All posts tagged as einstein

20 Mar

From Zero to Infinity

In News by poeticinterconnections / March 20, 2010 / 30 Comments

Last week I was honored and thrilled to introduce my Spirituality, Science, and the Creative Process students to two stellar visual artists from Los Angeles, CA: Victor Raphael and Clayton Spada.

Generously donating their time, Victor and Clayton came to class to show and discuss their ongoing collaborative series, "From Zero to Infinity". All these artworks juxtapose spiritual and scientific images in a beautiful, resonant way. To me, they’re poetic interconnections rendered visually.

I’m an unabashed fan.

My students were also excited by the series, encouraging me to introduce you to "From Zero to Infinity". Here are a few of the artworks:



This piece is called Genesis. The scripture is from the first chapter of the Torah, detailing God’s creation of the physical world. The lines and swirls interlaced with the Hebrew text are bubble chamber tracks: images of elementary particles being created in high-speed collisions. To me, the artwork is a meditation on creation at its most fundamental, unitive level.



This piece is called Odyssey. It layers images of ancient cave paintings with equations handwritten by Albert Einstein, commenting on the evolving ways humans have communicated their conceptions about the nature of their world throughout the ages.



Finally, this piece is called Emanations. It features the Japanese Goddess Quanwon, whose energy field is thought to bring health and happiness to her worshippers. Juxtaposed is an artistic depiction of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation—the sea of energy pervading our universe, left over from the Big Bang.

"From Zero to Infinity" was on display at USC’s Doheny Memorial Library this past fall. To see more prints from the series, please visit Victor’s website and/or the USC Libraries webpage for the exhibit.

And if these artworks enchant you as they’ve enchanted me, please spread the word about them! Forward this blog post to anyone you know who might be equally captivated.

My sincere thanks to Victor Raphael and Clayton Spada for their time, their art, and their vision.

Comments, of course, welcome…

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13 Sep

Kabbalah and Einstein lecture Sept. 26, 2009

In News by poeticinterconnections / September 13, 2009 / 1 Comment

What do Jewish mysticism and the physics of Albert Einstein have in common?

Kabbalah teaches that sparks of God’s light are hidden deep within us and every other created thing. Einstein’s seminal equation E=mc² says every seemingly solid particle in our universe is actually pure energy. The correspondence is unexpected and intriguing… This lecture by Adam Daniel explores God, soul, and science, inviting students to recognize the infinite creative potential inherent in themselves, and in everything.

Saturday September 26, 2009, 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
The Enlightened Path Center
74-140 El Paseo, Suite 1
Palm Desert, CA 92260
Admission: $20.00

More information is posted at this blog’s Events page.

Hope to see you there!

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29 Jun

Religion, Science, and Education

In Essays by poeticinterconnections / June 29, 2009 / 8 Comments

Yesterday I graduated the Master of Arts in Education program at Antioch University Los Angeles! This personal milestone has put me in an excited and reflective state of mind. And so today, rather than detailing a specific poetic interconnection between spirituality and science, I’m feeling inspired to renew the overall mission statement of this blog, and my ongoing research in religion, science, and education.

This post is a credo!

The world’s religions have been at odds for centuries, with violent and tragic results. And since the Scientific Revolution in the 16th century, religion and science have also been unable to stop fighting. The reason for these conflicts is that our religious sects, and religion and science, have traditionally offered very different answers to the deepest questions people face: Where did we come from? Who are we? Why are we here?

These questions are philosophical, but should not be dismissed as abstract. Guiding philosophies lead directly to actions. Our metaphysics informs our ethics.

In his wonderful book Religion and Science: Historical and Contemporary Issues, groundbreaking religion/science scholar Ian Barbour defines metaphysics as “philosophical analysis of the most general characteristics and components of reality…” At this point in human history, we undertake such analysis of our foundations using religion and science as our main tools. Sadly, in my opinion, both have become misused and misinterpreted in-and-of themselves. Traditional religious dogma convinces us our deepest questions all have answers, promoting absolutism over inquiry, hubris over humility. Worst case result: we kill in the name of our chosen deity. The scientific materialism of classical physics reduced us to assemblages of mindless particles moving in empty space—purposeless, lacking agency and soul. Emphasizing technology over wisdom, we penetrated the atom and used what we learned to build nuclear bombs.

But inside these tragic problems lies their solution: there are less traditional forms of religion and new developments in science that answer our most vital metaphysical questions in ways that sound similar, finally allowing for the possibility of an integrative and constructive worldview in which we can all share, peacefully. These untraditional forms of religion are the mysticisms this blog continually describes and celebrates: Vedanta Hinduism, Mahayana Buddhism, Taoism, Kabbalah, Islamic Sufism, and Christian mysticism. The new developments in science are Einstein’s relativity theories, quantum theory, chaos theory, systems theory, and evolutionary biology.

The perennial philosophy of mystical spirituality and the worldview emerging from discoveries in modern science both describe a reality characterized by holism, interdependent relationship, and emergent creativity. This sort of reality should inspire awe and humility, compassion and charity, and playfulness and artistry.

As a thinker, writer and educator, I encourage all these orientations! I find them all to be expansive. Thus expanded, we all tend to kindness.

I also prioritize synthesis: both/and, higher level thinking. Other academics have championed religious tolerance, and tolerance between religion and science. While admirable, these efforts haven’t eased the perception that these two worldviews are fundamentally dissimilar—thesis and antithesis. My mission is actual resolution of the dialectic: I want to lead my readers and students in identifying principles common to religion and science, and interweaving them into a new unified and useful philosophical tapestry.

To repeat an analogy previously used in this blog: Only from the mountaintop can we clearly see how all paths upward actually converge on the same peak.

My goal is to illumine that summit—and to share the beauty, joy, and enchantment I experience seeing it all lit up!

Thank you, as always, for joining me along the way.

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16 Nov

Kabbalah and Einstein

In Essays by poeticinterconnections / November 16, 2008 / 20 Comments

Isaac Luria was a 16th century Jewish mystic who redefined Kabbalah with sublime teachings about creation, the nature of God and the spiritual purpose of human lives.

Luria illuminated a three-stage cosmology. It began with God existing alone, as an infinite plenum of conscious energy called Ein Sof. Desiring to create the universe, Ein Sof withdrew itself from a small area to allow space for a material world. Within this space, God then eminated a ray of generative light. This light was mediated through 10 vessels called sefirot, which were supposed to manage the transition from pure unified energy to diverse physical creation, much like prisms refract white light into a rainbow of colors. But God’s light was too powerful for the sefirot, and they shattered. Sparks of the light became trapped in shards of the vessels: Divinity became lost in physicality, soul became lost in body. God became unrecognized in the world, hidden inside matter like a pearl in a shell.

The mission of all human beings, taught Luria, is to ‘raise’ these sparks: to find and recognize the Or Ein Sof—the light of the infinite—in ourselves and in everything, redeeming all creation!

Four centuries later, Albert Einstein, during a career of great genius, produced the seminal equation E=mc². Put into words, this equation says that energy (E) equals mass (m) multiplied by the speed of light squared (). This means that energy is equivalent to mass sped WAY up. Einstein’s correspondence between mass and energy is profound—it indicates that all matter in our universe is really made of pure energy! This idea is most clearly realized by performing a quick algebraic transformation on the equation, rewriting it:


Written this way, the equation now says that mass equals energy divided by the speed of light squared: Mass can be described as energy slowed WAY down. Basically, mass is energy trapped in relative stillness! We look around ourselves and see seemingly solid, still objects, with all their limitations and boundaries. But the energy inside wants to break free—it wants to be raised! Our truest nature is energetic: fast and infinite.

Was Luria right, then—is every particle of which we’re made just a shell, within which exists an energetic pearl of pure divinity?

Did Einstein confirm Kabbalah?!

Comments welcome.

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10 Nov

On Duality

In Essays by poeticinterconnections / November 10, 2008 / 5 Comments

Our greatest spiritual systems testify about interdependent opposites. Taoism has yin and yang; Hinduism has Shiva and Shakti; Kabbalah has its “Pillar of Mercy” (kav yamin) and “Pillar of Severity” (kav smol). Sufis worship God as both transcendent (as-Zahir—’Manifest’) and immanent (al-Batin—’Hidden’).

Everything we know, we know both in-and-of-itself and conditioned by its essential opposite. Duality is built into our bodies: our inhale and exhale, the systole and diastole of our heartbeats, the hemispheres of our brains. It’s built into our psyches: We love and hate, rejoice and grieve simultaneously—often confusing ourselves. Our most fundamental physics is characterized by a phenomenon called wave/particle duality—turns out, everything we’re made of behaves both ways! It’s a puzzle.

Einstein’s E=mc2 says everything is energy, and what is energy? The dynamic interaction of positive and negative charges—duality.

The cliche that ‘there are two sides to every story’ holds: Our world is dual.

But our minds analyze and fragment our experience—it becomes ‘either/or’. Valuable for basic survival, for distinguishing threats from benefits to escape death and enhance life, this orientation comes with a high price. It causes restriction and suffering, because we are ‘both/and’. The universe in which we live is ‘both/and’—at least! Fragmentation keeps us safe, but it also lessens us: We miss ourselves and each other. Embracing holism can align us with our full, sacred nature; we can strive to transcend polarities and grasp Truth. But then even that truth can become polar—a broad thesis to which we can propose an antithesis, throwing everything we know into humble question. And we can try to answer that question by reconciling our thesis and antithesis, creating a synthesis—a new, even higher-level truth. And then we can do the dialectic again, and again, embarking on a journey not of infinite regression, but infinite ascension—a seeking of ever higher and deeper truths.

Am I describing the scientific method, or a striving towards God?! Comments welcome.

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