“Your body appears to be composed of solid matter . . . but quantum physics tells us that every atom is more than 99.9999 percent empty space, and the subatomic particles moving at lightening speed through this space are actually bundles of vibrating energy. These vibrations aren’t random and meaningless,” says Deepak Chopra, M.D. (14)
It comes down to the fact that everything is or has a vibration. The other morning I had a string of ideas come to me about vibrations and what God is. (They came just as I was writing down a dream, coming out of a more free state where I’m often shown a little clarity, a little grace.) This piece is for sharing those and other ideas.
What about vibrations?
In the 50’s, the beats would say things like, “I’m pickin’ up on some weird vibrations in this cafe!” We make fun of that now, but is there something to the notion that everything is essentially a vibration? Chopra affirms this, and, reminded of his 99.9999 percent concept, I ran with it just as the sun was appearing a few mornings ago.
In recent days I had been asking what God is. Really. I wrote my question in a bedside journal, wondering how we can “pick up on” God and become closer partners with It (or Him or Her).
As thoughts came together that morning, I sensed some answers: first off, God is the first vibration. The unknown that starts all the vibrations we encounter--in fact, all the vibrations that we are! We’re talking cycles per second, and they cycle at higher and higher rates as we move closer to God in consciousness, levels of perception. Evelyn Waugh, British novelist, tells us that “Saints are simply men & women who have fulfilled their natural obligation which is to approach God.”
The first cause of vibrations.
What’s that like? We could call God the One who drops the acorn into the pond and starts the waves, the vibrations, moving outward.
This isn’t a perfect analogy, but let’s follow the way it came together for me as I stuffed the pillow under my chest, pulled my notebook closer, and followed the clues laid out in words and awareness: When the First Cause drops the acorn, it hits the water in a moment outside of moments, and the vibration is an incredibly fine life impulse. (Or call it a love impulse. God is love.)
Then as these waves move outward, they become slower, more dull as they spread through bands of intuition, thought, memory, and emotion—and into the coarse, physical realm of the five senses. By then they’re not so fine (they fit the physical level of being). They’re not so high in cycles per second, but they’re important! They’re still the impulse of the source of life: call It God or truth or love. (No particles of language really do It justice, do they?) At any rate, the waves are like steps on the path Home.
As we experience the way back into higher and higher vibrations, as we establish ourselves more and more in them with whatever spiritual practice fits us, we become more attuned to love. This impulse--in its waves everywhere--is the God impulse.
God is the truth, is the love--like a circle or “sphere...whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere . . . .” So Joseph Campbell tells us (89). At any rate, I say God is truth, love, the first cause of vibrations. Call It what you will.
Soul, our eternal self, is of God-stuff, of high vibrations--vibrations obviously out of reach of the physical senses. Soul is our sacred self that, as The Bhagavad Gita says, “is never born, nor does it die, nor having once been, will it again cease to be. It is unborn, eternal and everlasting. This primeval one is not slain when the body is slain” (39).
But you knew that.
Our high self is simply not playing in the arena of time and space and matter. It can be anywhere or in the divine void in a flash--perfectly free--and we become more aware of this as we keep up a spiritual practice, give something of ourselves, and keep our pure state present in the day-to-day world.
This is inner success!: walking our daily rounds, being more aware, operating through more refined vibrations, becoming closer to truth, love, God, the first cause of vibrations. (Pick a name that’s sacred for you.)
It’s as if we’re tweaking our radio antennae, and they start to work better, to pick up the spreading waves more effectively.
Remember when you were a kid and you spent time fooling with radios? Tuning in to distant pop stations at all hours of day and night? I remember my school in northern Connecticut, and on certain clear nights I’d pick up some wild New York City pop station. That thrilled me, but now I see that it was just like reaping benefits of a spiritual practice--as if I had refined my antenna and could read finer waves or vibrations.
In fact, we should be like kids with radios--fascinated with what we can pick up, with the music we can hear.
And the music, the vibration, grows more refined in joy as we ascend in consciousness! With regular inner practice, you may have come to hear some high humming, woodwind, or flute sounds. Or a thin ringing sound. Heard them not with the physical ears but with the spiritual senses.
As we glide back to where that acorn first touches the water, we savor the whole range of joys, pains, and illuminations of heart and mind. All for a purpose. In God’s pond are many ripples to follow, and they’re all variations, versions of the first impulse--the love of God that drops the acorn into the water.
Of course I’m talking about something no one can really explain. W.H. Auden’s poem “If I Could Tell You” speaks of how “The winds must come from somewhere when they blow,” and he wonders about strange things like “time” (which says, “I told you so”). And he wonders about “reasons why the leaves decay . . . .” But the refrain all through is “If I could tell you I would let you know” (quoted in Mayes 338).
Let’s fact it, some things exist for personal empiricism only, outside the realm of telling and proving.
The 13th century poet Rumi said that everything (that is, everything!) is about loving and not loving. Even though some things can’t be told, we all know when we do acts of love and when we’re coming from something more base. The love acts draw us toward God. The fear-despair-jealousy acts--and thoughts--hold us where we are. So one worthy spiritual practice could be to declare all we do to be acts of love. Showing a boy how to handle a pen knife. Singing back to a bird. Brushing the cat. (It doesn’t have to be some grand gesture.)
Whatever spiritual road you’re rolling down, check to be sure you’re expanding in your natural affection for all of life. Sense that always. You owe it to yourself and to the pond—and to God or the universe.
We are vibrations nurtured by and traveling on the richness of the vibrations God has sent out. But the fact is that we are always at the point where the acorn touches the surface! The journey is only to our awareness of that.
In Stephen Mitchell’s anthology, we find Rumi saying the same thing:
I have lived on the lip
of insanity, wanting to know reasons,
knocking on a door. It opens.
I’ve been knocking from the inside! (55)

A vision of being “inside”--Joseph Campbell reports to us how Black Elk had this. It was “an experience of himself as going through the realms of spiritual imagery....” Campbell quotes from the superb Black Elk Speaks: “I saw myself on the central mountain of the world, the highest place, and I had a vision because I was seeing in the sacred manner.” And Black Elk says that “the central mountain is everywhere.” Campbell calls this “realization” and talks about “the central point, the pole around which all revolves.” He says that “stillness is eternity,” and adds, “this moment of your life is actually a moment of eternity....” Where the acorn kisses the surface.
To Campbell it is crucial to experience “the eternal aspect of what you’re doing in the temporal experience.” Campbell talks about God, “whose center [where the acorn hits] is everywhere....”
Finally, he tells Bill Moyers point blank, “And the center, Bill, is right where you’re sitting” (89).
Again, as with the Rumi passage above, we’re already in the heart of God. The inner “path” means coming to fully realize it. To move and exist outside the dream where words live.
What God is can never be explained in a few paragraphs. It is something to gain by our own weaving, a strange catching on, unexplainable luck, heartbreak, joy.
Let me give part of a teaching story of Rumi’s. It highlights the importance of the first cause, home . . . or God. (Whatever we call It, It is the essence and sum of our experience.) The Persian mystic shows a wise ant, the “chief ant” who talks on about “material form” and “spirit.” Then Rumi steps into the poem and adds,
But even the wise ant neglected to say
what flowed inside that [spirit]. He never mentioned
the existence of God, without which intelligence
and love and spirit would be inert.

The bundles of energy that vibrate are certainly not “inert.” Nor, going back to Chopra, are they “random and meaningless.” They come from where “Divine Power” drops the acorn into the pond. Author Paul Twitchell gives some insights on this and expands them for us wonderfully:
“Peering into the secret of the Divine Power, the insight of God, Itself, we find that from which all vibrations emanate. In order to reach this place. . .we. . . must put ourselves into a stage of knowing nothing, a childlike state. By doing so we attain wisdom most abundant. . .” (118).
Twitchell, in his understanding of vibrations, reminds us how “A dog will know its master from a stranger in the dark. . . .” He continues, detailing wavelengths, death and birth: “The body ceases to have a certain wavelength when it dies, but Soul, working on another wavelength, passes along through the invisible until it finds another body in harmony with its requirements, as near its own wavelength as possible. Soul enters into that body perhaps while it is still in the womb of its mother, or directly after birth” (119).
And Twitchell concludes, “As one becomes more and more capable of survival, one passes beyond serenity into what is known as God-consciousness” (119).
We can see that a “personal empiricism,” our own study of vibrations, is crucial. How can we do this? I’d suggest writing down--right now--a new step in your spiritual practice, your own discovery of how life works, perhaps your harmony with a spiritual teacher or the expanded awareness you seek. Whatever active approach you use to lift yourself in consciousness, allow yourself to find and implement a fresh concept and practice that feels like sunrise in early spring!
Then you won’t be hashing out thoughts about acorns and waves on a surface of water. You’ll be making the dive yourself to experience the depths of life.
Tim Bellows

. . .
Sources Quoted
*** Bhagavad Gita, The. Translated by Eliot Deutsch.
*** Campbell, Joseph. The Power of Myth (with Bill Moyers).
*** Chopra, Deepak, M.D. Ageless Body, Timeless Mind.
*** Mayes, Frances. The Discovery of Poetry.
*** Mitchell, Stephen. The Enlightened Heart.
*** Rumi, Jelaluddin. One-Handed Basket Weaving. (Versions of Rumi’s poems by Coleman Barks.)
*** Twitchell, Paul. The Flute of God.

Author's Bio: 

Tim Bellows, with a graduate degree from the Iowa Writers´ Workshop, teaches writing at Sierra College in Northern California and is devoted to lakes, mountains, and inner travels. He’s twice been nominated for the Annual Pushcart Prize, and his book Sunlight From Another Day – Poems In & Out of the Body has just gone live from AuthorHouse Press out of Bloomington (see Amazon.com).
He edits a monthly e-newsletter called Lightship News and is administrator of the blog at golden.timbellows.com – for trail-trekkers and radical mystics.