Friday, 5 September 2008

The God Particle Is A Delusion

I hate to tell another man how to do his job, but I hope those scientists involved with this Large Hadron Collider know what the hell they are doing. They aim to recreate the conditions in the first billionths of a second after the Big Bang, and to finally expose an intriguing atomic particle which has thus far evaded them- the Higgs Boson, or 'God particle'. They want the Higgs Boson particle because theoretically it bestows mass on all other units in an atom, and they need it to unify gravity from Einstein's relativity model to the one that is supposed by quantum physics. Some are also thinking that they might find a little bit of God in there somewhere. But it's so obvious what's going to happen once they switch this thing on - it will smash these atoms only to find more stuff hanging-out in there. And what about God? What everyone appears to fail to notice is that God is already staring out at us.

The Temple of Jerusalem was an immense complex which was built up around one small, but very important room- the Holy of Holies (Kodesh Kodashim). Only once a year, on Yom Kippur, the high priest would enter this room and pray to God on Israel's behalf. It was in this very room that God was thought to reside, and it's interesting because the room was utterly bare. The Holy of Holies was empty.

In the five daily prayers, Muslims face the Kaaba in Mecca, Arabia. It is a cube-shaped stone structure that was originally built by Prophet Adam and later rebuilt by Prophet Abraham. Muslims believe that the Kaaba was the first house of worship on Earth dedicated to the worship of one god. Muslims do not worship the Kaaba. It serves as a central focal point for Muslims around the world, unifying them in worship and symbolizing their common belief, spiritual focus and direction. Interestingly, the inside of the Kaaba is empty.

The key concept of Zen is the 'emptiness' of Mahayana. A Zen Buddhist serves only to empty the self, so that a Great Union is formed with the emptiness of the Universe. This relationship exposes that which the mind percieves as empty is actually an empty awareness, or consciousness.

More than 99% of an atom is empty space, and less than 1% is actual matter. The atom looks solid because we are larger and percieve at a rate so slow that the atom appears to spin astronomically fast. It creates the illusion that objects (which are mostly an empty structure) appear solid to the observer. Perhaps science is making far too much importance of this tiny percentage of matter which we can see, but fails to acknowledge the implications of that emptiness which we cannot see; we dismiss it as 'nothing' because it is unquantifiable, but for this very same reason mystics throughout the centuries have beheld it as holy.

So maybe it's not another particle we need to explain the Universe to us. Is it possible that this empty awareness animates all relationships in the Universe from quarks all the way up to gravity on planets? It might pay for science to put down that hammer it wants to crack a walnut with, and start taking a better look at itself. The human mind is not infallible, it is a tool. Tools' sometimes get it wrong. I just want science to be sure of every possible outcome before they pull that lever and send protons whizzing round a ring at nearly the speed of light; if not just for those people of Geneva who are trying to sleep well at night but everybody on the planet.

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