Thursday, 4 November 2010

Are We Ready?

"It's a waste of energy to be angry with a man who behaves badly, just as it is to be angry with a car that won't go."
~~Bertrand Russell

Nowadays, the idea that energy could be a substance is actively discouraged, and very often ridiculed. However, reducing the term "energy" to what amounts to nothing more than an abstract concept, is really only a recent development in terms of human history. Before the advent of modern theory, our knowledge was based on traditions, stemming back to ancient times, which percieved energy as a substance. Indeed, it was supposed that the entire Universe is immersed in it. In an enlightening article taken from Centerpointe's newsletter "Mind Chatter" - "What is Reality (and why should you care?)" - Bill Harris, writes a fascinating account of how the mystics came to interpret "reality." As Harris explains, what the mystics percieved as energy, also had a lot to do with what they saw as the Divine. Below, is an extract taken from the article:

"For thousands of years, mystics have said that there is one energy in the Universe, that the Universe and everything in it is the play, the dance, the vibration, of that one energy. Underneath the seeming multiplicity, they say, everything is made of the same substance. This energy, they say, is everywhere and "everywhen." This principle is sometimes described as Omnipresence or God. The Hindus and Buddhists call this principle, Sat-one energy, everywhere, making up everything, always, past, present, and future.

Quantum mechanical physicists, for several decades, have been saying the same thing. They notice that on the sub-atomic level, particles come into being, seemingly out of nothing, and dissolve, and disappear back into nothing, that two or more particles collide, and one, two, three or more particles, of a different kind, appear from the collision, or all the particles cease to exist. There is a "something" that everything comes out of, and returns to, and which makes up, or is the background of, everything.

The mystics, however, went one step further. In adddition to noting that this one energy is Omnipresent, they also said something else that I think is rather startling. They said that this one energy is aware of itself being everything and everywhere and everywhen: that it is conscious, that it has consciousness. The mystics called this second characteristic of reality Chit."

I suspect that one of the reasons as to why modern theory is so reluctant to imagine energy as a substance, is because admission immediately arouses unwelcome religious fervour. Science wants only to deal with the stuff in the Universe that it can quantify, and substantiate - it's not overly concerned with an invisible, intangible God, nor for that matter, any unseen, immaterial, imponderable substances which might, or might not be energy, or consciousness, or whatever. To science, the questions and answers to these concepts are irrelevant - mere distractions from the job at hand. Entering philosophical and theological discourse will quite often do nothing to enhance their sums.

If science were ever tempted to admit energy as a substance, conceding to the idea that it can be quantified in someway, it would fling the door wide open to suggestions that the stuff of energy, which it is weighing, measuring, and collecting, comes very close to being the pure substance of God. It would allow practically every person on the planet to point out to scientists, that the substance of energy, which they are pouring from their flasks into test tubes, also amounts to unequivocal proof in the existence of God. Now, it is not simply energy which we can reach out and touch, all with our very own fingers, but God's personal Being.

I suspect that there are some physicists who are more than familiar with the God-energy conundrum, but are hesitant to openly discuss it - not because they are wilfully obstructive, or even particularly dispassionate - but because they are aware of the chain of events such an admission will unleash. The question which rises to the forefront most is not: is science willing to admit to the existence of God? The question we should really be asking is: is humanity ready to recieve all that power?

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