I dedicate this site to the memory of my stepdaughter, Heather, who was murdered on Thanksgiving 2017. I want to chronicle some of the events and spiritual insights that happened. It is my hope that this may help some other souls who stumble upon this site. Maybe some good can come off this after all (read more here).  ~ May 2018

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Determinism and Non-determinism are the Same

Seen from different views, determinism and non-determinism (randomness, chance) are the same.

4/8/2020 7:30 a.m.

Beautiful morning, mild day. Hello sunshine.  Tuning into the coincidence of this moment.
[…]  

So let’s start.

The Club: OK.

Yesterday, we left off with the word “coincidence” showing how randomness and inter-connectedness (interdependent arising, sunyata) can be the very same, when seen from different angles.

So each moment holds all possibilities, and is conditioned by all else, all things, events, all times, all variants.  

And the question was, why is this not determinism?

If a thing is given by all else but itself.

Fine. Remember though that EVERY  thing/event (shih) is like that.  In that way, all things are the same (identity), and unique/particular.  So there is the equality of identity and particularity.

Now, when you normally say “determinism,” it implies a clear sequence of events, i.e. this event in the past WILL cause the other.  And in physics, you have classical mechanics describing all that.

But here, a given moment/thing is determined by all else, all time, and every-where.  And that moment can evolve itself into an infinity of next moments and things, so one event CAUSES everything, and everything causes that one event.

That is where causation breaks down, you see?  

In classical mechanics, an event only causes that [one] next event.

Here, an event IS the cause for all else [and caused by all else]

No determinism.

[…] Fine.  So here then, in coincidence, we have “randomness and inter-connectedness” … [thinking] and I struggle to express this with regard to “determinism.”

What you WANTED  to say was that it is really “randomness and determinism,” and that is not half wrong.  For those are the actual opposites.

But yesterday, you did not see the non-deterministic part yet.  It really is the inter-connectedness (interdependent arising) that allows for an event to be seen both random, and determined, from different angles.

I think we are really close here, but I struggle with the wording.  Like, [...] I get it, but still struggle to express it right.

So determinism and non-determinism are the same, they just reveal different aspects of the same when viewed from different viewpoints.  Maybe that?

 Surely one way to state it.

So, let’s play through this [using some examples].

Determinism:  If I strike a billiard ball like so, it will always move like that.  Hume’s famous example.*
*[Philosopher David Hume used this as an example to undermine cause and effect. ]

That is because you separate out a certain sequence out of all events and establish a chain of causality.  Really, though, all else causes it.  Somebody had to put the [billiard] table there, you had to be there in that moment to do it, and son.  So all conditions it.

But then there are certain physical condition, that if present, will cause certain things to happen.

We do not argue against “the laws of nature” as they are in your universe. Just remember, that all conditions this moment – and the laws of nature are a part of this. Why, we don’t know either.

Fine.  

Now [an example for] randomness or non-determinism:  Take the double slit experiment. Why does a photon land here, and the next one over there?  So here, we say, it is also conditioned, and maybe using “hidden variables.”

Remember that “the next” photon is not the same as the first one.  [Well, it is, and it is not.] It is in a different moment, so a completely different conditioning.

When you strike a billiard ball over and over exactly the same, it actually is the same principle, but too many conditions happen to be similar.  You see?  The mass of a ball is “infinitely” more than that of an electron, or of a photon which has no mass.  

So to condition a photon is a different thing than to condition a billiard ball.

So photos and such are “much more receptive” to a change of conditions?  

In a way, yes.  You will just see the effect much more easily.  

As Bohm said:  There may be a very slightly changed initial position and that may change the path.

Not just that, but just because it is “a different" photon [in your reality], it is now influenced by the prior photon[s] and the ones after it.  That is the equi-balance of all things.  And that is how it is both similar and  different.

OK, but there are many quantum experiments that are deterministic, right?

Well, again, when the conditions are similar enough for it to come out the same  You have to take into account the macroscopic setup of an experiment.  The double slit is just an example where the particle/wave can be “itself,” so to speak, and thus unfold the richness that comes out through interdependent arising.

OK, so summarize, where we are is that determinism is only of the conditioning has enough similarities to make it appear as if it’s the same chain of events.

And we haven’t even got to choice yet.

Hmm, I hear “many worlds” in the background.

Laughing.

OK, let’s leave off then.  Until next time.

8:05

Namaste — I and the Divine in me bow to You and the Divine in You.
~Hanns

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