Music, Poetry, Cosmology

The Energy of the Sublime and other Quantum Mysteries

The following poem, written when I lived in San Francisco, was inspired by an article I read out of Berkeley Lab in August 2007:  “New Quantum Secrets of Photosynthesis.”

Because sunlight cannot be mechanically or chemically transferred to plants, the actual mechanics of photosynthesis has alluded the deconstructionists of science for ages.   So, bless them, they developed a tool to measure wavelengths as short as a femtosecond, which is one quadrillionth of a second.  This led them to the discovery that photosynthesis happens in the realm of quantum mechanics.

The instrument was able to measure a sudden and lingering moment of “quantum excitation” where the photons of light from the sun literally “strike a chord” in the molecules that go into making photosynthesis happen:
The quantum effects in photosynthesis were originally revealed through “quantum beating” signals: coherent electronic oscillations generated in both donor and acceptor molecules by light-induced energy excitations. Like the famous final piano chord in the Beatles’ “A Day in the Life,” these quantum beating signals seem to go on and on — though in this case, “on and on” means a few hundred femtoseconds. (A femtosecond, a
quadrillionth of a second, is to a second what a second is to about 30 million years.)
August 6, 2007 science@berkeley lab, New Quantum Secrets of Photosynthesis

We can learn a something from this in terms our our relationships with all energies in our environments – people and otherwise – and how we, too, can serve life by being coherent sources of light.

By entraining,  or synchronizing, one’s “vibe” with another being,  which is a matter of “listening” with one’s whole being — what can happen is not just the sum of its parts, it’s not even “more than the sum of its parts”, it is a QUANTUM LEAP into the mind of infinite possibility where something completely new can happen.

We are also beginning to understand that is how we learn – not from mental memorization of information from another source, but by a quantum transmission of information that happens when there is an excitation of energy – say, in the course of a passionate discussion.  We literally “learn” from another’s genius by being in the presence of that energy.  What is actually happening is that we are tapping into that same source from which genius arises.

This may very well be what Jesus meant when he said, Wherever two or more are gathered in my name there I am in the midst of them.I am being infinite possibility.

by Purple Hazel Green  2007

On my bike ride to work today,
stopping for a traffic light,
I noticed the gingko tree growing out of a square
in the sidewalk at Fifth Street and Mission.
I pass it nearly every day.  It’s not new.  I just
noticed it.

For the non-duality yogi, the next question would be:
Who is doing the noticing?

Some hue of color changed slightly, maybe, or
some way the light is angled this time of the season
that caught my attention.   A thought arose: Beautiful Gingko.
Then another, triggered by memories of golden Gingko trees in Autumns past:
It’s September already, nearly Equinox.
Something grabbed me, only for an instant, but I fell
into that femtosecond,

when the light of the Gingko resonated with something in me –
and out of the quantum field arose
thoughts, memories, feelings of
warmth and beauty and belonging –
all those things that happen all at once when Nature
strums a chord.  I wonder

what happened to the Gingko tree in those femtoseconds?
in that moment of quantum excitation?
Did the xylem and phloem start to flow more quickly?
Did the photosynthetic process speed up?
Did its roots grow a nanometer? Did it feel
the love I felt?
My best educated guess would be, YES.

These moments of bliss and destiny happen
any time, any place.
What does it mean to be “realized”?
It means we notice more of them, that’s all.
But that’s not nothing,
to notice something that happens in a femtosecond,
which is to one second what one second is to
thirty million years.

A few millionths of a billionth of a second
is all it takes for something new and profound to emerge.
Light, water, energy.
Feelings, thoughts, memories.
Conscious awareness opens up time,
tiny mustard seed moments.
Notice when the vibration changes,
a subtle sensory shift, music plays you,
sing it, dance in it, do surrender to it.
It will last as long as you can dwell there
without thinking,
until some latent possibility is released.
This femtosecond feels like forever,
because it is.

Energy is transformed and nothing is the same as it was
only a moment before.
A relationship formed, bonded, and was consummated
in one lingering moment,
in less time than it takes to blink.
A quadrillion big bangs emerging from the quantum field
every second –

matter and form is drawn out of formless consciousness,
like romance out of lovers when the violinist lingers at their table.

But I’m a mad scientist with no credentials
save my curious, seeking mind,
merging into the music of a single gingko tree
at the busy, noisy corner of Fifth Street and Mission,
falling into femtoseconds as vast as intergalactic space,
and wondering,
Who is doing the singing?

Shortly after writing this poem I read an article by biochemist and genetic scientist, Dr. Mae Wan Ho, whose theory of organism is breaking ground through the hallowed no-persons’-land between the physical and life sciences.  In the article, entitled “In Search of the Sublime”, Dr. Ho explores this same energy of living exchange between organisms.  Dr. Ho says: The creation of significant form is the basis of knowledge, possibly for all living species; it holds the key to aesthetic experience in science and art, and depends on the inextricable entanglement of all beings in nature.

So, I sent my Femtoseconds poem in an email to Mae Wan Ho and she kindly responded as well as published it in the letters of the next issue of the I-SIS online journal….

Because I wanted to bring Mae Wan’s ideas to my friends in a digestible form and have a little fun with it,  I created one of my “wisdom jams” – sampling her talk “Quantum Jazz” which was delivered at the Bioneers Conference in 2008.  The Bioneers is an annual meeting of the world’s greatest (in my opinion) progressive thinkers, scientists, elders and social leaders, and it happens every October right here in northern California.

Organism – Mae Wan remix
This is my jam called  “Organism,” and it has received Dr. Ho’s blessing as a “labor of love” which indeed it is.   You can listen to other wisdom jams and all my music by clicking here.

Dr. Mae Wan Ho’s book: THE RAINBOW AND THE WORM: The Physics of Organism (1993) is now in it’s third edition.  Her current work and that of the Institute for Science in Society can be explored at

We can go a long way in serving life simply by paying attention to, and taking responsibility for, the energy that we bring to our environments with our thoughts and feelings.

Each of us are coherent sources of light; the human heart is a coherent light source.


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