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Celtic Belief and Science
12-23-2009, 04:13 PM
Post: #1
Celtic Belief and Science
Encouraged by Parousia, and the God Hypothesis topic, I started this to talk about science and how it works with Celtic Cosmology and etc. Please keep in mind that this is not agreed upon by all Celtic Recons, and is not to be taken as what everyone believes.

To start with, the Celts were one of the only peoples who did not have a creation myth. The closes they came was this: That which was pressed in and in ice and fire and became that which is. Likewise, people were not said to have been created, instead That which came from [fidbaid] the trees [forest, wood depending on how you translate Old Irish] and that which came from the sea [bóchna] listened to the lilt from the sky and began to walk upright [díriuch, also possibly 'straight]

This was why the ancient Celts swore by land, sea and sky. In fact, it wasn't until the 11th century and the Lebor Gabála Érenn that the idea of a Celtic "creation" came into play.

The Celts believed in eleven otherworlds, which were not paradises, but rather alternate planes that could be reached in various circumstances. Interestingly enough, this agrees with early permutations of M-theory which also cite 11 dimensions.

The belief was that the various deities and otherworldly creatures traveled between these to make changes as necessary, and that these otherworlds vibrated at the "speed" for lack of a better word, time, allowing them to step in and out of it as they wish, but that these travels gave off "treóir dobur" which basically was a weak energy that reflected their presence and actions in this world.

I have to go to dinner now, but that's a very basic idea of some of what I consider very interesting correlations between modern physics and Celtic beliefs.
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12-23-2009, 08:22 PM
Post: #2
RE: Celtic Belief and Science
Relating modern physical science and ancient Celtic beliefs may seem odd and pointless. Yet, I will argue, such an approach is both meaningful and profitable. Both are a form of myth. No, not the modern cynical meaning of the word as a possibly intentional falsehood. Rather I mean the original sense of myth: deep wisdom presented as metaphor. And these two kinds of metaphor can resonate with each other.

What! Science is metaphor? Indeed it is. The popular conception of science is as the direct representation of reality, difficult to grasp perhaps but nonetheless the exact truth. Yet reality is not so easily tamed. Laws of science, especially physics, are non-linear equations. To apply them to a specific situation, linear approximations must first be found that are relevant to that situation. Differential equations must be translated to difference equations and then to computer programs. These programs will then be run with discontinuously sampled data from a selected regime, iterating again and again until the desired level of precision is obtained – or the computer time budget is reached. And this is just to apply a specific class of laws. It is well known that the laws of General Relativity are not compatible with the laws of Quantum Mechanics. And neither of these properly accounts for thermodynamics or statistical mechanics in a quantitative way. On top of that, the laws we use today replaced older laws and will undoubtedly be replaced themselves in time. Yet nature ‘solves’ all of its ‘laws’ simultaneously and instantaneously throughout the whole universe with all of the entities and processes accounted for to their ultimate inherent precision. Yes, science is only metaphor.

Science deals with things. It is coldly impersonal, logic-based and precise. Belief deals with people, although that is often forgotten. Belief is warmly personal, feeling-based and ‘fuzzy’. If Prometheus stole fire and brought it to mankind, it is missing the point to ask what the precise heat content of the fire sample was. The story does not contain its meaning, it points to its meaning. Science has done wonderful things for mankind. (Some science has brought horrors too but then so have some beliefs.) In this too often coldly impersonal world of logic and precision, perhaps we ought to re-examine our heritage of beliefs and try to make them compatible with the world of science, to find a way to reintegrate the warmly personal, the feeling-based, and – yes - even the ‘fuzzy’ back into our lives. As I will try to show, the old Celtic beliefs are a most suitable vehicle for this.

Or something like that. Tongue



Anyhow, let the games begin….


Bolded quotes from Aingeal above.

To start with, the Celts were one of the only peoples who did not have a creation myth. The closest they came was this: That which was pressed in and in ice and fire and became that which is.

In Genesis we see not just some haphazard creation myth, but the embodiment of an idea. The universe did not happen by itself. It is an orderly, lawful, hierarchical place with humans at the top of the pyramid. When divorced from formal religion, these ideas would eventually lead to modern science.

Not having a creation myth throws all that out. Not having a beginning removes the emphasis on the progress of time, switching instead to emphasizing now. People are not the masters of the world but a part of it. Instead of concentrating on abstract rules and order, there is the freedom to encounter and appreciate the contingent details of the here.

Modern physics opens the door to the possibility of there being no unique creation event. This universe appears to have a beginning in time. But deep questions about why the universe should have its specific parameters suggest that this is just one in an infinite sea of possible universes. We seem to live in an arbitrary contingent realm. Concerns about ‘what it all means’ may not be answerable after all. Perhaps we should not worry about imposing order on every last thing or demanding accountability for the unaccountable and simply do the best with what we have.


I have more to say about your post but not the time to say it right now. Looks like I blew it on that overblown intro. Wink

In the words of a great philosopher of the here and now: I’ll be back…
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12-23-2009, 09:35 PM
Post: #3
RE: Celtic Belief and Science
(12-23-2009 08:22 PM)Parousia Wrote:  Bolded quotes from Aingeal above.

To start with, the Celts were one of the only peoples who did not have a creation myth. The closest they came was this: That which was pressed in and in ice and fire and became that which is.

In Genesis we see not just some haphazard creation myth, but the embodiment of an idea. The universe did not happen by itself. It is an orderly, lawful, hierarchical place with humans at the top of the pyramid. When divorced from formal religion, these ideas would eventually lead to modern science.

Not having a creation myth throws all that out. Not having a beginning removes the emphasis on the progress of time, switching instead to emphasizing now. People are not the masters of the world but a part of it. Instead of concentrating on abstract rules and order, there is the freedom to encounter and appreciate the contingent details of the here.

Modern physics opens the door to the possibility of there being no unique creation event. This universe appears to have a beginning in time. But deep questions about why the universe should have its specific parameters suggest that this is just one in an infinite sea of possible universes. We seem to live in an arbitrary contingent realm. Concerns about ‘what it all means’ may not be answerable after all. Perhaps we should not worry about imposing order on every last thing or demanding accountability for the unaccountable and simply do the best with what we have.


I have more to say about your post but not the time to say it right now. Looks like I blew it on that overblown intro. Wink

In the words of a great philosopher of the here and now: I’ll be back…

One of the reasons for this, the throwing out of the progress of time, is because the Celts didn't really have an idea of linear time, not really. They marked the passage of time, but there was the belief that time was a cycle, or rather, could cycle in on itself.

A good example of this is the story of Oisin, who falls in love with Níamh Chinn Óir, who took him to an otherworld, after three years passed in that plane, he decided to return home only to fine that three hundred years had passed instead.

The Celts believed that nothing was eternal, not even time, and that the universe itself was cyclical, similar to Baum-Frampton model of a cyclic cosmology.

Have I bored anyone of physics yet?
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12-24-2009, 01:26 PM
Post: #4
RE: Celtic Belief and Science
The Hawking-Huttle hypothesis also opens up the possibility of a Big Bang that created itself, with no external creation. And since time is non-linear, you should see time as a sphere, with the "north pole" of the big bang, and the "south pole" as the end of the universe. Thus, there is no time before the big bang, just as there is no way to go "north" from the north pole. Likewise, there is no time after the end of the universe, just as there is no way to go "south" from the south pole.

The Hawking-Huttle hypothesis deals exclusively with the concept of the Big Bang, the part about the end of the universe is my speculation. But regardless, it does show that our linear focus on time is somewhat inaccurate. Perhaps the Celts had it right. The Pre-Columbian Americans, also, had the concept of cyclical time rather than linear time.

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12-24-2009, 02:05 PM
Post: #5
RE: Celtic Belief and Science
(12-24-2009 01:26 PM)GTseng3 Wrote:  The Hawking-Huttle hypothesis also opens up the possibility of a Big Bang that created itself, with no external creation. And since time is non-linear, you should see time as a sphere, with the "north pole" of the big bang, and the "south pole" as the end of the universe. Thus, there is no time before the big bang, just as there is no way to go "north" from the north pole. Likewise, there is no time after the end of the universe, just as there is no way to go "south" from the south pole.

The Hawking-Huttle hypothesis deals exclusively with the concept of the Big Bang, the part about the end of the universe is my speculation. But regardless, it does show that our linear focus on time is somewhat inaccurate. Perhaps the Celts had it right. The Pre-Columbian Americans, also, had the concept of cyclical time rather than linear time.

True, very true. I am more familiar with the Baum-Frampton model, because it was one of those things that came out right after I was forced to leave college, but hadn't been taking off the Physics epartment mailing list yet -- hence my use of it.
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12-24-2009, 02:19 PM
Post: #6
RE: Celtic Belief and Science
(12-24-2009 01:26 PM)GTseng3 Wrote:  The Hawking-Huttle hypothesis also opens up the possibility of a Big Bang that created itself, with no external creation. And since time is non-linear, you should see time as a sphere, with the "north pole" of the big bang, and the "south pole" as the end of the universe. Thus, there is no time before the big bang, just as there is no way to go "north" from the north pole. Likewise, there is no time after the end of the universe, just as there is no way to go "south" from the south pole.

The Hawking-Huttle hypothesis deals exclusively with the concept of the Big Bang, the part about the end of the universe is my speculation. But regardless, it does show that our linear focus on time is somewhat inaccurate. Perhaps the Celts had it right. The Pre-Columbian Americans, also, had the concept of cyclical time rather than linear time.

The Hawking-Huttle hypothesis leaves open the question of why the universe should be the way it is. Mathematical models of other universes turn out to be fully consistent, strongly suggesting that this is not the only possible universe. Symmetry is one of the most powerful tools of discovery in modern physics, yet a single self generating universe is grossly asymmetric.

From what we presently know of the universe, it is very doubtful that it will close up again and end. It appears that it wil continue expanding at an accelerating rate and so become less and less interesting.
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12-24-2009, 02:22 PM
Post: #7
RE: Celtic Belief and Science
Well eventually we'll hit heat death, if nothing else. But by that time maybe we'll have the technology to get into (or start) other universes, thus ensuring the survival of mankind in some form.

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12-24-2009, 02:29 PM
Post: #8
RE: Celtic Belief and Science
I feel like I'm back in class debating. This is awesome!

I missed talking Physics. Sad
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12-24-2009, 03:02 PM (This post was last modified: 12-24-2009 03:07 PM by Raphael.)
Post: #9
RE: Celtic Belief and Science
(12-24-2009 01:26 PM)GTseng3 Wrote:  The Hawking-Huttle hypothesis

relax mr. science dude...
it is just a hypothesis...at this point it is more fiction than fact.
much evidence now says it could have been a steady state NOT big bang...

I have a theory too that takes place DOWN here on earth.
It involves a CODE I found embedded in CARD X of the tarot.
I can provide MORE evidence of my theory...than hawking can of his...BTW

isn't that a fact... Wink

namaste
(12-24-2009 02:29 PM)Aingeal Wrote:  I feel like I'm back in class debating. This is awesome!

I missed talking Physics. Sad

you want to know about the Celtic Cross...?
what few know?

something I found as I was researching the 10,000 year old swastika?
wisdom that I incorporated into my garden labyrinth this past summer?

part I
http://kachina2012.wordpress.com/2009/10...th-part-1/

part II
http://kachina2012.wordpress.com/2009/10...th-part-2/

namaste

NATURE cannot be HIDDEN only VEILeD with NARRATIVES that defy NATURE

CodeX4 and the Reconciliation of Science and Religion
http://kachina2012.wordpress.com/about/
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12-24-2009, 07:45 PM
Post: #10
RE: Celtic Belief and Science
I admit, I myself have turned to physics for confirmation or lack of it- whatever the case might turn out to be. Really, most cultures have things like creation stories that can easily be applied to scientific ideas, at least to the point where they're not directly in contradiction. To be honest, I've never heard anything like that eleven world similarity. I'll have to look that up. That's really something.

(12-24-2009 02:22 PM)GTseng3 Wrote:  Well eventually we'll hit heat death, if nothing else. But by that time maybe we'll have the technology to get into (or start) other universes, thus ensuring the survival of mankind in some form.

Or at least there might be one universe among many where people do achieve this. The possibilities are pretty mind boggling if we ever come to that frontier. It seems pretty fantastic, but I guess our ancestors would be pretty blown away by this era too.
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