Monday, April 05, 2010
Something has happened. For years, because of fading eyesight, I have not been able to read print books. For me, this was a serious loss--after all, my entire life has been committed to words, to thought expressed in words (whether poetry or prose), to books as the sacred containers of language.
But now something has come into my life and it has changed. First, I purchased (with the help and encouragement of a friend) a new computer, an IMac with "reversed colors" capacity. This means that the screen is black and the text is white, and this combination has turned out to be much easier on the eyes. I threw out the old monitor, with its swinging arm to bring the screen in closer. I sat up straight (or almost) to use the computer, and my chronic eyestrain all but disappeared. Voila!
But yesterday, a new dimension came into my life. I ordered a Kindlebook for the computer. I then read it--or at least the first half of it--for several hours. I was reading a book again! I was going to be able to reclaim my old identity as a reader.
The book I chose was Bruce Lipton's "The Biology of Belief." Bruce Lipton is a celebrated biologist, someone who did pioneer research in the field of stem cells, including the cloning of the cells into new organisms. He has won many awards and achieved major status in his field.
But in this book, he describes how he himself experienced a mental epiphany in which he realized that contemporary biology (as well as contemporary medicine) is based on outmoded perspectives. It is still operating under the old paradigms of Newtonian science, while other scientific fields have plunged ahead into the vast realms uncovered through quantum physics. The main difference between the two is that the Newtonian perspective bases its views on the assumption that "everything is matter," something solid, dense. Quantum physics points to the fact that indeed nothing is solid, nothing is substantial--everything is energy.
Yet the medical schools still instruct their students in the outmoded theories, and doctors still prescribe pills to cure these supposed matter based illnesses.
But Lipton goes further. He in fact repudiates the central assumption of contemporary biology that we are governed by our genes, that genes are our destiny and we are thus their victims. He asserts (with massive evidence to back it up) that it is thus not our initial "gene imprint" that controls our lives, but the environment in which they flourish (or not). We have basically the same "genome" as worms and primates. The difference is not in the numbers, but rather which genes have actually been activated to produce who we are--human vs. some other life form.
So, what turns the gene on? Here, it gets a bit tricky, but essentially he says that it is not cell nucleus (as once thought) nor other parts of the cell itself, but rather the membrane that encloses the cell. This membrane is exceedingly thin and in fact was virtually unknown until it was observed through the electron microscope. And--strangely--the membrane is actually a liquid crystal that operates to open and close the cell the same way a computer chip works to admit or reject data (if I have this right.)
When you get to the core of the atom, there is in fact nothing there. Cells are at base composed of pure energy--and energy cannot be weighed or seen. Our world of appearances, our familiar universe of things and objects and even we ourselves, are mere apparitions, combinations of energetic forces all functioning together to create this "make believe" world that we then accept as "reality."
Does this concept seem familiar? Haven't we heard the Buddhists tell us for centuries that all is "maya," a world of "seem" rather than a world of "is"? "Emptiness is form, form is emptiness." If I understand this assertion correctly, Buddhism and cutting edge science are saying much the same thing. We live not in a realm of fixed material objects, but in midst of a swirling mass of atoms, things that cannot be held or seen, for they are not composed of matter, but are minute, invisible energy centers, which through their own "magic show" convince us that we are "real," and that the world we view around us is itself a concrete reality composed of fixed elements.
Thus science, that moved in an arc away from accepted religious postulates for
many centuries, has in fact traveled in a circle back to its beginnings, back to source, where "energy" not matter, is dominant--where now an opening in our view allows for spirit itself to come forth as a reality, and it is the divine field that emerges as the basis for our notions of what is.
In the ultimate stage of Kundalini, the crown opens and the invisible energy of the universe pours in (a thousand petals opening)--it is then that "enlightenment" occurs as the realization that the "self" is a mental construct, that the "being who carries our name" is a myth, a delusion we have created ourselves, for we are in fact merely minute extensions of the unknowable and ineffable presence, energy immeasurable and unbounded, that which some call god.
But, happily, though we cannot fully fathom this ultimately unknowable reality, we can from time to time taste its nature, come to the bliss of union, the sweet essence of which the universe is made.
And so, perhaps, science at last is transcending its own limits and attaining a kind of mental "enlightenment." And we, as practitioners, get to experience such truths as feelings in our own individual "energy fields," the place where ecstasy of oneness occurs.
(Image from Hubble website)