We tend to think of mass-energy (e.g. objects) as moving through spacetime, like a boat through water. For example, the theoretical physicist John Archibald Wheeler summarized Einstein’s theory of general relativity thus:
Spacetime tells matter how to move; matter tells spacetime how to curve.-John Archibald Wheeler, Geons, Black Holes, and Quantum Foam (2000), p. 235.
But this makes it seem like spacetime is something separate from matter, as a boat is separate from water (often depicted as in the image above, matter curving a field of spacetime). But why must these be two separate things? Even in Wheeler’s summation of Einstein’s theory, they are at least closely related, linked, interconnected. But how?
Einstein unified mass and energy into mass-energy (E=mc²), and space and time into spacetime (special relativity), what if mass-energy and spacetime can also be so unified into One Singularity, and this is what we are beginning to see now in quantum theory? What if these are not two separate things, but really One thing manifesting in two different ways?
What if mass-energy is not something separate from spacetime, but is the arising of spacetime itself, an energetic excitation of the field of spacetime, or some deeper unified field, which appears to us as the dualities of mass-energy and spacetime? Perhaps this duality we see is either the presence or absence of energy in that singular field.
In other words, objects might not be something separate from the space in which they seem to appear. Objects may be like waves rising up from an undivided ocean of being. Waves do not move through the ocean; they are the ocean itself, in movement. They only appear to us to be separate independent things.
Quantum Field Theory says that what we see as “particles” are really excited states of underlying field(s) that are more fundamental. The particles are not something separate from the field, but are the field itself in motion. And that field is not something particular and discrete, but whole and universal. The particularization we see is perhaps energy manifesting in different parts of that Whole field, coalescing to a high enough degree that it becomes manifest in our perceptions as “particles” or “objects.”
This may have another implication, which is interesting, that I’ve explored before. The movement of an “object” from here to there in spacetime may not be an independent thing moving in a separate independent medium, but rather may be the movement of energy in the field itself. The field doesn’t move, but rather it is the energy exciting the field that seems to move. The field itself is unchanging, even while the energy that is its excitation seems to change, clump together, disperse apart, etc. Both Parmenides’ unchanging “being” and Heraclitus’ ever-changing “becoming” may both be true; one may be the explicate manifestation of the other. The beingness of energy perhaps never changes, but only ever changes form or transforms.
All of this perhaps brings new meaning to Paul’s spiritual insight that “in God we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). God could be that infinite universal undivided whole field or Singularity, the Holy (Wholly) One of Israel, and each of us is a manifestation of that One, an energetic excitation and coalescing of the One itself, the waves arising from that undivided ocean, the Father arising (resurrecting) as the Son, the Mother giving birth to itself in the Christ Child, the Word made flesh, the Dharmakaya incarnating as Nirmanakaya Buddha, etc.
We might not move in God like a boat through water, but rather we are the movement of God’s own Self in its Self. We don’t live as something separate from God and each other, but we are the Living forms of God in its Self. We don’t have being separate from God, but we are God’s Being in manifest forms, the energy of God being expressed through these particular expressions of being. We derive all our energy, in particular, from our nearest star, the Sun. That is our most proximate source of energy to be in our neighborhood of this uni-verse.
As a famous poem goes, we are like the body parts of the One “Christ” acting in the world, the Christ being the “One in God.” When we realize we are that One’s body parts, we act as Christ acts, in unity with all “other” beings that are all expressions of the same Body of the One.
What do you think?