Thursday, June 1, 2017

Quote of the Week 374 - Spirituality, Consciousness, Quantum Physics, Mystery, and More

No matter where you look, the longer and closer you observe, the more complicated and mysterious the world gets. If you take the Hubble telescope and look 13 billion light-years into space, does the universe become simpler? No, it becomes infinitely complex – so much so that we can’t explain some of what we find. And then, if you look into the microcosm, do things break down into simple elemental units? No. The closer we look, the more complexity we see, until the ordinary laws of physics no longer apply.

It’s the same with animal behavior, and with life in general. The closer we loo, the more complicated and mind-boggling it becomes, until we’re unable to comprehend what we’re seeing. That doesn’t mean its supernatural, just that it’s beyond our understanding. In that sense, for a lack of a better term, yes, there is something profoundly spiritual about it.

What’s most meaningful for me are those moments when I stop differentiating between myself and the deer, because our own identity – isn’t that a blessed relief? You stop being an egocentric individual, and you achieve the oneness that the Taoists talk about. That’s not an illusion. Whether you’re talking about religion or theoretical physics, it eventually comes to a point where everything is undifferentiated.

Quantum physicists are starting to look at consciousness as a force of nature, like gravity. I’m not a quantum physicist, so I’m cautious about how I represent the world. But, generally speaking, consciousness has an observable effect on the universe. For example, the act of observation itself can change a light wave to a particle. Even stranger, that light wave may be connected, by virtue of its origin, with another light wave ten light-years away, and because they are connected, the other light wave will collapse simultaneously. In other words, they are aware of each other in a manner that transcends space and time. A lot of physicists are suggesting that what we observe in the universe has come about through consciousness – that awareness is the ground for all being, not the result of it. The most elemental things would never have come into being without awareness.

What is consciousness? The word is so loaded. Everyone thinks they know what it means, when, in fact, no one – not neurobiologists, or psychologist, or biologists, or anthropologist, or physicists – has a good definition. It is an absolute mystery, as much as the moment before the Big Bang. But because we need to talk about these things, we are stuck with imperfect words like awareness and consciousness.

--Joe Hutto, wildlife researcher, as quoted in an interview by Al Kesselheim, published in The Sun magazine, May 2017, issue 497

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Quote of the Week 381 - Heaven

Heaven is all round,

Translated to sound.

--Michael Hedges



Announcing Publication of New Book, DIMENSIONS: Navigation the Spiritual Spectrum

I am pleased to announce the publication of my new book, DIMENSIONS: Navigating the Spiritual Spectrum, now available at Amazon, in paperback print and Kindle versions. It is easily found by searching my name, or by searching the full title and subtitle. You can also click on the image of the book in the right hand column of this blog.

What a great way to start the New Year, cozying up to a fire, real or imagined, and reading a new spiritually inspiring book, sure to become a classic!

DIMENSIONS: Navigating the Spiritual Spectrum

Grounded in the traditions of Torah and Veda, Steven J. Gold takes us on an oceanic tour of the depth and breadth of spiritual consciousness. Sharing personal stories and insights into various traditional scriptures as examples, he urges us to adopt a spiritual worldview, to “ponder infinity, awake and arise,” to “find your inspiration and follow it.”

“The chapters…are records of what happens when Steve’s right mind, and heart, are given full freedom to wander where they wish. As discoveries and correlations are made, his well-trained left mind and sharp wit give his observations shape and form…” – Brother Shankara, Resident Minister, Vedanta Center of Atlanta

“Universal Ice Cream: Dive deep into Steve’s wonderful book to help find your favorite flavor on the Spiritual Spectrum.” – Rabbi Mitch Cohen, Spiritual Leader, Congregation Shalom B’Harim, Dahlonega, GA

“Steven J. Gold’s Dimensions is an exploration of spirituality from the inside out. If you are looking for a guide through the pathless land of truth, read this book.” – Rabbi Rami Shapiro, author of The World Wisdom Bible

Interfaith/Inter-Spiritual Contemplative Groups

Please check out the following, which is an ongoing activity that may be of interest: