One thing you have to say about Democritus…the man had balls (author lamely attempts to interject humor into serious essay). These smooth round balls were atoms of water. When you separated water, the balls rolled over each other, so there was no need of cutting. This one is iron, also a ball, but these balls have spikes. So the balls can’t roll over each other, you have to cut iron, but when you do, you are cutting the spikes and not the balls. The balls, the atoms, were indivisible, indestructible and the ultimate foundation of the universe.
Here the atom is no longer indivisible. It now contains three particles: positively charged protons and neutral neutrons, which make up the nucleus, circled by negatively charged particles called electrons. And on many of these charts you will see a notation stating that the size of the nucleus in relation to the atom, and the size of the electron in relation to the nucleus are not in true proportion. Why is that? Because, if the nucleus were the size of a pea, the atom would be the size of a race track; a pea inside a race track, or inside a sphere whose diameter was equal to the length of a race track. And the electron, being one thousandth the size of the nucleus and one hundred millionth the size of the entire atom, would not be seen at all. But as tiny as these subatomic particles were, they now replaced the atom as the indivisible, indestructible and ultimate foundation of the universe.
Yet if they are truly point particles, how could they be made of any material? How could they truly be a point? Isn’t a point an idealized notion that couldn’t really have a physical reality? A point has no dimensions. It can be represented by a dot, but a dot is not a point. The tiniest dot has some diameter, otherwise it wouldn’t exist. But if it had a diameter it wouldn’t really be a point. A point can only really exist in our imagination. And if it were a point, how could it spin or have mass or be made of any matter whatsoever?
So here we have an apple,
made of many, many atoms,
which in turn are made of
electrons, protons and neutrons; and the protons and neutrons are, in turn, made of quarks; and the quarks and
electrons are not points, but have some tiny dimension within which we find these strangely shaped loops of vibrating strings.
So what are these strings made out of? No one knows, of course, since they are way, way, way too tiny to be seen. To give you an idea of just how tiny they are, think about this. If an atom, which we already know is unimaginably small, if an atom were blown up to be the size of the known universe, 95 billion light years long, each light year being almost six trillion miles, 550 billion, trillion miles, so that it would take light, which circumnavigates our globe seven times a second, it would take light, traveling at that speed, ninety-five billion years to cross the universe; if an atom were blown up to be that size; then one of those loops of string blown up at the same ratio as the atom, would be the size.... of a small tree. And the theory is that these strings are made of some unknown and unobserved substance that really is, as opposed to the atoms, and the protons and neutrons, and the quarks and electrons, that preceded them, the truly ultimate and indestructible foundation of the universe and the answer to everything.
And the understanding gleaned from these searches done all over the world through many centuries, was, although expressed through many different languages and cultures, the same understanding. This was monistic dualism; from one comes two and from two comes everything else. That one has been referred to as the Atman, the Cosmic Consciousness, God, Infinity, Hashem, Allah and by many other names. The names of course don’t matter. The first line of the Tao Te Ching is “the name that can be named is not the nameless name” which means that whatever the One is, it is not a name; it can be sensed, experienced to a degree, but not defined. It is too fine to be defined. From one comes two; and those two have been referred to as In and Yo, Shiva and Shakti, the Celestial and the Terrestrial, Tirawa and Akira, Baqa and Fana, Yin and Yang, Father Sky and Mother Earth, etc.
This is a particle and this is a wave. The particle is a yang formation and the wave is a yin formation. And since the wave is yin, the expansive, dispersive power is dominant and the yang energy is dispersed into a stream of
energy packets. The wave consists of that stream of yang energy packets with the yin energy spiraling around those packets.
How does this wave become yangized? How does it collapse in from being a wave to being a particle? Because that’s what happens when we focus on it. We collapse waves into particles. That’s what living beings do. Our brains and nervous systems are set up to carve out a particular world of specific objects and experiences from a world of wave potentials. We each delineate a particular human experience, as a caterpillar, with very different sensory equipment, delineates a particular caterpillar experience. Western scientists don’t see their complicity in this. They think they are revealing an objective world of particles, but their very instruments of detection and their human brains and nervous systems are carving out a seeming world of particles from a reality of waves.
Let me give you an example. Let’s say you’re at a party, and you’re very relaxed. Your body is in a wave state, which it always is, by the way, when you are not focussed on it, and your are effortlessly responding, mingling, with the thoughts and the jokes and the vibrations of the people you are talking to, the music being played, etc. Unbeknownst to you, someone is looking at you from across the room. This person is objectifying, or particularizing you. They are not looking at you as a boundless, fluid wave, but as an object, a physical body which they may consider to be an object of attraction or disdain. You, experiencing your body as a responsive wave, suddenly become aware of this person’s attention. The observer’s yangizing focus on you, makes you contract. Suddenly you are not experiencing your body as a wave, but as an object. You are aware of your body as a thing, with weight and contours. Your body becomes a wall separating you from the party which is on the other side of the wall. You may arrange your body to encourage a positive or a negative response from the observer, but suddenly you find yourself arranging this thing, your body, to make different impressions rather than not thinking about your body and allowing it to respond and intermingle wavelike with whatever vibrational stimuli are coming at it.
At any given moment, including right now, I am particularizing whatever it is that I am focussing on. This is the content of my experience. The context of my experience, everything that I am not focussing on, but is somehow impacting my experience, is a mingled wave of many parts, including the temperature of the room, body sensations, memories and relationships; a whole host of things that merge into one subliminal, contextual wave that effects me as a wave, until or unless I focus on any one of those elements, at which point it emerges into consciousness from a wave into a particular memory, thought or body sensation, at which point whatever I was previously focussed on, merges back into the contextual wave state.
It's like you're hosting a party for your eight year old. There are thirty kids in attendance and they are everywhere: all through the yard, the attic, the basement, every nook and cranny of your property. You want to take a photo, so you go all through the house and the yard and in a very commanding (yang) voice, you summon every one to a single spot in the living room; put your kid in the center; take one shot that squeezes all thirty of them into the photo; and before you can say "thank you," all thirty kids have dispersed back all over the house and the yard again.
As usual, your comments are always welcome.