What Happened Before the Big Bang? The New Philosophy of Cosmology

Bob Levin1/22/2012 4:29:42 am PST

re: #8 Sergey Romanov

I don’t think you can combine Megalithic religion and modern religious development. Regarding the latter, there was no differentiation between science and religion, or religion and engineering. You can’t quarrel with the results of their work, which was based on some very serious individuals experiencing some very serious inspiration. But all knowledge rests on this inspiration.

Depending upon who you talk to, the words ‘inspiration’ and ‘revelation’ might be interchangeable—the feeling of knowledge or wisdom coming to you seemingly from nowhere, or from some place greater than the sum total of your own knowledge. Artists of all types, religious people, scientists, and philosophers depend on these moments.

Even if you have a revelatory text in front of you, you still have to figure out what it means. And, in Judaism there is an interplay between the interaction with the text, and your life, which leads to more understanding of the text, which will alter your experience of your life—in other words, same cycle of inspiration.

There is no time when this interaction stops. There is no time when you have the answers, plenty of hypotheses, which are constantly revised—it’s a very grounded method of inquiry. I won’t talk about results because it’s very process oriented. It’s the journey.

For an exercise, let’s look at the differences between appearance and essence. For everyone divorced, this was a hard lesson to learn. But there is a difference between appearances and essences. The philosophers have been at this for some time, although you’ll probably remember this moment from Philosophy 101: What is the essence of a chair? Answer: Chairness. Weak, yes? The physicists have taken the long road to get to this question, which is phrased as the difference between the world they perceive and the world or worlds they’ve discovered, which bear little relation to their daily experience. Both Asian religions and Judaism are based on the difference between appearance (illusion) and essences. I would postulate that Hebrew is a language of essences.

So, who has made the greatest strides in this question? If I’ve used any straw men, it would be using British Empricism (chairness), instead of German idealism. So, you have three very solid traditions of inquiry, one tradition with a fully developed grammar of essences. Definitely solid foundations.