Falun Dafa and Modern Science

Raimund Kirner, Doctoral Candi

PureInsight | March 11, 2002


Many scientific theories have been developed in an attempt to investigate the genesis, origin and development of the cosmos, attempts that tried to merge all observed physical phenomena into a unique, universal theory, a desire that had eluded realization, that was not possible up until now. By contrast, a cultivation practice from China, called Falun Dafa, teaches these precise relationships that validate our cosmos and how these interactions relate to other dimensions. From the first glance there seem to be differences making it difficult for Western civilizations to get a grasp on Falun Dafa. This work will help to understand why, despite the progress of current science, it is no superstition to wrestle with the teachings of Falun Dafa.

1 Introduction

Falun Dafa, also called Falun Gong, is a meditation practice which, besides performing the proscribed physical exercises, is based on a highly developed, philosophical component, making it the distinguishing reason that sets Falun Dafa apart from other kinds of Qigong teachings.

The best effects in Falun Gong practice will be achieved if one, besides doing the five calm and relaxing exercises, also further studies the underlying spiritual principles. This cultivation tradition coming from China is still rather extrinsic for Western civilization. Therefore, in the beginning of studying this system, many people have their doubts on identifying with these teachings.

In order to make it easier for people with a Western scientific educational background to attain an objective insight into the apprenticeship of Falun Dafa, I am trying with this article to share my insights into certain aspects and avenues of knowledge from my studies and to look at different aspects. Falun Dafa [3] explains the existence of different dimensions and at what level living beings connect in these different dimensions. At the same time is said that there exists many universes in the cosmos, whereas human beings can perceive only one of them. Many persons already experience different supernatural abilities during cultivation that cannot be explained with commonly known laws of physics. The whole cosmos thus is represented as a rotating mechanism, which is aligned according to the principles of "Truthfulness," "Compassion" and "Forbearance."

Many representatives of Western science persist in the assumption that the representation of the universe cannot be explained spiritually. One seeks for proof of each description of phenomena. This principle appears intuitively, but, as concerns the division of cosmology, it is shown very quickly that this is at the same time a very complex approach. An idea or theory is only counted as scientifically proven if it was tested in a certain way, where the results can be replicated time and time again and the hypothesis is thereby acknowledged.

Section 2 describes in common, scientific style a summary over current perceptions in cosmology from the view of science. A bulk of the report was taken from [1]. The research results are summarized here, in order to give an overview of the working style and the current perceptions of the scientific discipline of cosmology.

2 The Human World Picture

The following section describes, from a current, probably naive viewpoint peoples' past world cultures. This evolution is documented up to the current state of the science.

2.1 The Antiquity

People in the antique/remote past had already learned to draw conclusions through observations of nature. They were already able to use observation of the stars as a navigational tool for seafaring. Aristotle in ancient Greece considered the Babylonian model, that the earth is immovable, as absolute. This was an assumption that people pursued for the next 3,000 years. Aristotle supposed at that time that all stars orbited in an ideal circular path.

The Greeks at that time had also recognized that the earth would not be a flat disk. This has been concluded on the one hand from the fact that the position of the heavenly bodies is changing at different observation points. Moreover the mathematician Eratosthenes1 had proven with an experiment that two vertical rods throw shadows of different length at the same time. With this he was able to calculate, even relatively exact, the circumference of the earth. In the second century CE (Christian Era) the astronomer Ptolemy2 developed a kinematic model to explain the circular motion of the moon and the revolving of the sun around the earth.

2.2 New Insights since Beginning of Modern Times

The Polish priest Nicolas Copernicus recognized at the beginning of the 16th Century that the Ptolemy model can be strongly simplified if one uses the sun as the midpoint while his model still used perfect circular orbits. The German astronomer Kepler improved upon this model by introducing the concept of elliptical orbits. Galileo Galilei, a mathematics professor from Padua/Italy obtained many new perceptions through his development of the telescope. He recognised, for example, that other planets are also orbited by bodies in space, as for example the moons of Jupiter.

Isaac Newton, whose name is indelibly connected with apples falling from trees, recognized many correlations in the field of gravity and developed from that laws that until today provide the basis of physics. With his famous book, Principa Mathematica, Newton delivered the first complete description of the universe that coincided with the observations from that era. For Newton, the universe was boundless.

In 1842, the Austrian physicist Christian Doppler in Vienna discovered how it is possible to determine the speed and direction of stars based on the so-called Doppler effect. Continuing these observations with more modern telescopes, Edwin Hubble discerned in the first half of the 20th century that the universe is moving apart.

Also at that time, Albert Einstein developed his two world-famous theories of relativity, the special and the general. Einstein set up new relationships between space and time with his mathematical theories. As a consequence, Newton's theory of gravity had to be revised, despite its apparent accuracy. Einstein explained the gravity by means of "space-time," that the mass of objects distorted so-called space-time. Lemaîtres, a Catholic priest and at the same time one of the most notable astronomers from Belgium, took up from Einstein's theories and they jointly developed a world picture of a dynamic universe that had its origin in a single point and has expanded incessantly since then.

The mathematician and cosmologist Roger Penrose, upon investigation of Einstein's theories, came to the conclusion that due to the gravitational collapse all matter would have to unite itself in a single point, the so-called singularity. Stephen Hawkings showed that one could also turn this process around accordingly to that the universe spreads itself corresponding to the big bang theory.

The search for an explanation of the cosmos made it also necessary, however, that science must consider the internal structure of matter. The "big bang" theory has been confirmed, with the assumption that all atoms can be iteratively constructed out of hydrogen atoms by the nuclear fission processes. The mathematician Paul Dirac went yet somewhat further as he posited that for each particle to exist there has to exist a laterally reversed particle, the so-called anti-matter, something that had been experimentally proven for the first time in 1932 by Carl Anderson.

3 Where Science stands Today

The model of singularity that Penrose described has been already confirmed by observations. Appearances of this form of singularity are called black holes. These theories suggest the conclusion that the universe would have been developed out of such a singularity. The present, most plausibly although not yet proven theory is that out of the beginning energy of the "big bang," approximately the same quantities of matter as well as anti-matter had formed.

From Einstein's deliberations, last but not least, from the formula e =m·c2 one can infer how much energy would have been necessary for the big bang, and that only a slight surplus of matter that cannot be dissolved by annihilation with antimatter was sufficient to produce our present universe. The dynamic process of the universe's increase has however left yet many open questions, especially since one must admit presently that directly after the big bang, at the origin of pure energy, the currently known physical laws do not count. Only when matter and anti-matter emerge by cooling do the present physical laws find validity.

Contented with the origin of the universe, albeit full of gaps, the physicists Andrej Linde and Alan Guth developed the so-called inflation theory. This theory states that energy can develop from nothing, if one uses the laws of the quanta theory on the vacuum. The underlying idea is that once energy has been formed, it could spread arbitrarily and thus form the universe. Linde derived from that the model, that arbitrary energy "bubbles" emerge and only from of one of them was our universe formed. In a field of another type, the so-called scalar field new energy bubbles could permanently emerge and develop themselves through inflationary expansion, from these bubbles to universes. Following this assumption, our universe would be only one of many.

For the description of the world, presently two theories are considered: the general relativity theory as the great and the quantum theory as the smaller. The quest to unite both theories has been named "the search for a comprehensive theory." Albert Einstein had tried this very intensively in his last years. At the end he had not succeeded. After Einstein's death researchers first discovered a kind of sub-atomic particle of new type that they named quark. Every three of these particles are connected in groups through so-called strings. According to state of the three quarks the strings swing in a different manner and are therefore responsible for the behaviour of the particles.

The string-theory simplified the description of larger structures, but it therefore required a model with more than the conventional dimensions, utilizing instead up to 11 dimensions that are necessary in order to describe the behaviour of the strings. Professor Ed Witten is one of the leading researchers who work on this comprehensive theory, which Witten calls M-theory (membrane theory). Witten himself came to the conclusion that every attempt complex enough to deliver a comprehensive theory is also complex enough to raise a couple of new problems.

4 About Small and Large Worlds

In this section, understanding of the nature of matter in the large as well as in the small are described from the perspective of Falun Dafa as well by the evolution of modern science. It also will attempt to show that scientific perceptions can probably never be absolute. These developments can always just go hand in hand with the technical possibilities.

To have a better understanding about Falun Dafa cultivation and the resulting perceptions, Zhuan Falun [3] speaks about people's enlightenment, often referring to historic writings. As enlightenment one understands the completion of cultivation and acquiring of wisdom, whereby there exist different levels of enlightenment (in the context of this work it is comparably with different, high-level scientific education). For example, the oft-cited Buddha Sakyamuni had reached a state of enlightenment called Tathagata level.

There are in addition yet further levels of enlightenment; both higher and also lower ones. Depending on one's level one can recognize different things with the Celestial Eye. As described in [3] (chapters two, "Issue of the Celestial Eye"), the Celestial Eye is an organ that permits perceptions over and above conventional vision. The ability to see with this function is an accompaniment of cultivation (corresponding to the person's mind-nature level). Having this ability, people were able to report seeing things that are not recognizable through current scientific knowledge.

Chapter two of Zhuan Falun [3] describes the correlations of perceptions, from the large down to the small worlds. Mr. Li Hongzhi relates historic knowledge as well its comprehensive explanation, based on the apprenticeship of Falun Dafa, as well as frequently also comments on historically well known facts. The Tao School, for example, regards the human body as a small cosmos. As clarified in [3] this does not mean that the organic structure resembles the cosmos.

The perceptions of science on the other hand have always renewed the definitions of elementary particles. At the moment science has arrived at quarks, leptons and bosons and yet one knows also that these don't have to be the smallest particles. Relating to this, Sakyamuni said in his last years: "It is immense without exterior, and it is tiny without interior." As Sakyamuni was a Budddha at the Tathagata level he was neither able to see the limit of the cosmos nor the littlest particles of matter.

Sakyamuni spoke in this manner from the aspect of three thousand worlds, whereby in a grain sand again there would be three thousand worlds. At his level of a Tathagata he had seen this.

In the following is described how Mr. Li Hongzhi in [3] explains these perceptions yet more exactly. According to Mr. Li's teachings, the cosmos also has a shell. The inside of the human body, from the molecules to the microscopic particles is actually just as large as this cosmos. In an extremely microscopic state, the life components for each person destined for him were already formed.

The present state of scientific and technical development is not yet so far advanced as to explain these things. The following section briefly describes how scientific understandings of the micro and macro cosmos have evolved.

4.1 Investigation of the Micro Cosmos

Developments in atomic science were furthered by two Greek philosophers, Leukipp and Demokrit [5]. The philosopher Demokrit lived from approximately 460 to 370 BC and was the first to set up the theory that matter could be constructed out of indivisible, elementary building blocks. According to his theory, these atoms (Greek atomos) were indivisible and filled uniformly with matter. They should have behaved according to classical physics as more or less hard balls. In Demokrit's view atoms were indestructible. They would regroup itself in case of death of a living entity to result in new substances. Similarly, said Demokrit, this would also occur over the entity of the soul, would further consist of soul atoms that would freely scatter themselves in case of death of a person and could again form new souls. This interpretation has parallels with the Buddhist theory of reincarnation, which is described in [3]. One can also read in this book that the consciousness of a person lies beneath the main consciousness, beneath many ancillary souls, whereby this arrangement corresponds to fateful predestination [but one still has the choice to exercise one's free will].

In the year 1897, Joseph J. Thomson discovered for the fist time that atoms are not indivisible3. Thomson explained, also for the first time, the phenomenon of electric current as a "current of loaded particles." In Thomson's atomic model, the mass of the atom is distributed uniformly among the spherical atom. The atom has a positive load that is compensated so that the very small electrons themselves stay in atoms' interior. According to his opinion, these electrons could be extracted with an electric field. Yet today atoms are examined by means of photo-electron spectroscopy (striking out electrons). Lord Rutherford Nelson discovered in 1911 that the mass inside atoms is not as uniformly distributed as Thomson supposed. He made this discovery jointly with Marsten and Geiger when he bombarded gold foil with radioactive particle radiation (a particles). The particle radiation went unresisting through the gold foil, but only a few particles were very strongly dispersed. Rutherford concluded therefore that the atoms must be hollow. The atomic mass seemed concentrated on a small area that seem surrounded somehow by electrons which are so thinly distributed that they represent no hindrance for particle radiation.

In 1913, the Danish theoretical physicist Niels Bohr wrote an article dealing with the arrangement of atoms and molecules. In Bohr's atomic model, the electrons move in a circular orbit around the atomic nucleus. At the same time only certain orbits are permitted whose transitions occur without intermediate states. Bohr's atomic model was an attempt to understand the existence of single lines in the optical spectrums of atoms.

Sommerfeld expanded the atomic model of Bohr because one discovered that many of the spectral lines are additionally split. He proposed that circular orbits of these electrons also allow for elliptical orbits. This is comparable the orbits that meteorites take around the sun.

Bohr's atomic model assumed the existence of tiny pellets that have a firm place and a firm speed. Current models assign to an electron only the position of a blurred state. This so-called orbit model is a refinement of the shell model whereby in each main shell multiple orbits can be located. On each orbital sit exactly two electrons; they differ through a respectively opposed electron spin. One indicates by a quanta number in which orbit an electron is located.

With experiments in particle accelerators came new understanding of the construction of atoms. Figure 1 gives an overview over present insights into the elemental microscopic area. The particles are divided correspondingly to its spin patterns in bosons (whole-numbered spin, positive charge in ground state) and fermions (half-numbered spin, negative charge in ground state). Fermions (named after the scientist Fermi) are subdivided once again into leptons and quarks.

The grey-shaded rectangles indicate that for each of these particles there are corresponding so-called anti-particles that behave in all areas just as like the original particles. A certain exception is the photon (light) that forms its own antiparticle.

If the universe were constructed by anti-matter instead of matter one would see no difference. If matter and anti-matter meet, they would convert to pure energy.

Figure 1: Known elementary particles

4.2 Investigation of the Macro Cosmos

As already mentioned in Section 3, from the standpoint of today science, a very complex world picture was created. One has mathematically calculated that 11 dimensions are necessary to explain certain phenomena. At the same time one speaks in a kind of implicitness about the existence of different spaces and universes.

As described in [2], our universe is located as one of many possible others on a forma parallel with other existences. Figure 2 shows how our entire known universe, including our milky way and the solar system can exist and coincide with other universes. This theory is explained by the so-called inflation theory.

Figure 2: Multiple Universes

5 The Riddle of Gravitation

5.1 Perspectives of Research

One question remains, which the science could not explain since three hundred years ago Newton set up his law of gravitation, is this: why is gravity so much weaker than all other natural interactions? For example, gravity attraction between two electrons is 1043 times weaker than the electrostatic repulsion between them. Firstly, within the area of that so-called Plank scale (combination of the Plank energy of 1019GeV and the Plank length 10-35 m) gravitation becomes similarly strong as electro-magnetism and other nature powers. The membrane model was set up with the help of the string theory.

In [6], this apparent anomaly of gravitation is graphically explained: The balls of a pool table can move away only in a two-dimensional world. However, if a ball is pushed, the resultant sonic energy, which can be perceived on the two-dimensional plain, is also apparently too little. This seems to suggest, therefore, that this energy spreads yet into a further dimension (the "third space" dimension). The gravitation in our three-dimensional space can be seen as an equivalent medium to the sonic energy of this two-dimensional room.

For Roger Penrose, quantal gravitation contains very important aspects. He sees in the quanta of gravitation nothing less than the cause for reality. It can be imagined that the gravity quant selects a wave state out of the potential of the many possible quantal states of a system and just lets it become this reality. In a similar way he sees gravitation quanta involved in each moment in the origin of consciousness in our brain.

In order to explain the effect of gravitation, it is supposed that gravitation can spread itself by tiny spatially-curled extra dimensions (curled, because in the short distance range this strong reduction does not appear). The above-mentioned theory purports that our well-known world is fixed on a kind of membrane that can remain there by gravitation's powers.

This could be also used to derive a theory for the yet mysterious dark matters, which after all, as we know so far, covers 90 percent of the total mass of the universe.

This dark matter might be formed of common matter by overlapping of membranes of our universe or by the parallel alignment of membranes in one of many universes.

This formed membrane theory on the one hand could explain and be the solution to many open questions of the world picture. It opens at the same time also the gate too many new theories for the actual construct of our universe.

5.2 From the Viewpoint of Cultivation

In the previous subsections, a representation of the current view of the science of gravitation was given. Here follows a description about the insights to this topic that are found by cultivation. The explanation relates how Mr. Li Hongzhi himself describes the subject of gravitation. Some parallels can be found but also some further explanations, which cannot be proven experimentally with the current methods of modern science.

Many different worlds exist and therein again different dimensions. The world in which we live is located within the Three Realms [3]. The following describes how Mr.Li Hongzhi explains the phenomenon of gravity. [4].

On the earth and within the Three Realms, all living beings and all substances, including air, water - all objects existing within the Three Realms - are formed by particles of different levels of the Three Realms. The different types of particle in different layers are interconnected. This type of connection can expand and move within the Three Realms under the use of a pulling power. When pulled, it can extend like an elastic band. If it is released, it returns to its prior state. That means that between particles there is an essentially stable form of existence. This causes any object in this environment of earth that will be lifted to return again to the ground. The surface of this planet is the boundary of one level. On this level, things can move horizontally because they are all located on the same level. If, however, they exceed their level in order to move towards high levels, they are retracted, because things on earth form a state on which these particles of this level are located.

When for example rockets and spaceships fly into the sky, if they want to leave this environment that consists of particles of different levels that built the earth, one uses rockets in order to reinforce the momentum and to move it by means of larger driving forces.

As we know there exists atmosphere within the Three Realms, but in reality it constitutes an environment that consists of innumerable microscopic living beings. It serves as the stabilizing factor so that a human being can live here.

As soon as one steps out of this atmosphere and leaves it, the pulling force undoes many connections between molecules. In the next sequence, only the edges of particles are connected. Therefore the pulling power is no longer so strong. That means, although one is no longer in the direct environment of the earth, one is yet connected to the levels of other particles within the Three Realms. Through this stability, satellites are able to remain in orbit. These connections depend on, as one knows through observations, the mass but not on the volume of an object, meaning also that the number of connections of a material depend on its density.

Finally, Mr. Li Hongzhi explains in [4]: "There are many other aspects of this if I'm to go into detail. What I was trying to tell you just now is that gravity does not exist. The real cause is the particles in this environment. Their existence in this environment is necessary, and they're interconnected."

This explanation seems very remarkable at first glance. It does not use a formal method and explained, nevertheless, on certainly level comprehensively these connections. How such an approach can work without the scientific method becomes clarified in [3] (Chapter two, "The Issue of the Celestial Eye").

The fact is that science nowadays is not yet so advanced as to completely explain well such theories as gravity. Mr. Li Hongzhi's book established that science is relying on experiments and observations. Science solves the riddles of the universe like peeling an onion, removing one layer at a time. Presently one is far away from recognizing direct correlations.

6 Conclusion

As Mr. Li Hongzhi has already stated and I want to repeat it here, modern science is erroneously founded on observation and cognition and has taken a path away from simple representations of earlier cultivation systems. At the same time science can hardly find the wisdom to complete and solve the puzzles of the world because it is always directed at observable phenomena and afterwards adapts its theories of a world picture accordingly.

With current scientific cognition, prejudices against world pictures, which are not based on present scientific findings lose their power. Science requires for already observable phenomena theories that are on the one hand already very abstract and serve on the other hand only as a possible approach for explanation of the already well known. Based on its method, science certainly cannot easily discover the absolute world picture. It has already shown that the formation of the cosmos is very complex, contexts that are far away from the perception of the everyday world. It is difficult to estimate in which direction science will yet move in the course of the time. When investigating the past, one can realize how incomplete all previous world pictures were. They were adapted repeatedly and sometimes fundamentally to partially refuting and expanding previous observations.

This cosmos is represented by cultivation a from different views. These views however enable recognition of many concepts and at the same time enable one to lead a life with regard to higher goals, including the power of the turning mechanism of the cosmos, also called Fa Lun [Fa=Law; Lun=Wheel]. It makes life in harmony with the three characteristics of the cosmos, 'Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance' become a reality.


  1. David Filkin and Stephen Hawking. Stephen Hawking's Universe: The Cosmos Explained. BBC Books, London, October 1997. ISBN: 0465081983.

  2. Stephen Hawking. The Universe in a Nutshell,  Hoffmann und Campe, November 2001. ISBN: 3-553-80202-X.

  3. Li Hongzhi. Zhuan Falun. The Universe Publishing Company, New York, 1999. ISBN 1-58613-101-X, English Translation.

  4. Li Hongzhi. Teaching the Fa at the 2001 Toronto/Canada Falun Dafa Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference. Master Li's New Articles, May 19th, 2001.

  5. Bertrand Russel. A History of Western Philosophy,  New York: Simon and Schuster; London: George Allen & Unwin, 1945.

  6. SPECTRUM Medienagentur,  Spektrum der Wissenschaft ,  Volume 10, October 2000.

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