Gravity Is Love, And Other Astounding Metaphors : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR

This NPR article mentions one of my professors, cosmologist Brian Swimme. Here is my comment:

Dr. Swimme calls gravity love, and I think it is an apt metaphor. Anthropomorphic? Perhaps, but how else are we to really understand gravity unless we can relate it to our human experience of the universe? And it is not as if physicists haven’t always been morphing that “great apparition” (Emerson) called nature into something more down to earth so as to understand it: energy, for example, is defined as the ability to do “work,” which is a sociological concept. Similarly, Darwin’s whole theory of natural selection is built upon an analogy with human selection of domesticated animals. Physics is typically mechanomorphic, which is to say it understands the nature of the universe by analogy to a machine. The universe is not a machine, of course. Dr. Swimme’s poetic cosmology is an attempt to remind us of the cosmos’ more human dimension.

Gravity Is Love, And Other Astounding Metaphors : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR.

Physical and Spiritual Energy

Energy. The science of thermodynamics defines it as the ability of a physical system to do work. But in the case of a human being, how does this work relate to the conscious experience of the person performing it? That is, what is the relationship between physical and spiritual energy?

We might start trying to answer this question by comparing gravity and love. Gravity is the physical equivalent of love, giving matter an attraction to itself. Love is often said to be fallen into, much like apples fall from trees. But what is it about the love shared by humans that makes it discriminatory, whereas matter always falls at first sight? Why do people love selectively?

It may seem that this added element of choice and freedom is what distinguishes physical from spiritual energy…

But is love really a choice? Aren’t we, when transfixed by the eyes of another, drawn toward them out of necessity?

Love, like gravity, is the Law.

No one can transgress it without great harm, but such harm is also the engine of involution. Gravity has a counter-balancing force: call it flight. In spiritual terms, flight is the desire to form a face of one’s own, to rise above the melded masses of our ground and home to become a figure, free and known.

Love brings us together, while fear chases us apart. But faces formed by fear are known only when loved. Your own face is invisible until faced with another, when it glows with the warmth of recognition.

Physical energy is the fear that spiritual energy focuses into love, turning round its run away from home.