>Sodaiho-roshi posted:
>...snip...
>  The noted Rabbi who wrote about bad things happening to good people
suggested >that there was a certain randomness in our universe and that we
westerners were not >comfortable with that fact.   
>  As Buddhists, we also are not comfortable with randomness, as we want to
see >everything as interdependent and thus cosmicly related.   
>  Still, what is randomness but a pattern to large to see?.

I am not a practicing Buddhist but I am a long-time zen practitioner.  I am
very comfortable with the concept of randomness and do not feel the need to
see everything as interdependent.

Still, I kind of liked your definition of randomness as 'a pattern to large
to see'.  That is exactly the same conclusion that present-day
mathematicians have arrived at when they speak of chaos theory and chaotic
systems.  In general terms they do not believe in such as thing as truly
'random' anymore, they are chaotic.  They believe that everything has a
pattern, but we're just not 'smart' enough to be able to discern that
'pattern' - yet.  I disagree with them.  Pattern detection in data is my
profession.

As for your definition I at least must question your use of the word
'pattern'.  If you mean 'pattern' in a formal manner as a system of events
interrelated by a LOGICAL (understandable) and SINGULAR chain of cause and
effect, then I disagree.  If you are just using the word 'pattern' as a
place-holder, and allow that this so-called 'pattern' is ultimately
NON-LOGICAL (unknowable, unable to be understood) and PLURAL (the chain of
causes and effects can be seen as being interrelated in more than one way so
it is open to interpretation), then I don't disagree.  Maybe the latter
connotation is what you meant when you said it was 'to [sic] large to see'.

To put it in the context of this thread: when we see an event and we assign
it a category of 'good' or 'bad' and then thank God for the 'good' thing but
wonder why God allowed the 'bad' thing to happen, and then we rationalize
the 'bad' thing by thinking 'God knows best.  We cannot understand God; we
can just accept.', we are buying into the belief that there is a pattern
there, but we just cannot see it, and in fact will probably NEVER be able to
see it.  We just need to 'trust' God and accept it.

Or maybe we could all just sit (zazen) and not worry so much about things
like this...

Gassho...Bill!




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