The Point-I Space.
October 22, 2013 § Leave a comment
Buddhism has a history of adapting to the cultures into which it was introduced. Some say it must therefore adapt to the ways of the west or be found irrelevant to the western mind; that Buddhism must adapt to the west’s scientific orientation. To that end, consider the following.
The mathematician’s point (as in an x – y graph) is a location in space that has no property of width, length or height. It is a space of zero dimensions.
The physicist’s electron is a point charge that has mass but no size.
Buddhism’s “I” (the “I” that exists in you and me) is also a point of zero dimensions that is referred to as the anatman or “no self”.
In short, the “point”, the “electron” and the “I” all have zero dimensions or no size.
Note that, in physics, to say something has mass but no size is to say it has infinite density.
Also note that as the mathematician’s point has no dimensions it is indistinguishable from the space in which it exists. As that space is infinite, the point is also infinite. (The result of dividing one by zero is infinity.)
When we follow the electron or the mathematician’s point down to its essence we find, then, that both have the value of infinity.
When we follow the “point-I” down to its essence, as is done in Buddhist and other forms of meditation, we also find that it is infinite. (For example, some descriptions of enlightenment say the point-I immediately expands to encompass the entire universe.)
Considering these together we can say that the fringes of math and science affirm the Buddhist view that the true nature of the “I” as a point of zero dimensions, is infinite. Buddhist thought and experience is therefore consistent with western thought and the western mind.