An optimist is someone who believes this is the best of all possible worlds. A pessimist is someone who fears the optimist may be right…
Do you see the glass as half empty of half full?
It’s been around a long time, but the glass analogy is still instructive. It underscores the phenomena that the same facts can yield entirely different interpretations. We bring our internal dialogue and world view to every situation (or it brings us) and we typically see the world not as IT IS, but as WE ARE. So, from the perspective of a practicing optimist I would like to suggest that the glass is always full.
Consider the water. Makes up not only 50% of the content of the glass, but close to 70% of the human body, and is absolutely essential to life. Without water, how could we make coffee! We can go about three weeks without food (Mahatma Gandhi once starved himself for 21 days), but we can survive only 4 to 6 days without water.
But as important as water is, there is of course one other element that is even more critical. If you think nature abhors a vacuum, try breathing in one. According to Guinness, the record for the longest breath voluntarily held is 24 min 3.45 secs and was achieved by Aleix Segura Vendrell on 28 February 2016. I suspect you and I would fall far short of that mark; we could try, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Empty space is never all that empty, even in a vacuum.
Bear with me for a second.
Our bodies are made up of atoms which themselves are 99.9999% space. If you could remove all the “empty” space between the atoms of every living person on the planet, the compressed matter would be about the size of a sugar cube (weighing 478 million tons). Same for the air filling the top half of that infamous glass, but not quite so heavy. It is “space,” composed of atoms, which are essentially composed of more space. And what is the space inside the atoms made of?
Well, virtual particles are constantly popping into and out of existence. They exist for only billionths of a second, filling space with a writhing population of virtual (but real) particles comprising what physicists call quantum foam. And beneath that?
Impossible to measure. It is a reality (certainly can’t be called a place or a thing) beyond space and before time, easier to experience than describe. Might be called God, or Spirit, or Consciousness, but it is the same force that powers the thermonuclear reactions in a star 10 billion light years distant, makes the grass grow in your back yard “all by itself,” and enables the 100 billion neurons in your brain to communicate through 1,000 trillion synaptic connections.
It is the same reality behind what Einstein referred to as “spooky action at a distance,” otherwise known as quantum entanglement. Spooky but experimentally confirmed. It involves communicating information faster than the speed of light. In short, experimenters can pair two particles so that changing the direction of spin for one will change the direction of spin for the other. But they discovered that when they changed one particle, its twin reacts exactly the same way…instantly…no matter where it is or how far. This means that information can be “teleported” anywhere in the universe, irrespective of time or space. Makes “Beam me up Scotty” look like child’s play.”
It also suggests what eastern philosophers have been teaching for thousands of years…everything is connected, everything is the same thing.
There is an absolutely remarkable Ted Talk by Dr Jill Bolye Taylor, a neuroanatomist who describes her experience during a stroke suffered eight years prior. A unique opportunity for a brain scientist to study her own brain in real time from inside out. What she experienced was the absence of her brain’s left hemisphere, the language, voice in your head, “I am” side of the brain that separates us as contoured individuals from everything and everyone else It categorizes and organizes the cascading information from the present moment and associates it with everything we’ve learned in the past and projects our possibilities into the future.
The right hemisphere, she explains, “is all about the present moment. “Imagine what it would be like to be totally disconnected from your brain chatter…information, in the form of energy, streams in simultaneously through all our sensory systems and then it explodes into this enormous collage of what this present moment looks like, what this present moment smells like and tastes like, what it feels like and what it sounds like. I am an energy-being connected to the energy all around me through the consciousness of my right hemisphere. We are energy-beings connected to one another through the consciousness of our right hemispheres as one human family. And right here, right now, we are brothers and sisters on this planet, here to make the world a better place. And in this moment we are perfect, we are whole and we are beautiful.”
We are infinitely greater than our ego, greater than our problems, greater than our pleasures. We are not just manifestations of infinity, we are infinity itself. Not just drops in the ocean, but each of us the entire ocean in a drop. The glass is always full.