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The Buddha spoke about kalapa's. A body, including the mind, consists of tiny particles which arise and cease in a everlasting flow of sequence. Karma as the law of action/reaction. Unwholesome acts cause unwholesome results for the producer of that action and wholesome acts cause wholesome results. Neutral action causes neutral /no results. Is there a correlation between this truth and the truth of Newton's third law of motion? For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Since quantum physics entered the realm of scientific knowledge, on a sub atomic level action reaction became not absolute anymore in predictability. Is it a delusion to suggest that on a highly subtle level unwholesome acts might not in all cases lead to unwholesome results as wholesome acts might not in all cases lead to wholesome results?

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    Where did the Buddha speak of kalapa? – Dhammadhatu Dec 13 '17 at 2:09
  • My assumption that the Buddha spoke about kalapas was based on a dhamma talk during vipassana retreat by my teacher, who , I think now, had reason not to go into detail about the origins of the concept of kalapas (Abhidhammattha Saigaha) and used therefore the simplification that these were the Buddha's words. Since I am not a buddhist scholar I was unaware of the falsehood of the statement made in my question. Thank you very much for clarification. – user12691 Dec 13 '17 at 6:58
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A body, including the mind, consists of tiny particles which arise and cease in a everlasting flow of sequence.

The body does not arise & cease in some dualistic sequence. A body is born from two cells (sperm & ovum) grows over 20 years & then slowing declines in its health but not form until it ends.

Karma as the law of action/reaction.

The word 'karma' means 'intentional action' and, based on the quality of intention, there will be results. For example, there is the intention to make money via an investment. If the investment is successful, there will be happiness over the result; if the investment fails, there will be disappointment. This happiness & disappointment is the result of the intention or wishfulness.

Unwholesome acts cause unwholesome results for the producer of that action and wholesome acts cause wholesome results. Neutral action causes neutral /no results. Is there a correlation between this truth and the truth of Newton's third law of motion?

There does not appear to be a correlation with Newton's third law of motion because much (but not all) of what is described as wholesome acts is related to non-doing, such as non-killing; non-stealing; no-lying, etc. Thus, these kinds of wholesome acts maintain the natural balance of the mind rather than create a dualistic reaction.

Also, the kammic law you have described is not an absolute "truth" but a mere generalization. For example, if you are a perfect parent, it can be generally (but not always) expected that you will have good children. However, if your children die, the love of your perfecting parenting will generate suffering. This shows the wholesome act of perfectly loving your children can bring a negative result.

However, if it is (erroneously) assumed good kamma always brings a good result, this would seem to contradict Newton's Law because there would be no opposite reaction.

Where as with the reality of kamma, yes, something similar (but not exacting) to Newton's law would occur in relation to kammic acts of doing (as opposed to non-doing) because the elasticity of the brain results in excitement or hope over good results, which will eventually lead to an opposite reaction when those hopes fade (such as with the absence or loss of children who are loved).

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

As I posted, this does not necessarily occur with the mind because results of kamma are extremely varied thus cannot be quantified using the precise mathematical laws of physics.

Since quantum physics entered the realm of scientific knowledge, on a sub atomic level, action reaction became not absolute anymore in predictability.

There is no absolute predictability of kamma. Kammic law is merely a generalisation. It does not form part of absolute truth (Paramattha Sacca) in Buddhism.

Is it a delusion to suggest that on a highly subtle level unwholesome acts might not in all cases lead to unwholesome results as wholesome acts might not in all cases lead to wholesome results?

Unwholesome actions always lead to an immediate unwholesome result. For example, if the mind has an angry intention, immediately, there will be stressful vibrations within the neurology of the mind-body. However, the mind may quickly learn a lesson from this anger or this anger may actually bring a good result (for example, getting angry at another person that leads to the other person changing their behaviour in a positive way).

In summary, over the long term, wholesome kamma does not always lead to wholesome results & unwholesome kamma does not always lead to unwholesome results. This can be read about in the Maha Kammavibhanga Sutta.

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I need to do some more reading about quantum physics, I really do. It seems very interesting.

What I can say, is there is a clear analogy (to me at least) between Buddhism (or how I understand it) and modern mathematics.

It is my opinion that the single most important theorem in mathematics is Godel's 1st Incompleteness Theorem. Basically, this theorem shows that no system of constructing proofs of arithmetic is expressive enough to prove all true theorems and disprove all false ones. No system of logic can tell all tales and solve all problems.

This hydra has many heads. Another well-known one is the Halting Problem in computer science. This one states that there is no single algorithm that can determine whether any algorithm halts. This is an extremely deep result assuming the Church-Turing thesis, which states that any computable function at all is computable by a Turing machine.

It's very similar to the beginning of the Tao Te Ching. While this is not a Buddhist text, nonetheless it opens with "The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal name." We are extremely fortunate that it can be proven logically that all logic is faulty in some way. We are privy to the knowledge that all knowledge is false, and that that is the only true knowledge.

It is my belief that there is no truth. When somebody says "This statement is false", a good and proper response is, "Yes, every statement is false." Newton's third law is not true, nor is any other physical theory true. Edge cases will continue to be discovered ad infinitum. If any physical theory were true, and the universe operated deterministically according to its laws, there would be no experience.

The only things that are real are the things that transcend this world, such as our Karma. Of course, to us there is no difference between the things that transcend this world, since we cannot access or imagine them.

Do not rely on Karma to bring good results in this life, since the distinction between good Karma and bad Karma itself is just a dualistic notion. Just know that you are here for a reason, and have faith.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIFgZD4errQ

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No I don't think it's possible. At best it's a weak or stretched analogy; at worst it's a misleading one (implying too much equivalence between the system-of-kamma and the system-of-physics); or it's an unfalsifiable theory with cherry-picked results (e.g. "we observe phenomenon X in one system ... what phenomenon in the other system is analogous?"). The problem there is that the analogy exists because you created it, not because they're genuinely (or useful, predictively) analogous.

It is (or was, has been) especially common to confuse things using Quantum Physics (see Quantum woo and Quantum mysticism).

A cleverer teacher than me (e.g. the Buddha) might use what you know already to give analogies which explain his Dhamma; so if you knew Physics you might appreciate any apt Physical analogies; but I can't think of any. The only analogy I've ever made is that kamma is like the weather: things happen when the conditions are right but the details are complicated to predict.

More on the subject of Quantum Mechanics, see also Observer effect (physics):

An especially unusual version of the observer effect occurs in quantum mechanics, as best demonstrated by the double-slit experiment. Physicists have found that even passive observation of quantum phenomena (by changing the test apparatus and passively 'ruling out' all but one possibility), can actually change the measured result; the 1998 Weizmann experiment is a particularly famous example.[1] These findings have led to a popular misconception that observation by a conscious mind can directly affect reality,[2] though this has been rejected by mainstream science. This misconception is rooted in a poor understanding of the quantum wave function ψ and the quantum measurement process.[3][4][5]

If you read the references [3] through [5] it's clear (if you understand e.g. what the famous "double slit experiment" is) that the "observation" it's talking about is the act of installing the physical test equipment (which I'd also know as "probing the system"), or the action (effect) of the equipment itself ... and it's not to do with whether any "conscious mind" observes the results of the experiment.

I kind of like jcarpenter2's answer, because I thought this was an unanswerable question but that answer (perhaps successfully) talks about the limitations of logic and not just about physics.

I could try to add another analogy along those lines -- inspired by Heisenberg's Uncertainty and the start of the Tao Te Ching -- that making a verbal observation (i.e. a comment or description) about something will affect (disturb, interfere with) the thing described (or the perception of the idea described) ... but I don't think that's a useful analogy. The Buddhist analogies are purposeful, have a goal (liberation or cessation). Inventing further useless analogies is just proliferating views, leading to a "thicket of views" of the sort that we're warned doesn't lead to liberation. Even Occam's razor (also Einstein) suggests preferring simpler theories.

I think it's better to try to understand Buddhism, to approach Buddhism, on its own terms: understand what it's saying, understand what the Buddha would have been saying to the people he said it to ... without preconceptions such as that it's talking about Rutherford's theory of atoms. Perhaps the only really useful preconceptions are ones you might have learned in pre-school, i.e. morality, of the sort that allows the Buddha to tell the Kalamas they should judge for themselves.

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