On The Ties That Bind Us

“The ties that bind us to life are tougher than you imagine, or than any one can who has not felt how roughly they may be pulled without breaking.”

Anne Brontë

I admit I am no physicist (its language, math, is my weakest subject), but I have been fascinated with physics and in particular quantum mechanics since I was young. I am a dilettante to the science, but the classical experiment, proving the wave particle duality, blew my mind. How can matter exist both as a particle and a wave? How can Schrodinger’s cat exist in ALL possible states, meaning the cat is both dead and alive, until we observe it? The latest data proving that spooky action at a distance, or quantum entanglement, in which particles can be inexplicably linked and influence each other instantaneously no matter the physical distance exists is tantalizing. Then there are the more fantastical theories, from worm holes to time travel, that we read and see routinely in science fiction books and on screen. All have seeds in science and as we continue to learn more about the universe, the stranger things seem.

In my mind, these ideas manifest themselves into the notion that there is no one discrete boundary between each of us, for if we follow physics, we are all made up of mass, which is synonymous with energy. For a person who likes to think of herself as based (mostly…) in a logical, scientific world view, this is a nice bridge between the everyday world we see, touch, hear, taste, and feel, to the spiritual world, where we talk about things like “vibes,” “souls,” “unseen forces,” “fate,” “afterlife,” “coincidences,” and so forth. Your best friend calls you at just the right moment when you are in tears from a bad day? You chat with an old friend after not speaking for two decades, and she just happens to start talking about an old mutual friend you just got back in touch with earlier that day, out of the blue? Your coworker meets a client who had the same science teacher in high school, 6 years apart? That wasn’t coincidence, that’s spooky action at a distance. This is the “six degrees of Kevin Bacon” we jest about, except not a physical separation, but a metaphysical one.

There are things I know, more things I don’t know, and many, many, many more things I don’t know that I don’t know. But I wonder many evenings, as I sit and watch sunset, or today as I watch the snow drift as it falls from the sky, about what can be known if I just open my limited mind to unlimited possibilities. If I change the fundamentals I believe in, or was taught, and imagine something different. I think about events in my life, people in my past, present, and future, and consider what is the thread that ties those things all together besides the fact that I am the one experiencing it all in this plane of existence. And I wonder if there is and if so who is the architect of all this, and how much I have truly impacted what was, is, and will be.

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