The Physicist and The Inner Self

The Physicist and The Inner Self
Image by croisy

Bob Dylan has been singing about "the times they are a'changin" since the 60s. But of course, change is not a one time thing, it does not belong to a particular decade or century, it's a continuous process. It is in the nature of life to be always changing..

I just read a wonderful article by Alan Lightman, a writer and physicist who teaches at MIT.. Alan is the author of "In Praise of Wasting Time". I find it inspiring to find scientists and physicists speaking and writing about "inner self" related topics.

Here is a portion of that article, entitled:The Virus Is a Reminder of Something Lost Long Ago. The subtitle of that article is: In rebuilding a broken world, we will have the chance to choose a less hurried life.

"With the forced slowing of life granted by the coronavirus, we are now seeing an explosion of creative ideas and innovations in many parts of the world. In Italy, quarantined citizens are singing from balconies. Writers have created new blogs. Parents have developed new art projects for their children.

But there is something more to be regained, something more subtle, more delicate, almost impossible even to name. That is the restoration of our inner selves. By inner self, I mean that part of me that imagines, that dreams, that explores, that is constantly questioning who I am and what is important to me. My inner self is my true freedom. My inner self roots me to me, and to the ground beneath me. The sunlight and soil that nourish my inner self are solitude and personal reflection. When I listen to my inner self, I hear the breathing of my spirit. Those breaths are so tiny and delicate, I need stillness to hear them, I need slowness to hear them. I need vast silent spaces in my mind. I need privacy. Without the breathing and the voice of my inner self, I am a prisoner of the frenzied world around me. I am a prisoner of my job, my money, the clothes in my closet. What am I? I need slowness and quiet to ponder that question.

Sometimes, I picture America as a person and think that, like a person, our entire nation has an inner self. If so, does our nation recognize that it has an inner self, does it nourish that inner self, listen to its breathing in order to know who America is and what it believes in and where it is going? If citizens of this nation, like me, have lost something of our own inner selves, then what of the nation as a whole? If our nation cannot listen to its inner self, how can it listen to others? If our nation cannot grant itself true inner freedom, how can it allow freedom for others? How can it bring itself into a respectful understanding and harmonious coexistence with other nations and cultures, so that we might truly contribute to peace and well-being in the world?

Like many of us, I will have the chance do that pondering for several months. But such self-reflection, such tending to the inner self, is not a onetime event. It should be an ongoing part of a life lived deliberately, to use Henry David Thoreau’s language. And that deliberate living requires an enduring change of lifestyle and habits."


 Get The Latest From InnerSelf


Read the entire article here.

Video/Presentation with Alan Lightman: 525,600 Minutes: Time, Eternity & Finding Value in Our Lives

Also From The Editors

What Works For Me: "For The Highest Good"

Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
The reason I share "what works for me" is that it may work for you as well. If not exactly the way I do it, since we are all unique, some variance of the attitude or method may very well be something that will work for you. Continue

Were You Part Of The Problem Last Time? Will You Be Part Of The Solution This Time?

Robert Jennings, InnerSelf.com
Have you registered to vote? Have you voted? If you are not going to vote, you will be part of the problem. Continue

InnerSelf Newsletter: September 27, 2020

InnerSelf Staff
One of the great strength of the human race is our ability to be flexible, to be creative, and to think outside the box. To be someone other than we were yesterday or the day before. We can change... our mind, our attitude, our health, and even ourselves. Continue

What Works For Me: "I Can Do It!"

Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
The reason I share "what works for me" is that it may work for you as well. If not exactly the way I do it, since we are all unique, some variance of the attitude or method may very well be something that will work for you. Continue

InnerSelf Newsletter: September 20, 2020

InnerSelf Staff
The theme of the newsletter this week can be summed up as "you can do it" or more specifically "we can do it!". This is another way of saying "you/we have the power to make a change". The image of the arrows hitting the center mark reminds us that we too can aim for a goal and attain it, however "impossible" or grandiose it may… Continue

InnerSelf Newsletter: September 6, 2020

InnerSelf Staff
We see life through the lenses of our perception. Stephen R. Covey wrote: “We see the world, not as it is, but as we are──or, as we are conditioned to see it.” So this week, we take a look at some different ways of seeing life and events in our life. Continue

When The Truth Is So Terrible It Hurts, Take Action

Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com
Amidst all the horrors taking place these days, I am inspired by the rays of hope that shine through. Ordinary people standing up for what is right (and against what is wrong). Baseball players, white and black, both teams, walking off the field in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. And today, I came across the… Continue

When Your Back Is Against The Wall

Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
I love the internet. Now I know a lot of people have a lot of bad things to say about it, but I love it. Just like I love the people in my life -- they are not perfect, but I love them anyway. Continue

InnerSelf Newsletter: August 30, 2020

InnerSelf Staff
The roads we are travelling these days are as old as the times, yet are new for us. The experiences we are having are as old as the times, yet they also are new for us. The same goes for the challenges we face. So this week we share various ways to traverse these times and come out on the... Continue

InnerSelf Newsletter: August 23, 2020

InnerSelf Staff
Everyone probably can agree that we are living in strange times... new experiences, new attitudes, new challenges. But we can be encouraged in remembering that everything is always in flux, everything changes. Continue

Women Arise: Be Seen, Be Heard, and Take Action

Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
I called this article "Women Arise: Be Seen, Be Heard, and Take Action", and while I am referring to the women highlighted in the videos below, I am also speaking of each of us. And not just of those of us in female bodies, but to all the "rising feminine" in all of us, male or female. Continue

The Day Of Reckoning Has Come For The GOP

Robert Jennings, InnerSelf.com
The Republican party is no longer a pro-America political party. It is an illegitimate pseudo-political party full of radicals and reactionaries whose stated goal is to disrupt, destabilize, and cause to self-destruct the legitimate elected government of the United States. Continue

Blue-Eyes vs Brown Eyes: How Racism is Taught

Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
In this 1992 Oprah Show episode, award-winning anti-racism activist and educator Jane Elliott taught the audience a tough lesson about racism by demonstrating just how easy it is to learn prejudice. Continue
enafarzh-CNzh-TWnltlfifrdehiiditjakomsnofaptruessvtrvi

follow InnerSelf on

facebook-icontwitter-iconrss-icon

 Get The Latest By Email

{emailcloak=off}

FROM THE EDITORS

InnerSelf Newsletter: September 27, 2020
by InnerSelf Staff
One of the great strength of the human race is our ability to be flexible, to be creative, and to think outside the box. To be someone other than we were yesterday or the day before. We can change...…
What Works For Me: "For The Highest Good"
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
The reason I share "what works for me" is that it may work for you as well. If not exactly the way I do it, since we are all unique, some variance of the attitude or method may very well be something…
Were You Part Of The Problem Last Time? Will You Be Part Of The Solution This Time?
by Robert Jennings, InnerSelf.com
Have you registered to vote? Have you voted? If you are not going to vote, you will be part of the problem.
InnerSelf Newsletter: September 20, 2020
by InnerSelf Staff
The theme of the newsletter this week can be summed up as "you can do it" or more specifically "we can do it!". This is another way of saying "you/we have the power to make a change". The image of…
What Works For Me: "I Can Do It!"
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
The reason I share "what works for me" is that it may work for you as well. If not exactly the way I do it, since we are all unique, some variance of the attitude or method may very well be something…