A physicist is just an atom’s way of looking at itself.
Tracks made by atomic particles from a particle accelerator, a device that speeds up the particles. The eye can’t see protons, electrons, and other subatomic particles, but a camera records their frothy wakes in a chamber of liquefied neon and hydrogen at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois. Physicists study the tracks to learn about the characteristics of the particles that produced them. –National Geographic 1978
All things in this creation exist within you, and all things in you exist in creation; there is no border between you and the closest things, and there is no distance between you and the farthest things, and all things, from the lowest to the loftiest, from the smallest to the greatest, are within you as equal things.
In one atom are found all the elements of the earth; in one motion of the mind are found the motions of all the laws of existence; in one drop of water are found the secrets of all the endless oceans; in one aspect of you are found all the aspects of existence.
are too small
to hold me,
I am so vast
In the Infinite
for the Uncreated
it undoes me
wider than wide
is too narrow
You know this well,
you who are also there
the world's things
Then the Naked
can grow wide,
–Hadewijch, l or ll (13th Century)
Jane Hirshfield version
Women in Praise of the Sacred:
43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women
The little space within the heart is
as great as the vast universe.The heavens and the earth are there,
and the sun and the moon and the stars.Fire and lightening and winds are there,
and all that now is and all that is not.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gateWhen the last of earth left to discoverIs that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest riverThe voice of the hidden waterfallAnd the children in the apple-treeNot known, because not looked forBut heard, half-heard, in the stillnessBetween two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always—A condition of complete simplicity(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well andAll manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-foldedInto the crowned knot of fireAnd the fire and the rose are one.
–T. S. Eliot
So a little spring prays to the ocean, so the beating heart prays to the heart of the universe, so the little word prays to the great Logos, so a dust speck prays to the earth, so the earth prays to the cosmos, so the one prays to the billion, so human love prays to God’s love, so always prays to never, so the moment prays to eternity, so the snowflake prays to winter, so the frightened beast prays to the forest silence, so uncertainty prays to beauty itself.
And all these prayers are heard.
In the Great River: A Notebook
What we observe as material bodies and forces are nothing but shapes and variations in the structure of space. Particles are just appearances.
The world is given to me only once, not one existing and one perceived. Subject and object are only one. The barrier between them cannot be said to have broken down as a result of recent experience in the physical sciences, for this barrier does not exist.
By itself nothing has existence.
Everything needs its own absence.
To be is to be distinguishable, to be here and not there,
to be now and not then, to be thus and not otherwise.
Like water is shaped by the container, so is everything
determined by conditions (gunas).
When I was the stream, when I was the
forest, when I was still the field,
when I was every hoof, foot,
fin and wing, when I
was the sky
no one ever asked me did I have a purpose, no one ever
wondered was there anything I might need,
for there was nothing
I could not
It was when I left all we once were that
the agony began, the fear and questions came,
and I wept, I wept. And tears
I had never known
So I returned to the river, I returned to
the mountains. I asked for their hand in marriage again,
I begged—I begged to wed every object and creature,
and when they accepted,
God was ever present in my arms.
And He did not say,
“Where have you been?”
For then I knew my soul—every soul—
has always held Him.
Daniel Ladinsky version
So the subatomic particles we see in nature, the quartz, the electrons are nothing but musical notes on a tiny vibrating string.
What is physics? Physics is nothing but the laws of harmony that you can write on vibrating strings.
What is chemistry? Chemistry is nothing but the melodies you can play on interacting vibrating strings.
What is the universe?
The universe is a symphony of vibrating strings and then what is the mind of God? Its the cosmic music resonating through eleven dimensional hyperspace.
... a man can know nothing by himself, save after a natural manner, which is only that which he attains by means of the senses. For this cause he must have the phantasms and the forms of objects present in themselves and in their likenesses; otherwise it cannot be, for, as philosophers say: Ab objecto et potentia paritur notitia. That is: From the object that is present and from the faculty, knowledge is born in the soul.
Wherefore, if one should speak to a man of things which he has never been able to understand, and whose likeness he has never seen, he would have no more illumination from them whatever than if naught had been said of them to him.
–John of the Cross
(1542 - 1591)
I see nothing but Becoming.
Be not deceived!
It is the fault of your limited outlook and not the fault of the essence of things if you believe that you see firm land anywhere in the ocean of Becoming and Passing.
You need names for things, just as if they had a rigid permanence, but the very river in which you bathe a second time is no longer the same one which you entered before.
The mouse-soul is nothing but a nibbler.
To the mouse is given a mind proportionate to its need,
for without need, the Almighty God
does not give anything to anyone.
Need, then, is the net for all things that exist:
man has tools in proportion to his need.
So, quickly, increase your need, needy one,
that the sea of abundance may surge up in loving kindness.
You ask me how to pray to someone who is not.
All I know is that prayer constructs a velvet bridge
And walking it we are aloft, as on a springboard,
Above landscapes the color of ripe gold
Transformed by a magic stopping of the sun.
That bridge leads to the shore of Reversal
Where everything is just the opposite and the word 'is'
Unveils a meaning we hardly envisioned.Notice: I say we; there, every one, separately,
Feels compassion for others entangled in the flesh
And knows that if there is no other shore
We will walk that aerial bridge all the same.
Robert Hass translation
I used to sit in the cafe of existentialism,
lost in a blue cloud of cigarette smoke,
contemplating the suicide a tiny Frenchman
might commit by leaping from the rim of my brandy glass.
I used to hunger to be engaged
as I walked the long shaded boulevards,
eyeing women of all nationalities,
a difficult paperback riding in my raincoat pocket.
But these days I like my ontology in an armchair,
a rope hammock, or better still, a warm bath
in a cork-lined room--disengaged, soaking
in the calm, restful waters of speculation.
Afternoons, when I leave the house
for the woods, I think of Aquinas at his desk,
fingers interlocked upon his stomach,
as he deduces another proof for God's existence,
intricate as the branches of these bare November trees.
And as I kick through the leaves and snap
the windfallen twigs, I consider Leibniz on his couch
reaching the astonishing conclusion that monads,
those windowless units of matter, must have souls.
But when I finally reach the top of the hill
and sit down on the flat tonnage of this boulder,
I think of Spinoza, most rarefied of them all.
I look beyond the treetops and the distant ridges
and see him sitting in a beam of Dutch sunlight
slowly stirring his milky tea with a spoon.
Since dawn he has been at his bench grinding lenses,
but now he is leaving behind the saucer and table,
the smokey chimneys and tile roofs of Amsterdam,
even the earth itself, pale blue, aqueous,
cloud-enshrined, titled back on the stick of its axis.
He is rising into that high dome of thought
where loose pages of Shelley float on the air,
where all the formulas of calculus unravel,
tumbling in the radiance of a round Platonic sun--
that zone just below the one where angels accelerate
and the ampitheatrical rose of Dante unfolds.
And now I stand up on the ledge to salute you, Spinoza,
and when I whistle to the dog and start down the hill,
I can feel the thick glass of your eyes upon me
as I step from the rock to glacial rock, and on her
as she sniffs her way through the leaves,
her tail straight back, her body low to the ground.
The Art of Drowning
These forms we seem to be are cups floating in an ocean
of living consciousness.They fill and sink without leaving an arc of bubbles or any good-bye spray. What we are is that ocean, too near to see, though we swim in it and drink it in.
Don't be a cup with a dry rim, or someone who rides all night and never knows the horse beneath his thighs, the surging that carries him along.
cup and ocean
Mathnawi 1, 1109-16
Coleman Barks version
The tiny particles which form the vast universe are not tiny at all.
Neither is the vast universe vast.
These are notions of the mind, which is like a knife,
always chipping away at the Tao,
trying to render it graspable and manageable.
But that which is beyond form is ungraspable, and
that which is beyond knowing is unmanageable.
There is, however, this consolation:
She who lets go of the knife will find the Tao at her
Hua Hu Ching
What birds plunge through is not the intimate space,in which you see all Forms intensified.(In the Open, denied, you would lose yourself,would disappear into that vastness.)Space reaches from us and translates Things:to become the very essence of a tree,throw inner space around it, from that spacethat lives in you.
Encircle it with restraint.It has no limits. For the first time, shaped
in your renouncing, it becomes fully tree.
–Rainer Maria Rilke
Gabriel Caffrey version
Within heaven and earth, inside all the cosmos, there is contained a singular treasure concealed in the form-mountain—the numinous radiance of sentient things. Utterly empty, still, and difficult to perceive within or without, it is styled the “mystery of mysteries.” Its skill reaches out beyond the [celestial palace] of Purple Subtlety, and its function resides in the very midst of empty non-being. Unmoving among manifold transformations, it is solitary and nondual. Its voice brings forth wondrous reverberations; its form spews forth iridescent displays. But look as you will, it has no locus; it is known to us as the emptiness of emptiness.
僧肇 –Sengzhao, Pao-tsang lun
(Treasure Store Treatise)
Rest from twistedness, distortion, deformations.For an hour you will be me; that is, the other
half of yourself. The half you lost.What you burnt, broke, and tore is still in my hands: I am the keeper of fragile things
and I have kept of you what is indissoluble.
Between the poles of the conscious and the unconscious, there has the mind made a swing:
Thereon hang all beings and all worlds, and that swing never ceases its sway.
Millions of beings are there: the sun and the moon in their courses are there:
Millions of ages pass, and the swing goes on.
All swing! the sky and the earth and the air and the water; and the Lord Himself taking form:
And the sight of this has made Kabîr a servant.
Song of Kabîr
Rabindranath Tagore translation
The world's spiritual geniuses seem to discover universally that the mind's muddy river, this ceaseless flow of trivia and trash, cannot be dammed, and that trying to dam it is a waste of effort that might lead to madness. Instead you must allow the muddy river to flow unheeded in the dim channels of consciousness; you raise your sights; you look along it, mildly, acknowledging its presence without interest and gazing beyond it into the realm of the real where subjects and objects act and rest purely, without utterance.
Put thoughts to rest.
The real being, with no status, is always going in and out through the doors of your face.
If you want to be free, get to know your real self. It has no form, no appearance, no root, no basis, no abode, but is lively and buoyant. It responds with versatile facility, but its function cannot be located. Therefore when you look for it you become further from it, when you seek it you turn away from it all the more.
Just put thoughts to rest and don't seek outwardly anymore. When things come up, then give them your attention; just trust what is functional in you at present, and you have nothing to be concerned about.
If you want to perceive and understand objectively, just don't allow yourself to be confused by people. Detach from whatever you find inside or outside yourself – detach from religion, tradition, and society, and only then will you attain liberation. When you are not entangled in things, you pass through freely to autonomy.