Much ado about nothing: ‘A Universe from Nothing’

From the Web: Nature, Science & Tech

“God is unnecessary – or at best redundant,” writes theoretical physicist Dr. Lawrence M. Krauss in the bestselling science book, “A Universe from Nothing”.

Dr. Krauss’ electrifying book, published in a new, expanded paperback edition by Astra-Simon & Schuster in 2012, has been praised by an unusual fellowship, including astronomer Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson (the man who helped demote Pluto to dwarf planet status) and atheist Sam Harris (the author who penned the bestseller ‘The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason’).

The universe is what it is, whether we like or not, asserts Dr. Krauss throughout his book, and the cosmos, as it is described by the author, is not the place of the ancient theist religions such as Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

I am not sure if Dr. Krauss is at all familiar with Osho’s rich legacy of thought, but Osho seemed to hover nearby as I read ‘A Universe from Nothing’.

Osho, who taught us a new science of living and criticized the moribund religions of the West — and their ultimate incompatibility with modern science — also recognizes that new sciences, such as evolutionary molecular biology and quantum physics, expose the meaninglessness of the creation stories that are upheld as “gospel” by orthodox monotheists.

As Dr. Krauss explains, quantum physics is showing us that the cosmos probably spawned from an eternal void — nothingness. Yet, this nothingness is not nothing: Nothing is indeed something as Osho says.

Universe Space Nebula Stars

“The universe has no beginning, it is not a creation by anybody…,” Osho stressed in a series of discourses during the 1980s. “You ask, ‘God is dead’, but that creates the question, ‘Who began this universe?’ But have you ever thought that God will not solve the question? On the contrary, the question will be pushed a step back: ‘who created God?’. Any hypothesis that does not destroy the question is absolutely useless; any answer that keeps on pushing the question further back, but does not touch it at all, is not the answer.”*

Quantum physics, as Dr. Krauss tells it, has just destroyed the question, ‘who created God?’

Dr. Krauss echoes Osho’s words when he outlines the recent, paradigm-shattering discoveries in astrophysics:

“Defining away the question by arguing that the buck stops with God may seem to obviate the issue of infinite regression, but here I evoke my mantra… the existence or nonexistence of a creator is independent of our desires. A world without God may seem harsh or pointless, but that alone doesn’t require God to actually exist.”**

So, is our Godless universe really pointless? Well, not if you live and breathe.

“There is no God other than life itself,” Osho said (as number 2 of his “just for fun” 10 neo-commandments).*** Thus, Osho redefines the concept of God. He’s neither a person nor a noun, but instead is a verb.

God, as Osho explores in ‘Moral, Immoral, Amoral: What Is Right and What Is Wrong?’****, never existed as a Judeo-Christian personal deity; instead, the God of the West is really nature — the cosmos itself — that ceaseless process of creation and destruction, as Dr. Krauss describes in his book.

If we inhabit this creator-less universe of modern science, which emerged from the nothingness of the quantum foam, how then do we live and die without a God?

The stark truth of both quantum physics, as described by Dr. Krauss, and Osho’s teaching is that, individually, we—you and me—are the alpha and the omega. Yet, this universe from nothing which we inhabit is no reason to live in fear or loneliness.

“It does not create a vacuum in me,” Osho says of a universe from nothing, “on the contrary, there being no God, I have gained the dignity of an individual who is free — free to become a buddha. That is the ultimate goal of freedom… I say unto you, it is only possible for man to live if he is without God. But this is only half. The fictitious God has to be replaced by an actual experience of truth in meditation; otherwise you will go insane.”*

It’s often said that you can’t get something from nothing. Well, according to Dr. Krauss and many other scientists like him, it looks like you can, after all.

LouisLouis Anando Varricchio, M.S., took sannyas in 2010. He is a former NASA science writer and American Public Radio science program producer. He holds undergraduate degrees in communications from Grahm College (Massachusetts) and Temple University (Pennsylvania) and a graduate degree in space studies from the University of North Dakota. His wrote a book about lunar science, ‘Inconstant Moon: Discovery and Controversy on the Way to the Moon’. He is a newspaper editor and teaches astronomy in Vermont USA.

* Osho, God is Dead, Now Zen is the Only Living Truth, Ch 2, Q 1
** Dr. Lawrence Krauss, A Universe from Nothing
**** Osho, Moral, Immoral, Amoral: What Is Right and What Is Wrong?”

View Dr. Krauss’ complete one-hour-long 2009 AAI lecture, “A Universe from Nothing”

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