December 28, 2010 Comments Off on Infinity

In ancient India and Tibet the infinity symbol represented perfection, dualism, and unity between male and female.  In the occult tarot it’s linked to magic and represents equilibrium or the balance of various forces.  The uroborus (a circular serpent biting its tail – a UN symbol for “Human Settlements”) has been found in this shape. In modern times, it became a secular mathematical symbol for infinity in numbers, time or space (eternity). Source

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camera setting that overrides the automatic focusing and sets it to infinity so that landscapes and distant subjects come out sharp regardless of where the camera would automatically havefocused.
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The dynamic urge toward existence and survival as INFINITY.  It is commonly called God, the Supreme Being or Creator, but it is a sideways eight symbol called infinity. It actually embraces the “Allness of All”.

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I understand that Buddhist philosophy argues for an infinitely continuing (forward and reverse) state of existence, with no centre, nor any permanent entity underpinning it. There has been no creation. Nothing that does not exist can be brought into existence and nothing that exists can ever disappear into nothingness.

That’s pretty mind-boggling, yet the idea of infinity is happily taken on board by many religious and non-religious people. But when we speak of infinity we really, I suspect, are thinking only of a very long time or a very great expanse of space. I don’t think we can really handle the idea of infinity, of something that just goes on and on and on…… In infinity, after all, all things become possible – indeed, inevitable. So in an infinite universe there is an infinite number of exact replicas of yourself currently reading an infinity of postings on Buddhism and Infinity.

The medieval Kalam school of Islamic philosophers rejected the idea of an actual infinity, thereby, though still leaving the questions of temporal and spatial boundaries open, getting rid of an unhelpful and distracting construct. But mainstream Islamic, Christian, Hindu and Buddhist philosophers, to my knowledge, retain the idea.

Is it helpful, though? Is it best left to Mathematics as a theoretically possible construct, but in the “real” world of physics and human destiny discarded as an unhelpful conundrum?

If it is retained, does it imply that we’re living in an absurd universe (or infinity of universes)? If it is discarded, what can we then say about boundless continuity of existence, without permanence or any fixed point we could call a centre?

I was thinking about this after reading the comments of Matthieu Ricard (the monk) in “The Monk and the Philosopher”. Also John Barrow’s “The Infinite Book: A Short Guide to the Boundless, Timeless and Endless”.


Infinity & Emptiness

Wiki…timetrack on infinity

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