Expansion and Contraction

“There are only two movements of energy,” my yoga teacher noted as we arranged ourselves in Shavasana – the corpse pose – ready for relaxation, “expansion and contraction.”

I adjusted my legs, relaxed my neck, and closed my eyes. I observed my lungs: expand, and then contract.

For the next five minutes or so I meditated on this idea. Expansion and Contraction.

It is true that our bodies are constantly expanding and contracting – whether we are breathing, drinking, or eating.

In time we follow the pattern too: growing from tiny babies through our tweenies to big tall adults, followed my shrinking toward other side.

In economics its the booms and busts. The tide, the seasons, the planets – all seem to conform.

The universe is expanding now but maybe in another few billion years it will contract, preparing to start the cycle again.

I thought more about expansion and contraction driving home.

Do our lives follow the same pattern? When I look at my life I see it: when one area expands, another does seems to contract.

Social life expands, study contracts. Work life expands, social life contracts.

Sometimes we spend lots of money, and sometimes we save it.

Sometimes we put on weight, then we lose it. We have good hair days, and bad ones.

Sometimes we’re all go-go-go, but lack of sleep seems to find a way to catch itself up.

Our mind expands as we fill it with ideas, but then we need time process them.

Too much of anything and we burst. Not enough, we become black holes. So I suppose we should enjoy the pattern of the universe – its not like we have much choice!

Expanding to the Eye, looking back at its origins, the place where it will one day return?

A symbolic representation of John Wheeler’s “Participatory Universe”.

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  1. 8 May ’12    

    interesting theories arise when one gets in touch with oneself, the theory of expancion, contraction and repetition cycle actually very interesting if somewhat confusing, but what if it is difficult is trying to talk about philosophy and quantum physics in another language. greetings from mexico

  2. Catherine Adams
    29 Jun ’15    

    Your article is nice, but I wanted to suggest that you spell possessive its as “its”, not it’s, which is a contraction for “it is”.

    • 9 Jul ’15    

      Thanks Catherine – one of those grammar tricks I used to get wrong. Much appreciated!

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