It is unremarkable that the human brain should formulate a mathematics that can describe the behaviour of physical objects ranging from galaxies to sub-atomic particles. The brain and its consciousness are produced by the same forces that produce the rest of the universe. Their synchronicity is to be expected. The mathematics give us a degree of understanding and predicative power of phenomena we cannot experience, either on very large scale as galaxies or the very small as with particle physics. But this does not lead to the conclusion that the human brain or its mathematics can encompass all of reality. As physics wrestle with the Big Bang, its causes, and whatever may have preceded it, we have to presume the limits of the brain's ability to understand and model. As the beetle crawls across the deck of a suburban home, it is utterly unable to comprehend the size and complexity of the home to which the deck is attached, let alone able to understand the rest of the world around the home. Similarly, we must presume the limits of human objective consciousness. This realization does not open the door to arguments of the existence of one or more gods, the unnatural, or the supernatural. Once one moves beyond the constraints of empiricism, one loses criteria to evaluate competing knowledge. One might as well believe in the Easter bunny as a godhead or that the world rests on an infinite stack of turtles.

Acceptance of the limits of the human ability to know neither invalidates efforts to know the world empirically, as the Post-Moderns assert, nor legitimizes faith in the unnatural, to which religionists leap. We can only accept that the universe may extend beyond our ability to understand it and respect our ignorance. I think this position is consistent with Zen and Taoist world-views. The Tao Te Ching begins with the verse, "The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao." This embrace of mysticism is consistent with an empirical assertion that there are facts we know about the universe that cannot be verbalized. They can only be expressed mathematically. Likewise, there is no reason to assert that the universe ends there. Our pursuit of knowledge leads us to the limits of what can be expressed mathematically. Beyond that lies the unknowable.

There are two inescapable empirical facts. There is nothing permanent. Nothing we perceive persists. Some things may seem to persist, the constellations for example. But science demonstrates that they do not. Even our perception of ourselves is not permanent. A person's notion of who and what he is at the age of ten will differ greatly from those notions when he is sixty. The second is that all things and events arise from causes. Nothing we perceive has arisen spontaneously. Everything demonstrably has precursors, cannot persist, and eventually contributes to the creation of something else. These two insights are the foundations of Buddhism, Empiricism, and science.