Friday, November 20, 2015

Love and the universe

 Stone, Confucian Temple, Shanghai
 photograph by the author

  Real love is the basis of all, the foundations, the Source... It was by love that Jesus performed miracles... All accumulated vibrations create a current. This current brings the force of love. 

Real love is a cosmic force which goes through us. If we crystallize it, it becomes a power—the greatest power in the world.

—Gurdjieff, Wartime Transcripts, meeting 18.October 21, Hong Kong

Caveat: as an editor, if anyone ever sent me an essay or a poem entitled "Love and the Universe," I would immediately discard it. 

The incredible hypocrisy with which I issue myself an exception on this title is quite simply appalling. You, as the reader, will just have to deal with my shamelessness.

 Today happens to be the fourth anniversary of my sister's death, but as most readers know, my diary tends to be written out weeks or months, which is in the nature of an enterprise that takes place almost daily but publishes every other day.

I've been pondering the nature of our existence. In particular, I am pondering the nature of what we are as spiritual beings in relationship to Einstein's ideas about the universe.  (This pondering led to an essay, Into the Mind of God.)

The nature of space time and our spiritual beings cannot be separated. We are intricately and irrevocably creatures of mathematics; we are, equally, creatures of a mystery we will never penetrate. 

The only weapons we will ever have to wield in that battle is our love for life, and for one another. 

One of the more common things that one hears say is, "I will love you forever." The implication is that love is somehow subject to time. In order to understand how this is not true — that love is eternal — one needs to consider the phenomenon of quantum entanglement. Read the link; because the principle is a very real one, an actual property of the universe. 

The phrase physicists use, quantum entanglement, poorly chosen, because what they are actually observing is quantum intimacy, which is a manifestation of Love. Because Love exists outside of time — it is eternal, without beginning and without end—of course it acts instantly over distances. This is not a surprise property of physics; it is an expected property of the eternal, and here we have a perfect example of the manifestation of the eternal, in its most literal sense — affecting matter itself.

I'm not sure how much more of an example people require of the existence of these forces; but if one insists on mislabeling it with incorrect scientific terms, of course, one can't identify it for what it is. In point of fact, Gurdjieff said many decades ago that human beings were unable to distinguish between radiation, which takes time to get from one place to another, and emanation, which is divine and acts instantly on all the matter that it encounters, regardless of distance. 

We should discuss this quality of intimacy a bit more, because it is the exact nature of the relationship God, who is Love, and his creation. Creation is intimately made of Love — that is, the finest particles of creation (quantum particles) are made of Love. Love has an eternal (outside of time) quality of attraction, that is, those things which love one another are mutually attracted. Readers who understand this matter for more than a theoretical point of view will begin to understand at once that this is why matter bends material of space time towards itself in an attractive force we call gravity. Gravity is, at its root, physical action of love on the material world, expressed at its most intimate level.

We are intimately bound to God, and to one another, through this attracting force of love which lies at the quantum root of the reality we inhabit. There is nothing spooky about quantum "entanglement;" if one understands why it is there, one realizes it is predictable and lawful, and exactly what ought to be there, exactly where it is. It is a foundational quality.

One might say that quantum intimacy, the eternal binding of forces together in relationship, expresses, in an unexpected way, the sentimental romanticism of the idea that we will love one another forever. Given that there can be no "forever" in Love, which exists both before time and after it (explaining, by the way, what came before the Big Bang) we cannot use that word. But we can say that God Loves the world eternally, and that Love is eternal. All of creation is invited to participate in the experience of that in so far as we come into intimate relationship with the material nature or creation.

Oddly enough, our organisms are built to do exactly that, because our sensory ability extends to levels we cannot imagine — even the quantum level. This is what Gurdjieff meant when he said that one can only sense the higher by reaching upward within consciousness in so far as one reaches lower into levels beneath oneself within that same range of consciousness. We are meant to build a ladder from stars to the quantum level; consciousness is an action that binds all of reality together.

 I know that it sounds presumptuous to say it, but this is not a grandiose theory with no means of proof. Proof lies in our ability to develop the organic sensation of being, and the organic sensation of feeling. We can combine these two organic sensations with the organic sensation of thinking, which is mindful or conscious thinking; and if the these three parts function properly, there is no doubt that we will fully sense questions I am discussing above in a very practical and direct manner.


Lee van Laer is a senior editor at Parabola Magazine.

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