You Have a Body; You ARE a Soul

Meditations in Motion

As I head out on my walk this morning (I am walking, rather than running these days. You can read why here), I see children everywhere, in the parks, in backyards, at the community pools. Two children were blowing the seeds from a dandelion across the blue early September sky. School begins late in our little town, after Labor Day.

 

It is, however, back to school time for all of my grandchildren. The end of summer leaves me feeling a bit wistful these days, since I am no longer going back to school. Oh, I was ready to retire. I was a teacher for many years, and the 60 or 70 hour work weeks finally caught up with me.

Meditations in Motion

There were many days when I would get to school around 6:45 a.m., teach all day, help students and have open labs after school (I was a chemistry teacher) and leave at 6:00 or 6:30 p.m., then I would go home, make dinner, eat dinner, and grade papers on the couch until I fell asleep. The next day I would get up and do it all over again.

This is a teacher’s typical workday. I was usually not the first teacher in my wing of the building to arrive in the morning nor the last one to leave at night.

I loved teaching in spite of the schedule; I loved the students, who always kept me smiling at their antics. There were many times, when disciplining a student for an infraction of a very important rule, that I had to bite the inside of my cheek to keep from laughing while I was being stern.

Meditations in Motion

I loved the creativity involved in assembling a good lesson plan. Finding or fabricating a new activity was a process in problem-solving, a puzzle. Putting everything together just right, so that you could see light bulbs going on over students’ heads after the lesson, was rewarding.

I loved and was constantly inspired by the dedication and unselfishness of my colleagues. How many times did I walk out of the school building in the dark, exhausted after a long day, only to see the friend who taught next to me still there, in her room, patiently explaining a concept to a student or listening to some personal trauma?

My classes consisted of first-year chemistry students, fifteen and sixteen-year-olds. The cardinal sin, which I tried to avoid at all costs, was to be boring.

Most of the time, it is easy to avoid boredom if you are a science teacher. There are so many items you can pull out of your bag of tricks – labs, projects, puzzles, role-playing – activities that keep students moving and make them think for themselves. One of the topics that I sometimes struggled to make relevant was quantum theory.

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Now quantum theory is actually very interesting. Really. The trick was to convince high school sophomores of this. It is estimated that 30% of our US economy is related to quantum theory in some way. Everything involving microprocessors, lasers, memory chips, LEDs and LCDs would be impossible without quantum mechanics.

When you get into the quantum realm, the Newtonian laws that govern our visible universe seem to break down. Two particles can exist at the same place at the same time. Or those same two particles can seemingly lose their thing-ness altogether and become light, pure energy.

Gravity, which only affects matter (something that has mass), is found to bend a beam of light towards a large, heavy object like a planet or a star. Does this mean that light has mass? (Spoiler alert: yes!) Gravity is also found to affect time, so that time passes differently – more slowly – at the surface of the earth (where there is a lot of gravity) than in outer space (where there is little gravity). Maybe that is why time passes so slowly when we are bored – it feels like we are being pulled down by an increased amount of gravity.

Physicists, describing quantum theory, are known to talk like mystics. The English physicist Arthur Eddington was quoted as follows: “Whether in the intellectual pursuits of science or in the mystical pursuits of the spirit, the light beckons ahead, and the purpose surging in our nature responds.” and “The physical world is entirely abstract and without actuality apart from its linkage to consciousness.” This is a physicist’s writing! A British physicist!

Meditations in Motion

As the particles you are studying get smaller and smaller, as you move from atoms to electrons, protons, and neutrons, to quarks and gluons, the less these particles seem like anything at all, and the more they seem like energy, light, spirit.

Even you and I, who seem so solid, so real, so substantial, are made up of these atoms, these sub-atomic particles, and these sub-sub atomic particles. Could this be God’s light literally shining through us?

Meditations in Motion

Consider this: there are approximately 37 trillion cells in the average human body, give or take a few hundred billion. Of these cells, about 60 billion die each day. That means that your body must make 60 billion new cells each day because we don’t lose cells as we age. You are literally a different person than you were yesterday. How many of your cells have died and been replaced while you have been reading this article?

So, who am I? Am I the 37 trillion cells I was yesterday or the 37 trillion cells I am today? It’s a trick question: I am not just a collection of cells. I have a soul, or as George McDonald said ““You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.

It is very illusory. What appears to be solid and real – my body – is an ever-shifting, ever-changing entity made up of energy at its core, but what seems to be spirit – my soul – abides. My body has mass and is pulled toward the center of the earth by gravity, but so is light. The soul fills and nourishes the body. It sees what the body cannot see. My body seeks food, comfort, entertainment, the immediate. My soul has an affinity toward God, the eternal.

Meditations in Motion

I walk down the road, watching the children enjoying the last warm days of summer, and I feel weightless as a dandelion puff, as if gravity has no effect on me. I am shot through with light, pure energy. My body is made from starlight and my soul is ethereal as an angel’s feather. I fix my gaze on the eternal fire burning in each cell of every dandelion seed and walk on, my spirit buoyed.

 

I am linking up with Clean East Fast Feets for her Week in Review, Shank You Very Much for Dream Team and Global Blogging , Random-osity for The Good, The Random, The Fun, blovedboston for Weekending, Char at Trekking Thru, Abounding Grace for Gracefull Tuesday, Patty, Erika and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run, Shelbee on the Edge for Spread the Kindness, Holley Gerth for Coffee for Your Heart, Debbie at Dare 2 Hear, It’s a Small Town Life for Thankful Thursday, and Eclectic Evelyn for her Words on Wednesday.

 

 

 

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47 comments

  1. My daughter, a high school Junior, after taking chemistry and biology last year, has decided she wants to major in one or both of these subjects. When I was in school, pretty much the only class I enjoyed was english. I probably could have benefited from having a teacher as enthusiastic as you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Absolutely brilliant and fascinating post, Laurie! You nailed quantum physics and mysticism in a way that most find very difficult to do! Further proof that you must have been an amazing teacher (and still are, I might add)! 😊.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I couldn’t quantify the gravity of this post, but I was delighted to find out you were a science teacher. You taught impossible things to teens!!! I admire all teachers for taking on a job I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. To top it off, you revere our Creator! Wow!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this, and just a few days ago, my son and I read in his chemistry book that light does NOT have mass, so I’m going to be sharing this post with him in a few minutes.
    Quantum Mechanics is fascinating, and reading about it always challenges my brain.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! Strictly speaking, his chemistry book is right. Light has what is called “relativistic mass”, but the mass of sunlight that falls on the earth in a day can be calculated. Many concepts in quantum mechanics are a “shades of gray” kind of thing. Very difficult to grasp!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely ruminations Laurie! I sat through two curriculum nights last week: One for 7th grade and one for our high school senior. I was struck by the passion emanating from so many of the teachers. My daughter’s AP Chemistry teacher seems sooo knowledgeable and capable. I liked her instantly. More importantly, so did my daughter! Definitely not an easy subject to grasp.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have to admit, I am not a science geek. I took Physics in HS, and while I passed, the knowledge pretty much pass totally through me, too. I need Physics for Dummies.

    On a different tack, I often say to people running is what you do; it’s not who you are.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have so much respect and admiration for teachers! I know I could never do it (I love my own kids dearly, but am..often times…less fond of the kids of others LOL). I had the patience when my kids were young, but it sadly left me as they aged.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love the title!
    I really want to re-read this post (skimmed it, have a headache).
    Have you ever read Gerald Schroeder’s books? The Science of God, Genesis and the Big Bang, God according to god, The hidden face of god. I think those are it. Coz’ your post – more what you wrote – reminded me of them. They taught me science more than anything else (hey, I’d never heard of quantum physics before. Nor had I known what matter was. Or that gravity affects time. Or what the big bang was. Or that people – scientists I mean – say that information is what lies behind the matter. Information/wisdom being the foundation. The double slit experiment. Etc. It’s all fascinating, and just gives me a kinda sense of stability in a world that is so unstable for me). Why’m I rambling???
    Happy Thursday!
    Love and light

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Eliza! Thank you for reading and commenting. I have never read Gerald Schroeder’s books, but now I will look them up. I love to think about the intersection of science and religion. The double slit experiment is incredible, especially when you think about it happening over 100 years ago. You knew the background of what I was talking about without me ever mentioning it in the blog!!! Happy Thursday!

      Liked by 1 person

      • 🙂 I read through all his (Gerald Schroeder’s) books and as I said they gave me an understanding of science and religion and the fact that they’re not a contradiction (well, to be honest I got bored of reading The Hidden Face of God so skipped a lot of it. And a lot of what he writes in his later books have stuff repeated from his earlier books).
        I didn’t realise the experiment was 100 years ago! Yeah it’s cool coz’ who knew that atoms have some sort of consciousness…. I love meeting people who actually know what they’re talking about too!! If you write anything more, I’d love to read it!
        Happy Friday 🙂 Hope you have a calm weekend.
        Love and light

        Liked by 1 person

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