Gratified was I on my evening walk yesterday to see what’s now a common sight, but which in times gone by would have flagged up mild ‘dangerous nutter’ alarm bells, a young guy walking slowly looking down so intently in the direction of his upturned palm, he was swaying from side to side and nearly losing balance.
Gratified (I was) to see it wasn’t just an age thing, that swaying and nearly loosing balance walking along the street answering emails or whatsapp texts, as I find myself doing it a lot.
Astonishing really, with the vast range of human consciousness and potential how grown adults can focus such intense concentration on such a small object as a mobile phone screen.
And ironic in light of how by way of contrast to such myopic focus, astrophysicists have just concluded the universe is expanding far faster than previously assumed – exponentially much faster in fact.
That’s bizarre in itself of course because how can infinity, which by definition goes on forever without limits, expand if it’s already going on forever?
How can forever get even bigger?
The mind does summersaults thinking about it.
But just before discounting it and refocusing on your phone and/or whatever detail of mundane existence has your attention take a moment to picture/know yourself at the dead center of infinity going on forever all around you – and its forever aspect expanding exponentially progressively faster away from you.
Just a moment of that, before the thinking mind interrupts the sensation, has a profoundly salutary effect and instantly puts everything in perspective. But you have to be quick and alert to see and feel it, because your thinking mind isn’t comfortable with unsolved puzzles so will quickly interject and distract with reasons not to be focusing on it.
But if you repeat with some frequency, say once an hour, it’ll afford you a pleasantly growing sense of the underlying Tao in all its unfathomable silent, invisible power and glory, and it will strengthen your eternal spirit, or that aspect of it tethered to your physical form.
So yes, as the universe gets bigger and bigger, our focus tends to get smaller and smaller.
Not that I’m judging, just observing the yin and yang of it at play.
Meanwhile whenever you do afford yourself a moment of awareness of infinity expanding away from you in all directions, use the effect on your perspective to inform whatever your intention is for the day ahead, for the next while or for the rest of your life.
And without putting ideas in your mind – divested of the details, it’ll be something along the lines of wanting yourself and all aspects of your earthly existence to flourish and flower and for you and everyone around you to enjoy it progressively more by constantly refining the quality and in some cases quantity of input and output – as in the blessings you receive and the blessings you contribute.
For as you see it, so it will be.
Meanwhile without the use of hadron colliders or massive telescopes in the Atacama Desert, the ancients already knew all this thousands of years ago – in the Vedas, for instance, they say Brahma, the supreme being, the Tao, breathes out for an incalculable number of trillions of zillions of years and the universe is born and expands faster and faster. Then he breathes in and it contracts faster and faster until it all disappears ready to start again on his next out-breath.
It’s what the ancient Taoists called the eternal dance of equilibrium – the big yin-yang.
And I for one am glad it’s still in rapid expansion phase. Mind you, the presently burgeoning collective myopia of nationalistic thinking inclines me to wonder if it - Brahma - isn’t getting ready to start breathing in again any tine now.
Hence, but either way anyway it behoves us all to stop making ourselves miserable over the details and start valuing and loving each moment more and more while we still can.