Sunday, May 28, 2017

When a Tree Falls in the Forest

Remember the old days when a mom or dad or teacher posed the question, "If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"

We could amend the question to fit an almost endless stream of circumstances: "If the news media or social media don't report on the slaughter of man or beast on a distance land, did it happen?" Or how about all the events of life and death on this planet over the eons, of which we have no knowledge but lead us directly to this point in time?

Decades later, these koan-like questions don't confound me the way they did as a teenager, when the question screeched to a halt at the "dead end" sign in my brain. Obviously, if no information comes to us via one of our five senses (or sixth sense for some) it has no relation to our data bank on a conscious level. In that sense, ignorance is bliss and we are a sum total of our direct perception. Whatever befalls life on planet earth and beyond that is outside of our purview is in fact nonexistent to us.

Quantum physics tells us a different tale of interconnectedness. Every movement of atoms and molecules will eventually create movement in our own molecules and atoms, effecting us in ways so subtle that we have no conscious knowledge. And yet, our very being is formed and dissolved back into the great mystery along with all those events of which we never knew but which impacted us profoundly.

So the answer to "If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" is YES AND NO. The ability to hold opposites to be true portends the ability to be at One with the All-That-Is. And that is good.

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