Tag Archives: Science

Veiled Reality: Affirmations of the Apophatic from Physics

6 May

Chapter 9 Veiled Reality: Affirmations of the Apophatic from Physics – The God
is No-Thing An Apophatic Assertion: An Introduction for Humankind’s
Transpersonal Actualization– revised -. Copyright Rodger Ricketts Psy.D.,2023.
All rights reserved.

We have seen that science supports the apophatic assertion that a
transcendent reality is beyond the normal range of human perception
and conceptualization. Yet, at the same time, the Transcendent is a
reality in the human life process. We have also seen that awakening or
transcending the ignorance of duality is a common experience of the
mystic. I will now highlight how the theoretical physicist Bernard
d’Espagnat argues that we cannot directly know the transcendental
reality or mind-independent reality:
When, in its spirit, quantum theory and Bell’s theorem are used as
touchstones, the two main traditional philosophical approaches,
realism, and idealism, are found wanting. A more suitable
conception seems to be an intermediate one, in which the mere
postulated existence of a holistic and hardly knowable Mind Independent Reality is found to have explaining power. […] This model considers Reality as not lying in space and time, indeed
being a priori to both, and it involves the view that the great
mathematical laws of physics may only let us catch some glimpses
on the structures of the Mind-Independent Reality.
(On Physics and Philosophy (2006) vol. 41)
D’Espagnat calls this model “veiled reality” to suggest that the
mind-independent reality, like the transcendental of transcendental
idealism, is, for the most part, unconceptualizable. “Veiled reality”
refers to a “world” independent of human perception, brain structure,
and the language of our minds’ participation in knowledge. D’Espagnat,
as well as others, also assert that we are directly involved in this
actuality; we exist in it. We are an integral part of the actual. We are
“swimming” in it. Reality is not a specific area of the universe that
exists separate from our senses. Our limitation is that we have the
capacity to delineate only an exceedingly small aspect of it.
As the Buddha taught, d’Espagnat explains that sense impressions
and sensations are genuine, as are our sense organs. In sight and color,
both the photons or waves, as well as the retinal cones are actual and
their interactions create our vision. The same is true of our other
sensations. This is the middle way of understanding our place in reality.
We do not have to seek our participation in it; we are a part of it.
However, in our dualistically based ignorance, we normally take our
cognitive representations, or pictures of reality, to be reality itself.
However, under certain meditative conditions, we can understand how
our subject/object dualistic world creates this illusion—the illusion that
is our ignorance


The First Review of my book on Amazon- Unsolicited

9 Apr

I am happy and proud that this reviewer found my book to be of high value and worthy of high recommendation.

Reviewed in the United States on April 1, 2023

“God is No-Thing; An Apophatic Assertion” by Rodger R Ricketts is an outstanding work on apophaticism and how it relates to various religions or philosophies around the world and across time. At the heart of the discussion is the apophatic nature of “God,” Buddhism as a philosophy, and the clear benefits of an apophatic approach in life, both for the individual and for society. The author backs up his claims and observations about the apophatic way with references to scientific research as well as quotes from celebrated mystic and religious people from across time and from different backgrounds. In addition to providing a large body of proof for the validity and benefits of an apophatic way of knowing God, this book also provides a helpful guide to meditation itself and how to go about it.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Buddhism, meditation, apophatic philosophy, and working for the betterment of themselves and humanity.

My new book is now published on Amazon

30 Mar

I am very happy with this effort of my revision.



2 Nov

Tao or the Way

27 Oct

There are numerous mysterious aspects of the forces of the universe.

16 Sep

Physicists are searching for the particle responsible for the gravitational force.

One is gravity. Gravity is the force by which a planet or other body draws objects toward its center. The force of gravity keeps all of the planets in orbit around the sun. Gravity: an invisible force that pulls objects toward each other. Earth’s gravity is what keeps you on the ground and what makes things fall. Anything that has mass also has gravity. Objects with more mass have more gravity. Gravity also gets weaker with distance. So, the closer objects are to each other, the stronger their gravitational pull is.

Earth’s gravity comes from all its mass. All its mass makes a combined gravitational pull on all the mass in your body. That’s what gives you weight. And if you were on a planet with less mass than Earth, you would weigh less than you do here.

Yet, gravity is one of the most mysterious forces in the Universe. gravity remains on many levels fundamentally mysterious. Why is it so weak compared with the other forces? Why does it only pull, not push? And why is the strength of “Big G” (whose value is, incidentally, notoriously difficult to pin down) so apparently finely tuned to allow life to emerge? If it were just a little less, the expansion of space would have overwhelmed the pull of gravity on the matter in the newborn universe, stars and galaxies would never have formed. If it were just a little more, any wannabe stars or galaxies would quickly have collapsed in on themselves and each other, while space-time would have folded up the whole universe in a big crunch. We have a lot to thank for gravity being like it is.

As physicists are searching for the particle responsible for the gravitational force, there is hope to find the graviton. So why hasn’t anyone found a graviton yet? The problem with searching for gravitons is that gravity is incredibly weak. Individual gravitons are thought to be massless and interact very feebly, and we are only held to the planet because the Earth emits so many of them. Because a single graviton is so weak, it is impossible for us to directly detect individual classical gravitons. So, in the end, while the effects of gravity are easily seen, at this time it remains a mystery.

NASA Science

Preface and Introduction -The Apophatic Assertion

20 Jul

My Newly Published Revised Book

11 Jun

This revised book published on Amazon on June 11, 2022, explores what the Buddha and other apophatic teachers have consistently taught, and what is now clear through scientific investigation, that living beings, the environment, and even the universe are deeply enmeshed and are All. This is one existence and actions by all living and non-living forces interact with and alters the previous reality- some more than others. Therefore, once we become awakened to, inspired, and apply the truths that the Buddha and others have discovered, there is a real possibility for a Heaven on Earth without the distraction of seeking supernatural intervention. Heaven on Earth can briefly be described in a biocentric way as a world of humans acting through wisdom and empathy and compassion, This book is an exciting exploration of the Reality of Apophatic teachings, helping to point to the Truths they teach.

The Veil Of Unknowing

7 Jan

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead —his eyes are closed. The insight into the mystery of life, coupled though it be with fear, has also given rise to religion. To know what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms—this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.” Albert Einstein

This short essay takes seriously the advice of Albert Einstein and will satisfactorily clarify the title in a couple of paragraphs. One of the topics that I discussed in my books, The Teachings of the Buddha: Seeing Without Illusion and The Buddha’s Radical Psychology: An Exploration is that we and all living beings are confronted with the fact that because of our evolutionary biological constitution we are like the men of the well-known ‘Blind Men and Elephant’ parable. The story goes that a long time ago a raja gather together all the men of a town who were congenitally blind. He presented to each man different parts of the elephant: to one the head of the elephant, to another its ears, to another a tusk, to another the trunk, the foot, back, tail, and tuft of the tail, saying to each one that that was the elephant. Then he asked each to describe the elephant. The men who were presented with the head answered, ‘Sire, an elephant is like a pot.’ And the men who had inspected the ear replied, ‘An elephant is like a winnowing basket.’ Those who had been presented with a tusk said it was a plowshare. Those who knew only the trunk said it was a plough; others said the body was a granary; the foot, a pillar; the back, a mortar; the tail, a pestle, etc. Then they began to quarrel, shouting, ‘Yes it is!’ ‘No, it is not!’ ‘An elephant is not that!’ ‘Yes, it’s like that!’ and so on, till they came to blows over the matter.

Now this parable has two lessons: one is that of the nature of dogmatic points of view and more for this essay the nature of knowledge. For if the elephant represents existence in the sense of the external environment, human beings are like the blind men of the story when it comes to comprehending the nature of existence. We can’t understand yet we keep thinking we can. Also for some this has the consequence of dogmatic thinking.

The reason we can’t know the veiled nature of existence is really quite obvious and depends on only two factors. The first and primary factor is that we are physical beings and as physical beings, we interact and input the sense data from the external environment through a highly selective physical apparatus – our body. We, and by the nature of it, all physical beings, have by necessity certain senses which have adapted over our evolutionary history to be sensitive to only a very restricted range of available sense data. It is through this highly limited input of the overall possible data that we then construct with our cognitive apparatus our ‘world’ or our personal idiosyncratic significance and meaning of the external world. In fact, this construction is an illusion of the veiled reality of existence and is dependent on our particular species’ nervous system and brain structure.

Therefore, we see that existence which is our ‘grounding’ is inscrutable and unknowable. Just to give a few examples of our very limited range of the known frequencies in the universe – we might not be aware of many other existent manifestations – what we call visible light is just one ten-billionth of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum. So, we’re only seeing a very tiny sliver of that, because we have biological receptors that are tuned into that little part of the spectrum. Radio signals, mobile phone signals, television signals, and many other signals are going right through our body without our awareness because we do not have biological receptors for that part of the spectrum. Also, while the human ear is capable of hearing many sounds produced in nature, certainly not all. The normal range of hearing for a healthy young person is 20 to 20,000 Hz so a heartbeat of 1 or 2 Hz cannot be heard and neither can we detect frequencies as high as 100,000 Hz as most bats can.

Then after receiving the various available sense inputs, our brain processes these inputs and then constructs an interpretation of that information so we can make sense out of the raw data we receive. This construction becomes our ‘world’ or our sphere or scene of our inner life. While in an evolutionary way this process has been successful to allow survival and adaption; in the larger sense living creatures are embedded and encapsulated in their own worlds unable to fully comprehend the larger universe because it is impossible to input all that information and then create a model about it. In fact, even the type or form of thoughts we can think are constrained by our biology and even more surprising Space and Time is also manufactured by our brain. So we live in a veiled universe and us mere mortals will never totally be able to see beyond the veil.

Familiarity with nature never breeds contempt. The more one learns, the more one expects surprises, and the more one becomes aware of the inscrutable. Archibald Rutledge



15 Dec