Nature, the Supreme Purveyor of Understanding
In eleven simple words Albert Einstein issues a seductive invitation, exposes a sweeping and compelling truth, and gives us a profound way to perceive and comprehend fundamental aspects of ourselves and our universe. "Look deep into Nature, and then you will understand everything better."
To look deeply is to grasp more; to observe and embrace Nature is to better understand all that is, ever has been or ever will be; it is a portal, a way to enter into the ineffable. Nature purveys, offers, supplies us with understanding, if we will but observe its lessons and receive its truths.
We see patterns and startling precision; intricate simplicity; purposefulness; balance; equilibrium; cycles and seasons; birth and death, renewal and evolution. We see beauty, subtlety and elegance. When we truly look deeply, we see with more than merely our eyes, our microscopes, our binoculars, and our telescopes.
Nature is a great, pulsating library filled with endless volumes I long to study without end; it is a laboratory in which to discover and experience all life has to offer; it is a labyrinth we walk with mindfulness in order to find the center point, the essence, the very core of our own being. Nature is the ultimate artistry of the Creator. Is it possible that the universe is a macrocosm of us, or put another way, that we are a microcosmic model of the universe?
Does the birth and the death of stars in the sky somehow mirror the birth and death of cells in our bodies? Do our organs function like the constellations? Energy, vibrating, oscillating, waving, along with its created and recreated matter, are we not all of the same stuff made?
What do you see when you look deep into Nature and high into the heavens? How do your subsequent thoughts influence how you view and experience yourself and your world?
Dr. Wernher von Braun (1912-1977), commonly referred to as the father of the space program, said that, “The natural laws of the universe are so precise that we do not have any difficulty today building a space ship, sending a person to the moon and timing the landing with the precision of a fraction of a second.”
Having grown up with the early astronauts because of my father’s work, I have always been awed by space.
In their book, Wernher von Braun: Crusader for Space, Stuhlinger and Ordway quote this statement by von Braun.
"It is so obvious that we live in a world in which a fantastic amount of logic, of rational lawfulness, is at work. We are aware of a large number of laws of physics and chemistry and biology which, by their mutual interdependence, make nature work as if it were following a grandiose plan from its earliest beginnings to the farthest reaches of its future destiny. To me, it would be incomprehensible that there should be such a gigantic master plan without a master planner behind it. This master planner is He whom we call the Creator of the Universe . . . One cannot be exposed to the law and order of the universe without concluding that there must be a Divine intent behind it all."
So, we have wonder and logic, laws and intention, all of which we can more fully understand through observing the natural order of things. Along with this deep looking, I value the perspective of William of Occam (1285-1349), who was an English philosopher and Franciscan monk who contributed to the development of logic.
He formulated a principle of economy known as Occam’s razor; which states that a problem or situation should always be stated in its most basic terms. That is, stated as simply as possible, but no simpler; where it is always preferable to choose the simplest explanation of a phenomenon, the one that requires the fewest leaps in one’s logic.
So we look deep into Nature, seek its simplicity, and find fractals, and the Fibonacci series, and all kinds of creative elegance; just as we acknowledge that, in the words of the Psalmist, you and I are, “…awesomely and wondrously made; God’s work is wonderful…”
Is it not possible that the human body is a marvelous mirror of the heavens, and that our thoughts, spirit, will, volition and creativity mirror that of the Creators’? We are endowed with sight and insight, the ability to tune in and to experience intuition. Look deep into Nature; look deep into the radiant sun of your own beating heart. What is it that you find there?
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