Thursday, 22 July 2010
It all comes down to energy
I read a book last year, written by Marcus Chown, an author, I admire. The book, ‘Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You,’ is an excellent attempt to try to reveal, in simple language, some of the mysteries of the quantum level!
In this fast paced, world, where many of us find it difficult to fix our attention upon anything for longer then a couple of minutes, science seems to play out on the periphery of our lives, only becoming aware of its influence, when we read about a new invention, or a breakthrough in medical treatment. Despite the fact that most of the everyday things we use and take for granted, are the result of scientific endeavour, we would rather not become too closely involved with something that appears so hard to grasp! A pity really, for science in general, and the quantum world in particular, really do have so much to offer anyone who has a little time to probe beyond the surface of its seemingly intractable world of equations and non logic!
I would hazard a guess too, that many people who are involved in spiritual paths, look upon the sciences with equal mistrust and bewilderment. Religion and science have always seemed to belong to totally opposing camps! With some very notable exceptions, it was usually the case that if you identified yourself as belonging to one side, you were diametrically opposed to the other side’s position.
A radical shift towards a deeper understanding of science however, began to be discernable during the sixties, a time when many young westerners took up various strands of eastern mysticism, in a search to give their lives some meaning. Suddenly the old barriers between religion and science began to sway and crumble! Participants from both fields began to notice similarities within their own disciplines. As the shackles of prejudice began to loosen, we came to understand that what really pins the two, supposedly opposed views, together, was the realisation, that at the core level of our whole existence, there is one undeniable given, something that permeates all of our universe, that thing is ENERGY! In physics, once everything is stripped down to basics, once you have probed into the deepest recesses of sub atomic particles, way beyond, the basic structures of molecules and atoms, even beyond the sub atomic levels of electrons, protons and neutrons, once you have divided the building blocks even further, into hadrons, leptons, on and on into the raw quarks, you eventually realise that, what really holds of these structures together is just simply pure energy. What the one single constituent of all of the atoms that are holding this table I am writing on together, and what this computer, even my body consists of nothing but energy.
In his seminal book ‘The Tao Of Physics,’ Dr Fritjof Capra wrote, “subatomic particles are dynamic patterns which do not exist as isolated entities. But as integral parts of an inseparable network of interactions. These interactions involve a ceaseless flow of energy, manifestating itself as the exchange of particles; a dynamic interplay in which particles are created and destroyed without end, in a continual variation of energy patterns. The particle interactions give rise to the stable structures, which build up the material world, which again, do not remain static, but oscillate in rhythmic movements. The whole universe is thus engaged in endless activity; in a continual cosmic dance of energy.”
What we take as solid and real, the mass we see all around us, is in fact pure energy, which is the infinite cosmic dance. This awareness that in reality there is nothing but pure energy, has been known to spiritual disciples for thousands of years. The Buddhist uses terms such as Shunyata, meaning emptiness, and Pranja, the essence of all life, to describe this energy. He knows that the universe is in a constant state of flux, that materialism is nothing but the creation of mind. The Hindu too, signifies this aspect of reality, beyond the delusion of solid mass, by invoking the image of Shiva, the lord of creation and destruction, who represents the enlightened aspect of the mind that is liberated from the delusions of seemingly solid things.
The quantum world is one that really defies description, our every day language is of little use when we enter such a world, where nothing is real, where uncertainty rules and events are governed by probabilities! It’s a world that literally will blow your mind, but it will also give you amazing insights into reality.