Part one of two
By: Ken La Rive
Several weeks ago while flipping channels, I came across an awesome movie. It was called “Mind Walk.” The credits told me it was based on a book called “The Turning Point” by Fritjof Capra. I ordered this book from our library and when it finally arrived, I just dove in. On page 82, on the chapter called “The New Physics” Albert Einstein is quoted in a 1920 argument with the Physicist Bohr about Quantum Mechanics. This sentence has followed him throughout his career. Einstein stated a metaphor: “God does not play dice.” It is because of that quote, and a question I pose here, that prompted these two columns. What did Einstein see that made him believe in God? And so, with my limited mental resources, this is what I have gathered…
Just like sound changes pitch as it travels toward and away from a point, Einstein knew that light traveling toward you was seen as a different color than traveling away, and the more dramatic the shift in color the faster it traveled. He called this, “The Doppler Effect.” Suddenly, observation of the sky took on a whole new perspective. Scientists took a deep breath as they amazingly realized that as we viewed it from 360 degrees, using our new computers, that not only could we project where each heavenly body was heading, but we could determine where it originally came from. It was more than just a mind blower to realize that all stars came from one original point in the sky, and it challenged what had been thought and taught for hundreds of years.
So now we have a new point of view. It is currently understood that there was a time, many eons ago, when everything was sitting together in a mass so great that energy closed in upon itself. With this imploding force and power it actually exploded. This idea is what is now called “The Big Bang Theory.” This original spot is so far away that what we fundamentally perceive around us is like what we might see inside of a minute soap bubble floating in a great Sahara dust storm.
Light from some of the stars has taken many millions of years to reach us, and we can see but a small part of our small galaxy. The thought that there are countless other galaxies and star clusters, is just mind boggling, even for a genius Physicist like Einstein.
It is hard to comprehend so great an amount of space and time, and the force and energy that holds it together is so far beyond what even our greatest of minds can fathom. Whenever they tried to find a building block, or just a mere fact, an exception would always occur, a paradox if you will. You see, when experimenting, matter showed itself to behave sometimes like a wave, and sometimes like a particle. How could something be both? Nothing could answer this riddle, not even math. It wasn’t until Einstein’s Special Relativity Theory, and the beginning of his Unified Field Theory that true discoveries began.
Scientists readily admit that the primary reason that Physics will not give up its secrets is because life here on earth developed a unique way of observing and learning, a perceptual process referred to as linier. This view, this way of perceiving the world, is based on previous experiences, learned and taught, with our very limited senses as guides.
Since what we see is so great, so awesome, we have learned to view just the part that makes sense. It is our way of putting some semblance of order in a world not understood, and may otherwise seem chaotic. We strive to put things in order, to arrange, to assemble facts and ideas, attempting in the process to create lines. Our intellect wants and needs order. We plant trees in lines, we write in historical time lines, boundary lines, we put thoughts on a page in logical lines, lines of meaning we give symbolically for sanity’s sake. It has been taught in the west that if we lost this ability that we would be “spaced out,” not being able to focus on a point, to promote change, to learn, or to take action. Today however, these ideas are in question.
Scientists are now realizing that a process we had long before the intellect was developed, a metaphysical or spiritual side, may be the key to unlocking the meaning of it all, the ultimate meaning. This spiritual side has been constantly pushed behind our intellect, thought to weaken it. Today scientists from many disciplines are realizing that our spiritual side may indeed be the strength we need, not only to ask the appropriate questions, but to give meaning to the answer.
You see, two hundred years ago it was thought that what we are, and what we understand around us was found in individual parts, like the workings as a great machine. The new scientists of that time told them so and they were believed. The scientific method is based on this assumption. Sure, scientists projected us on the intellectual road of advancement, but at what cost?
It was that primary theory that promoted the new science of Physics, and by math we attempted to draw an understanding, and where we actually fit into the infinitely big and the infinitesimally small. It worked only to a point, as one thing continues on to this very day… There seems to be no hard or fast rule that can readily be understood, and exceptions to every possible rule continue to stump even the most progressive of minds. Fact is, there seems to be no ultimate rule at all! Too complex? No. It is because we are looking at it wrong. Our linear thoughts, our myopic senses, hold us from seeing the entire picture.
This new way of thinking is called “Bootstrap Physics.” Einstein, and his contemporaries had been expanding on what was called a “Unified Field Theory” long before his death. This amazing theory states that the universe is not parts at all, but one indivisible whole! This non-linier way of thinking showed something different and unexpected.
Eastern metaphysical philosophy has been practiced for thousands or years, from Japan to China. It is the process of thought where intellect is pushed aside to get to an insight inside of ourselves, below the conscience surface. There, life is viewed as a process of balance in imbalance, symmetry in asymmetry, and only when this is mastered will you tune in with the balance of the physical and metaphysical aspects of the world. It is reflected in their art forms, where the mind attempts to move away from what we perceive linier, in order to see the broader canvas in three dimensions that lie inside, where your mind is one with the universe. You see, nothing in nature moves in a straight line, nor is there an observable straight line, a complete absolute symmetry, or balance. It just doesn’t exist, and so, this is why on that side of the world you would be hard pressed to see a line of trees planted in a row. It isn’t art. It isn’t Physics.
This new way of observation has opened a whole new perspective in Physics, as no longer is the universe perceived as parts of a mechanical whole, but one thing.
It is now seen that everything is so dependant on another that the universe, as Capra puts it, “is no longer seen as a machine, made up of a multitude of objects, but essentially interrelated and can be understood only as patterns of a cosmic process.”
And so, what if this so called big bang is just one of countless other big bangs, instigated by something far greater, where countless other phenomena is at work too, ad infinity. We will never know, unless we find the key inside of our own mind. This key will show that our intellectual thoughts and our metaphysical spirituality should work together in conjunction. Only by this combined unity can we develop further along this adventure path of understanding.
Look for part two in two weeks…
One other thing. Following the teachings of Buddha is compatible with any loving religion, and I mean especially Christianity.. Buddha wrote many times not to erect a statue or to make his philosophy into a religion. It is a philosophy, not a religion. 600 years before Christ, Buddha was a great human being.