Years ago, being shown around the Lick Observatory and mesmerized by the big dome, especially where it opened to reveal a portion of the night sky, I got separated from my group when they moved on to the computer rooms, and I got left by myself—accidentally on purpose, I admit—in the great empty dome. It was just me and the telescope with the dome opened narrowly to allow access to a slit of sky. The Pleiades, on a clear, dark night.
I began to hum, perhaps to keep myself company, and the dome hummed back. Cautiously, I let my own sounds get louder, and the dome did the same. Soon I was singing with it, improvising harmonies to the lag-times of my own melodic line coming back to me in resonance with the dome itself!
I was in an astronomical observatory singing to the constellation of the Pleiades!
I suppose the duet became audible in the computer room because I was apprehended and brought to heel, but ever since then the feeling of singing with the Universe has been a reality for me. Especially now that the Webb Telescope is bringing back astonishing images from deeper and deeper space, and young physicists and astronomers are completing Einstein’s hitherto unfinished equations, and philosophers and poets are questioning the logic of a ‘finite’ universe.
Might there be more to the world than has been dreamed of so far in our philosophies? I, for one, do believe that is so.
I have told the story before about roller skating in the street with my friends when I was about 11, and landing on my back and knocking myself out. I must have had a few moments of disorientation when that happened, because in those moments, I Saw!
I saw that Space had no boundaries and that Time had neither a beginning nor an end. I was in the middle of Forever and Everywhere, and could feel it in my body, which was as minute as a pin prick and as huge as a world. There was no Time, only Now and Now and Now.
I saw Life itself as a hint of movement in still water gradually taking form and growing outwards into unknown futures, and I knew that it eventually became Me. Myself, a girl lying on her back in the middle of East 7th Street in Brooklyn with her friends staring down at her and the wheels of her ball bearings still spinning in mid-air.
I remember laughing and letting them help me up, but inside me a seed of wonder had been planted that has continued to grow, spreading its branches into every crack of my life ever since. It felt like gladness, reassurance, rightness, but it was even bigger than that. Then, and still Now. I knew I was safe in the Universe, as ultimately we all are, and that we were all here to learn that, however long it took us to realize it.
Needless to say, that experience has informed my life ever since, and now the Sciences are starting to recognize and fill in the blanks of Einstein’s vision, that he was unable to complete before he died. But although he never got to write out the equations that completed his picture of universal law, he had described his vision clearly in other writings, and if you look, you can find them. I found them.
In Einstein’s own words:
“The ancients knew something that we seem to have forgotten.
Everything is energy, that is all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want, and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way—this is not philosophy, this is Physics…
Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.
Time does not exist…we invented it. Time is what the clock says. The distinction between the past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.
Everything is connected. The greatest tragedy of human existence is the illusion of separateness…
We are souls dressed up in sacred biochemical garments and our bodies are the instruments through which our souls play their music.”
Thank you, Dr. Einstein, for reminding us that our sciences, brilliant as they are, have left out some basic truths we desperately need to remember, especially now, when self-destruction looms so close.
He, who came close to being obliterated during the Second World War, knew rationally and intuitively, that everything in the Universe was connected to everything else, and that Time is an illusion, and that we humans can play the music we are made of in this world we call our home.
And, I am told, he knew how to laugh!
I wish he were here now, to remind us both of his radical Science and, I am told, of his wonderful laughter!
But then who knows, maybe, in some form we do not recognize, he is again amongst us to tell us again…
I wish I could foretell what miracles lie ahead.