Wednesday, May 21, 2008


"The goal which all the Vedas declare, which all austerities aim at, and which men desire when they lead the life of continence … is Om. This syllable Om is indeed Brahman. Whosoever knows this syllable obtains all that he desires. This is the best support; this is the highest support. Whosoever knows this support is adored in the world of Brahma." ~ Katha Upanishad I
“Ten or twenty billion years ago, something happened — the Big Bang, the event that began our universe. Why it happened is the greatest mystery we know. That it happened is reasonably clear. All the matter and energy now in the universe was concentrated at extremely high density — a kind of cosmic egg, reminiscent of the creation myths of many cultures — perhaps into a mathematical point
with no dimensions at all ... in that titanic cosmic explosion, the universe began an expansion which has never ceased." ~ Carl Sagan, COSMOS
“Incidentally, disturbance from cosmic background radiation is something we have all experienced. Tune your television to any channel it doesn't receive, and about 1 percent of the dancing static you see is accounted for by this ancient remnant of the Big Bang. The next time you complain that there is nothing on, remember that you can always watch the birth of the universe.” ~ Bill Bryson
The sound Om, or Aum, means different things in different cultures. In Vedanta, it symbolizes All. The sound, beginning with the mouth open and ending with it closed, contains all sounds. There is more to it than that, but even what I am about to describe is the tip of the iceberg.
Vastly oversimplified, the first part, Ao, represents the physical universe ... that which we call matter, from our bodies to the stars. The middle part, uu, represents the universe of the mind or the imagination, which is as much a part of the universe of awareness as the physical. It is not incorrect to say that our stories are as real as the physical world. The third, um, is the unconscious world. Again, the nothingness that we experience when we are unconscious is as real as the universe we can touch or dream of. Aum is the entire universe contained within our awareness. (1)
If you think of it that way, it resembles the cosmic egg Carl Sagan talks about. That's the first point where Eastern spirituality and quantum physics seem to blend. The universe started expanding with the Big Bang and, if conditions are right, it may eventually contract back into its original single-point cosmic egg state. It could repeat the cycle of expansion and contraction eternally.
To me it seems like a nice visualization for meditation. As you imagine the air expanding out of your body, then being inhaled back in, to the accompaniment of Aum, it is almost like a miniature version of creation and uncreation, cycling throughout eternity.
Not a bad metaphor.
(1) In more Western terms, Anais Nin wrote, “There is not one big cosmic meaning for all, there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.”

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