Heisenberg’s Certainty Principle

” these relationships .. have been there since the creation of the world”. Heisenberg is of course most famous for his Uncertainty Principle, which states that it is NOT possible for us to know everything. The more certain we are of one factor, then the more uncertain we are of another. (In atomic physics for instance if you know a particle’s position you cannot know it’s momentum etc).

He was though, certain about a structure underlying creation. Here he is in a letter to his sister Edith in 1958:

“I have attempted an as yet-unkown-ascent to the fundamental peak of atomic theory with great efforts during the last five years. And now, with the peak directly ahead of me, the whole terrain of interrelationships in atomic theory is suddenly and clearly spread out before my eyes. That these interrelationships display, in all their mathematical abstraction, an incredible degree of simplicity, is a gift we can only accept humbly. Not even Plato could have believed them to be so beautiful. For these interrelationships cannot have been invented; they have been there since the creation of the world”.

Meditation on the Uncreated Light

Hesychasm was (is?) a mystical tradition in the Russian Orthodox Church, led by the monks of Optina Psytin.  They practised medidation on the “Uncreated Light”, which, though present in everything and enveloping all things within itself, is hidden from human beings until, through spiritual training, they are able to perceive it. They practised a form of “praying without ceasing” to that end.

Morning Meditation of the elders at Optina Pystin

Grant that with peaceful minds we may face all this new day is to bring;

Grant us grace to surrender ourselves utterly to Thy divine Will;

Instruct and prepare us in all things for every hour of this day.

Whatever tidings may come to us this day, may we accept them tranquilly, firmly convinced that everything that happens to us fulfils our divinely-willed destiny.

Govern our thoughts and feelings in everything we do or say, granting us the wisdom when to speak and when to remain silent.

When unexpected, unforeseen things happen, let us never forget for even a moment that everything comes from Above.

Teach and guide us that we conduct ourselves in all sincerity and reasonableness toward every other human being, helping us that we bring neither confusion, doubt nor sorrow to anyone.

Bestow upon us, O Lord, strength to endure the weariness this day’s labor will bring, and give us the courage that each of us may bear his full share in all its tasks and events.

Guid Thou our willing, teaching us to pray, to believe, to hope, to bear, to forgive and – above all – to love.

 

(Thanks to “Vladimir Solviev: Russian Mystic. Paul Allen)

 

Mystical Ellipticism

Why are all the great thinkers difficult to understand, at least with our mind? Perhaps because reality is so difficult for us to perceive – as through a glass darkly. That wouldn’t be surprising I guess. Our brain is evolved to help our bodies survive in jungles. We don’t see polarised light as bees do. The point is – it’s not some kind of perfect instrument designed to understand the outer reaches and meaning of creation. Neither does it have complete sensory input.

At least for me, those who have most changed my life all point to reality in relation. That is to say – reality existing in the magnetism between two points. As opposed to reality in the points themselves,

Carl Jung, for instance, in his search for integration between opposites “The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed”. Martin Buber sets out his form of existentialism entirely against a backdrop of relationship – his “philosophy of dialogue” with it’s primary words I-Thou and I-It. Teilhard de Chardin saw the process of evolution (powered by love) toward a shared consciousness. Alfred North Whitehead saw the whole of reality as process.

All of these elliptical thinkers seem to expose facets of the same underlying truth. It’s connection that matters, not matter that connects.

And yet..

For the Dawkins of this world it’s so simple. Matter. Of Fact. Simple(s). Nothing there but things. Science, thought and our brains have solutions. Death comes and there is nothing beyond. Love, kindness, a shared smile – all just twitchings of the material – set in the one-way street of time.(It’s not what science shows, but there you are .. better read Rupert Sheldrake on the subject.)

The writings of Buddha, the parables of Christ, the music of Bach. Complex – difficult. Mystical. Elliptical.

I and Thou

“To man the world is twofold in accordance with his twofold attititude

The attitude of man is twofold, in accordance with the twofold nature of the primary words which he speaks.

As experience, the world belongs to the primary word I-It. The primary word I-Thou establishes the world of relation”

Martin Buber: I and Thou

Our brother whose heart be heaven

Hallowed be thy pain

Our kingdom come

Our will be one

On earth as it is in heaven

Live in us today, our daily bread

So we give up our trespasses

And see you in those who trespass against us

And lead us not to isolation

Which delivers each to evil

For ours be our kingdom, our power and our glory

Now and for ever

Amen