(For a more detailed look at the principles of volitional evolution go to: Chapter 24: Resetting The Compass. For futher thoughts about the nature of energy as both mutable and immutable, go to: Chapter 59: The Mutable Immutables.)
A friend of mine, whom I’ve known for nearly 30 years, came over to the house today. We had been trying to get together for some time, but it just wasn’t working out. He is also a teacher (in fact that is how I originally met him, taking a class of his in the early 1970s) and our schedules just would not work out.
Despite the fact that this is how the scheduling usually goes, we tend to just start talking as though we had recently finished a conversation. He has called me before, or vice versa, and without hello or any greeting, we’ll just start in with some question, usually concerning ethical, ontological (the nature of being), and/or epistemological issues (the origins and limits of thought) in some way or the other. The same often happens when we get together, and it sure did today.
We had intended to go on a hike, but he walked in and we started and so it went. Four hours later, he thought he’d better call his wife since he had told her that he’d be home at a certain time. Another two hours later, and we realized it had gotten dark and that he had better get going. We only once left the room we originally sat down in, neither of us knew what happened to the time.
I think that we have, since the beginning, used each other to sharpen our thoughts and fine tune our enquiries. I have always liked him, but have never let that stop me from wondering at times what in the world he was thinking or how he got there. I think it is the same for him. He is very well read, of very quick mind, and is committed to learning and deepening. The last part is what we definitely have in common. I’ve noticed over the years that he seems to like to play devil’s advocate, especially with someone who will challenge him. And that is where we went today.
What is it that is at the core, if there is such a thing, of being? I believe that we can call it energy and he seems to agree. We can leave words like consciousness, spirit, and God out of it for the moment.
Physics, as I understand it, seems to have discovered that energy is, and that it is conserved; we cannot add to or subtract from what exists in the universe (or multiverse or multiple universes, etc.). Energy, by definition, both emits and attracts, and it does so omni-directionally since it is not inherently channeled in just one direction.
This movement or vibration of energy is something that changes form as it goes (just look around at all of the different energy configurations). This would seem to mean that there is something that it creates as it goes (including form and space, which are also energy) or that it goes into something that already is (like space energy).
Today, at least as I read it, most physicists think that both matter and space are simply forms of energy. Before I understood that space was in fact energy, I’d wondered for years just where does space come from if it is separate from energy? The Big Bang exploded into what?
Now I tend to think that there never was the Big Bang, just a Big Bang. And furthermore, given today’s idea that the universe is not contracting, but is instead expanding–in fact it is expanding faster and faster–I wonder if a Big Bang can be caused by a rapidly expanding universe rather than just by one contracting in upon itself.
I’ve taken to calling the alternative to the Big Bang, the Big Rip or the Big Tear (take a paper towel and yank it apart–if you viewed the tear on a microscopic level, I’m sure you’d see an “explosion”). The idea of a Big Rip would require a universe that not only is expanding, but one that has energies expanding at different rates. I suspect that this goes along with the theories about the variable speed of light (e.g., see João Magueijo’s thoughts about the issue).
All right, let’s not get too crazy here, even if we are dealing with what is now becoming a paradox. So, we have an immutable presence, energy, that has an immutable characteristic, movement, both of which (energy and movement) are very mutable. This is the paradox of energy. We shall not create energy or movement, but we can and do create a particular kind of energy and a particular kind of movement, because we are energy which can and does affect energy (movement affecting movement).
If this is true, what kind of creating shall we do (I’m getting a headache here)? What if we changed our ethics and morals and wording from what is right and what is wrong, to what keeps energy freely flowing, or what is best for all of the energy in a particular context (particular energy and energy patterns affecting one another positively, keeping in mind the definition of positive energy–offering all, without bargaining, and asking only to be shared)?
Time for a story, which was the backdrop for our conversation.
Years ago I was doing landscape work when I heard the commotion of a man and a woman in a fight. Actually it was the man fighting the woman, literally beating on her. She was trying to protect and move, but he was relentless, pushing, shoving, and hitting her. At least this is how it was as they moved into my awareness. Now this is a dangerous situation, domestic disputes are one of the big things that get police killed, and I’m not only not a police person, I’m decidedly no hero. But this was summer and he was wearing shorts and a tee shirt which made it obvious that he was not carrying a weapon.
All right, chalk one for my side. I also know that I don’t have to get into his face, I can stand away (10 or 12 feet will do nicely) and that I can run really fast when I’m scared, especially if I’ve got a 12-foot head start (#2 for me). I further know that if I run and he chases me, she gets a chance to get away (#3 for me), that if I just ask him a question, like “mind if I ask what is going on?,” he will likely answer that it is none of my business, which is likely to turn his attention to me and not to her (#4 for me), and that I can be very unassuming and answer, without challenging his authority, that he has kind of made it public and therefore everybody’s business which is likely to change his stimulus/response pattern while he tries to figure out what is going on here (#5 for me).
In fact, this is exactly how it went. So, for that moment (whatever he did later I don’t know), the best happened that could happen, at least to my perception (though I could have used some Depends®).
My friend asked me about right and wrong.
I couldn’t answer, I don’t know about right and wrong.
He didn’t like it. Wasn’t it wrong to be hitting the lady and didn’t I go confront the situation because of that?
Ahhh, now this is a problem.
I answered that I went over there because of the three of us and not just her. If I had only considered her energy and had gone to “save” her, I might not have done the best I could because I would have excluded both his and my energy. And, I might have also created the disservice of making myself right, which could have added arrogance to the issue (there was already enough of that). I had to consider our three energies at least, and do the best I could at not contaminating those energies, while creating an escape route for each of the three of us (she could leave, I could run, and he could not feel boxed in). If I’d walked away under those circumstances, I would have, at the very least, hurt my energy, given that I had at least five things in my favor. In that sense, I was right to do what I did and I would have been wrong to have avoided the issue.
So, what does all of this mean?
I dunno. Perhaps right and wrong are not so easily figured.
But it seems to me that openness and renewal contribute to a cleansing of energy. Maybe looking toward that cleansing is a good start when trying to determine right and wrong. Otherwise we tend to operate in a world of pre-determined, one-size-fits-all morality. And that strategy seems like what we’ve been working with, and it seems like we’ve created a lot of energy contamination in the process.
We have to decide which kind of energy we favor.
Certainly energy will be energy. That is immutable. But what it is, is mutable. It could be mutable by randomness, by default, or, as it seems, we could spin it by conscious intention. Once we do that, we are responsible. In fact, if we let it go by default, we are responsible. So, we are responsible, whether we know it or not.
This would seem to leave us with a question, given such things as war and global warming and starvation and the state of human relationships: what is it we are really doing, despite what we think we’re doing?
Seems like a good question to me. And it is a question that deserves some quality time and some quality consideration.
After that effort, perhaps the best place from which a good answer is likely to arise is in the space between what we think and what we wind up doing.
That will require something a bit unfamiliar for most of us, patience and a sense of being comfortable in the emptiness.
Boy, do I have some work to do. Not to mention some waiting.