While viewing 'Stephen Hawking’s Universe’ one night, I was surprised to learn that general cosmological thought now contends that black holes are a necessary part of the physical universe. In other words, the seen universe could not continue as it is without the existence of black holes.
I never knew that black holes were created by the death throes of a star — a star imploding in on itself with an indescribable gravitational pull, condensing from something billions of miles wide to a mere few thousand, its density reflecting all the vast matter it ever was. That is one unimaginably dense power. And when it finally reaches its peak and has fully imploded — when the density is so great that the very gravity of it pulls in on itself — it becomes a black hole with such magnetic power that anything nearby gets swept into its cataclysmic energy.
I suppose most of us know that we are star stuff too — we are literally made of the elements created inside of stars. And like a star, a human being has the capacity to have his or her own implosion, condensing themselves into such a concentrated state that the power of that focus becomes all-encompassing.
Most of the time I am spread far and wide: there are all of my activities and interests, those of my loved ones, an almost limitless world of noise, thought and emotion, of outgoings and outpourings, of dreams and desires, etc. Then there is the microcosm that is my body — the atoms and molecules, cells and tissue, skin and bone, brain and blood that comprise the magnificent and multifarious systems which somehow house ‘me’: the consciousness that knows itself.
Maharaji taught me a way to go inside. When I withdraw my focus from all that is external to me — including the world of my inner thoughts — and focus on that innermost place within, it is like an implosion. Everything gets withdrawn into a single point — a point so small yet so powerful that its gravitational pull leaves no doubt as to its necessity for my existence: without it I would not be. It gives meaning to, and is the reason for, my physical being. From this one small spot inside of me emanates such a force that its magnetic pull erases all the dross, all the illusion — there is left only a wonder and a gratitude for this pull that completes me. It draws me into itself and there is nothing left to do but surrender. It is a joy and a love. It is peace everlasting. It is everything and nothing. It is the black hole inside every human being. Like antimatter, it is not an empty void, as hitherto thought, but rather a plenum within a void, an emptiness that is full of something not visible. Something so powerful that it powers the visible universe. As human beings, we are so very fortunate to be able to feel the plenitude of this essence within us. But first, the implosion.
We are, after all, star stuff.
Illustration by Sara Shaffer.