Friday, February 12, 2016

We are Cosmic Beings

"Mystical Morning"
- At the Desert Retreat House -

Yesterday a group of scientists made the stunning announcement that, after years of research, they heard and recorded the sound of “gravitational waves” – two immense black holes colliding a billion light years away (One light year is about 5.88 trillion miles). One of the black holes that collided was 36 times the mass of our sun, the other was 29 times that mass.

It’s hard for me to even imagine the significance of what it means that human beings living on this small little planet in the year 2016 were actually able to hear the sound of those immense “black holes” colliding a billion light years ago. Scientists say that this exciting new discovery now opens up a whole new window into the cosmos.

In an article in today’s New York Times, a theoretical physicist offered a wonderful philosophical and spiritual insight into what this detection of cosmic “gravitational waves” might mean for us. The article suggested that a discovery like this pulls us human beings out of our narrowly myopic views of who we are. It pulls us out of our focus on our tiny little selves, out of our narrow ideas, away from our petty politics, and it invites us us into the transcendent and even mystical reality of our human existence. Yesterday's scientific finding “changes our perspective of our place in the universe.

This reminded me of another article I also read in the New York Times:

We find our lives confined to a tiny narrow strip on earth’s surface,
and so we tend to think of the cosmos as a lofty inaccessible realm
far beyond reach and relevance.
We forget that only a thin layer of atmosphere
separates us from the entire universe.
We are cosmic beings.

Scientists tell us that the detection of “gravitational waves” proves that Einstein was right when he proposed his “theory of relativity.” One of the implications of this now- proven theory is that each and every one of us living here on earth at this moment in time is not only related to the entire cosmos, but what we do actually has an effect on it.  Every time we engage in a simple act like moving our hands around we make a disturbance in the fabric of space and send out waves that travel outward throughout the cosmos like a rock that ripples the surface of the water when thrown into a lake.

Last night I sat outside and looked up into the star-studded, clear desert skies.  Whenever I do this I always feel so tiny and yet at the same time so immense. But yesterday I felt even more immense then ever. In fact, I felt “cosmic.”  Imagine it, “I” am way more than little tiny “me,”  “I” am one with the universe. Everything and everyone in this entire vast cosmos of multiple universes is dynamically interrelated - everything belongs.  We are cosmic beings.

It seems to me that yesterday’s exciting announcement about “gravitational waves ”not only proves that Einstein was right but it also offers validation to what poets and mystics have been saying throughout all time.

The enlightened Buddha announced:

I saw stars within me, sunrise and sunset, full moon nights,
everything within me not without me.
It was my boundary that had been keeping them out,
Now the boundary is no more.
Now I am the whole.

The ancient Taoist Chuang Tzu taught:

The universe and I came into being together,
and I and everything therein are one.

The mystic Sufi Poet, Rumi, once wrote:

The whole universe exists inside you.
God writes spiritual mysteries on our heart
where they silently wait for discovery.

I wonder if the scientists of our own time have become the new mystics, poets and even the theologians of our own age?

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