SuttaCentral

The infinite dimensions of regular expressions

In computer science, we have these wonderful things called “regular expressions”. Regular expressions recognize patterns in text. For example, the regular expression /red/ recognizes the letters “red” in any sequence of letters.

Regular expressions have magic characters. One magic character is ‘.’, which matches any character. Another magic character is ‘*’ which matches any number of the preceding sub-pattern. In this way, one might say:

  • The dimension of infinite space matches all possibilities: /.*/

Regular expressions also use parentheses to indicate context. To recognize blue or yellow but only before red we would type: /(blue|yellow).*red/. In this way, one might say:

  • The dimension of infinite consciousness matches everything: /(.*)/

We can even match the beginning (^) or end ($). In this way, one might say:

  • The dimension of nothingness matches: /^$/

And we can even be ambivalent with the magic character ?, which recognizes one or zero of something. In this way, one might say:

  • The dimension of neither perception or non-perception matches: /.?/

Lastly, we can also not use regular expressions at all. And that would definitely be a cessation of perception and feeling.

This is what happens when programmers study the Dhamma during COVID-19. :see_no_evil:

7 Likes

Do you also know this expression? /m*/? This is … limitless metta! :heart:

I’ve learned this from my RegEx mentor @Aminah. :pray:

5 Likes

/(:laughing:*)/ :white_check_mark:

3 Likes

Just learned something new: /:heart:*/ :white_check_mark:

3 Likes

That’s hilarious. But interesting. :joy:

2 Likes