Have you ever wondered what it is that exists at the utmost root of things? It was not long ago that science responded to this question with the atom, whose name means indivisible one. But as we know now, atoms can be split and there is a whole weird quantum world beyond it. So what is it then, that is most fundamental to our existence?
In his book, The Reflexive Universe, inventor and cosmologist Arthur M. Young sees this answer to be clear: it is action, not matter that is most basic to the universe we live in. He also sees this universe to be purposeful in it’s evolution.
“Science builds its edifice on mass, length and time. The suspicion of purpose only occurs in action, which combines all three. Is it possible that there is something present in the whole that is not in the parts?”
Who, if anyone, does not long for a sense of wholeness? Wholeness beckons us from grocery aisles with green marketing logos and from the bulletin boards on the way out that features happy yoga people in a moment of bliss. But have you ever considered that wholeness is what lies in your decision to drive to the store in the first place?
As Young points out; you can’t make a decision one and a half times. Actions come in wholes.
It was Max Planck who first came up with the notion that action comes in wholes, or quanta. He discovered the constant, an elementary quantum of action, which lead Einstein to discovering that light exists in discrete quantity of energy, or photons.
Unlike the atom, this quantum of action can’t be split apart. It’s a notion of true undivided wholeness, you might even say, the true atom.
Young explains that light itself is pure action because “light is not seen; it is seeing.” A photon can not be seen twice. It’s detection is it’s annihilation.
“Light is pure action, unattached to any object, like the smile without the cat.”
-Arthur M. Young, The Reflexive Universe
Emerson said “A right action seems to fill the eye and be related to all of nature.”
The Aries New Moon (Sunday, April 11th) is an invitation to ponder a “new atom”. A new answer to what exists at the utmost root of all existence. A new point of view that sees wholeness as inherent in the nature of action, decision, and purposive activity.
This New Moon receives a square from powerful Pluto in lawful Capricorn, empowering us to, as Young advises, “ use law instead of being blocked by it”. For Young, deterministic laws of nature are what is necessary for us to have means to achieve a goal. Rather than a question of determinism versus free-will, he sees determinism as the agency of free-will. How could you plan to start your car if you couldn’t count on the keys starting the ignition?
With goals and the means to carry them out, actions can vibrate stronger with purpose!
A New Moon, a new atom, a new you! On the most fundamental level, you are free as a photon! You are light and laughter! Beyond even time itself, for as Young points out, “clocks stop at the speed of light.”
Happy actions, and happy astro pondering!
Astro art by Johnnie Day Durand
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