By Adam J. Pearson
Adam Pearson: What is energy? Physicists give energy the somewhat abstract definition of ‘the ability to do work’ and see ‘work’ as shifting energy from one system to another. Energy can exist in many different forms. All forms of energy are said to be either kinetic or potential. The energy associated with motion is called kinetic energy. The energy associated with position is called potential energy. Potential energy is not “stored energy”. Energy can be stored in motion just as well as it can be stored in position.
Energy is fundamental to the nature of the universe, along with matter, and the fundamental forces that shape the interactions of all things in the universe. By energy, I mean that physical quantity into which mass can be converted as defined by Einstein’s rest mass-energy equivalence equation (E=mc2). This energy is not to be taken for granted; it is amazing and awe-inspiring and our lives are woven out of it.
This is the energy that drives our daily experience; kinetic energy, in particular, operates in our world in many different and amazing ways. It is active in the forms of the mechanical energy that is involved in the motion of macrocosmic systems, the thermal energy that is active in the motion of particles of matter, the electrical energy that operates in the motion of charges, and the electromagnetic radiation energy caused by the motions of photons. Physical energy is awe-inspiring, powerful, and amazing indeed; we must not give in to the temptation to take it for granted as simply part of ‘daily life.’ The greatest mysteries of all are woven into the fabric of daily life.
Benjamin Smythe: Energy is our true nature. You are an undefinable energy, not a name tag or a face mask. This energy has no need to know anything. It would dissolve into the light of computer screen in ecstasy if you were willing to surrender the desire to understand. No one knows. It’s okay to stop trying to figure things out.
Adam Pearson: I always found this neo-Advaita notion of you are “the nondual reality,” but not your name, thoughts, feelings, body, etc., etc. peculiar. In an all-inclusive reality, is there anything we are not?
Yes, we are this undefinable energy at one level of our being. But we are also our names, faces, bodies, thoughts, feelings, etc. Nothing is excluded from our being. The universe is our body.
Moreover, there is a part of our being that wants to know and understand. And there are many things we can know and understand, though always relative to the best of our knowledge and experience. No knowledge or understanding is final or absolute. And that is perfectly fine. In fact, that is part of what makes life so interesting; if we had all the final answers, there would be nothing new to discover.
Benjamin Smythe: The sharing here is peculiar indeed. It will resonate with some body-minds and not with others perfectly. No one is in charge. What resonates for you is perfect.
In this experience, nonduality has become an intellectual game in such a way that it is no longer useful to even take it seriously.
The invitation here is to forget everything about Oneness and dive directly into silence. This doesn’t mean talking or not talking. It simply means holding every image, object, sensation and thought loosely.
Adam Pearson: I hear you, my friend. I’m simply pointing to the fact that the opposite of each great truth is itself another great truth. Reality is so vast that it has room for all of our needs and freedoms from needs, all of our knowing and not-knowing, all of our loud, noisy thoughts and deep silence. The dance in and out of energy and matter is ongoing, as those who study high-energy physics and constantly witness the formation of particles (matter) from energy and dissolution of particles back into energy tell us. Death itself is simply a conversion of matter back into energy; it is a transformation.
Our universe is a great dance, a great waltz of energy and matter and fundamental forces, whirring together in a great cosmic play. In this great dance, we cannot help but be swept up. When we resist the flow of life, the flow of the dance, we suffer. When we actively surrender or join in to the cosmic dance, we flow with life, like a ship on the great ocean.