If there is a multiverse - worlds without end - and beings scattered through innumerable universe’s amenable to sentient existence, would this make the number of sentient beings infinite?
I thought Buddhism taught that there are infinite numbers of sentient beings and samsara continues forever and, has always been in cyclic motion?
If there were finite numbers of sentient beings perhaps samsara could have an end when the taint of being is removed completely?
If, there are infinite numbers of beings it would take forever to exhaust samsaric wandering? Therefore, it never ends and, has no beginning?
I have also been told there is a teaching about the formation of universe after universe - in an endless cycle.
The universe’s arise and pass away - expand and contract - because there are sentient beings who are constantly in transition, driven by the craving for existence.
This endless thirst for existence has to play out where being/becoming is possible. The heirs of our kamma we are woven into the fabric of the cosmos.
This would mean - if universal cycles are endless - there must be an inexhaustible number of sentient beings caught in the process of rebecoming necessitating the formation of worlds without end.
Empty phenomena rolling on forever?
The ‘anthropic cosmological principal’ may be mistaken because conscious observers may not be human ‘exclusively’.
The presence of sentient beings in need of a place to cycle in the process of endless becoming may be implicated in the phenomenal display we participate in.*
Mind and matter are interdependent on the micro and macro level? Reality may be stranger than fiction?
Higher-Deva’s in a subtle realm may witness the beginning and/or end of a cosmic cycle and remain untouched. Are the highest Deva-realms destroyed when a universe ends?
How else could the Buddha have known about universal cycles of expansion and contraction through direct knowledge and vision without witnessing the process in some way and remembering it on the night of his awakening?
My Ajahn said the Buddha used the metaphor of an opening and closing lotus to describe the origin, genesis and, cessation of the universe - periods of expansion and contraction? He also said that the Buddha was in the right ball-park when it comes to the age of the universe.