Re: quantum physics and Buddhism

From: Iain Strachan <>
Date: Mon Jun 20 2005 - 03:11:56 EDT

Though it's not to do with science as such, Glenn's post reminded me of a
remarkable metaphor of particles coming together, cohering for a time then
scattering for life and death, in Philip Larkin's poem "The Old Fools":

At death you break up: the bits that were you
Start speeding away from each other for ever
With no one to see. It's only oblivion, true:
We had it before, but then it was going to end,
And was all the time merging with a unique endeavour
To bring to bloom the million-petalled flower
Of being here. Next time you can't pretend
There'll be anything else.

Though Larkin's view is bleakly atheistic (Larkin was obsessed with a fear
of death), I find it a remarkable metaphor that reminds me of the physics of
what's going on (though Larkin was not a scientist), and also is a
celebration of the preciousness of life itself (the "million-petalled
flower/ Of being here").


On 6/19/05, Glenn Morton <> wrote:
> Moorad wrote:
> >I am not sure how to visualize humans embedded in a Minkowski
> > spacetime.
> If you picture the worldliness of the particles that make up our bodies,
> we
> would appear as particles coming into a cloud and particles leaving the
> cloud as it traveled through time. At the end, when the material of our
> bodies is dispersed, the cloud disappears because the particles scatter.

There are 3 types of people in the world.
Those who can count and those who can't.
Received on Mon Jun 20 03:17:10 2005

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