The concept of energy did not exist in European physics in the 1600s, in Newton's
time. The concept of kinetic energy didn't get in till 1845 through Thomas Young as 'mass times velocity squared.' And the concept of potential energy didn't get in till 1881. And no one in Europe then knew what
energy is. Newton was concerned with forces. And I suspect that it is because European physics came down through him that some modern physicists busy themselves primarily with forces rather than with energy. But
the Universe isn't made out of forces. The total force, like the total momentum
and the total electrical charge, stands at zero. The Universe isn't made out of forces; it's made out of energy and the total
does not go to zero. And the question is: What is this energy?
Thinking in terms of forces, and noticing that the gravitational force, like the electrical
force, approaches zero at infinity, some of the early European physicists defined gravitational energy as negative. But, although
the gravitational force goes down as you go farther and farther from the Earth,
the energy involved in the danger of falling, does not go down. We wind against electricity by pushing like charges together,
but we wind against gravity by pulling things apart.
The attractive feature of seeing gravitational
energy as negative is that, since the total gravitational energy of the Universe is equal to the total electrical energy,
the total overall energy of the Universe might be zero. That is, the Universe might not really exist. That notion was gleefully
embraced by some of the supporters of the Big Bang model. But it can't be supported.
The main trouble with that notion is that the mass
of the electrical energy and the mass of the gravitational energy are the same thing and the total does not go to zero. We
have it from the Einsteins in 1905 that what we call mass is just potential energy.
It's all energy, and the total does not go to zero. But what is this energy?
If we go back a few thousand years we find some earlier
physicists in India who saw that the whole Universe is made of energy, and who saw what that energy is. And their word for
that energy was Shakti. However, if we discriminate between what we see as matter and what we see as energy, then their word
for matter was Akasha and their word for energy was Prana, as Nikola Tesla used them, but those old physicists said it's all
energy, even what we see as matter is energy, Shakti. And we European physicists
got that notion, that what we call matter, or mass, is only energy, from the Sanskrit through Swami Vivekananda.
In 1896 the swami
asked Tesla if he could show that what we see as matter could be reduced to potential energy. Tesla apparently failed, but
his close friend, Mileva Maric, Einstein's first wife, whose name was on the relativity
paper which she wrote for her husband in 1905, carried that notion into European physics. But what that
energy is was left out.
So the question remained: What is this energy and why does it take the form of hydrogen gas, made of
electrical particles, and falling together by gravity to galaxies and stars?
Going back again to those earlier physicists, whose
word for the Universe was Jagat, the changing; we see that they asked this question: Against what could the Universe change?
And their answer was that there must be an
what we see, that's not in time and space and therefore neither changing, finite nor divided. Their word for that was Brahman.
And they said, "All this is Brahman. Let a man meditate on that visible world as beginning, ending and breathing in it,
Then they asked, "If what exists is changeless, how can we see it as changing? It can only be by mistake."
So they studied mistakes, because mistakes are avoidable. And they pointed out that in order to mistake a rope for a
snake there are three things that one must do. First one must fail to see the rope
rightly, as in the twilight. That they called the veiling power of the mistake, and that's avoidable. Then one must jump to
the conclusion that it's a snake. That they called the projecting power of the mistake. And finally one must have seen the
length and diameter of the rope or one never would have mistaken it for the length and diameter of a snake. That they called
the revealing power of the mistake, and that's not avoidable. You can't mistake a rope for a snake without seeing the rope.
The problem then is to see the rope rightly. But the question remained: Why does the mistake of seeing Brahman, in space and
time take the form of hydrogen?
That's because the underlying existence must show through in the revealing power of the mistake. The
changeless, which must show through, shows through in our physics as inertia. And the infinite and the undivided show through
as the electrical and gravitational energies, 'energies of position in space.' But they are all the same thing. We see the
underlying existence through space as energy and through time as inertia.
Had those early physicists known what we know now,
that the Universe is made of protons and electrons, they might have seen that the simplest form of this mistake is the hydrogen
atom. The changeless shows through as its inertia; the infinite shows through
as the electrical charge on the proton and the electron; and the undivided shows through as gravity and the electrical attraction
between the proton and the electron. And both particles are spinning because neither is changeless. Those early physicists
would have had an explanation for all this.
Richard Feynman has pointed out that we Europeans have no explanation for inertia
or gravity. And Einstein has pointed out that we have no explanation for electricity. And it is very interesting to note that
from these three negative
statements by those early physicists about
what might exist beyond time and space we have a possible explanation for all three, for gravity, electricity and inertia.
But still, it is obvious to very few that energy is that underlying existence, which
the ancients called Brahman, showing through in time and space.
And a further question
remains: What keeps the undividedness from showing through in the revealing power and closing down the electrical duality
of the electron and the proton in the hydrogen atom? And what keeps it from
closing down the gravitational plurality of the neutrons in a neutron star? Does the plurality keep up the duality,
and does the duality keep up the plurality?
Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, through the gravitational plurality of the protons,
prevents the demise of the electrical duality in the hydrogen atom because only the proton, as Feynman has pointed out, has
its mass related to
the gravitational plurality. The electron is
And Pauli's exclusion principle, through the spin duality, prevents the demise of the gravitational plurality of
a neutron star because the neutrons are Fermi particles with only a half unit of spin so that only two can sit in the same
It appears to me that through the uncertainty principle the particles should recycle
from the borders of the observable Universe as their mass and their momentum approach zero through redshifting. If we can
know their momentum, we can't know where they are. It appears to me also that
through the exclusion principle neutrons should recycle from black holes because they are Fermi particles and only two can
sit in the same place.
The interesting thing here is that the lowering of the rest mass, through redshifting, at the borders
of the observable Universe is simply observational, but the lowering of the rest mass in a black hole is actual because the
particles have fallen into a gravitational well. Also, since they are not recycling
through the uncertainty principle, they might not be constrained to dispersion but might instead recycle along magnetic field
lines to quasars or intrinsic redshift galaxies.
To give up the make-believe and see the real, who has that strength? Swami Vivekananda
said, "If it's strength, go down into Hell and get hold of it." We don't take it seriously. We don't even take the
A teaspoon full of water is the energy of five
atomic bombs. Who keeps track of that when he's swimming in the ocean? And energy itself is Brahman, the underlying existence,
shining through. Earth's crammed with Heaven, and every common bush afire with God.
But only he who sees takes off his shoes...
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
John Lowry Dobson
4135 Judah Street, San Francisco, CA
February 28, 2004 (415) 665