December is my favorite time of year. In this month of darkness, in this the darkest month, the light of the human spirit shines forth in a fullness shown by so many, in so many ways. As the days grow shorter, houses and trees are decorated, and snow falls. In the hushed silence of the nights, lights shine in windows, and the beauty is shared by all. For this season of giving brings the festivals of lights: Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa. Each tradition incorporates light in its ceremonies and decorations.
A neighbor friend of mine who lives down the road where we used to live, a donkey in his stable, reminds me of the story of another manger 2000 years ago. And seeing him snug in his stable with snow on the ground used to give me the illusion that all is right in the world. But all is not well. Not now, not then. Millions know no peace in any season. A world-wide pandemic rages. Politics that divide us runs rampant.
This year some have no food, no home. Others fret over how to pay bills. Yet even living in darkest of times we can see the light of the human spirit and celebrate the season of light in personal ways. For the human spirit is indomitable.
In December’s darkness we light lights. For we are beings of light. A light glows within each one of us. And, at the most basic level, we are beings of light because we are made from stardust. Perhaps that is why the stars hold such majesty for us– for we are made from star material.
Einstein said: “A human being is part of the whole, called by us the ‘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 us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” We are all cut from the same cloth and our inner light unites us.
And in this holiday season we behold the night sky as shepherds did two thousand years ago on the birth of the holy infant, in a stable like the one down the road where my donkey friend lives. That night a star (maybe the congruence) lit the whole sky to guide the shepherds, and on these deep, long, silent nights as we light our houses, our candles, our trees, if we are blessed enough to have them, let us look inside ourselves and find the glow that may guide us to The Light.
Carl Sagan, Astrophysicist:
“We are all star stuff.”
Professor Brian Cox, Particle Physicist:
“Every atom of carbon, every living thing on the planet is produced in the heart of a dying star.”
Sergio Toporek, Artist:
The atoms in your body are 99.9999999999999999% empty space and none of them are the ones you were born with, but they all originated in the belly of a star.”
Dr. J.S. Bell, Quantum Physicist:
“No theory of reality compatible with quantum theory can require spatially separate events to be independent.”
Richard Dawkins, Evolutionary Biologist:
“Organisms can never be totally unrelated to one another, since it is all but certain that life as we know it originated only once on earth… Go backwards, no matter where you start, you end up celebrating the unity of life…”
The Beatles, Musicians:
“I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.”
Russell Targ, Physicist and ESP researcher and Dr. Jane Katra:
“… connection has been demonstrated repeatedly on the microscopic quantum level in experiments where pairs of photons (quanta of light) are sent off in opposite directions at the speed of light, but retain a connection, even after traveling many kilometers, whereby a change in the polarity of one photon observed by a researcher in Basel causes a corresponding change in the other photon observed by a researcher in Zurich.”
Joanne Elizabeth Lauck, Author of The Voice of the Infinite in the Small:
“… small changes in dynamic systems produce changes of great magnitude… small events emerging out of this wholeness give rise to nonlocal events, because all is connected.”
Albert Einstein, Theoretical Physicist:
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling 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.”
Scientists and artists agree. We are all one. They just use different vocabulary.
In my tiny life, I have only found the experience of connectivity demonstrated twice. Once, when my father died in hospital across town from where I was working and I “felt” his death at the minute of his dying. I “knew” it. And the other, when my brother collapsed suddenly in Michigan from what was later determined to be lung cancer, and I lost my balance and fell simultaneously in New York City.
Of course, there are the little syncronicities: thinking of someone and then seeing them a few moments later or dear ones calling each other at the exact same minute, or saying the same thing at the same moment, thinking the same thoughts simultaneously, etc.
It is not just family and those close to usthat are connected to one another in this life (and perhaps in previous lives), but all of life is tied to one another, born of a dying star, born of star-dust material. And yet so often we see the “other” as foreign. As Einstein so eloquently said, this is the “optical delusion” of our consciousness.
We are all connected. Not by cell phones and computers and the social networks, but by the very building blocks that compose us. And, if we can rise above the everyday pettiness, a Herculean feat to be sure, and feel the one consciousness that flows through us all, we could tap into a limitless ocean of empathy, and a unity of being.
The work of Professor Brian Cox who appears in the video:
“Consider that you can see less than 1% of the electromagnetic spectrum and hear less than 1% of the acoustic spectrum. As you read this, you are traveling at 220 km/sec across the galaxy. 90% of the cells in your body carry their own microbial DNA and are not “you.” The atoms in your body are 99.9999999999999999% empty space and none of them are the ones you were born with, but they all originated in the belly of a star. Human beings have 46 chromosomes, 2 less than the common potato. The existence of the rainbow depends on the conical photoreceptors in your eyes; to animals without cones, the rainbow does not exist. So you don’t just look at a rainbow, you create it. This is pretty amazing, especially considering that all the beautiful colors you see represent less than 1% of the electromagnetic spectrum.” –Sergio Toporek
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