Monday, October 13, 2003

"What is it that has called you so suddenly out of nothingness to enjoy for a brief while a spectacle which remains quite indifferent to you?...

It is not possible that this unity of knowledge, feeling, and choice which you call your own should have sprung into being from nothingness at a given moment not so long ago; rather this knowledge, feeling and choice are essentially eternal and unchangeable and numerically one in all men, nay in all sensitive beings.

But not in this sense--that you are a part, a piece, of an eternal, infinite, being as in Spinoza's pantheism. But inconceivable as it may seem to ordinary reason, you--and all other conscious beings as such--are all in all. Hence this life of yours which you are living is not merely a piece of the entire existence, but is in a certain sense the whole; only this whole is not so constituted that it can be surveyed in a single glance. Thus you can throw yourself flat on the ground, stretched out upon Mother Earth, with the certain conviction that you are one with her and she with you.

You are as firmly established, as invulnerable as she, indeed a thousand times firmer and more invulnerable. As surely as she will engulf you tomorrow, so surely will she bring you forth anew to new striving and suffering. And not merely 'some day': now, today, every day she is bringing you forth, not once but thousands upon thousands of times, just as every day she engulfs you a thousand times over. For eternally and always there is only now, one and the same now; the present is the only thing that has no end."

-Erwin Schroedinger, one of the founders of quantum mechanics, from My View of the World

Schrodinger's book What is Life? is a little-known classic. He was a student of Vedanta but of course among most people he is familiar as the man with the notorious cat.

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