In response to reading my post about spirituality, a friend of mine loaned me this book, Stalking the Wild Pendulum (I know, who underlines book titles anymore, right?). I'm going to record my thoughts on anything that strikes me as particularly cool. This book covers topics that I have explored and am keen to explore more; topics that I don't think I could ever stop exploring, like our interconnectedness and the subjectivity of reality and time. A few times already I have come across sections that articulate ideas that I have had, but have not been able to express as clearly as Ben, the author of this book. For instance...
"...ones level of ignorance increases exponentially with accumulated knowledge. For example, when one acquires a bit of new information, there are many new questions that are generated by it, and each new piece of information breeds five or ten new questions... the more one knows, therefore, the greater his level of ignorance."
...This why I urged my nephew to go to college; because this idea occurs to the more intelligent population at some point, and for me, that the more I learn, the more I realize I don't know, and the more I want to know. The less you know, the more you think you know 'cause your ignorance hasn't reached adequate levels to prove to you that you don't know nothin', and at 19 people seem to think they've seen quite a lot. I think if you stop your formal education at 18 or 19, you might go on for too long thinking you've hit the important points, when you're barely lounging on the surface of all there is to know. And the ideas expressed in the quote are exactly why I always say I don't know anything; because the more I have learned, the more I am certain that my breadth of knowledge is laughably insignificant. I have come to wonder if I can ever know much about anything. Even if I were to spend the rest of my life studying one topic, my ignorance, as Bentov puts it, would continue to grow. (Which continues to support the topic at large over all of these things: that I want to know more about this wonderfully infinite universe we reside in. How can one ever say they are bored when there is infinite exploration at our finger tips?) Thanks Ben, for your adroit articulation of that idea.
In the preface, William Tiller asserts that "our physical science ... has ... generated a set of consistency relationships to explain our common ground of experience, which is determined by... the capacity and capabilities of our physical sensory perception mechanisms. (I love that he didn't just say, "our senses.") We have developed these mathematical laws based ultimately on a set of definitions of mass, charge, space, and time. We don't really know what these quantities are, but we have defined them to have certain unchanging properties and have thus constructed our edifice of knowledge on these pillars. The edifice will be stable so long as the pillars are unchanging." Now, this is going to sound like an excuse, maybe, but this notion is where my lack of appreciation for the rules comes from. Some dude said this thing, right, so we all have to do it. I don't really roll like that. Is the rule or law necessary? Does it follow from sound reasoning? Is there a good reason why I can't do this or should do that? I try to be good, but it's definitely in my nature to resist the rules if I don't respect them.
This is big for me in Japan. People do things and expect us foreigners to do mind boggling things on a daily basis for no apparent reason. For instance, last year we were freezing at school. We could see our breath at our desks. But the heaters were not to be turned on until December 6th. Why? No reason, really, just an arbitrary date. I'm not into arbitrary rules, but, as a foreigner here on the good grace and the dime of the country, I try to roll along with the status quo.
Now, having said that, I have learned as I've gotten older that following the rule for the rule's sake is not the only end to following stupid, arbitrary rules. Sometimes I've been ignorant and realized later that there are good reasons for things. Like speed limits. Sometimes you just have to prove to the world that you will jump through the necessary hoops to function in society. Like graduating college. Congratulations. You navigated through an ass-load of red tape. That takes skills; here's your diploma. Graduating college is not about what you learned in class per say, but about the life skills you develop and use along the way, just like following the rules is sometimes just a message to other people that you are part of the club.
All things are subjective:
"The theory of relativity emphasizes the notion that no mater what we observe, we always do so relative to a frame of reference that may differ from someone else's, that we must compare our frames of reference in order to get meaningful measurements and results about the events we observe."
If something as fundamental as time is subjective... I don't know... learning this has made me more understanding and patient, in some ways, because I have witnessed what I saw as absolute objective truth proven subjective. When that happens I feel like a child, and I don't think that's a bad thing. I feel like I've seen something for the first time, and I feel like I've been opened up to something in the world that I didn't know about, and like I said, that's what I want: To know more. I don't mind being wrong. It means I learned something.
The quote also emphasizes the importance of sharing. We have no ultimate basis of comparison for our experiences, so the only way to understand our "selves" is to talk to others, who, if you believe in the all-is-one doctrine, are you too. Ideally, there would be no judgement or embarrassment because each of us would recognize the other person IS us. Issues arise because most people operate as separates. Judgement comes in the space between. A space that only exists because we create it.
So, I'm not doing as thorough a job of writing about this book as I had planned. I'm definitely feeling unfocused lately. As happens to us foreigners in Japan, I'm "losing my English" a little. A combo package of a funk, PMS, getting wintered out, speaking in slow motion every day, and regularly using the simplest word strings possible is affecting my brain at the moment. Yesterday, several times with different people, I couldn't come up with the words I was looking for. It's as though the word is behind a dirty, translucent shower curtain; it's there, I just can't quite make it out. I need some ginkgo and a few good nights of sleep. And to read. And to pay attention to some things more stimulating than Facebok and knock-off iPhone scrabble.
I've read recently but not written. A few days ago I identified strongly with what this book was saying about how everything touches everything else in imperceptible ways. It was talking about how the energy of one thing can change the state of being of another thing. This happens for a bunch of reasons, but the explanations that I best understood and that stuck with me were...
1. The Earth has an electrostatic field that we're all in, and our bodies have an electrostatic field, too. This electrostatic stuff is energy, and energy has mass. Energy is a thing. So, we can't see it, and it's difficult to soak it in, but since we are energy, and our energies are touching always, everything is touching everything else. All the time. All Is One. You feel me?
2. So when we meditate, we change the frequency of our energy, and it just happens to get closer to the frequency of the energy of the Earth, and when energies start recognizing each other, they also start assimilating like the Borg. What I mean is, they get in rhythm with each other and start dancing together. This is called rhythm entrainment. Energy states are contagious. That's not hard to understand cause we've all been in situations where we can feel the mood in the room. Like when I went to Hooters to watch a Gator game, and although I walked in feeling introspective and stuff, I ended up doing turkey calls and screaming at people wearing Ohio shirts. When we meditate, we become rhythmically entrained with the Earth, and that frequency we settle at in the meditative state happens to be optimal for our health. In addition, energy is constantly flowing from us, and from everything, and when our energy gets entrained with the Earth's, it travels farther and faster and is contagious...
...This reminds me of a study I read about in an Eckhart Tolle book; again, I'm gonna be lazy today, not look up the study or site it, and just tell you what I remember. Some dudes had a meditation conference, in Washington DC I think, and their aim was to focus their meditative powers on a peaceful DC. They told the police that they were doing this, and that they wanted to try to reduce the crime rate by 10%. Now that I think about it, I think the people were meditating from India, on DC. Anyway, apparently it worked and peeps were all surprised and shit. Another proof of this contagious energy theory... there's that book on water crystals. In the book, the author gives the results, including awesome pictures, of studies on water in different environments: In cities, in nature, and -this is crazy- with different words written on the containers, and in some cases, studies on water that were talked to in different ways and meditated on in different ways. What happened?! What happened?! Well, the water in cities with high crime made ugly water crystals. They were malformed, plain, and generally unattractive. Water from peaceful places and containers that had positive words attached were beautiful and better formed. They looked like snowflakes. This book, coupled with my hippie adventures in LA with Kombucha and stuff like that, inspired an idea: I thought, wouldn't it be cool, and possibly lucrative, to sell water that had been meditated on. I could have rooms of people meditating different stuff on different batches of water, and then sell the water with labels like LOVE, MONEY, HEALTH, etc. People would so buy that jive turkey...
Back to the book: I was nodding my head like a born-again in church while I was reading this stuff about energy and how our state is affected by it. I feel it strongly at work. I've got some unhealthy energy close to me, and often, and it is fuckin wit my mojo.
Oooooooo: I love this. Image: A swinging pendulum. Facts: The pendulum swings, then stops and moves the other direction. When the pendulum is at rest, it's acceleration is maximum, it's potential is maximum, it's velocity is zero, and the time required to change the velocity of the pendulum is zero. Tiff's perspective: I find this very, very encouraging. Apply it to your life. Do you feel at a stand still, at a pause between this and that? Do you wonder if you are achieving anything? Do you question what it might take to make the changes you desire in your life? Good. That's great, because right now, while you are in this state of rest, your potential is at its maximum and the time it would take you to start moving in another direction is none. Awesome.
More to come on Stalking the Wild Pendulum.