Jeans, Sir James - The Mysterious Universe - The Loom
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Sir James Jeans – The Mysterious Universe
………These bands … are known as ‘world lines’, the world line of the sun traces out the position of the sun in ‘space’ which correspond to each instant of time
Just as a cable is formed of a great number of fine threads, so the world line of a large body like the sun is formed of innumerable smaller world lines, the world lines of the separate atoms of which the sun is composed. Here and there these fine threads enter or leave the main cable as an atom is swallowed up by or ejected from the sun.
We may think of [the whole] as a tapestry whose threads are the world lines of atoms.
In so far as atoms are permanent and indestructible, the thread like world lines of the atoms traverse the whole length of the picture in the direction of time advancing. But if atoms are annihilated, the threads may end abruptly and tassels of world lines of radiation spread out from the broken ends.
As we move timewards along the tapestry, its various threads for ever shift about in ‘space’ [within the bubble] and so change their places relative to one another. The loom has been set so that they are compelled to do this according to definite rules which we call the ‘laws of nature’.
The world line of the earth is a smaller cable, made up of several strands, these representing the mountains, trees, aeroplanes, human bodies and so on, the aggregate of which makes up the earth. Each strand is made up of many threads – the world lines of its atoms. A strand that represents a human body does not differ in any observable essentials from the other strands. It shifts about relatively to the other strands…. Like the tree, it begins as a small thing and increases by continual absorption of atoms from outside – its food. The atoms of which it is formed do not differ in essentials from other atoms, exactly similar atoms enter into the composition of mountains, aeroplanes and trees
Yet the threads that represent the atoms of a human body have the special capacity of conveying impressions through our senses to our minds. These atoms affect our consciousness directly, while all the other atoms of the universe can only affect it indirectly, through the interpretation of these atoms. We can most simply interpret consciousness as something residing entirely outside the picture and making contact with it only along the world lines of our bodies.