This is a bit wonky, but I’ve been thinking about it a long time.
It concerns energy.
What energy does is obvious, but what energy fundamentally is, isn’t clear to me.
Take the gasoline that powers our cars. Gasoline isn’t energy when it’s just sitting in the tank. It requires a spark that triggers a chemical reaction that propels us forward.
Let’s scale that up. What is the spark that triggers the reaction that powers the universe?
The more I thought about this, the more I wondered about it. There are many kinds of energy produced from chemical reactions, but what is the essence of that energy?
Looking deeper, I learned about the four fundamental forces in the universe; electromagnetism, gravity, and the strong and weak nuclear forces. Perhaps the answer to my question about energy would be found there.
The strong nuclear force holds the nucleus of atoms together, and the weak force is responsible for radioactive decay. Not much help there! Gravity, according to Einstein, is a deformation of space-time. That doesn’t exactly clear things up either! This leaves electromagnetism. Physicists claim its simultaneously a wave and a particle, which makes no sense at all.
I wasn’t making much progress!
What I did find out was that I’m not the only one who wonders about energy. In fact, scientists don’t fundamentally understand it either! Quantum field theory is one attempt to describe it. Try looking that up on Wikipedia!
Ultimately, the only understandable definition for energy I could find came from theoretical physicist, Matt Strassler, who defines energy as a property of objects that characterizes their behavior and their relationships to one another.
What does that mean for us? Is it in short supply? Is it fundamentally renewable?
I mulled over Strassler’s definition for quite some time wondering what property of objects best describes their relationship to one another?
Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that property is “the pull to union!”
Think about it. Everywhere we look, we find a pull to union. Hydrogen and oxygen unite to form water, sodium and chloride unite to form salt. Cells unite to form complex organisms, stars unite to form galaxies.
Perhaps in layman’s terms, the pull to union is the fundamental energy of the universe.
It works for me, but what are the practical implications?
In human terms, the “pull to union” might simply be described as love, when two become one. This would make love the fundamental energy of our “Being!”
I can appreciate that technically oriented individuals might bristle at my naive conclusion, preferring instead equations that define eleven-dimensional space, or alternatively, one- dimensional vibrating strings (real theories).
They may be correct. I prefer to dumb things down.
Something is true when it is seen, and not true when it is not seen. If the pull to union is the spark that lights the universe, then our seeing is the extent to which we love.
I am more philosopher than poet, so I will yield to John Lennon to sum this up….
“All you need is love!”
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