ON THE BACK OF THOUGHT


As I embark on this mystical journey, shrouded in a hazy, milky veil, lending an otherworldly quality to every sensation that assails me. Each experience is unique, leaving me gasping for breath and yearning for more. I am fully immersed in the atmosphere, taking in every little detail around me – the slightest nuances of infancy, the ever-changing mood swings, the innocent movements, and the sounds that marked those earliest days. I am a tiny, fragile vessel of energy, entirely dependent on and shaped by those who came before me. From fiery rage to radiant bliss and everything in between, these encounters left an indelible mark on my psyche; the more intense the experience, the more I grew in strength and resilience, shaping me into the person I am today.

The arrival of a newborn into the world floods us with the intricacy and wonder of creation. Despite an antiquated mindset that still assumes we’re guilty before proven innocent when we open up our senses to this world for the first time, one thing’s sure: we come with a clean slate, free from preconceived notions or conflicting ideas. Even the most knowledgeable individuals are humbled by the birth of a loved one. The sight of a newborn baby and their striking resemblance to their parents can be a breathtaking moment that leaves us speechless. From mind-boggling to awe-inspiring joy and wonder, the experience of witnessing the birth of a child must be one of the most profound events that life presents us with.

Can anyone in the grownup zone remember being born?

I remember the sensation of my father changing my nappies one time. Being a little too intense, I guess, forcing one of the pins through the cloth. He didn’t prick me; I felt the side steel of the pin pressing onto my thigh. I can also recall being in the cot when my mother brought someone to see me. The person’s vibe made me cry. I certainly remember snuggling my mother’s bosom. Later, when I had a few words under my belt, I asked her how old I was when she stopped breastfeeding me. Oh, never more than two years, she said.

We may reflect on a particular moment to confirm a distant sense of belonging. Heartfelt connections that feel misplaced pull us back to an undeniable enigma of wanting to a more sustainable, less-knowing persona. A deep-rooted need fundamental to the core of our being, perhaps. We may feel disconnected from something long ago, but not necessarily of the past; dramatic events can turn a head otherwise.

Emotional experiences have a significant impact on our memories. They act as a lens that influences how we perceive and interact with the world, shaping our approach to obstacles and opportunities as we grow into adulthood. Our decisions, especially when it comes to choosing a career path, can be influenced by the expectations and feelings of others. Our interactions with family, friends, teachers, and others play a crucial role in this process, as our interpretation of their input dictates our next step. Incentives such as candy or extra screen time can motivate us to complete our homework, chores, and errands. However, relying too heavily on rewards can give the impression that we are only working for the payoff rather than a genuine passion or interest in the task at hand.

Often, individuals with different rhythms and cadences are labelled as having special needs, and the mainstream approach is to try to fix them instead of leveraging their unique strengths. Despite the world encouraging exploration and play, the lack of support and fear of negative consequences can leave us feeling discouraged and frightened. Phrases like “it’s for your own good” or “we want the best for you” can pressure us to conform to what others want for us rather than something inspiring we’re drawn toward intuitively. In the long run, we may resent these decisions made by others rather than be grateful for them.

This well-meant indoctrination shapes us into individuals who constantly seek to balance incentives and consequences, believing that performance and success are the ultimate reasons to live. While they are no doubt vital to our survival, we become so focused on career and monetary matters that we lose sight of our more profound connection to the natural world and the universe. It seems the hunter-gatherer persists in this age of AI and increased leisure time.

Along with some tweeting of the frontal lobe, we adopt the tailor-made model, cloak, and dagger. Formal or otherwise, lessons teach us to placate morals, accept principles, realise vendettas, make laws, approve planning, and uphold beliefs.

The legal case was finally resolved, and the verdict was reached before the child arrived. Each person involved in the case had a specific objective and expectation in mind, perhaps hoping for justice, compensation, or retribution in their own right. However, as time passed and the case dragged on, the child’s importance faded like a thinning fog. This led to feelings of panic and fear as the child’s fate hung in the balance.

How could we have known? None of us are born with an agenda, yet it isn’t long before we’re made to feel fraudulent without one. We’re told that knowledge is a rubric, the engine of our lives, something we top out in if we’re to fulfil purpose and meaning.

Finally, the case was over, and the future was decided. Since they were no longer considered valid or valuable, they were tossed aside like an old toy. Cast into the world with little support or guidance, the young adult now faced a daily existence that felt more like a prison sentence than a life worth living. The weight of their past experiences and the uncertainty of their future loomed heavy, leaving them struggling to find sense in a world without purpose and belonging.

Have you ever heard of being quick to think and adapt?

Consciously
subconsciously
direct
indirect
quick
quick
slow,
anywhere between the fires of hell to a garden of celestial delights… mirrored images, a harrowed missive, tumble and fall into an open heart.

Through a series of actions and reactions, regardless of our place in the scale of social acceptance, everyone involved sets our aims in motion.

Block it out, blow it up, or let it go.

What to do when love doesn’t work, and a fear of the rod is too apparent?

Navigate the calm before the storm and take a chance. Hope and pray we don’t blow a gasket before reaching the motherlode.

Kickback and liftoff. All systems go.

Now we’re in uncharted waters.

Time out, we lick our wounds, run faster, stand still, ponder the headlights, hide in the sand, or relish the encounter; either way, associating words with mood swings and feelings, we begin to adapt, engage, and work out where we’ll stand or fall in subsequent encounters.

Sometimes, the only place for a frazzled brain is time out on the throne in the company’s bathroom.

Unbeknownst to the wanderer, this was the perfect place to begin.

At the core of our planet lies a solid sphere of iron and nickel, measuring 759 miles in width and reaching temperatures of up to 9,800 degrees Fahrenheit. Surrounding this inner core is the outer core, a thick band of fluids made of iron and nickel extending 1,400 miles. Further out is the mantle, a layer of molten rock around 1,800 miles thick, serving as a base for the Earth’s outer layer, the crust. The thinner oceanic crust averages five miles thick, while the thicker continental crust is often as much as 25 miles.

Earth is the third planet from the Sun and is on the outer edge of a minor spiral arm known as the Orion Arm, Orion-Spur, or Orion-Cygnus Arm. This arm is roughly 26,000 light-years away from the centre of the Milky Way galaxy. Astronomers have discovered stars in the Milky Way that are almost 13.6 billion years old. When we contemplate the vastness of the universe, we can feel tiny, like Alice in Wonderland. However, consider charged particles in an energy field that connects every object in the universe, including us, and it’s hard not to be overwhelmed by the cosmic magnitude of being human.

Gravity is one of the four primary forces of nature. Although it is the weakest force, it has a significant impact on objects at a larger scale, such as planets, stars, and galaxies. The gravitational force between two objects depends on their mass and distance. The Sun, being enormous, and the Moon, being nearby, exert the most significant gravitational influence on Earth. Our solar system is like a finely tuned web of gravitational threads, holding us and our planet in a precise trajectory around the Sun.

The universe is vast, and distances are immense, which can challenge anyone, no matter how experienced they are. We may feel like giving up and going back to our comfort zone. But what if we never stopped exploring until our last breath and found out that the universe had more to offer than we ever dreamed of? This is a unique and brief chance to experience the wonders and mysteries of interconnectedness in a tangible way. What if we had an intimate life affirming connection with every part of the universe, from the tiniest subatomic particle of matter to the web of life that envelops us, from all things given on Earth to heavenly bodies in every corner of the cosmos?

Seen from space, Earth appears like a gleaming oasis amidst an endless expanse of darkness, glistening with the faint light of countless stars. The closest and brightest of these stars is our Sun, which is approximately 93,000,000 miles (150,000,000 km) from Earth.

Proxima Centauri, the next closest star, is a tiny speck 4.3 light-years away from us, which is roughly 25,300,000,000,000 miles (about 39,900,000,000,000 kilometres).

Venus, the second planet from the Sun, comes closest to Earth every 584 days, at a distance of about 254 million miles. Neptune is the farthest planet from the Sun in our solar system, but there are dwarf planets beyond it, such as Pluto. Pluto, which was demoted to a dwarf status in 2006, and compared to our 365 days it takes 248 years to complete one orbit around the Sun.

Due to its unique composition and its intricate connection to the Sun and Moon’s gravitational force, Earth is the only known planet that is capable of supporting and sustaining the life we experience.

Many astronauts have described seeing Earth from space as breathtakingly beautiful and incredibly fragile. Their observations have helped us understand the importance of taking care of our planet, which is our only home, and appreciate the intricate and delicate balance of nature that sustains life here.

“You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch.” ― Astronaut Edgar D. Mitchell, lunar module pilot of the Apollo 14 lunar landing mission. 

“Part of this is the realisation that we are all travelling together on the planet and that if we all looked at the world from that perspective, we would see that nothing is impossible.”  –  NASA astronaut Ron GarenThe Orbital Perspective.”

“Earthrise” as photographed from Apollo 8 (Credit: Bill Anders/NASA)

“You begin to look at all living things with greater trepidation and you begin to be more kind and patient with the people around you.” —Boris Volynov, Soviet cosmonaut.

In 1970, just sixteen months after the iconic Earthrise photograph captured the world’s attention, the biggest demonstration in American history was staged. Over 20 million people took to the streets to protest the rampant destruction of our planet, united in their determination to raise awareness of the urgent need for action.

Staked, claimed, drilled, doped, sprayed, remade, repaired, torched, and concreted over for a self-serving paradox.

You cried wolf back then, and here we are, alive and well fifty-four years later.

Most of us will have a connection with someone who has a terminal illness, looking fine one day as if firing on all cylinders, and the next time we see them, they’re gone.

Paint the picture how you like.

The universe is a living extension of everything we and our planet are made of. Our brilliant minds will go for nothing if we do not stabilise the body with the bedrock of Earth-given life in the cosmological sea.

I’m not of any denomination.

Our complex lives, with their ups and downs, extend light-years beyond our existence. Do we need to be shot into space before we realise a formidable tapestry connecting us with the cosmic hub? As it was back in the day, a proven force central to being human is mainly neglected and dismissed for a tick-in-the-box.

What if the body, which we mourn at death and delight at birth, is actually the celestial heavens personified? And what if we paid more attention to how air integrates with the body beyond just noticing differences in temperature and humidity? By doing so, we might be surprised to discover that what’s inside us is woven indelibly with the external world.

The air we breathe is made up of various gases and compounds. Nitrogen and oxygen are the main elements that compose over 99% of the total volume. However, other elements like hydrogen and helium are present too. Both oxygen and nitrogen are formed in a similar process in supernovas. When a star enters a new phase or dies, these gases spread out into space, providing ingredients for new stars.

Breathing with a deeper resonance can significantly benefit our overall health and well-being. It helps to increase cognitive clarity by supplying more oxygen to the brain, nourishing our cells, and regulating blood pressure. Moreover, increasing our air intake helps to aerate the blood further, leading to faster and more efficient healing throughout the body. As a result, we can achieve a more balanced and calmer physiological combination, positively affecting our mood, productivity, and overall quality of life. A slower, deliberated inhalation and exhalation allows us to become grounded and present, strengthens our constitution and makes us less distracted by stressful thoughts and subsequent worries.

Our bodies are constantly undergoing the process of regeneration, which means that every ten days, we have an entirely new set of taste buds, while our nails grow and replace themselves every 6 to 10 months. Similarly, our bones renew themselves every ten years, and our heart regenerates every 20 years. The carbon dioxide we exhale is the same carbon dioxide that plants absorb from the atmosphere, highlighting the deep interconnectedness of all living things. Our bodies have touch receptors that are incredibly sensitive and respond immediately and accurately to a featherlight brush, allowing us to experience the world profoundly and intimately.

The nervous system is a complex network of specialized cells known as neurons, which work together to transmit signals quickly and precisely to the brain. This enables us to adjust our senses, such as touch, taste, smell, and sight. Additionally, our motor nerves send messages to our muscles and glands, allowing us to move and function properly. This intricate system enables us to process and respond to various stimuli, making our bodies remarkable detectors, givers, and receivers.

Consciously assume a comfortable sitting position with a well-supported spine to avoid slumping, especially in the lower back. Next, close or soften your gaze and focus on your breath. Inhale slowly, filling your lungs and holding the air for a few seconds before exhaling gradually. Feel the air as it enters your lungs, just like you would feel a cool drink going down into your stomach. Watch how your lungs push against your chest cavity, and let your chest expand and contract with the air. If you notice any tension in your lower back or neck, focus on it while inhaling and release it on the exhalation. Repeat this process a few times, acknowledging tightness in the body to release it. Don’t expect to lose tension simultaneously; be patient, one round of breath, a smidgen at a time.

In addition to benefiting our well-being, breathwork is a way to connect our body’s intelligence with the intelligence of our surroundings. As you continue practising, you’ll find breathing easier to navigate, relaxed, and more centred and focused. Aside from improving your overall health and well-being, this simple yet powerful technique is a gateway to a deeper, extraordinary, physiological world.

Our body is a remarkable temple of experience, profound knowledge, and ancient wisdom for sustaining life. However, we often overlook and take for granted the integral intelligence of this human frame, which has other “brains” besides the cerebrum, that a computer model cannot match. No machine can turn food into an intricate, complex organism, such as the physiological form we adorn. Computers cannot experience the beauty of a sunset, hear the rustling of leaves in the wind, or instantly recognize the fragrance of spring flowers with the refinement our noses and ears are capable of. Even our feet are touch-sensitive and have feelings. Can any computerised machine be as agile and responsive as our feet?

Physicists have a deep understanding of the human body as a complex system of energy particles, cells, and networks that work together with the universe. Universe: the sum of everything in the cosmos, including time and space. Everything is the operative word, from here to eternity there are no boundaries, no defined lines, just emergence. The outermost part of our planet’s atmosphere extends well beyond the lunar orbit – almost twice the distance to the Moon. Where our atmosphere merges into outer space, there is a cloud of hydrogen atoms called the geocorona. One of the spacecraft instruments, SWAN, used its sensitive sensors to trace the hydrogen signature and precisely detect how far the very outskirts of the geocorona are. The geocorona is the luminous part of the outermost region of the Earth’s atmosphere, the exosphere.

Despite profound knowledge of our interconnectedness, we rarely have time to contemplate the profound experience of living on Earth – our place in a unique, mysterious environment teeming with life. The struggle to find meaning in our existence on Earth leads us to question the reliability of our thoughts. Scientific theories are considered valid until someone disproves them.

The mind’s enigma and the body’s nature are experienced through sensations. Similarly, even if it has potential benefits, you might hesitate to participate in a shamanic, plant-based ceremony in a biodiverse rainforest. You may feel too entrenched in your beliefs and afraid to let go.

Space travel is a fairground ride inside this heavenly host.

The reptilian brain, despite being primitive, plays a crucial role in our survival. One of its primary functions is prioritising letting go of things that no longer serve us. This ancient part of our brain is far from redundant. It can be a lifesaver when navigating busy city streets. The forebrain is the seat of our conscious decision-making abilities. It allows us to analyse, theorise, think it through, and plan for an imagined future of our own making. However, our instinctual primal gate takes over when our lives are on the line. This innate, animalistic logic is hard-wired into all vertebrates and allows us to make immediate decisions that could mean the difference between life and death. So, take a lesson from the nearest animal in your life, trust your instincts, weigh your options quickly and carefully. In that split second make a leap of faith into the unknown.

Sorry, I need to go. I’m running late. It was nice talking to you.

What’s time…? Hello… they’ve hung up!

Are we hung out to dry by the maestro’s tune, where dissemination is passed on like some robotic code from generation to generation?

Only if we want to be.

A self-serving, self-saving paradigm?

Look around, breathe, sit with the ambience, and thank those stars you’re alive; there’s more than the person you think you are.

Hold on a minute, aren’t you the player running late?

Too busy.

There’s nothing up there,
in control.

Down here
in God
love and hate
overloads.

I won’t let go.

You mean you can’t.

I’m a god with a cup of tea,
a dog with a bone
sitting in God’s lap.

Consider the existence of God…

Different people interpret the word “faith” differently. Some associate it with very different thoughts, framing specific beliefs with names or sides. Faith, religion, science, art, atheism, agnosticism, and general beliefs can placate, conceptualise, describe, theorise, reflect upon, ponder, and wonder about the human condition, but the body, in its entirety, senses and experiences it.

In certain circles, they call bodily talk oafish.

While our thoughts can lead us to lifesaving discoveries and realisations, they are not the only driving force in the universe. As someone who enjoys writing, I find it helpful to remember this, especially when my mind becomes overwhelmed with too many anomalies. While thoughts can inspire us to build a rousing monument, write a book, bake a pie, or even engineer a pioneering flying machine, it’s reassuring, even calming, to acknowledge that other factors are at play in our world.

Where do thoughts burst from?

Thoughts shape our personality and ultimately determine the person we become.

Can a definition determine clouds?
A song might elicit a tear, but the song is not the tear.

Yes, but how do they manifest?

A chance encounter, that excruciating insult, drives thought to actions. Atmospherics build until the pressure gives, and particles collide. Find an angle on what makes thoughts, get to the point, and look at what underlies the weather.

Low-pressure centres develop surrounded by high-pressure. God, the air’s
oppressive. A hike in temperature whips up the wind, and menacing-looking multi-level clouds, called cumulonimbi, extend high into the sky. There’s a marked tension, and the bag’s about to burst.

Do I hide, wait for the air to clear, or walk in and face it off?

Don’t go in there.

Pressure builds.

What’s the matter with him?

Something I’ve done!

Never seen him this bad.

Worse than that time at the den

What time?

When you had your hand on his brother’s package…

The force of this thing gained power rapidly, becoming a formidable opponent. Then, before we knew it, a leviathan came upon us, unleashing an erratic swirling mixture of water, air, and dust that moved with unrestrained energy. It sucked up everything in its path, from riverbeds, furniture, and tree trunks to roofs and entire buildings, and hurled them out in all directions as if they were mere trifles. Flooded streets and homes were added to the mix like a terrible afterthought.

Quickly, take shelter indoors, go underground, secure the doors, ensure the shutters are bolted in, sit tight, and keep the animals close. It will pass.

Finally, the horrors subside, and a tentative calm wraps the Earth.

Sorry about that. I got a bit carried away.

I feel like I’ve failed you.

Honeybee…

There’s some empathy. But you still plead not guilty, and I don’t buy it. On the other hand, the weather changed, and the heaviness in the air lifted.

You know what I’m like, darling girl.

Reaching into his back pocket, I pull out his wallet and take what he owes.

Although the eye of a hurricane is typically calm with no wind and clear skies, ready yourself for the eyewall replacement cycle or some other maniacal shift. Better still, don’t go there.

You’ve got to let it pass, or the body will shut down, and the mass won’t ebb and flow, leaving energy locked in to implode.

Say what’s on your mind, write a book, consult a friend, a brother, or anyone who doesn’t mind you dumping your trash in their acreage. Flourish and flow. Say you are a conduit, maybe a channel for a critical theory, a fulcrum that bears a beautiful symphony, a muse that touches the core of our being, anything but being stifled. The body bears these works like a tree bears fruit.

I feel like crying…

Did you ever see a tree trying to hold on to ripe fruit? As roots, branches, and trunks do for the tree’s fruit, energy does its thing via the torso, in and outside us.

They don’t teach this…

The lesson is there, but for the most part, we’re unaware of it. The symphony of existence is here and now, hitting high notes in the canopy of stars, dancing sprites to the mids on the forest floor, rumbling base at the Earth’s core.

When a single drop of water evaporates from a leaf, it creates negative water vapour pressure in the surrounding leaf cells. This negative pressure draws water into the leaf through vascular tissue called the xylem, which extends from the roots, through the trunk, and out to the branches and leaves of the tree. Like the human vascular system, which carries blood throughout the body, the xylem transports water and nutrients in the tree.

Trees have an energetic frequency or vibration that provides grounding, trust, security, and stability for humans and nature. These majestic beings root themselves in the earth while extending towards the sky, absorbing atmospheric ingredients for energy conservation.

In China, India, and many other Asian countries, people have been practising and working with energy for over 5,000 years. While the validity of Qi and Prana, or the taping into energy in general, is still debated and theorized in the Western world, science introduced the Higgs Field to these energy labels in 2012.

Extraterrestrial particles, carbon dioxide, and water give trees their mass. Since we exhale carbon dioxide and water, our negative becomes their positive. We benefit wholly from trees, and it seems our lives depend on them, so why do we give them little to no credibility?

Become like a miser in the give and take of energy, and it’ll buck one time too many and land you in the wood box.

We may sit under a tree and be everywhere all at once, but hoping to coin this experience or stumble upon this grail through a theory, through an order of beliefs becomes a game of blind man’s bluff.

However much you say it, it won’t stick. Don’t get clever giving me the
runaround. You’re in over your head.

There’s some logic there.

However poignant our precious words are, they are not the energy that weaves
the threads of birth and death into the fabric of life.

Logic tells us the person we see in the looking glass isn’t natural but we converse with it.

It is precious to have the space and air to mull things over.

Pah, it does nothing for me. I hate what’s looking back…

When there’s no other ear to bend or eyes to investigate, a work of art can
be a reflection that stands the test of time.

This face is no work of art… you do yourself a disservice, sir.

The beauty of Michelangelo’s sculpture of David draws you in slowly and surely from afar. Thinking it’s skin deep, you catch his gaze. Then, you begin to realise the story. In short, the eyes concentrated on the target in the distance speak volumes, as does the negligible, well-worn slingshot casually slung over his left shoulder. This isn’t a pastime or game but a display of strength, virtue, and profound intelligence worthy of Muhammad Ali. I’m in love, but I wouldn’t mess with a young beauty as rare and commanding as this.

Breaking out of the trance in the public square, with pigeons and tourists doing their business, you know the statue can no more sling a stone at a heavily armed Philistine giant than the writer here can. But it sure can make you believe it.

So?

Carl Benz is credited with creating the first reliable two-stroke engine, even before the automotive or aviation industries existed. He conceptualized, sorted, and assembled his thoughts, which helped him create the first motor-driven carriage. The two-seater vehicle was equipped with a compact, high-speed, single-cylinder four-stroke engine installed horizontally at the rear, a tubular steel frame, and three wire-spoked wheels.

However, the initial version of the Motorwagen only had two gears and lacked the ability to climb hills unassisted. This limitation was later rectified after Benz’s wife, without informing her husband and without permission from the authorities, took matters into her own hands. With help from her two sons, Bertha Benz drove from Mannheim to Pforzheim/Black Forest in Germany, there and back covering 194 km (120 miles) over rough lanes and cart tracks. The pioneering long-distance journey on this combustion-driven work of art wasn’t without its challenges.

On the way, Bertha used her garter to fix the ignition. Some miles later, she stopped at a pharmacy to purchase a few litres of cleaning fluid that served as petroleum and used her hat pin to unclog a blocked fuel pipe. On the return journey, the Motorwagen’s brake blocks wore out. Bertha came up with the idea to get a cobbler to fit the brakes with leather strips. And so became brake pads. From her suggestion for a third gear to regulate those hills… the seed was sown for automatic transmission.

Bertha, born as Cäcilie Bertha Ringer, entered this world on May 3, 1849, in Pforzheim. Her upbringing was in a family of considerable wealth. Despite having a financially stable future with a “good match,” she, being a lover of technology, chose the young and unemployed but visionary engineer Carl Benz. She received her dowry in advance and invested it in his small business.

Carl and Bertha officially introduced the Benz Patent Motor Car to the public in Mannheim, Germany, on July 3rd, 1886. Their tenaciousness and undoubted skill in transforming ideas, thoughts, their creative mindset, into a bespoke combustion-driven carriage were instrumental, if not pivotal, to the car we take for granted parked in our backyard today.

Only one person remained with me in the small ship of life when it seemed destined to sink. That was my wife. Bravely and resolutely, she set the new sails of hope. Carl
Benz1925

Given the widespread pollution from passenger vehicles and heavy-duty trucks we struggle with now, are innovators like Carl and Bertha accountable?

Like all of us, I suspect they are both executor and prey. Their enthusiasm and excitement, while proclaiming the irresistible nature of a game-changing machine, highlight the power of thought and how it influences decisions and outcomes. As anatomical frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital lobes, the cerebral cortex is neither correct nor incorrect, but like a tool in action, it can be razor-sharp.

Once upon a twelfth-century time, Al-Zahrawi, considered to be the father of surgery, thought out and designed many pioneering surgical instruments, including forceps, scalpels, and surgical hooks.

Although there are concerns about their environmental impact, our love for gas-guzzling vehicles has not shown any signs of diminishing. Perhaps not so literal; nevertheless, the Benz flagship car, inducted into the Industrial Hall of Fame, originated in Carl Benz’s mind. While modern cars are significantly different and much more efficient, the combustion engine has delivered a higher mortality rate than the guillotine. Many of us see owning a car as a source of pride, and we tend to defend them fiercely. You may even face a physical altercation if you get too close, tailgating someone’s car.

Road rage is the throat and vent of a volcano. Other stress factors…

If cars were a panacea for a sane society, pharmaceutical companies would be out of business.

Have you ever driven a Tesla Model 3?

Think it through.
Keep your eyes skinned.
Work it out, then drive.

Isn’t that turning a blind eye?

Thought can be the key to insight and care, but it can also be the spit in
the flame.

The physicists were so engrossed in working on the theory that they became distracted and almost drove themselves to the brink of insanity. Finally, on April 14, 1932, British and Irish physicists John Cockcroft and Ernest Walton successfully split the atom, confirming Einstein’s famous equation, E=mc2. This equation is the underlying principle behind both thermonuclear weapons and nuclear energy. Little did they know that their experiment would start a chain reaction.

Call in the quarks.

How’s that?

Albert Einstein’s understanding of gravity and its effect on the fabric of space-time is essential for space travel, but his understanding is neither space nor time. It’s a theory travelling through space and time to us from the great man’s head.

Out yonder there was this huge world, which exists independently of us human beings and which stands before us like a great, eternal riddle, at least partially accessible to our inspection and thinking. Albert Einstein

With extraordinary talent and tremendous verve, giving meaning to something is what humans do. But it’s not altogether what we are.

When a marine biologist asked me to sum up the ocean, I said water. My answer didn’t impress him.

Sum up the meaning of the universe with a word; it comes across as if you’re
being obtuse or, worse still, that you’ve nailed it and got the entire shebang worked out.

And we haven’t. After the first atomic explosion in the world took place in a desert in Alamogordo in the state of New Mexico, USA, at 5.45 in the morning on 16th July 1945, J Robert Oppenheimer, remembered by many to be the father of the atom bomb spontaneously spoke out in Sanskrit:

Divi surya sahastrasya bhaved yugapad utthita Yadi bhah sadrashi sa syat
bhasastasya mahatmanah

If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendour of the Mighty One. Translated into English from the Sanskrit Bhagavad Gita.

Oppenheimer wrote of the Bhagavad Gita texts… It is the most beautiful philosophical song existing in any known tongue…

Twenty years after the New Mexico ‘Trinity’ drop, in 1965, on television, an hour into the program, when asked about the first man-induced nuclear bomb explosion, Dr Oppenheimer said: “We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed (immediately after the nuclear explosion), a few people cried. Most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince (Arjuna) that he should do his duty, and to impress him, he takes on his multi-armed form and says: “Now I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds”.

If we want to destroy the planet, we can. Thoughts can do that.

The ocean of all that exists, inside and outside of ourselves… some call it consciousness, others the almighty, some say it’s a field of energy woven into all that is upside down, inside out, meets all that is of this Earth and beyond; an unending tapestry woven with divine thread.

A word in the ear, particle to particle.

Once a jumble of thoughts honed into theory, there’s a machine exhumed from the physicists’ heads: a twenty-seven-kilometre ring of superconducting magnets and speeding-up structures buried one hundred meters underground. The Large
Hadron Collider, at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research on the border of France and Switzerland, is the largest particle accelerator in the
world.

Scientists speed up two beams of particles, close to the speed of light, in
opposite directions in this hoop collider. This results in one particle smashing into another, aiming to capture elusive fundamental particles such as the Higgs boson or the top quark. It is so rare that, on average, just one out of hundreds of millions of collisions produces a top quark.

A lot of planning and thinking it through does that.

Setting up the essence of life so it smashes the hell out of itself. Why
would anyone want to do that?

Divide and rule?

A lot of kinetic energy goes into that, too.

After observing collisions at the LHC for a year, scientists announced the
discovery of the Higgs particle at CERN in 2012.

The Higgs boson (particle) can’t be “discovered” by finding it somewhere but has to be created in a particle collision. Its discovery confirms the existence of the Higgs field.

Physicist Peter Higgs first proposed the existence of this field in 1964. The Higgs boson, a subatomic particle, creates a wave in that field. Its discovery in 2012 confirms the existence of a field of mass that permeates the universe, here, there and everywhere.

We split the atom and smashed the quark to realise the field.

Just because we think we know something doesn’t necessarily mean we truly understand it.

Yes, but where does the field come from?

Like an apparition comes from everywhere.

Did you know that some animals can reproduce without having sexual intercourse?

It’s worth noting that insects and vertebrates have mass. Mass is made of particles that induce a virgin birth in certain insect species, like aphids, bees, and ants. Some vertebrates, such as lizards, snakes, birds, and sharks, have also been found to reproduce asexually without a male. Scientists discovered that the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) could have virgin births in 2006

The field is the universe; is us!

Some people call the Higgs particle the “God particle,” but most physicists disapprove of this nickname. Nevertheless, at CERN, words with familiar spiritual overtones are creeping into the jargon… ‘fundamental’, ‘all-pervading’, ‘omnipresent’.

It’s not a room we’re born of. It’s the universe!

The veil between the seeker and maker has become as thin as in ancient Greece. Look to Eleusis… the Eleusinian Mysteries, Plato, Aristotle, his teacher Socrates… the maverick tramp who tied most of them up in knots, Diogenes…

The established existence of this field of mass, present throughout the entire universe, has a physical dimension that determines the properties of matter. When excited by a specific particle, this energy field manifests itself as different celestial bodies such as planets, stars, galaxies, and even small objects like a grain of sand, an ice cream, or a Van Gogh print. It’s a proven fact that all Homo sapiens are interconnected with each other and the universe through this mass of subatomic particles.

The sun, which has tremendous mass, bends space-time, causing the planets to follow its space-time curvature.

Thoughts seem ethereal in form, but thoughts come through or from the brain,
and the brain is an integral part of the body, which is itself matter.

The more importance we give to our thoughts, the more this changes the brain’s ‘space-time curvature’ and helps to shape what happens around us.

Yet, if we identify or let a heavy thought run its course, we could easily find ourselves at war, at odds, and separated further from the person or country we’re trying to win over. Separated from the ballast of mass found within our physiological being, we have no ballast, no sense of belonging.

We’re given this relatively tiny lifespan, an opening of our hearts to a magic garden and a universe that beckons trillions of secrets. Yet, we become overloaded by the next idea or, more importantly, what we’ll be when our ship takes off.

As human beings, we can transform our lives and shape our identities in profound ways. With hard work and perseverance, we can make our dreams come true and impact the world meaningfully. However, we should never forget the beauty and depth of our humanity. Even when we get caught up in the daily grind, life’s grandeur continues to unfold around us, inviting us to explore and embrace the fullness of our existence. By staying true to ourselves and experiencing the wonder of life, we can create a rich, vibrant world with possibilities.

In some ways, we do the light and antigravity thing exceedingly well. We’re so obsessed with it that we run away with ourselves. Chin up. Cheer up, knock it out of the park. Only one way to go, and that’s to the top… adrenalin junkies, high divers, paragliders, and surfers that land the highest wave, up, up, and away. We can’t wait to get up there, and we can’t get enough.

The art and science of yoga have become about how far we can stretch and how supple we are. Union with the cosmological self is now bastardised into a competitive sport.

Like a musician who utilises contrasts of highs and lows in music to establish the tone and capture the complete pitch, timbre, and intensity of a symphony, it is crucial to hear and feel all the keynotes, combining light and heavy, to grasp the vastness and complexity of the score.

The scientifically proven Higgs field highlights a sharp contrast with the lifelong struggle with failure and the accompanying heavy cloud of depression. This contrast is so vivid that the tactility makes it impossible not to be humbled. Today and all days since. This congregation has no sides unless the matter I nibble on makes it so.

The universe comprises an invisible and elusive fabric that is the foundation for everything we see, including galaxies and planets, from the largest to the most minuscule life on Earth. Physicists have studied and chipped away at this energy field extensively to try and understand its workings and significance in the universe. However, sages, yogis, and other spiritual figures can sense that this field is not limited to theory or understanding but is an actual presence that can be felt.

Yoga teaches us to unite our fragmented mind and body, bringing about assimilation. ‘Yoga’ comes from the Sanskrit root ‘Yuj’, which means ‘to join’, ‘to yoke’, or ‘to unite’. In bringing the mind and body together with the universal sea of energy, an omnipotent tactile presence puts the chattering thoughts into perspective, bringing harmony and balance to our celestial home.

Isn’t this believing in such and such a deity again?

As we allow our thoughts, theories, and voices to flow through us, it’s important not to get caught up in them, especially when they take on a dark and dramatic tone. Instead, we can observe them and let them flow freely. Ironically, taking a step back within can help us become more aware of the incredible intelligence that exists within the mind and body. Being human offers us a fleeting chance to witness the miracle of our existence. We are physically united with the vastness of the planetary hemisphere, and the universe itself flows within us, a breathtaking union of the microcosm and the macrocosm, where our small yet significant being merges with the vastness of love.

Gosh, where d’you find the time for this hearsay malarky? All good and fine if you’re not busy keeping the wolves from the door. And that machine? Do we need to set particles on a collision course with other particles to experience the miraculous concourse of life?

It’s better than spending trillions on people colliding together in a raging war.

Maybe Aristotle had a conflict in mind when he figured there was no effect or motion without a cause.

How the body becomes the body is not a belief. It’s a ubiquitous force simultaneously earthbound and tied to the other. With all its astonishing complexities, the mass that makes being human is everywhere, in one form or another, all at once, right now. Keep it at bay and shut this energy out, if you will, but it will not concede.

Boson’s no fluke; it’s a revelation. Go quietly with the mind and witness the body’s ability to receive and transmit the cosmos in unison. The universe is the field of mass. We’re interconnected—mystical beings.

This vast canopy of stars, this Earth with its massive heartbeat of life in which we find ourselves, magically defined by words, turned on its head with scientific discovery. Yet, the miracle of life itself, fully realised, experienced, and taken to heart, is often dark and unsettled, too shattered for a lecture on the power of thought, how energy works, or what we’re made of.

The pain of losing someone you deeply love to an untimely death can be overwhelming. It can feel as though the world has lost its colour and meaning.

A precious balm soothes our sad, weary hearts as we lay down to rest by the ocean, lulled by the crashing waves. Stricken by loss, the rush of the sea and the cries of seabirds remind us of the beauty of life beyond the grave.

As the day draws to a close, the sun sets, bringing a sense of calm and peace. Yet, outside, in the forests, jungles, fields, and by the waterside, life is bustling with activity. Creatures of all shapes and sizes, above and below ground, are busy birthing and dying, allowing new life to bloom. Air filled with the sweet scent of flowers and the sound of nature creates a symphony that soothes the soul.

Seeing a friendly face or a loving animal’s companionship can bring hope when lost in despair. Amid the sadness and noise surrounding us, spending time with them can feel like a secret escape, a hidden refuge where the world’s troubles fade for a moment.

As beautiful and evocative as an artist’s reflection of someone can be, the portrait isn’t the person posing. Likewise, a belief is a reflection. Believe in God all you like, but the belief is not God. And before you bark up my tree, I’m simply trying to put some meat to the relative meaning of the word.

In a spiritual context, a belief is a series of thoughts channelled through an apostle, so those who feel lost might find some solace, a likeness in themselves forgotten: the awe of nature, kindness in our neighbours and finally, the fundaments of our cosmological roots, perhaps. No matter how successful we become, eventually, often in our twilight years, a paradoxical loss leaves us feeling unfulfilled and disconnected, urging us to reconnect with the almighty host.

Albert Einstein was 70 and living in Princeton when he received a letter from an ordained rabbi. The letter explains that the rabbi had sought in vain to comfort his 19‐year‐old daughter over the death of her sister, “a sinless, beautiful, 16‐year‐old child.”

A human being,” wrote Einstein in reply, “is a part of the whole, called by us Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” Albert Einstein

Is human life made up of speculation?

When the physical and emotional attachment between mother and foetus foretells an infant… the bosom is the go-to place.
That’s not a thought.
It’s a step with feeling.
Thought, along with its subsequent beliefs, comes later.
They’re inseparable.
What proof do you need?
A belly button…
Contemplate the navel all you like.
How’s that?
Beyond questions and thoughts.
Can anyone put words to that which bears the muse?
Being
eclectic
human
in body and mind
love
scream, shout, plead,
As much as we like to believe it, the thought of God might be in matter, but that thought isn’t all of matter.

From wispy and light to dark and foreboding, coming, going, and disappearing, thoughts like clouds have drama. If the entire universe and everything in it is
God, then yes, thoughts are…
Can anyone define this god you speak of?
Does anyone know?
Hang out somewhere between non-believers and believers… there’ll be an answer.
I wouldn’t sit between a lion and her cub.
Art needs science and some good medicine to sit in God’s lap.
Without inner engineering,
you become but a fragment eaten to pieces.
Tis thought.
You are…
Therefore, I am,
unimpeachable.
Look for flaws in a realm of consciousness marked by birth and death. That prerogative might quantify a purpose, but hanging our fleeting glimpse of this realm on a word or the sum of what we are to a belief or a building would be folly.

If heart and thought are the song’s central premise, then the body is a temple.

And so, I am grateful for the chance to marvel at the wonders of the Earth and the vast, mysterious universe. Because of you, I’m humbled, more curious about life’s fragility and abundance, and ready to reach into the depth of your being with fresh eyes and an open heart.

A warrior’s dream: a beautiful, miraculous body aligned with planets, a sun, a moon, and stars. Tread carefully upon this hallowed ground… being human isn’t a dress rehearsal.

Where’s the main event?
Right here.
Who said that?
A disentangled teacher.

 

Photography courtesy of ALEX LAURENCE-PHILLIPS

Note to the self… let go of that sway of thought and live again.