Sujato’s thought of the day: on wandering

We have wandered for so long now on paths grievous and strange; and not a one of us can recall all we have done along the way.


But we can infer that this Dukkhe won’t change,
Unless we become free of Mara’sRange.

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Going around and around in circles, stuck on a samsaric Ferris wheel driven by ignorance…


Indeed, summary of this sutta SN15.7.

Anyway, there’s a few things we can infer from these other suttas: SN15.11, SN15.12

  1. Say to simplify things, I will just say beginningless instead of no known beginning. So using cyclic universe models, we can count one cycle of universe as one universe.

  2. There’s plenty of popular science books on multiverse which explores the implication of spatially infinite universe. We define one observable universe as the range of universe that we see now, which light has time to reach us from 300,000 after the Big Bang. So for a truly spatially infinite universe, it has space enough for infinite number of observable universes to be stacked in 3D inside it. So infinite observable universe. This is in analogous to infinite past cycles of universes in the Buddhist cyclic universe model. Thus the reasonings which is valid for the spatially infinite multiverse can be transferred to the cyclic model.

  3. With quantum uncertainty on position and momentum, we have a finite set of phase space for all particles (molecules, atoms, subatomic particles) to be in a finite set of position and momentum. With limited volume of an observable universe, we can at most have a finite number of particles in the volume. So there’s at most a finite number of arrangements which matter can arrange themselves before repeating itself.

  4. Given infinite observable universes, going far enough in the specially infinite universe, one can expect to come across the exact same configuration of matter as where one started from. Same issue with the cyclic universes then. Going far back enough into the past, we see matter configuration repeat itself.

  5. Note that this doesn’t guarantee that anything which can happen must have already happened in the past. The laws of motion is not taken into account here. As well as the laws of the mind, kamma, dhamma etc when we move from Physics to Buddhism. So when these laws are taken into account, we can say that we had not been enlightened before in the past, even though we may had been all sorts of other people, animals, gods, demons, ghosts, hell beings etc in the far past. So we had experienced all sorts of happiness (except nibbanic bliss) and suffering before, linking up to SN 15.11-12.

  6. Thinking about this too much can lead to strange unappealing musings or can also lead to the ability to let go of worldly stuffs and just attain to stream winner at least to break the cycle.

Strange unappealing musings: Just like Rick and Morty season 1 (which I watched as a lay person), Rick used a portal gun to travel to a universe where that universe’s Rick and Morty killed themselves accidentally, and our Rick and Morty took over their identity in that universe. Morty felt uncomfortable with this, Rick assured Morty that everything else in the universe is the same, this universe differs from their original one from just that this universe’s Rick and Morty got killed.

Morty was thinking too much about it, and Rick said: what about the universe where Hilter cured cancer? My advice is, don’t think about it.

In the infinite past cyclic universe models, with rebirth, we at some point in the past, were Hilter, along with knowing the exact same sound for German, and cured cancer. Or just change the name by one letter, Bilter, and another variation or speaking English etc. That’s how far unappealing musings can go.

On Letting go of worldly stuffs, we can imagine that whatever we wanted, we had attained to it before infinite times. So like to be the Olympic champion? Done the galactic Olympic champion for all categories before. Want to finish reading all the books in the world, done that, infinite times already. Only thing left is stream winning, which we hadn’t gotten before yet. Unless of course, you have already attained it within the last 7 lifetimes. :smiley:

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