Editor’s Introduction

Claudia Ann Robinson (real name) has bachelors degrees in both physics and computer science and a masters degree in physics. She has worked as a teacher at the college level and now manages the ECOPSYCHOLOGY networking and discussion list. This scientifically fascinating experience happened at her high school, in her science teacher’s office, a place near Munich, Germany in Percha bei Starnberg.

Knocking at the Door of Consciousness: Beam Me Up, Scotty!
Claudia A. Robinson

This experience occurred in ninth or tenth grade around age 16 in the school year of 1976-77 or 1977-78. I had a free hour and was sitting in my science teacher’s office next to a large, solid oak table. I was alone in the room and picked up a physics text book that I had not yet seen. I had not yet taken physics in high school.

I browsed through the book from front to back in sequence, when I came across a section on particles, and the scientist’s quest for the smallest particle was described.

This question: “What is the smallest particle?” intrigued me. I put the book down on my lap and attempted to imagine what that would be. I sensed a stirring of energy at the base of my spine. Directing my attention to that while still holding the question, the energy surged up my spine into the base of my skull. As it reached my head, I had the inspired insight that the smallest particle isn’t a particle at all! It is a concentrated bundle of energy that is massless, without matter! All sorts of insights flowed from that within a mere moment.

I realized that the solidness we attributed to the things around us and to our bodies is an illusion. We are just collections of concentrated bundles of energy, vibrating. It scared me to realize that with the appropriate “resonance-laser” we could disintegrate any object into unconcentrated energy. We are pure energy. The oak table in front of me was not as solid as it appeared to be. Feeling increasingly unsteady I knocked on the table. I almost feared my knuckles would just pass through it. But the sound of that knock brought be back.

Continuing to browse the textbook, I found a section about Einstein and his insight on photons. I almost jumped through the roof when I realized that what he called “photons” is nothing else but concentrated, massless bundles of energy, the very things I had just encountered in my experience.

Contributor’s Comments on the Experience

This experience is what motivated me to study physics. From the start it was an innate desire to learn intimately about Life and the Universe. I knew that the approach at university was more of a technical- scientific nature rather than the spiritual-philosophical approach I would have preferred. But where in the world would I be able to expand on the kind of experience I had that school day? I was quite willing to engage nonetheless as a way to learn the basics. After a five year hiatus, I went to graduate school to continue my studies in physics. It was then that I entered a crisis where I realized that I could no longer approach my quest in this way. I was wilting psychologically, emotionally and spiritually. I had to leave physics as it is conventionally practiced and renew my quest through a more contemplative approach. I did nonetheless graduate with a masters degree in physics.