July 11, 2012

The God Particle

Cr34t0rJuly 4, 2012 11:52 AM wrote:
Dear Shinzen, humanity calls for your explanation about Higgs boson. can't wait to read it.

It's a Papist conspiracy!  They realized you can't have Mass without it!

So much for humor; let me try metaphor.

Higgs is a sort of viscosity field that confers materiality to particles that would otherwise just be pure radiation.  In some way, that seems analogous to how sensory viscosity causes the flow of experience to coagulate into the impression of somethingness.  Neuroscientists are beginning to look into that.  Richie Davidson and others refer to it as "stickiness".  Stickiness might be the reciprocal (opposite) of what I call equanimity.  

But comparing this with the Higgs field is just a fun simile.  Probably no more relevant to human spirituality than my corny attempt at humor.

Parallels like this can be fun, but we should resist the temptation to read too much into them.  Here are some of my favorite parallels and my caveat.

For more on this, check out Buddhism and Science.


  1. Yep, its almost like the particle physicists have forgotten they eever heard of Werner Heisenberg. Its a wave! A field! Not a particle.

  2. Scientific imagery is for me useful as metaphor, as symbolic representations.

  3. The term "God Particle" came from the book "The God Particle / If the Universe is the Answer, What is the Question?," by Leon Lederman & Dick Teresi (first published in 1993 and reissued in 2006), which is in the bibliography of my free ebook on comparative mysticism.

    In his Preface Dr. Lederman, a Nobel laureate in physics, wrote:
    Now as for the title, The God Particle, my coauthor, Dick Teresi, has agreed to accept the blame. I mentioned the phrase as a joke once in a speech, and he remembered it and used it as the working title of the book. "Don't worry," he said, "no publisher ever uses the working title on the final book." The title ended up offending two groups: 1) those who believe in God and 2) those who do not. We were warmly received by those in the middle.

  4. Brilliant and fun, as usual.
    Thank you!


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