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Movement & Stillness




There are two fundamental principles of the universe which require no special knowledge or philosophy to understand, and which don't give rise to contentious moral & religious debates: Movement, and stillness. The universe exists because things move and interact. Particles can only move and interact if there is a backdrop of nothingness (NO-THING-ness). Matter moves, and movement happens through space. Space is the NO-thing which allows unencumbered travel and movement.

In this way, we explore the idea of a manifested or physical world, as well as the idea of un-manifested nothingness. Many spiritual and religious traditions, as well as modern scientific methods attempt to explain the idea that - here we are with this whole universe in existence, and yet this stuff had to come from somewhere. There is a question of a "beginning of time", or "what happened before time?" These ideas seem to evoke a paradox, of how "something" cannot ever be "nothing". Could all of this stuff have been nothing at some point? Did it all just come out of literally no-where?? Big confusing thoughts about the possibility of something-ness and no-thing-ness existing simultaneously also seem to arise.

The simple reality is in front of us each moment. Both nothing, and something, always exist at the same time. In fact, they need each other or else neither will exist.

So - matter moves, and nothingness is eternally still. The universe is simultaneously movement, AND stillness. It is something AND nothing. Since we as humans are compositions of matter and energy, we are beings of movement above all else. YOU ARE A MOVER. It is impossible for a human to ever achieve perfect stillness, since matter never stops moving.

The backdrop of the universe is empty space. This is like a fertile womb which allows for the fetal growth and maturation (movement, matter).

We are movement and vibration, in a womb of stillness and silence.

This is why so many spiritual practices involve finding "inner peace", "stillness", "silence", etc. They are trying to take the ceaseless movements of the body and mind, and make them still.

I'll explain - We are cursed/blessed to an eternity of movement, always suspended in reality by the womb of empty space, and yet we can never BE emptiness, or stillness, or perfect silence. We can only BE movement. So, if we find a way to let the body be so incredibly still, and the mind so profoundly quiet, that is FEELS like we have become COMPLETELY still and silent, then we have an experience where the duality inherent in the universe (always a duality of movement vs. stillness) seems to fade away. This experience is a UNION of two seemingly opposing or mutually exclusive forces. This is yoga.

In other words, by seeking inner stillness through a practice of movement, meditation, prayer, or devotion, we unite ourselves with stillness, such that there no longer exists the opposing ideas of movement and stillness, but there is only the ONE, UNITED experience. In these moments there is no 'self' and 'other'. There is no happy/sad, no us/them, no past/future.... We are free.

All things move, all of the time. Even things which appear to be totally stationary like mountains or buildings, are always shifting slowly, and buzzing about at a molecular and subatomic scale. On the microscopic scale, even when atoms nearly stop moving, their atomic particles (electrons especially) are always flying around near the speed of light. On the macroscopic scale, the planets fly around just like atoms do, with their moons circling them like electrons, and their gravitational fields interacting with other planets just like the charges of electrons interact with nearby atoms and molecules.

All things, no matter how big, or small, can only exist because they are in motion. Without motion, there would be no universe, because the entire universe has become what is as a result of movement. No movement = no universe.

When we use a movement practice to evoke an experience of inner stillness, or a distillation of awareness to a fine and singular point, this union of movement and stillness yields peace. People have a lot of wild names for these experiences, but let's just say that it yields a state of True, Authentic Presence.

Keep moving.

Spiral out.

Move from stillness.

Speak from Silence.

May you find peace.

-Anthony Davis

Minneapolis, MN, USA

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