We have moved down the mountain to the coast of Costa Rica
, leaving behind not only the comfortable weather of Monteverde, but the strange, metallic song of the black-faced solitaire. However, we continue to hear, each morning, the astonishing thrumming made by the wings of the hummingbirds. And this morning I joined my daughter, and the owner of the spice farm
where she has been working this month, in welcoming the morning with a polyeurhythmic dance. Listening to the birds, entering myself into this dance, I am aware of the rhythmic nature of the world.
Last summer, I met a man who practiced transcendental meditation many hours each day, who said that he was sometimes able to "hear the vibration of the universe." Greene's book on The Fabric of the Cosmos (which I finally finished this morning) has a similar description:
According to string theory, there is only one fundamental ingredient -- the string -- and . . . different vibrational patterns correspond to different kinds of particles. . . .At the ultramicroscopic level, the universe would be akin to a string symphony vibrating matter into existence.
And yet, how very little we know, or are aware, of this vibration, of these deeper levels. Much of nature hides itself from us. Greene's got another great quip in this book:
"'Black holes have no hair,' meaning that they lack the kinds of detailed features that allow for individuality." This funny description works, not just for black holes, but for all that we experience. In line with the shadows in Plato's cave, our three-dimensional perceptions are, in contemporary physics, merely our reduced glimpses of the more richly structured, higher-dimensional entities/other worlds surrounding the "brane" in which we live, and of which we are aware. There's so much we don't see!