Sunday, August 06, 2006

the promise of unlimited potential

Let's talk about the universe here for a minute....

I recently read Deepak Chopra's The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence. While the book was a little too new-agey for me practically, I thought his introductory examination of the universe was really interesting.

Deepak argues that there are three realms of existence. The Physical, the Quantum, and the Nonlocal. The physical realm contains everything we, as human beings, can experience with our 5 senses. Mass, objects, the third dimension...this is all physical. The Quantum Domain contains energy and information. Everything we see in the physical work is a manifestation of the Quantum Domain (think equals mass times the speed of light). I never really thought much about subatomic particles moving at the speed of light, but it makes sense. The universe is made up of information contained in energy vibrating at different speeds.

This leaves us swimming around in a big bowl of energy; we are all expressions of communal energy and information. This connects everything. When I sit on my couch, it feels solid. We are two distinct bodies of mass, my couch and I. However, the atoms spinning around that make up my couch are not really solid and the atoms spinning around that make up my body aren't solid either. So, when I sit down on the couch, the molecules of energy and information that comprise what I perceive as my ass are actually blending a little bit with the energy and information that I perceive as the couch, flickering in and out of the speed of light.

Our human minds form perceptions about our bodies and the physical world. The mind comes from the third realm, the nonlocal domain. This is where information and energy emerge from possibility. Deepak argues that the most fundamental level of nature is pure potential, existing outside of space and time. The nonlocal intelligence binds quantum particles, it organizes the bowl of energy into entities we recognize. It accounts for the synchronicity that makes my heart pump blood to my toes, that compels geese to fly south for the winter, that moderates the speed at which our planet orbits the sun.

When I was a little girl, I used to lay in bed at the night and think about the construction of the universe. I couldn't wrap my brain around what existed beyond the stars. I understood the concept of the big bang, I understood that a lot of people believed God was the impetus behind the big bang--that part made sense. What I didn't understand was where the big bang took place. What held that spark of energy? If the universe is a thing that exists in space and time, then what's outside of it? Where does the universe reside? This became a source of anxiety for me as a kid and I was obsessed by it for a while. The visual I would conjure-up of black holes and exploding stars still finds it's way into my dreams.

Deepak says, I tend to agree (though I'm certainly no expert on quantum physics), that outside of the physical universe exists a field of unlimited potential, a nonlocal intelligence. This is the closet I've been able to come in understanding and believing a concept of God. This, I think, is a good jumping-off point in trying to figure out the nature of the soul and what our connection to this infinite potential is and can be. These are the things with which I keep my friends up in late-night conversations...

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