219 – A Magnificent Order …

Although capable, the human mind has not been trained to see the most beautiful aspect of its existence, the Universal Order of which it is a manifestation – how, for instance, trillions of cells of diverse types and properties, bond together to generate a mind that not only can wonder about the wonder of itself, but about the world from which it comes into existence.

This magnificent Order is evident in instances like:

  • The Periodic Table, which charts the frugal order of the chemical composition of our Universe; a total of 118 elements with 94 occurring naturally and the rest synthesized in laboratories or nuclear reactors.
  • Hydrogen, the most abundant element in our Universe with the Hydrogen atom, one electron and a proton, is its basic unit from one end of the Universe to the other.
  • A universal evolutionary process that incontestably progresses toward complexity and order.
  • The selective organization of most of the estimated 2 trillion galaxies in our Universe into spiral and globular shapes.
  • The bonding of an estimated 30-37 trillion cells that, notwithstanding their many types and specialties, carry the same information for building and maintaining the organism of a human being on Earth.
  • E=mc2 “Energy equals mass times the speed of light squared (the speed of light is 186,000 m/s or 300,000 km/s), which in Einstein’s own words – the mass of a body is a measure of its energy content” – embodies the fundamental core of existence: Order cannot arise without equilibrium, nor equilibrium without self-reflection, nor self-reflection without purpose.

As a mathematical equivalence, the proportions of mass and energy in the equation in e=mc2 are difficult to conceptualize by the non-scientific mind, but we can try by visualizing their proportions in the atomic world. Fortunately, in the 1990 movie “Mindwalk” I found a fitting example to do just that:

Let’s imagine blowing up a regular orange to the size of the Earth. In an orange the size of the planet, an atom turns out to be the size of a little cherry you can hold in the palm of your hand … that’s how small atoms are. Therefore, when we bring the orange back to its normal size, atoms disappear into invisibility, and we need powerful microscopes to see them. With our naked eyes we only see the patterns and structures they create in the orange (the seeds, the skin, the sections full of citrus).

Now let’s imagine blowing up a hydrogen atom to the size of the Pentagon building in Washington. In an atom the size of the entire building, the nucleus (the proton) is a tiny pebble in the center of the building, and the electron is a grain of sand orbiting the pebble. These two components, the pebble and the grain of sand, comprise the mass content of the entire Pentagon building, the rest of the building is energy. And so, to calculate the content of all that energy, we take the total mass content, (‘m’), the volume of the pebble and the grain of sand, and multiply it by the speed of light squared (mc2=e). It is now easier to see that the energy contained in atoms, especially when myriads are bonded together, is monumental. And whether it is a hydrogen atom with one electron or a gold atom with 79, the equal sign in e=mc2 mandates that their mass content remains in equilibrium with their energy content, one a measure of the other.the mass of a body is a measure of its energy content”

Although these examples are simplistic, they provide us with a glimpse at two important aspects of e=mc2: 1 – the power contained within an atom is monumental, and when bonded together they can be as powerful as an atomic bomb or as an iPhone. And 2 – to be viable through internal and external changes, atoms must keep their contents in relative equilibrium, and whether this is done by instinct or self-determination, it is not possible without a degree of self-reflection.

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Take a deep breath – as you inhale, you are taking energy from the environment – and your body, along with the energy from the foods you consume, distributes the energy to every cell, generating the power that allows you to work, move, act, think. As you exhale you are releasing carbon dioxide which is a source of energy for other organisms. You are a symbiont: by absorbing, synthesizing, and releasing energy sources, you create a presence in the world with the capacity to mold and be molded by environments.

This process is mostly instinctive; your body innately knows how to balance the intake and release of energy sources to give you power. After a day’s work, energy is spent – you are tired, you are hungry, you must recharge – you eat, rest, sleep. This is instinctive self-reflection, the essence of the equal sign in e=mc2, you cannot exist without it.

The power of 30-37 trillion cells bonded together into what we are, is monumental. Alexander, Hitler, became consciously aware of this power and concentrated it into moving multitudes, Einstein and Darwin concentrated on getting a glimpse at the Universal Order, and Pythagoras, Rilke, Rumi, into understanding our deep connection with that Order. This is conscious self-reflection.

We are a manifestation of a magnificent order.

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