Friday, October 16, 2015

Matter and Energy

Watch the following Thay's video from 1:05:00 to 1:12:34.

He is a Buddha. And to me, he is a Amitabha Buddha. Because Amitabha Buddha is the Buddha of infinite light and infinite longevity. The sun in its present form if can not be eternal, any formation is impermanent. The sun is a formation in the cosmos. The sun is impermanent also. Every second the matter, the mass of the sun, some mass of the sun is converted into energy. And the outside is thinning every moment because the sun is in the process of transforming matter into energy. The light is made of photons, and photons have no mass. The pure energy. And that energy is made of the matter, or the mass of the sun. And one day although it takes a long time, the sun will disappear. And the sun will be only energy. Nothing is lost. 

One day our body will disintegrate. But the energy of our actions in terms of thought, speech and action will continue always. There is the law of conservation of energy. Nothing is lost. There is the law of conservation of matter. No matter is lost. Matter can be converted into energy and energy can be converted back into matter. When we bring one electron and one positron together, there will be a small explosion. And it produces energy, gamma ray. So, it is possible for matter to be converted to energy. And if we bring gamma ray together, we can produce electron and positron also. So, the energy can be converted back into matter. And nothing is lost.

When you observe a chemical reaction, you may have the impression that something disappears during the chemical reaction. But if you keep tracked, if you observe fully, you will find out that no atom is lost and no new atom is gained. The entering mass before the reaction and the exiting mass after the reaction are exactly the same. That is why Lavoisier said, "Nothing is born, nothing dies". There is no birth and no death. He didn't practice Buddhist meditation but he found the same thing. No birth and no death. The law of conservation of energy says that you can not create the new energy. You can only transfer energy to another form. And the law of conservation of matter says the same. You can not create the new matter and you can not destroy any matter. No birth and no death. This is confirmed by modern science. The only thing is that we should be able to apply that in our daily life, not just in technology.

Neuroscience has discovered that there is no self in the brain. Neurons in our brain, they operate like a symphony concerting. They communicate each others in the wonderful way. And they produce thoughts, feelings, perceptions and so on. It is a symphony concert without the conductor, an orchestra without the conductor. And the truth of no-self can be found in that. No one is the boss, giving the orders to the other neurons. No neurons play the role of the President.

And we should be able to apply that kind of insights from our sides into our daily life. You can organize a sangha in such a way there is no boss in a sangha. And in the Plum Village, we try our best to operate like that. Every cell of the sangha knows what to do and what not to do, in order to promote the well-being of the whole sangha. The monastics in this retreat each of them has function of helping with the retreat. And you haven't seen any conductor, any boss giving order around. Each of us tries to behave as a cell of a sangha if we got enough information. And we know what to do and what not to do, in order to promote the well-being for the retreat. And each of us, monastic or lay, are the same. And to some extent, we have been able to do that. And, that is why there is a harmony, there is a joy, there is a well-being in the retreat.