Torah and Veda are two ancient sources of spirituality still vibrant today. Torah is conveyed through the sacred language of Hebrew and Veda is conveyed through the sacred language of Sanskrit. The focus here is on meditation, mysticism, philosophy, psychology and the underlying spirituality that has been incorporated into religions, and not as much on the religions themselves. Your comments and posts are welcome.

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Quote of the Week 379 - Song

Those who wish to sing always find a song.

--Swedish Proverb


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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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