• Jack Cummins

    I am inclined to think that matter and everything is recycled in some ways. In some ways, the idea of reincarnation is like recycling of 'souls'. The concept of the soul is open to dispute though.

    As far as cycles, it seems that there are certain cycles, and the most obvious ones are the days and the whole following on of the seasons on a yearly basis. With the wider cycles, it is a matter of how we frame them. Certainly, the Indian philosophers saw us within an eternity of cosmic cycles. I believe that the idea of eternal recurrence was prominent in Zoroathranism. One other depiction of cycles was the astrological system and, in that picture, we are at the cusp between Pisces and Aquarius.

    Part of the problem with seeing whether the fate of the earth, as to whether it is linear or cyclical is because we don't know the eventual outcome. Also, we don't know if universes and worlds populated by lifeforms have existed before us. So, we have a very limited frame of reference. Of course, this is taking the idea of eternal recurrence as a literal one. However, even though Nietzsche's may have eventually concluded that it was symbolic, the whole idea is worth considering on a cosmic level and I believe that the writer, Ouspensky, saw it in this grander scale. I am inclined to think that there are cycles but that we cannot see this fully because they are gradual and, as a result appear deceptively as being part of a linear process.
  • Nikolas
    I am inclined to think that there are cycles but that we cannot see this fully because they are gradual and, as a result appear deceptively as being part of a linear process.Jack Cummins

    Time in Buddhist cosmology is measured in kalpas. Originally, a kalpa was considered to be 4,320,000 years. Buddhist scholars expanded it with a metaphor: rub a one-mile cube of rock once every hundred years with a piece of silk, until the rock is worn away -- and a kalpa still hasn’t passed! During a kalpa, the world comes into being, exists, is destroyed, and a period of emptiness ensues. Then it all starts again.

    The cycles of time as we know in "levels of reality" I believe are genuine. The cycle of time or birth to death for a galaxy is less for example than the the cycle of birth to death for a solar system. Yet what is time. Is it the breath of Brahma?

    Genesis 1

    1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

    3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

    Before creation the light and the actuality of day and night came into existence. These are the questions I believe philosophy can lead us to experience by noesis when free from arguing secularized partial truths
  • Jack Cummins

    Yes, there a whole load of interesting questions which exist independently of the various religious and other belief systems. It almost seems that the theory of evolution is taken to cover the existence of the human beings and a possible answer such as the big bang, but so much is not explained, such as the underlying laws, rhythms and cycles. The ongoing order of night following day routinely is taken for granted. The seasons seem a bit messed up with climate change and we would all get a bit shocked if the rhythm of night and day altered. Just imagine if we were suddenly plunged into constant night.

    I try to juxtapose the various disciplines in thinking about all these matters. I have read Stephen Hawking's 'The Grand Design' and find that inspirational. Also, I think that Fritjof Capra's 'The Tao of Physics' is wonderful. Night and day can be seen as falling alongside the opposites of yin and yan, male and female, as well as light and dark. It seems to me that even if there is no God in the way many conventional religious people believe, there is definitely some higher power, such as that regarded as the Tao, from which the underlying order, patterns and cycles of creativity and destruction emerge and continue onwards.
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