet, weird and as wise as previously mentioned dirt
    take your pick

    My take on the Original Post is that it is hard to believe in NOTHING when surrounded by SOMETHING

    Thinking about the concept of nothing is another animal

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    Nice one √

    Belief in NOTHING generates something which negates the NOTHING

    Good one √

    Wish I could pat me on the back for that insight

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