Giving and receiving?
I came across some intriguing thoughts from Ursula Le Guin at the beginning of today. She writes:
“Any two things that oscillate at about the same interval, if they’re physically near each other, will gradually tend to lock in and pulse at exactly the same interval. Things are lazy. It takes less energy to pulse cooperatively than to pulse in opposition. Physicists call this beautiful, economical laziness mutual phase locking or entrainment.”*
Picking up on the energy that is the universe – of which we are expressions, Le Guin continues:
“All living things are oscillators. We vibrate. […] That constant, delicate, complex throbbing is the process of life itself made visible.”*
I see this entrainment, or synching, both happening within me – I seek to bring together my dreams, talents, and experiences, my emotional, spiritual, physical, and spiritual so they might pulse harmoniously – and between me and what is not me – my dreams with the dreams of others, and so on.
It seems we’re made for this: we live in tightly compacted in towns and cities, we create complicated means of government and business and care; we also mirror one another in our meetings – one person leans on their chin, the other does the same. Perhaps debate is foreplay before the possibility of synchronising thoughts and conversations? Maybe its our consciousness that pulls us away from what we really hope for, the joining in a greater conversation.
On this thought, Alan Lightman tells of when he opened a scientific journal to discover that scientists in Japan were tackling the same problem he was. Reflecting on this, Lightman shares:
‘one has the overwhelming feeling that there exists some objective reality outside ourselves, that various discoveries are waiting fully formed, like plums to be picked’.**
This feels like synching, connecting with what is around us, being surprised, even shocked, to discover this “desire” to “connect” is out there as well as in here – some kind of deep calling to deep – entrainment is a deeper conversation, as Le Guin claims, telling is listening.
I close with some words from Stephen Pyne about the relationship we have with fire, how in this relationship is about learning to be human:
‘The sense of Burning Man as a symbol has substance. Embedded in the ritual is the realisation that humanity’s identity is bound to that fire. Each depends on the other. Before people could control fire, they had to control themselves.’^