General Laws :  I suspect that there are no absolutely general ‘laws of Nature’, no timeless laws such as those given by a mathematical formula : such a formula at best only indicates norms or physical constraints. Of all so-called laws, however, the most general and the most solidly established are arithmetic (not physical) laws, rules based on the properties of the natural numbers. To this extent Pythagoras was in the right.

Platonic Forms  Plato was also essentially right in proclaiming the need for ‘ideal’ forms : patterns which are not themselves physical but which dictate the shape and behaviour of physical things. But he was wrong to see these patterns as geometrical, and thus both static and timeless (the two terms are equivalent). With one or two exceptions contemporary science has done away with Platonic Forms though it still puts mathematics in the supreme position.
In practice, I do not see how one can avoid bringing in a secondary ‘ideal’ domain which has a powerful effect on actual behaviour. In Ultimate Event Theory, associations of events and event-chains, once they have attained a critical point, bring into existence ‘event schemas’ which from then on dictate the behaviour of similar collections of events. From this point onwards they are ‘laws’ to all intents and purposes but there was a time when they did not exist and there will perhaps be a future time when they will cease to be operative.
Take the well-known example of interference patterns produced by photons or electrons on a blank screen. It is possible to fire off these ‘particles’ one at a time so that the pattern takes shape point by point, or pixel by pixel if you like. At first the dots are distributed randomly and in different experiments the pattern builds up differently. But the final pattern, i.e., distribution of dots, is identical ─ or as nearly identical as experiment allows. This makes no kind of sense in terms of traditional physics with its assumption of strict causality. The occurrence of a particular event, a dot in a particular place, has no effect whatsoever (as far as we can tell) on the position of the next dot. So the order of events is not fixed even though the final pattern is completely determinate. So what dictates which event comes next? ‘Chance’ it would seem. But nonetheless the eventual configuration is absolutely fixed. This only makes sense if the final configuration follows an ‘event schema’ which does, in some sense, ‘exist’ though it has no place in the physical universe. This is a thoroughly Platonic conception. O

Ultimate Reality   Relatively persistent patterns on an  underlying invisible ‘substance’ ─ that is all there is in the last resort. Hinduism was quite right to see all this as an essentially purposeless, i.e. gratuitous, display ─ the dance of Shiva. Far from being disheartening, this perspective is inspiring. It is at the opposite extreme both to the goal-directed ethos of traditional Christianity ─ the goal being to ‘save’ your soul ─ and to the drearily functional universe of contemporary biology where everything is perpetually seeking a fleeting  physical advantage over competitors.
What, then, is the difference between the organic and the inorganic?  Both are persistent, the inorganic more so than the organic. Without a basic ‘something’, nothing visible or tactile could or does exist. Without persistence there would be no recognizable patterns, merely noise, random flashes of light emerging from the darkness and subsiding into darkness after existing for a moment only. ‘Matter’ is an illusion, a mental construct : patterns of light (radiation) emerging and disappearing, that is all there is.

Dominance  The ‘universe’ must be maintained by some sort of force, otherwise it would collapse into nothingness at any moment. For Descartes this force came from God, Schopenhauer views it as something inherent in Nature, as what he calls ‘Will’ and which he views as being entirely negative, indeed monstrous. This ‘force’ is what I term dominance, the constraining effect one event or event-chain has on another (including on itself), and without it everything would slow down and very soon disappear without leaving a trace. Take away Schopenhauer’s Will, the force of karma, and this is what would happen ─ and in the Buddhist world schema will eventually happen. For Buddhism, the natural state of everything is rest, inaction, and the universe came about because of some unexplained disturbance of the initial state of rest, indeed is this disturbance. Subsequently, it is as if the ‘universe’ were frantically trying to get back to its original state of complete rest but  by its ceaseless striving is precisely making this goal more and more unattainable.

Disappearance  In both traditional and contemporary physics, it is impossible for an object to simply disappear without leaving a trace. The dogma of the conservation of mass/energy says that nothing ever really disappears, merely changes its form. However, according to Ultimate Event Theory, ultimate events are appearing and disappearing all the time and they need no ‘energy’ to do this. Certain of these ultimate events produced at random eventually coalesce into repeating event-chains we perceive as solids or liquids because they acquire ‘persistence’ or self-dominance, but it is conceivable that they can, in certain exceptional circumstances, lose this property and in such a case they will simply stop reappearing.
Are there any genuine cases where objects have completely disappeared in this way? The only evidence for them would seem to be anecdotal : one hears of certain Hindu magic-men who are able to make small objects disappear and appear in a different place but it is, of course, difficult to judge to distinguish genuine magic from the stage variety. And any such alleged cases rarely if ever get investigated by scientists since the latter are terrified of being accused of credulity or worse. Professor Taylor who investigated Uri Geller was told by colleagues that no reputable scientists would do such a thing. Clearly, if one is not allowed to investigate a phenomenon it has no chance of ever being verified which is what the rationalist/scientific lobby desire.
Contemporary science and rationalist thinking implicitly assumes that ‘real’ entities, while they actually exist, exist continuously ─ in fact the previous statement would be regarded as so obvious as to be hardly worth stating. But in UET nothing exists for more than an instant (ksana) and entities that seem to exist for a ‘long time’ are in reality composed of repeating ultimate events strongly bonded together. If reality is ‘gapped’, as UET affirms, all so-called objects alternately appear and disappear (though so rapidly that we do not notice the change) so  there is much less of a problem involved in making something disappear. Instead of actually destroying the object in some way (and in the destructive process transferring the object’s mass into different mass or pure energy) it would simply be sufficient to prevent an event cluster reappearing which is not quite so hard to imagine. In UET, an apparent object reappears regularly because  it possesses ‘self-dominance’; if it could be made to lose this property, it would not reappear, i.e. would disappear, and it would not necessarily leave any trace. Moreover, to make something disappear in this manner. it would not be necessary to use any kind of physical force, high temperature, pressure and so on. To say that the theoretical possibility is there is not, of course, the same thing as saying that a supposed occurrence actually takes place : that is a matter of experiment and observation. In my unfinished SF novel The Web of Aoullnnia devotees of a  mystical sect called the Yther are not only convinced that the entire universe is going to disappear into the nothingness from which it emerged, but  believe that they should hasten this progressive movement which they call Aoullnnia-yther where yther means ‘ebbing’, ‘withdrawal’, hence the name of the sect. Although contemporary Buddhists do not usually put it quite so starkly, essentially the aim of Buddhism is to return the entire universe to an entirely quiescent state “from which it never will arise again”.

On the other hand, deliberately bringing something into existence from nothing is just as inconceivable in Ultimate Event Theory as in contemporary physics, maybe more so.                  SH  22/5/13