The world has no beginning, no ending.
The world we are talking about here refers to the earth, the universe, and all the environment we live on, including the worldly and ruthless world, including all the people and things around us.
The truth of the world is beyond verbal description. Everything that can be described in language and imagination about the universe and the truth of life is only similar to that truth, not the truth itself. When we do not know a thing or an item, we often use a metaphor, but after all, something of similarity is not the truth of things. We humans for thousands of years have explored the universe and life, but our findings are not more than the relative truth. We start by talking about mankind and then extend to the universe of all things.
On the origins of mankind, there are five main doctrines: the creation by God, the evolution from apes, the natural evolution, brought to earth by aliens, intellectual design.
Intellectual design is the latest doctrine that proclaims, as the universe and the composition of human beings are so wonderful, there must be someone of great wisdom in the design. The theory of Aliens said that human beings are created in other planets, and brought by aliens or a mysterious force to the earth. Over the past century, Darwin’s evolution has been very popular, that human beings are natural selection, the survival of the fittest, results from a simple biological evolution, from the sea and land. The ape is a close relative of human beings; the evolution of simians is from a similar theory, that humans are the results five hundred to seven million years ago by the evolution of one of the apes. Genesis in the Bible is a familiar story to ordinary people. In the beginnings, the universe was in chaos, God created all things in five days, and the sixth day he created a human.
I have lived in Australia for thirteen years, and I have visited five Christian and Catholic churches. In the past, the church was a lively place, there were many devout believers. Nowadays, most of these churches are empty, pious worship seems less and less, the Lord Jesus’ faith suffered a crisis. In the city of Toowoomba in Queensland, the Pure Land Buddhist Temple was converted from a Catholic Church 10 years ago. Recently, ABC TV’s Q & A program held a thematic discussion “Is God still here”; the bishop of Sydney was harshly challenged. David from Victoria asked: “Do you believe intelligent design should be part of the science curriculum, taught alongside evolution? Or do you believe it is non-scientific and should be relegated to the rubbish bin?” Andrew Kollington asked: “ You are courageously open about your religious and moral beliefs. As a believer in God, do you accept the Bible as the word of God and those who participate in homosexual behavior ought to be shunned or be put to death as the Bible demands? Or do so-called ‘moderate Christians’ simply choose to ignore the word of God in this case, picking what passages they feel best suit our social trends?”
In the town of St. George where I live, many children in Chinese families, even under tough persuasion or pressure of their parents, do not want to learn Chinese. In this town, Chinese women married white men, gave birth to blue-eyed, black-haired and mixed-blooded children. Less than two kilometers away is Canterbury, another town and community with a large migrants gathering of the Middle East background. In primary and secondary schools in these two areas, students are of various colors. Twenty or thirty years later, a new generation will be born to become sons or daughters-in-law in the families of the Middle East people or Chinese, and their world shall be of more different colors.
Our human DNA changes due to changes in the living environment. Affecting our life are many factors: race, color, eating habits, education, culture, politics, economy and all aspects of social life. Today he is a Chinese, tomorrow he vows to be a French; his parents are British, his children are Australian; this generation is the Japanese, the next generation Vietnamese. His father was an Israelite, his mother was an Egyptian, but he is an American. This kind of thing happens every day.
Modern archaeology shows that the earliest human ancestors were Homo sapiens, living in northern Africa five to seven million years ago. They gradually moved to the Arabian Peninsula, a branch to Europe, a branch to Asia, another branch to Australia. Please note, the so-called years are delusions, there is no past, no present and no future, no calendar, as time is empty. This is a comparative truth, because five to seven million years ago, there was no Africa or Europe, and no Asia or Australia; maybe the earth’s land was just one single continent, not five continents, no directions of the east, west, north or south. The so-called names, name like the north and south, just a pseudonym, a false name only. As “Tao Te Ching” has said, “A name that can be named is no longer a name.”
The time of Yuanmou Man in Yunnan and the Beijing Mountain Cave Man has dated back 1.7 million and 700,000 years ago respectively. The Neolithic age is after all too long ago from us, we can not understand more things about these ancient people. Indians in the Americas were believed to have migrated from Asia when the Bering Strait had not separated the American continent from Asia. Naturally, these ancient humans were not originally called “Yuanmou people”, “Beijing cave dwellers” or “Indians”, these are just names given by modern people by the names of the places under exploration. Not to say people a million years ago, the number of human remains of ten thousand years ago is very small. The truth can only be reflected in a short profile, not truth but the pseudonym.
We generally believe that mankind has four ancient civilizations: ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, ancient India and China. In ancient times due to the limits of life conditions, people lived close to water for more convenient living, therefore the four civilizations originated in the Nile, Euphrates and Tigris, Ganges and the Yellow River Basin. When the Chinese Yangshao culture has developed to a certain height and people began to produce millet, rice and even wine, many of the world’s human race still remained in the state of hunting and fishing. Naturally, the ancient civilizations of mankind numbered far more than four, but we mainly found the above four. The truth is far from the truth. Before the Nile people built pyramids, humans may have other great initiatives.
Xia, Shang and Zhou is the time when the Chinese nation officially entered the era of civilization, one of the most important signs being the finding of written records. In the Eastern Zhou Dynasty, the Chinese civilization was like a hundred flowers in blossom. This period was a major watershed of world civilization, because the East and West, respectively, had such saints as Lao Tzu, Confucius, Jesus, Sakyamuni and Muhammad; Confucianism, Christianity, Buddhism and Islam and other holy teachings took the stage. European civilization was only a latecomer, when the Byzantines in Istanbul enjoyed a high degree of material and spiritual civilization, the Germans in Western Europe still lived in the virgin forest, people and animals sharing one room. Similarly, the word “civilized” is only a pseudonym, no one in the world is more civilized than anyone else, this principle should be carefully considered for a better work-out.
Different religions and cultures give different interpretations of the origins of the world and mankind. For the Creator, there is the unitary theory and the multi-variant theory. Islam believes that Allah is God and creates the world; Christianity says that God is the only Creator. Allah and God are the only gods. As for who created God and Allah, the terms in the Koran and the Bible are vague, or not is understandable by human wisdom. Buddhism does not say that the Buddha created the world or mankind. A Buddhist “Origins of the world”, says the heavenly beings came down from the heavens to become the worldly people; after eating grain rice, his body became heavy, he lost the ability to fly. Obviously, for Buddhists, the human is descended from the heavens, people are self-inflicted, not who created who.
Most people think that when a man and a woman have sex at the appropriate time, the sperms and eggs come together, she will be pregnant. Actually not. As we have the light bulb installed, the cable connected, the plug socket inserted, the lamp will not light, why? Because there is no electricity! Men and women in the same room having sex, just a helping factor; what’s the main factor? The main factor is a “me or I” who is coming for reincarnation. This “me”, there are a lot of names, such as the soul, spirit, bardo, etc., no matter what it is called, it is the main factor for pregnancy. It is the electricity, the real “me”. This is the main reason for me, there is no form, invisible, intangible, but it does exist, like electricity it is a big energy, with supernatural powers, great ability. He has come thousands of miles to see his destined parents; if it is a man, he loves the mother, if a woman, she loves the father. Despite the distance of thousands of miles apart, he flies for his parents, glues to his father’s sperm, falls into the mother’s womb, so there is pregnancy.
As humans habitually say “seeing is believing”, does this existence of me like “electricity” really exist? As to this point, modern scientific instruments can not give us a convincing answer. If a cup of water is placed in front of our eyes, you may say that this is a cup of water, but I might say that this is “a cup of thousands of worms”, who is more accurate? Under the microscope, the cup does have thousands of worms like the peristalsis. You say, “thousands of worms” is the truth? Or “water” is the truth? Or they are just the four basic elements of “soil, water, fire, wind” that make up all things in the universe. However, if I change “give you a glass of water” into “give you thousands of worms” or “give you the soil, water, fire, and the wind”, we will all be outrageously confused.
Take another example. The most representative object of archaeological findings of is the pottery. Pottery can be kept intact for a thousand years, but once broken, is it still pottery? What is it before it’s called pottery? Earth, soil. Yes, That is the soil. And the soil from different regions has different chemical elements. Our human body, like pottery, is made up of the 4 basic elements of the soil, water, fire, wind. This pottery-like body of ours grows from young to old, from health to sickness, shall die young of thirty or forty years, with a longevity of ninety or hundred years. When we die, our spirit flies about for abode, is pressed by afflictions and illusions, and goes into another cycle of birth and death.
When the world had a beginning, it was vacuum silence. In the beginning, the wind wheel moved the water and the fire around, so that the four elements interacted to form the land. The emptiness was no where to settle down until the world was created. In this world, all beings are born to life. There are beings born from eggs, such as fish, birds, turtles, snakes and the like. There are beings born from embryos, such as humans, animals, dragons, fairies and the like. There are beings born from the warmth of the water, under the guise of the sun. There are beings born from Metaplasia, transformation or degeneration, such as silkworms into moths, larva into mosquitoes. The human is above all beings.
Mankind is known to have written records for less than 10,000 years. According to discoveries of modern archaeology, the earliest history of mankind was back only seven or eight million years, and the earth about 4.5 billion years, the universe more than 14 billion years. Who knows the number of human destruction and rebirths since the time of creation! The mysterious Mayan civilization, for instance, or down under the depths of the Pacific Ocean, other sites of ancient human civilization, we do not know the truth about them. Human beings came from nowhere, then somewhere, originally only one, then many, originally ignorant, then with wisdom. One is more, more is one.
The most popular theory of our universe’s origin centers on a cosmic cataclysm —the big bang. This Big Bang theory has won the unanimous respect of the scientific community and religious circles. About 15 billion years ago, the universe was formed from the void air or the beginning of a point expansion from the big bang. This is a hypothetical theory based on physical experiments and the principles of cosmology, which many believe, is quite close to the truth. But scientists can’t be sure exactly how the universe evolved after the big bang. Many believe that as time passed and matter cooled, more diverse kinds of atoms began to form, and they eventually condensed into the stars and galaxies of our present universe.
This big bang, if there was one, comes from nothing. The truth is “nothing”, this “nothing” does not really mean nothing; like the sky, the sky is “emptiness”, but not “nothing”, because there is an “emptiness” in the sky. This is a metaphor; the wise finds the answer from metaphors. Anything that can be put into words is no longer that thing in itself. The truth is away from the truth. The origin of the universe is from the air and void, from nothing and from something; the universe has never come, it also has no real place to settle. The universe is in the world, the universe is the world.
Ancient people believed that “the heaven is round and the earth is square”, this idea spreads to all walks of the religious circle and the economic society, its influence far-reaching. In fact, the heaven is not round and the earth not square. Man standing on the earth, the sky seems to be circular, the earth looks to be a square. Looking back from space, the earth is basically circular, the sky is both with form and without form, looks round and non-round. The sky is boundless, it seems to be marginal; the sky has south, east, north, west, and nothing to do with the south, east, north, west. To have is not to have; to be is not to be. The sky is the world, the world is a pseudonym.
The word Buddha means “to be conscious of something”. What is his consciousness?– awareness of the truth of the universe. Buddha is the truth, same as “God is the truth”. The truth of what? The truth of the universe and the truth of life. Buddha is a person who is enlightened. He has been enlightened by the truth of the universe. A man can become a Buddha if he also achieves enlightenment. The Chinese word for Buddha is “佛”, meaning “as if” or “simulation”, it is not the truth, but the closest to the truth, similar to the truth. It has a negative meaning, similar to say that Buddha is a non-human, non-creator. The truth is, there is no past, no present, no future, beyond time and space, no coming, no leaving, no nothing. This is the Buddha. Buddha is also a pseudonym.
The world is a lonely body, lonely among the not lonely. The solitary part is material existence; the non-alone part is sentient beings. These two parts are inter-dependent. Confucius said, “I have worries, because I have a body.” Everyone is attached to this physical flesh and blood as the “true me”. In order to keep this body alive, we live a busy life of many worries. However, life is brittle as a single breath. When this breath does not come, the “true me” is a dead body. Life is like a dream. In the Dream of Red Mansions, the hero sings “I fill my little bamboo basket with those tiny pretty bones, they are my dead body buried under little pink flowers.” That was a love story of a pretty girl that had died young and turned into ruthless soil. The hero came to this world clean and left clean, without taking anything away in her hands. This is human life.
Road is the path we walk on. The earth would have no roads, but when people walk on it, the road appears. The universe has no orbit, but when the earth revolves around the sun, the moon revolves around the earth, there is an orbit. Spring, summer, fall and winter is the time of the seasons, but there is no time or season. The four-dimensional space has the upper and lower tracks, but there is no track, no direction. Only there is the Great Way of the universe. This Great Way, similar to the truth, is not static, it changes, difficult for humans to measure and feel. Before the beginning of the chaos, the Great Way already exists. The Great Way can not be explained with language. When it is put in words, it is no longer the truth of the Great Way. When no one is to set foot on the road, grass will grow and soon will cover the road. The Great Way is a delusion.
In the early 1700s, the philosopher George Berkeley argued that the world is merely an illusion. Philip Ball with BBC Earth recently tried to answer this question, “Are you real? What about me?” He quoted some scientists as saying that there are already good reasons to think we are inside a simulation. He said, “We are probably in a simulation, it is not impossible to find strong evidence that we are in a simulation.” His words would soon prove to be right. We do live in a simulation. We experience the same sufferings in dreams and reality. When we wake up, nothing is real.
The universe is governed by law. The law is everything, beyond and within boundaries. The universe, its essence, and all things within start from ideology. Such as the construction of housing, conception, drawing, preparation, construction, everything starts from an idea of mind; such as the manufacturing of cars, the design, forging, decoration, factory finish, all because of consciousness of an idea. Even the demolition of old houses, the old car scrapped, is also determined by an idea of the mind. The world summit Mount Everest is the result of the accumulation of marine life. Hundreds of millions of years ago, there were crustal movements there where water and fire interacted in soaring winds. Wars and natural disasters have turned countless civilized miracles into ashes. The world is built and destroyed, rebuilt and destroyed again. They all follow the same law, the law of the universe.
The world has no beginning, no ending. This is the truth of the world.