Big Bang a Fizzer

posted in: Dada's posts | 18

We are moving into a a new and expanded paradigm of science that will be more intuitive and less intellectual. The idea of a universe bound by time is the result of science bound by intellectuality. The more we are able to expand our conception beyond the realm of the intellect, the more we will be able to conceive of phenomena beyond the bounds of time and space, including consciousness. Meanwhile, we must continue questioning existing theories that limit us to the paradigms of the past. I believe the big bang is one of those theories.

Although the big bang singularity arises directly and unavoidably from the mathematics of general relativity, many scientists see it as problematic because the math can explain only what happened immediately after — not at or before — the singularity. “The big bang singularity is the most serious problem of general relativity because the laws of physics appear to break down there,” says researcher Ahmed Farag Ali.

But research now points towards a cyclical (oscillating) universe rather than the so-called big bang — the possibility that our current universe began not with a bang but with a bounce from a previously contracting universe. This fits in with the concept Shrii Shrii Anandamurti often referred to: that the movement of anything is always systaltic, or pulsative. Just as everything within the universe pulsates, it is therefore reasonable to consider that the entire universe itself also pulsates on a much grander scale of time and space.

Paul Steinhardt and his co-researchers first introduced the theory of a big bounce rather than a big bang in 2001. According to this model, the current expanding universe emerges from a bounce that occurred 13.7 billion years ago as a result of the preceding (contracting) universe.

Steinhardt and co-researcher Neil Turok then expanded this into the cyclic theory of the universe, where the bounce represents the end of a cycle of evolution, the transition between a preceding period of contraction and the next period of expansion. This cycle repeats at regular intervals every trillion years or so. (If this is so, we are currently only 13.8 billion years into the 500 billion-year expansion phase.) Dark energy is predicted by the model and plays an essential role in stabilizing the cycles. Steinhardt and Turok proved that the cyclical process can repeat itself not just indefinitely, but also infinitely into the past and the future.

More recently, researchers have developed a theory to show how an oscillating universe could be possible, allowing indefinite alternating expansions and contractions without contracting all the way back into a singularity. Ali and co-researcher Saurya Das have shown that the big bang singularity can be resolved by their new model in which the universe has no beginning and no end. This model predicts how the effect of quantum mechanics would allow the universe to spring from a previous universe that was contracting, rather than from a single point of broken physics. In particular, the researchers suggest that the effects of quantum mechanics could prevent the universe from collapsing and destroying itself at the end of a period of contraction. Instead, the universe would transition from a contracting state to an expanding one without collapsing completely. Researcher Steffen Gielen says, “Quantum mechanics saves us when things break down. It saves electrons from falling in and destroying atoms, so maybe it could also save the early universe from such violent beginnings and endings as the big bang and big crunch.”

So as well as not predicting a big bang singularity, the new model does not predict a big crunch singularity either. In general relativity, one possible fate of the universe is that it shrinks until it collapses in on itself in a big crunch and becomes an infinitely dense point once again. But researchers have introduced quantum corrections which can be thought of as a cosmological constant term (without the need for dark energy) and a radiation term. These terms keep the universe at a finite size and therefore give it an infinite age. The terms also make predictions that agree closely with current observations of the cosmological constant and density of the universe. The model also accounts for dark matter and dark energy, resolving multiple problems at once. “It is satisfying to note that such straightforward corrections can potentially resolve so many issues at once,” says Das.

So according to this new model, where quantum correction terms are applied to complement Einstein’s theory of general relativity, the universe may have existed forever, going through an eternal cosmic cycle of contraction, bounce and expansion until attraction (gravity) propels it into a new contraction. This ties in beautifully with the yogic philosophical concept of an eternal, vast but not infinite, universe.


18 Responses

  1. Bhaerava

    Nice to know there is a way of seeing the evolution of the universe that does not have the irrationality of ‘one free miracle’ – the big bang!

  2. Jackie

    Beautiful piece. Somehow an expanding and contracting universe seems a more natural phenomenon.

  3. Syed Hassan Ashraf

    A great article but I used to think that the idea of a pulsating universe is Penrose’s concept that is not widely accepted.

  4. gunamuktananda

    A concept that is not widely accepted does not make it potentially any less valid. Particularly in today’s dogmatic materialist scientific climate.

  5. Luikham

    I took a walk in the morning and saw a wrist watch on the street somebody might have lost it. I took it went home and asked my dad who made this?
    He said big machines and make this nowadays.
    I went to the place where the watches are made and asked what are these made of?
    Its steel, even the machines are made of still and some complex materials and engineering you won’t understand they said.
    Then who made the machine i asked. Look at as, we are the great minds who made them.
    Where are the steel made? I asked again
    Its refined from an ore from the earth, its been extracted.
    I was so excited and happy that we can make such great things.
    Once more i asked, who made us? You and me?
    It took us millions of years to be where we are right now, we werent like this, we evolved.
    Who made that being from which we are evolved i asked again.
    Ok well tell you but you wouldn’t understand. In short from atoms molecules cells organisms etc millions of years kid.
    Who made those ?
    After the bang.. the universe exploded and formed all things that you see.
    I was depressed….
    We are an accident? These great minds exists just because something exploded ?

  6. Bhaskar/Beau Smith

    Namaskar, Dada,

    Very nice. A pulsating universe. I have read and heard Baba say that the universe does not end. I had never heard Him say it never began, and, as such, has always existed.

    What are your thoughts on the “multi-verse” idea? I posed this to one Dada, and he said, scratching his head, it’s one universe. It’s all one.

    I laughed. Yes, that is true.

  7. Bhaskar/Beau Smith

    Namaskar, Dada,

    How does this play out with Baba’s description of why God created the universe (because He was alone)? How can the universe have no beginning if God created it?

    Much Thanks,

  8. gunamuktananda

    Namaskar. That’s a sweet anecdote, but it’s like a fairy tale for children, the children being us as human beings that cannot fathom a reality beyond time and space. The reality is that the universe is being continually created out of the cosmic will, or desire. Always has been and always will be. There is no question of beginning or end because time does not exist within the wider perspective, beyond our limited minds. The essential and absolute reality is beyond time and space. “God created the universe” should be interpreted as the universe is continually being manifested from Cosmic Consciousness, existing in Cosmic Consciousness, and merging back into Cosmic Consciousness as an eternal continuum.

  9. Bhaskar/Beau Smith

    Namaskar, Dada,

    “The essential and absolute reality is beyond time and space.” Why, then, is the universe not infinite space? Baba said it was very, very big, but not infinite. He said that.

    I don’t think Baba was telling us a fairy tale. He doesn’t do that, especially in His discourses. If it is like you say, why didn’t Baba say God is continually creating the universe which has always been and always will be? He never said that, and He said some pretty intense stuff. Ananda Sutram. He told us about microvitae and all sorts of things. If it is like you say, I think Baba would have said. I like the idea. Don’t get me wrong. But I also think that the idea that the universe actually has a beginning but no ending is also a powerful idea. I do know that Baba said that the universe has no end. He did say that. If He said that, why would He not say it has no beginning?

    For sure, reality itself has no beginning or end. But I do not think that the material universe is exactly like reality. In fact, we know it’s not, and Baba Himself said that it is not reality.

    To say that the universe never had a beginning is to say that it was never created, only re-created. I have a hard time with that. I’m okay with it bouncing, but at some point… On the other hand, to say that it will never be totally destroyed and that creation and destruction are part of a matrix, I can get with that. But here we have a chicken and egg. I tend to think everything started with the chicken, the chicken being, a beginning, with God at the helm. Just as God is finite and infinite (He is one and many), so He created something that is finite and infinite. It began but it won’t end. Also, it is not of infinite space, yet it continues to expand infinitely. That also boggles the mind.

    I find it questionable that the universe conforms that well with true spiritual reality, which absolutely has no beginning or end.

    On a lighter note, I am enjoying your audio and website. I listen to your audio while I do asanas. 🙂

    in Him,

  10. gunamuktananda

    Namaskar. True, Baba said the universe is vast but not infinite. That’s in terms of size, not duration. It’s eternal but not infinite. It doesn’t continue to expand to infinity. It pulsates. Now we’re in a stage of expansion, but in another few billion years the expansion will slow to a pause and then it will begin to contract again. The philosophy Baba gave us (and devotional anecdotes like the “Parama Purusa was alone” one) are a simplification of the reality. Even Ananda Sutram is a simplification. But if we read between the lines we can see that a deeper reality beyond time is being inferred, with different parts and beings of the universe being created, sustained and destroyed concurrently, forever. If the universe will never end why should it have begun in the first place? We tend to think it began because we can’t get our heads around it having been around forever. It’s a matter of thinking beyond the mind… totally out of the box. If you think a universe with a beginning but no end is a powerful idea, then a universe without a beginning or an end is even more powerful. If you’re going to blow your mind, why not go all the way?! My audios are probably holding you back from doing that 😉

  11. Bhaskar/Beau Smith

    Namaskar, Dada,

    I guess the main problem I have with this, other than what Baba said, is that, if the universe were infinite in the past, why has human consciousness not evolved much more than it has? If humans had infinite time in the past to get it together, don’t you think we have a problem here? And, as we have Taraka Brahma to ensure that when we get off track, we get back on track… If we have had infinite time in the past, we should be further along. And we’re not. I knew there was some reason this did not fit for me, and that’s it, I think.

    Your audios are great. Wish more acharyas were doing this.

    in Him,

  12. gunamuktananda

    Namaskar. I’m glad you like the audios. You’re talking about human beings on this planet. What about all the others with humans of varying stages of development throughout the universe? There would have been countless planets in the past where humans evolved to the highest level before their planet became uninhabitable. We are on our way towards that. Then after life on our planet is finished there will be countless more in the future. Plus there are human civilisations thoughout the universe right now in different stages of evolution.

  13. Bhaskar/Beau Smith

    Namaskar, Dada,

    I’m glad to speak with you on this topic as it interests me greatly. No, I was thinking that this universe is relatively young. If humans had infinite time to get it together, they might surpass the contraction of a universe and be here today and not accept all the suffering that we see today. I do not agree with the prime directive of Star Trek. I think, if you see suffering, you do something about it. One could say that might be happening on a subtle level, as I think it is. Still, the brutality in this world is way too much. I wonder why the Sirians have allowed it? Taraka Brahma does not.

    However, I have come to a different possibility in which your infinite universe would work, and that is the multi-verse. It is one universe, but it has happened and will be happening infinitely, so there are infinite possibilities, of which our earth with our current history is only one. If the multi-verse is happening infinitely, it can be finite (one) and infinite as well. It is one universe, always one, going through an infinite set of permutations.

    I understand a multitude of other humanoid species must exist in this universe. I heard quoted one time someone said Baba said 40, which is not many at all. But if we all had an infinite amount of time to evolve, the veil between the physical and non-physical would be much softer.

    Bab also said that all the cells on a human body would one day evolve to become human. I would think then that we would inhabit many more than 40 planets! Humanity would be the bridge and manifest Taraka Brahma magically and eternally.

    You’ve got me thinking I wish I could write science fiction. 😉

  14. Marc Kroeks

    I always understood that the Big Bang is a theory. There was nothing before the Big Bang, because there was no time and space before the Big Bang. This is a bit difficult for our mind to conceive, because our conscious awareness is so deeply bound to these abstract concepts.
    The Big Bang is like the horizon. We simply cannot look beyond it. There may be something beyond it, but we cannot see it from here. Similarly my minds eye cannot see beyond the idea of life and death. These things define the bounderies of our knowledge. The rest is per that definition speculation.
    In science we try to stay away from projecting our biases on the canvas of the unknown. We have to, otherwise we can never study the true mystery, because all we would find is our self.
    In that sense science is not materialistic at all. That word seems to conflate more with a notion of ‘outside’ or objective. The cosmic mind is the one and final quest.

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