Last week I published my first eBook novel to Amazon Kindle. I actually wrote the book about ten years ago and when I could not find a publisher for it at the time, I saved it to the archives of my computer and pretty much forgot about it. Then about a year ago Thom and I began reading about the new explosion of ebooks and how that process is revolutionizing the publishing world. Then I remembered my novel and thought—why not? Why not publish it myself? I had everything to gain and absolutely nothing to lose. Although it took a while to get it ready to publish, (that’s another blog post subject!) it’s finally done and available. (*) What struck me the most the morning after the book went “live” on Amazon was the euphoria I got from the uncertainty/possibility of the experience. And that got me wondering—why don’t we all seek uncertainty on a regular basis to capture that feeling? In fact, why do we chase stuff or even experiences when one of the greatest highs around is just a tiny bit beyond what we think, know and expect during the course of a regular day?
One of my favorite quotes of all time is by a poet named Rumi who said, “Out beyond wrong doing and right doing is a field. I will meet you there.” And while that field is certainly a place where we can meet and understand one another far beyond our opinions, it is likely that it is also a space filled with infinite possibility. See, if I start thinking I know everything there is to know about something and how it’s all going to turn out, then I close down most ideas of something happening that is even more amazing than I can imagine. Sadly, even when we are asked to try, most of us don’t even know how to “think outside the box.” Our current thinking so limits and controls our imagination and possibilities that we are stuck inside with only our own minds and creativity to sometimes crack open a tiny doorway.
A more recent person who speaks a great deal about unlimited potentiality is Deepak Chopra. For several decades now he has been putting out books, tapes and PBS programming that shares the idea of Unlimited Potentiality. Another way to think of this field is to call it the “consciousness” of possibility or even an awareness of the miraculous in everyday life. I think some of us imagine that field, awareness, or consciousness as a place to get to or arrive at—some day in the future. But what Deepak is really talking about is not something you or I want to get to or be—but instead something you and I already are. Like fish, so busy looking for the water in which we swim, many of us are so busy searching for that illusive something outside ourselves that we often miss the obvious. The obvious is that you and I are already unlimited potentiality or miracle by our very nature.
Okay, so that explanation might be a bit too woo-woo for some of you to absorb. But interestingly, those of you who prefer scientific explanations can arrive at a similar conclusion if you follow the right track. Ever hear of Schrodinger’s Cat? Schrodinger’s Cat is a hypothetical thought experiment that demonstrates the principle of quantum mechanical theory. By a graphic illustration, this experiment explains how nature and the behavior of matter on the microscopic level are affected by what you and I observe on the macroscopic level. Huh?
Okay, here’s the visual (remember this is a theoretical experiment so no animals were hurt in the process!) First you place a living cat inside a steel box along with a vial of hydrocyanic acid, plus a tiny amount of radioactive substance. If just one atom of this substance decays during the test period then a hammer would break the vial and the cat would die. The problem is, none of us can see inside the steel box—so none of us know for sure whether the cat is dead or alive. In fact, until you open the box the cat is technically both alive AND dead at the same time. The paradox is that observation (=measurement) affects the outcome, so the outcome doesn’t exist until the measurement is made. In quantum physics this is often called, the “observer’s paradox” or affect. Most scientists are convinced that the observer’s affect occurs on the subatomic level all the time. What is less known is how the observer-affect changes reality in the world as we know it.
Another way of looking at the paradoxes revealed by quantum physics is in the idea of wave/particle duality. This duality suggests that on a subatomic level all particles making up both light and matter exist as either a wave or a particle until they are “collapsed” by observation. Through a consistently verified experiment called the “double-slit” experiment, the paradox of the wave/particle shows time and time again that in probability, a wave is also a particle, and a particle is also a wave. It is during the study and test of these particles and waves that observation influences the findings of the experiment. As with Schrödinger’s Cat, the observer affects the observed.
So, what does all this mean to you and me? Basically, it means that whatever I expect to happen—whatever I believe and then see happen—locks me into a certain reality. And if I can stay in a space/awareness that exists before I start expecting and believing and seeing things—then just about anything is possible—pure potentiality!
I’ll admit that these are not easy ideas to absorb especially if you’ve never read anything about quantum mechanics before. I became fascinated by them about ten years ago and can still barely grasp the implications. But like I said above, the science of quantum mechanics suggests that we find exactly what we are looking for AND once we see something we are pretty much stuck to that idea. However, until we see it, the world exists as pure potentiality and possibility. So which world would you rather live in most of the time? I think it’s obvious that most of us pick the predictable, safe and “certain” life 99% of the time.
But my experience with my recently published book reminded me on a deep level that there is something much more exciting and potentially rewarding available to us all every single second. How? Whenever we do or try something we’ve never done before and have no idea how it is going to turn out, we open the door to unlimited potentiality. Because I have no idea how my book experiment will turn out I can imagine anything I want. I can imagine that it is the first of 50 best sellers all waiting to pour out of me into book form. I can believe that the book will go viral and hundreds of thousands of people will read it. I can dream that the book will reach out and inspire people around the world to know they “get to make it up” and create a world that works for everyone. I can conceive that the story will touch and heal thousands of people by reminding them of their true spiritual nature. On and on I can imagine, dream, believe, visualize, conceive and expect a limitless amount of good for my book.
I think the soul of everyone on the planet craves that feeling—the problem is that much of the time we don’t know where to look. Perhaps when any one buys a lottery ticket, or spontaneously moves across country to a location where you don’t know a soul, or impulsively decides to bring a child into the world, or quits a job without something else lined up—each are ways to seek a path to unlimited possibility in a unique way. In fact, maybe all impulsive acts are a cry for a deeper connection to the very Source of our being.
Fortunately, each of us can access unlimited potential all the time with intention. Think of it as though every single day of our life we wake up and there is an elaborately wrapped gift sitting in our living room. That gift contains at least four different scenarios: #1 It can look and feel like every other day filled with the same old (some good/some bad) stuff. #2 It can contain our worst fears, doubts and limitations. #3 It can be filled with the things we think we love and appreciate—but not much new. (If I’m honest, this is where I dwell most of the time.) But there is actually one more choice. #4 if we leave the gift fully wrapped and sit with it for a while—absolutely anything is possible. Miracles happen. In that space there is NO limit to us, or the world around us. The longer we can sit with that uncertainty, the more we open our consciousness to unbounded potentiality.
Most of the time we don’t take (me included!) the time to dwell on the very nature of the Universe as unlimited potentiality and yes, miracles. Instead, much of the time we close ourselves down, box ourselves in, and seek comfort, predictability and safety rather than miracles. Publishing my book helped me remember that uncertainty brings a gift of unlimited potentiality to my world. What works for you? After all, if we are the observer, we are the co-creator, we are “making it up” then why not seek the uncertainty of unlimited possibility today?
Gift Photo: Image by asenat29 from Flickr under Creative Commons License