DharmaA radically new theory, model or manner of viewing the world is inevitably going to be attacked as (1) absurd and (2) not new after all. Eventrics, which views physical reality as composed of ‘ultimate events’ (rather than atoms), can more justifiably be dismissed as crazy than being just the same old stuff in a different wrapping.
During the last few centuries the leading paradigm (consensus view of reality) has been a mixture of atomism which goes back to the Greeks, usefully combined with a belief in unalterable ‘laws of Nature’ which owes a lot to Judaeo-Christianity. The classical synthesis of Newton introduced the un-Greek (but actually very ancient) concept of force. A very satisfactory world-view emerged consisting of atoms moving around subject to contact or remote forces, the whole regulated by immutable laws laid down by God. 19th century science removed God from the picture and 20th century scientific discoveries have made matter a very tenuous substance indeed and have introduced forces unknown to Newton, nuclear, electro-magnetic and so on.
At the end of the day, however, we still work with a matter based world-view and in some cases atoms and molecules can actually be imaged, if not literally ‘seen’ with a microscope. So what is the difference between such a view and the viewpoint of Eventrics that I am proposing? Essentially this : that atoms are in some sense solid and they are extremely long-lasting if not quite eternal as Democritus and Newton imagined. Eventrics is the study of events and their interactions and Ultimate Event Theory is that part of the theory that deals with the ultimate constituents of all events, so-called ultimate events. UET thus bears roughly the same relation to Eventrics as nuclear physics does to physics. Now, ultimate events are quite definitely not substantial in any usual sense of the word and, more significantly, they only last for an incredibly short time span, that of the ksana (or chronon). The actual interval involved is yet to be determined but it would most likely be at least 10–36 seconds (the Planck scale).
This, however, is not all. It is true that certain  contemporary physicists have come round to the idea that there is a minimal temporal interval and the sort of ‘reality constituents’ they deal, in ‘causal nodes’ for example, do seem to be rather similar to my ultimate events. However, where my theory departs from current theories (apart from the lack of mathematical sophistication which will come later) is that I believe that ‘physical reality’ or ‘Space/Time’ or whatever else you want to call it, is radically discontinuous. There are, quite literally, gaps between ultimate events and, because ‘macroscopic events are conglomerates of ultimate events much as chemical compounds are conglomerates of atoms, there are gaps between everything we see and hear and, for that matter, are. This is certainly not a popular view in Western thought, scientific or not, and would be regarded by most people as lunatic. It was, however, a very widespread viewpoint amongst Hinayana Buddhists in India in the first few centuries AD. This is not, I hasten to add, the reason why I am adopting it : on  the contrary, I formed my rough view before I had even heard of Buddhism though, naturally, when I came across the views of these people via Stcherbatsky’s books on Buddhism, such views at once had a favourable audience. I must also insist that, although I do practise my own brand of meditation, I would not call myself a Buddhist and my interest in Buddhism is largely in the underlying physical theory, not the moral theory which is what these monks were essentially interested in (and still are).
The assumption that ‘physical reality’ is made up of ultimate events has two especially important consequences with regard to current science and mathematics. As far as mathematics is concerned, it means that Calculus and similar branches are all based on a false (though extremely useful) assumption, namely that everything, matter, energy, time, space and so on is “infinitely divisible’. According to UET this cannot be so since there is always a final ratio between input and output, dependent and independent variable. We know as a matter of fact that there is such a limit when dealing with energy exchanges (because of Planck’s quanta) but this principle is in UET extended to absolutely everything you can think of (perhaps with a single exception). There are ultimate time/space blocks, for example, and physical reality, instead of being modelled as a continuous substance should be conceived as a sort of mosaic with the ‘pieces’ being molecules of ultimate events. This, incidentally, raises the question of whether these pieces are separable in certain circumstances, whether, the building blocks can dissolve like certain chemical substances in solution.
The second consequence of the theory is that everything in physics is, as it were, pushed one stage backwards. We are familiar with the notion of inertia which may be described as the tendency of a body to maintain its current state of unaccelerated motion. Newton and Galileo also took for granted the idea that a solid object, or at any rate an atom, could not simply disappear : in other words that it was self-perpetuating. We now know that this is not entirely true since atoms can decay, though this remains a very rare occurrence in the portion of reality we can readily observe. But the idea of an object “remaining what it is” still seems pretty reasonable, at least as a first approximation.
Now, in UET, the ‘natural’ tendency of ultimate events is to disappear as soon as they come into existence and never to appear again. What we sense as solid objects must, then, be exceptions to the general rule and UET must provide some sort of reason for this state of affairs. ’Objects’ in UET are repeating event-chains which have acquired what I term ‘self-dominance’ ─ without this property they would not repeat ever. This is, incidentally, part of the preliminary assumptions of the theory, not something derived from experience. And the plausibility of this seemingly mad suggestion depends on what can be deduced from it.
As to the ‘gaps’ between ultimate events, although as humans there is little chance of us experiencing them directly, it may well be that we can experience gaps between blocks of ultimate events and many people have indeed had such experiences, or had some sort of experience that they interpreted in this fashion. As Heidegger put it, “Being is shot through with nothingness”.
This is a very radical assumption. It means that ‘reality’ has two ─ and essentially only two ─ states : On or Off, Existence or Non-existence. The ‘event-trajectory’ of any repeating event-chain (including ourselves) is gapped. Interestingly, this very basic conception fits in well with the current digital revolution and the victory of the digital two-state computer over the many-state analogue computer.
Is there anything that persists between ultimate events, anything that ‘fills the gap’? It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that there must be ‘something’ since otherwise it is hard to see why everything doesn’t just switch off permanently. This ‘something’ must, however, be so unphysical, so vacuous, so insubstantial, that it would be more pertinent to describe it as ‘Emptiness’ or ‘Void’ ─ and this is precisely how it is described in innumerable Hinayana Buddhist texts. Also, one notes the idea floating around contemporary physics ─ but I hasten to add without any ‘spiritual’ or religious meaning ─ that ‘nothingness’ is at the origin of everything and in particular at the origin of our universe which may be one of many. ‘Nothing’ is in fact making something of a come-back and even becoming scientifically respectable.
In a nutshell, the paradigm, or world-model of Ultimate Event Theory is that reality is made up of three, and only three, elements : (1)the ultimate events themselves, (2) the interconnections event-chains have with each other and (3) the underlying invisible immaterial ‘substance’ of which they are, as it were, concretisations or droplets of foam. As it happens, these features remind one of the three main constituents of the Buddhist world-view : dharma, karma, nirvana. The dharma correspond to the ultimate events, karma to the ‘causal force’ propelling events, nirvana to the underlying reality. I must once again add that the way I am using these terms is slightly different from the way Buddhists did and do use them since Buddhists  are concerned almost exclusively with the ‘moral law’ and with ways of hastening the extinction of the world-process and returning everything to the quiescent state of nirvana. The image of a calm pool of water (nirvana) being somehow for unknown reasons ‘stirred up’ or set into commotion seems, nonetheless, extremely apt.
It will be objected (and has been already vehemently) that all this is just speculation and metaphysics and essentially mumbo-jumbo, not science. To this I answer that science evolved from so-called ‘natural philosophy’ and that contemporary science is not just a prediction system but contains a (relatively) coherent world-view or world-system that is not regarded as philosophy only because the main tenets are not seriously questioned. It seems to be not only psychologically necessary but extremely useful to have some sort of a model of reality or picture in the mind, though naturally there are dangers in taking it too literally. On the whole science and mathematics have erred in taking their assumptions too seriously rather than in not having any : mathematicians, for example, apparently the least metaphysical of beasts, would be hard put to expel the idea of the ‘number line’ with all that that entails from their minds. And the crude Bohr model of the atom is still holding its ground against quantum mechanics and, in a sense, with good reason.
So what’s the point of having a different world-view or paradigm from the present one, especially since the current one  has led to such amazing results? To this I would say that one may be temperamentally inclined in a different direction and there is nothing wrong with that, though certainly that is no argument for the ‘truth’ or usefulness of the view. One judges a tree by its fruits. Firstly, the current world-view seems to be getting into serious conceptual difficulties and it may be that there is no way of patching it up : perhaps better to go back and take a different turning and see where it leads. It is to be hoped that this different direction will lead to some or most of  the undeniable benefits of the current method, but if that’s all it did there would be little point in my offering it to the public or even believing it myself. There are, however, certain assumptions that I do not feel obliged to take on board, or not quite to the same extent as contemporary scientists, and so I may be able to accommodate certain data that they cannot, or explain what is going on in a more comprehensible fashion. Science,or rather scientism, currently assumes that it holds the whole truth, at any rate in principle, and anything that doesn’t fit is either ignored or dismissed as coincidence. This is a rather unsatisfactory way of proceeding and plenty of scientists in private will admit that they have doubts about certain matters or are inclined to views that would get them into seriously trouble if expressed in public.
So what assumptions do I have in mind?  Well, one is the notion of there being immutable ‘laws of nature’ from which there can be no deviation, except in the sense of quantum uncertainties which are of no use to us practically speaking. Although there must seemingly be some underlying principles, much of the behaviour we see around us seems to be the result of habit, or blind repetition. Physicists readily agree to this when speaking of customs and human opinions but the same may apply to physical laws as well (as Sheldrake has dared to suggest). ‘Natural laws’ are, in terms of Eventrics, event-schemas which have been built up by countless repetitions and have become so strong they appear to be absolute. But perhaps they are not absolute after all.
For example, though not denying for a moment its utility, I do not have to subscribe to the absolute nature of the conservation of mass/energy. There is, as a matter of fact, no obvious equivalent of ‘energy’ in Eventrics, the nearest being the ‘force’ between blocks of events that I call Dominance. Energy is an entirely hypothetical concept in the sense that one cannot ee or hear or touch energy but only deduce its presence from certain effects. It is the work that could be done, not the work that actually is being done (work having the physical sense of force × distance). The idea that the universe has a specific amount of energy delivered at the Big Bang and which has been conserved ever since would mean, translated into the terms of Eventrics, that the total amount of ‘dominance’ is given and remains constant. This means, for one thing, that it cannot decrease. However, I am inclined to believe that this quantity can and indeed must decrease eventually since the entire universe (or what we call a universe) will eventually disappear and everything will return to the nothingness from which it came. There may also be local or temporary fluctuations in the level of dominance. Why will the universe disappear if the quantity of dominance (karma if you like) declines? Because according to my preliminary assumptions, it is in the nature of ultimate events not to persist but to disappear for ever, the persistent ones being the exceptions. Events that have acquired dominance can themselves persist and can interact with other chains producing new chains but eventually the entire machine will ‘run out of steam’. Also, there is a finite amount of dominance emanating from the ‘sink’, at least within the limits of ‘our’ universe. Events consist either of combinations and repeats of existing events + completely new events emerging from nothingness. Eventually, no new events will emerge and the existing event-chains will die away : this at any rate is how I view things.
This overview is necessarily general and subsequent posts will y derive from the schema conclusions which can be tested, or will give an alternative and perhaps preferable explanation of well-attested physical phenomena.     SH  5/2/13

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