The “Strange” Similarities Between Shiva and Science
Handelman and Shulman (1997) say that Shiva is a holographic god, and after seeing him in action, through the myths and the dance itself, we can see how this is so. In Looking Glass Universe, Briggs and Peat (1984) discuss the looking glass cake episode in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass. This cake is paradoxical, and behaves rather strangely, for when you cut it up, it just joins back together, so in order to eat it, you have to hand it around first and then slice it afterwards.
Briggs and Peat use this metaphor throughout the book to talk about the universe in which we find ourselves. In quantum physics, as Briggs and Peat note, the quantum has a paradoxical nature and “the cake that quantum theory bakes has proved strange,” as quarks and some other elementary particles divide up into other particles and continue to divide until they “divide back into themselves” (p. 77). Teresi (2002) reflects on other similarities between Shiva and this “looking glass universe” ala Briggs and Peat where we find ourselves:
Similarities between Indian and modern cosmology do not seem accidental. Perhaps ideas of creation from nothing, or alternating cycles of creation and destruction are hardwired in the human psyche. Certainly Shiva’s percussive drumbeat suggests the sudden energetic impulse that could have propelled the Big Bang. And if, as some theorists have proposed, the Big Bang is merely the prelude to the Big Crunch, and the universe is caught in an infinite cycle of expansion and contraction, then ancient Indian cosmology is clearly cutting edge compared to the one directional vision of the Big Bang. The infinite number of Hindu universes is currently called the many worlds hypothesis which is no less documentable nor unthinkable. (Teresi, 2002, p. 175)
Laszlo (2003) also weighs in on the nature of the universe and posits that our current universe may just be one of a number of other previous universes, thus may be ordered by prior cosmic history. He says the “the history of the cosmos may extend beyond the Big Bang: a growing number of investigators entertain the possibility that this universe arose in the context of a preexisting metauniverse or metaverse” (p. 16). In talking about the different cosmological theories, especially the multicyclical cosmology of Steinhart and Turok, Laszlo notes that they do not, as presently formulated, account for “the finely tuned features of the observed universe,” however, they can be developed to do so by hypothesizing “that the pre-space of a new cycle is effectively in-formed by events in the preceding cycle” (p. 86).
Laszlo (2003) discusses the relationship between the metaverse and local universes that arise, evolve, and end within it, and explains that in the manifest domain, the energy of the local universes transforms and becomes less available: “but it is recycled in each new cycle of the metaverse." In the virtual domain, common to all local universes, “information is created and conserved and informs the manifest domain of each local universe. As a result local universes become both more entropic and more in-formed and the metaverse, energetically self-recycling, becomes progressively more in-formed” (p. 109). This seems to mirror Shiva’s process as well. This eternally recurring death-rebirth pattern can and will also be seen when we explore depth psychology and chaos theory.
As previously noted, the dice game is what brought us here in the first place. Handelman and Shulman (1997) say that the dice game is a “strange loop that ruptures cosmic holism with unusual consequences” (p. 60). It was that darn dice game that is at the bottom of everything, because the dice game caused the self-referential paradox when Shiva became other to himself in order to begin to play in the first place. The dice game not only has Shiva and the cosmos going in circles, but we are, too. The dice game as a model of the cosmos, actually affected the cosmos and created something unexpected and unpredictable. The dice game is what got us all tangled up and got Shiva into such a state. No wonder Einstein did not want to believe that God would play dice! Look what happens when He does. But, now that we have seen that the gods actually do play dice, and seem to do so eternally, let us learn more about this eternal aspect, before going on to explore chaos theory.