THE PHYSICS OF MYSTICISM
August 20, 2008
|GREETINGS DEAR FRIENDS
Hope you're enjoying your summer.
This newsletter features the first in a series of articles on The Physics of mysticism, exploring the parallels between what the ancient mystics have been telling us, and what modern scientists are telling us about the nature of our universe. This segment looks at the idea of the unity of all things.
This newsletter is also announcing an exciting Toronto performance by the Bhadra Collective and guests.
If you'd like to access past newsletters containing the ongoing articles on Magic, the Power of Mantra and other topics, please visit the 'newsletter' page of my website, whyislife.com
Peace and love, Dennis
THE PHYSICS OF MYSTICISM (Part 1)
- The Unity of All Things -
" For us believing physicists, the distinction between past, present and future is only an illusion, even if a stubborn one."
- Albert Einstein
There are some interesting parallels between what ancient mysticism and modern physics have to say regarding the nature of reality. Some of these are easy to see. Both the scientific and the mystical perspectives allude to the idea that much of what we think of as reality is an illusion. There is no matter as we know it. There is no time, flowing in a constant, linear way. There is no such thing as empty space. For a body floating in space there is no up, no down. We can't determine what is moving and what is at rest. Relative to something else, everything is in motion. Any chunk of matter, when sufficiently magnified, reveals a frenzy of activity, with energy continually changing form. Empty space, when magnified sufficiently, reveals the same thing. It must be clear by now that we can't rely on our five-sensory experience to see through the illusion. In the next few newsletters we'll discuss the parallels between science and mysticism.
There is an old African word, 'ubuuntu', which means 'all is connected'. One of the most clearly stated tenets of mysticism and the very essence of eastern philosophy is the idea of the unity of all things. We are all part of a greater whole that some people like to call 'God'. This is alluded to in the Christian tradition as the concept of the Corpus Christi, the idea that we are all 'cells' in the body of Christ. In one form or another, many mystical traditions embrace the idea that the universe is a vast, interconnected web. Everything within the web is cut from the same fabric, different aspects of the same thing. Every part of the universe contains the whole; the universe is a system of systems, a hierarchy of wholes, which make up the ultimate whole. This holographic image of reality is represented by the 'flower of life' in sacred geometry and by the granddaddy of all mystics, Hermes Trismegistus who said, "As above, so below." (More on this in a subsequent section.)
Science has arrived at much the same conclusion. In particle physics, each particle 'contains' other particles. The forces holding particles together are themselves particles. Although these things can be very difficult to envision, they can be expressed mathematically. At the sub-atomic level, solid matter becomes a 'probability' of interconnected patterns of energy. All matter, all forces, are interdependent and composed of the same substance. What that substance actually is, we don't know. We do know that it can exist as both matter and energy.
According to eastern mysticism, the observer's consciousness is an integral part of the perceived reality. No reality can exist separate from the self. The reality we perceive is continually created and shaped by the collective mind, of which we are all a part. Scientific thought is headed in this direction. With his 'principal of uncertainty, physicist Werner Heisenberg acknowledged that no observation is totally objective. The presence of the experimenter affects the outcome of the experiment. Science is in accord with mysticism when it admits that we can know nothing with true certainty, largely because we cannot separate ourselves from whatever it is we are trying to observe. While trying to make other sub-points in the rest of this section, this notion of the underlying unity of all things keeps recurring.
The mystical traditions recognize that our perceived reality is an illusion made up of a series of dualities which obscure a 'truer' perception of the way things work. Again, all polar opposites are aspects of the same phenomenon. The mystics tell us that we can't see the underlying unity beyond these dualities using only our five senses and our left brain logic. Modern physics seems to be in agreement. There are many paradoxes in physics, such as the wave-particle duality; force and matter as different aspects of the same phenomenon; at the sub-atomic level matter is both continuous and discontinuous, both destructible and indestructible. Niels Bohr, the famous physicist, recognized the similarity between the uncertainty principle and the Taoist principle of yin-yang. When he was knighted in 1947 for his contributions to science, he incorporated the yin-yang symbol into his family coat of arms.
In the next newsletter, part 2 of The Physics of Mysticism will deal with 'Space and Time'.
CELEBRATE THE RETURN OF THE GODDESS
dennis gaumond and the BHADRA
featuring: a 9-piece band, chant music, world-beat grooves, exotic instruments, trance/dance.
with special guests:
Gary Diggins - didgeridoo, trumpet/flugelhorn
Prince Bamidele Bajowa - talking drum
Pam Gerrand, Gina Tome and Monk Mann
and a performance by
Ishra and the Invoketress Dance Theatre
when: Saturday, Sept. 13, doors open at 7pm, concert at 8pm
where: The Music Gallery, 127 John St., TORONTO, ON.
why: To celebrate the dawning of a new era as feminine energy restores balance to
cost: at the door - $22 or
advance - $18.00 - tickets available at Penguin Records, 256A Queen St. W.,
Soundscapes, 572 College St., or through TICKETWEB - CLICK HERE:
GUELPH CHANT CLUB
DATE CITY TOPIC VENUE ______________________________________________________________________
WED., OCT. 1/08 Guelph, Guelph Unitarian Church
7:45 to 9:30 pm Ontaro Chant Club
The Unitarian Church is on the corner of
Harris and York Streets in Guelph.
For more Detailed directions, check out guelph-unitarians.com
There will be no chant club in september.
A DAY OF SACRED SOUND
A workshop with Dennis GaumondSunday, September 21, from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm
Location: Gary Diggins' Studio,
219 St. Clair W.,
(For a map, click the link below)MAP
The ancients understood that sound has the power to heal and transform. Today more and more people are discovering that the use of sound is a joyful way to affect health, stress levels and mental attitudes. This workshop provides an opportunity for participants to both learn about and experience the transformational power of sound. It will be divided into 2 segments:
DIVINE ENERGY AND THE BIG SHIFT: 10:00 AM TO 12:30 PM
The morning segment will help us to understand why sound has this power. We will learn to see reality in a new way, understanding it in terms of energy and vibration. From this new perspective, many things will start to make more sense, including the healing process and the power of sound. We will begin to see ourselves as electro-magnetic beings whose actions emit a negative or positive charge. We will also get a better understanding of the great changes that are affecting the planet and its inhabitants at this time - a phenomenon sometimes called the Big Shift.
SACRED SOUND WORKSHOP: 1:30 PM TO 5:30 PM.
Spend the afternoon in a beautiful environment, enveloped in Sacred Sound. Learn to use your voice to affect your health, stress levels and mental attitudes. Enjoy this introduction to the ancient art of overtone singing. The soothing tones of the crystal bowls will massage your spirit and carry you into a meditative trance. Simple drumming exercises are relaxing and fun and can help to entrain us to the natural rhythms of the Earth. (drums will be provided or bring your own) Learn about the power of mantra and chanting from a variety of cultural traditions. We will create a frequency of love, peace and gratitude to heal ourselves and to send out to the Universe.
*No previous musical experience is required.
Even if you don't consider yourself a singer or musician you will be delighted at your ability to join with others to create powerful sound through toning and chanting.
Cost: Morning segment - $30
Afternoon segment - $60
Both segments - $75 (bring a lunch)
(these prices include GST)
SPACE IS LIMITED - Register now or buy advance tickets at TICKETWEB:
Register by phone - 519 763-0004
by email - email@example.com