Before I write this post, I want to state from the beginning that I am not a physicist, I do not understand quantum physics, and I am not attempting to use science to explain certain theories of spirituality. I do, however, wonder at the fascinating way certain modern scientific theories seem to echo very, very old theories of spirituality.
With that written, I want to offer a brief summary of the way Brian Greene, physics professor at Columbia University, has explained string theory, along with how I think this may correlate with the spiritual experience of resonance. For many years, we considered the atom to be the basic building block of all matter. Then, of course, we discovered that atoms were constructed of even smaller particles – protons, neutrons, and electrons – and these smaller particles were in turn constructed of even smaller particles, called quarks. We are pretty sure that quarks are also made of something even smaller, but we don’t have the technology to test this, so we use mathematics to derive our best guesses. Thus far, the most widely held guess is that the smallest particle is a one-dimensional string of vibrating energy, thus where the title “string theory” arises.
What this means is that if this theory is true, everything, at its basic level, is constructed of tiny strings of vibrating energy. These tiny strings form every particle in the universe, with each of these particles being determined by the different vibration of the strings.
Now, when I say, “that strikes a chord,” it sorta has a totally different meaning, huh?
I’m not trying to make light of it, but this is pretty fascinating stuff to me…the idea that you and I are basically bunches of tiny vibrating strings of energy. The most amazing thing about this is that this is something Hindu and Buddhist practitioners have taught for centuries. Hindus believe the meditation mantra “Om” is the sound of the vibrating Universe, essentially the sound of the act of creation. It is repeated by the disciple in order to align his or her energy with the energy vibration of the Universe. Chinese natives have taught about chi for centuries, chi being energy, and the importance of balancing one’s chi. I’m not claiming all these folks were talking about string theory…I just find it very interesting that it seems to be so similar.
There is a soundtrack to life, and that soundtrack is the vibration of energy strings. While we can’t hear it, there are those who claim to be attuned to it. Then there is what I wrote above…about this “striking a chord.” We talk about harmony, being “in tune” with nature or the universe, or an idea “ringing true.” I don’t believe these are just clichés or even simple metaphors. I’ve experienced this harmony…this striking a chord…this ring of truth…on a very deep level and it’s not just thinking something is a cool idea. Once I began to practice silence…that is, to intentionally let go of the noises in my life and mind, and pay close attention to what was left, I was amazed at what my awareness revealed. There is something there, beyond all the noise, a gentle “om” that tells me if I am in harmony or if I hit the wrong note…but only if I pay attention.
I don’t think I’m unusual in this respect. Of course, I could be totally bonkers…thinking I can hear or sense the vibration of those tiny strings of energy. But if I am crazy, I think it’s the kind of crazy that Lao Tzu, Krishna, Jesus, and a whole host of others had too, and I’m perfectly okay with that kind of crazy.