"A New Model of the Universe"

In P.D. Ouspensky's 1931 "A New Model of the Universe," the introduction takes the reader back to the author's school days where he borrows a physics book from an older boy. He describes his experience as, "...am reading it greedily and enthusiastically, overcome now by rapture, now by terror, at the mysteries which are opening before me. All round me walls are crumbling, and horizons infinitely remote and incredibly beautiful stand revealed. It is as thought threads, previously unknown and unsuspected, begin to reach out and bind things together. For the first time in my life my world emerges from chaos. Everything becomes connected, forming an orderly and harmonious whole."

I remember my own experience. In 1984, I was in a bookstore when I suddenly realized that someone was behind me. I turned and saw the clerk but could see she was in distress. When I asked if she was OK, she collapsed in my arms where I held her briefly before she gained her composure and stepped back.

"I am so sorry," she said, apologizing and wiping her tears away.

"Can I do anything for you? Do you want me to call someone?" I asked.

She explained that one year ago that day, her daughter had committed suicide and that it was a tough day for her. "I would not have gotten through that without a certain book," she said.

We spoke about the book that would have to be special ordered and from the conversation with her, I ordered two copies.

On the way home from the bookstore, I could delay my curiosity no longer. I pulled off the road and removed the plastic wrapping. Within a couple of pages, I read the following: "Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the Peace of God."

Within a breath, my head was on the steering wheel and tears were flowing. For the first time in my life, I saw what was self-evident, true, and eternal.  I saw that suffering was a self-imposed condition of life, illusionary, and unreal. And for that moment, I was free, liberated from my past, released from the worry of the future, and strong. Like Ouspensky, my world emerged from chaos.

In the same introduction, he states, "I know that all this is there. I have become convinced of it. Unity exists. And I know already that it is infinite, orderly, animated and conscious. But how to link 'what is above' with 'what is below'?"

As the Holidays approach, what would you like to link "below" with what is "above" and convince yourself, without a doubt, that it is true?

Haydn's ThoughtsHaydn Hasty