Have you every tried swimming upstream against the current?
You most likely found that it took every ounce of your energy just to stay where you are without slipping backward.
The whole attempt is remarkably inefficient, because you are going AGAINST the flow, rather than with it.
The question is… does it have to be this way? Are we being inefficient because we might not be aware of how to work or dance with this cosmic energy?
Things are not as they appear to be. The world is not made of things as we normally think of them… rather everything is a continuous flow out of nothing.
The ancient Chinese called it the Tao (the way). Mother Nature describes it in very paradoxical language:
The Tao is empty
When utilized, it is not filled up
So deep! It seems to be the source of all things
It blunts the sharpness
Unravels the knots
Dims the glare
Mixes the dusts
... for more Tao Classics click here...
The pioneering Austrian Physicist, Dr. Fritjof Capra, studied at the University of California in the late 1960’s and got caught up in the counterculture, when the Hare Krishna chanters first made their imprint on American culture.
He had a mystical experience on a beach that opened him up to a whole new model of reality.
I was sitting by the ocean…watching the waves rolling in and feeling the rhythm of my breathing, when I suddenly became aware of my whole environment as being engaged in a gigantic cosmic dance.
Being a physicist, I knew that the sand, rocks, water, and air around me were made of vibrating molecules and atoms, and that these consisted of particles which interacted with one another by creating and destroying other particles. I knew also that the earth's atmosphere was continually bombarded by showers of "cosmic rays," particles of high energy undergoing multiple collisions as they penetrated the air...
As I sat on that beach…I "saw" cascades of energy coming down from outer space, in which particles were created and destroyed in rhythmic pulses; I "saw" the atoms of the elements and those of my body participating in this cosmic dance of energy; I felt its rhythm and I "heard" its sound, and at that moment I knew that this was the Dance of Shiva, the Lord of Dancers worshiped by the Hindus. Original source....
Dr. Capra had fallen under the growing influence of Eastern mysticism emerging on such leading campuses as Cal Berkeley when the image of Lord Shiva, came to mind. Shiva is often captured in a gorgeous bronze statue dancing, holding his arms up high in syncopation to the rhythm of the Universe.
It is believed that every pulse of life is an expression of His movement through time, transforming the visible into the invisible, and the invisible into the visible. Everything is in perpetual flow. There is only the dance.
Dr. Capra then seized on the metaphor of the Tao for his runaway best seller, The Tao of Physics, in which he first disclosed the new paradigm (or model) of quantum physics that nothing is really “out there” in the conventional sense. That all is pattern and interrelationships, or interconnections.
He drew on extensive research into particle physics where infinitesimal patterns collide with each other in high-energy tunnels, leaving only a pattern of fireworks.
We never actually see the actual particles, themselves, only their footprints.
The traditional notion that everything is made out of atoms and molecules, interacting like billiard balls, with electrons rotating around the nucleus as planets around the sun, falls apart as an adequate description of the physical universe at its most fundamental level.
Dr. Capra, in his best-selling follow up, The Turning Point, maintains...
At the subatomic level, matter does not exist with certainty at definite places, but rather shows “tendencies to exist” and atomic events do not occur with certainty at definite times and in definite ways, but rather show “tendencies to occur.”
In 1990, Dr. Capra released one of the most provocative indie films ever made, now playable on YouTube, Mindwalk, where a poet, politician and physicist walk around the enchanting medieval island of Mont Saint-Michel, just off the coast of France.
In the movie, they dare to explore ultimate questions like, “What Is Reality? and “What Is Life?”. In the impassioned discussion, it is revealed that the so-called particles that come to mind are actually removed from one another in “vast regions of empty space.”
It turns out that the only thing holding so-called “reality” together is interconnections. This is true, not only for rocks and water, but also for life, itself.
Everything is related to everything else in an infinitely complex web of vibration, much like a stupendous cosmic dance.
Mindwalk goes on to explore the practical implications of this. The characters address the severity of our ecological crisis (today much more pressing), wondering what action an American President could possibly take to resolve these issues.
The protagonist, Sonya Hoffman (Liv Ullman), is an expatriate physicist from Germany who had dropped out when the US military appropriated her laser device designed for medicine for use in the Star Wars program. She continually harps on a crisis of perception.
We simply don’t see things for the way they really are, because we habitually dwell on the individual parts, mistaking them for the whole. We literally can’t see the forest for the trees.
Dr. Capra firmly believes that it is possible to see the whole, itself, as the fundamental reality, with all the individual objects, whether rocks, trees, animals or people, as patterns in the Infinite. Human being, conscious of being conscious, are able to see that their true identity is the Universe, itself. The Source of the Universe is expressing Himself through each of us AS US.
Dr. Chapra calls this, Systems Thinking, which, in subsequent years, has gained increasing recognition in both academic and professional circles, including fields as diverse as medicine and organizational change.
How does this impact us as individuals?
We too often go through life taking offense at other people, blaming them for making life hard. We think that we can fix it all by using force to stop it. We refuse to take responsibility, as it seems all too obvious to us that the other person is “out there.”
When we awaken to the truth that it is all “in here” (within), we can begin to smile and surrender to the way that it is, going with the flow.
If someone is upset with us, we can admit that we have something to do with it, that we inadvertently shaped his or her behavior. By eliminating all blame, we reduce the resistance. We align with the other person, much as an Aikido master, so that, should he come at us, we skillfully deflect and neutralize his energy.
When we really get it, not just in the head, but in the heart, we will stop swimming against the river and start going with the flow.
We will become much more efficient, getting much more done with a lot less effort. The Chinese have a word for this, Wu Wei, or effortless effort.
Related topic: Finding Inner Peace and Happiness
It is significant that Dr. Capra’s work has had a vast influence, shaping President Clinton’s thinking around “the new paradigm.” (Bill Clinton ran for President just a year or two after the release of the film. It is known that he is highly literate.)
Just as we once thought the sun revolved around the earth, and then accepted the opposite, we can shift over from feeling we are a useless spec of dust in the outer world, to the realization that the entire Universe comes out of the totality of our being, that nothing happens totally by chance.