Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

Ingredient of the Month

Molecular Zen: Secrets Revealed!

By Larry Plesent

I’ve been thinking a lot about Molecular Zen this month, which is, of course, the underlying theme of this column and the basis of my personal world view. And thus, in the tradition of pop science writers everywhere, I must reveal at least one great truth about the universe per article using a paucity of verbiage. So before your rectangle beeps you yet again with an instant message, here it tis:

zen1The crux of the Molecular Zen biscuit is to practice NOT viewing the world-at-large as a bundle of separate objects we find ourselves wandering around in (practicing Wholeness Perception).

Notice that I said “practice.” Buddha knew that all of us are practicing at being ourselves every day. Optimistically we are practicing being the best selves we can be right now. Like everything else in life the more you practice something you more you get out of it and presumably the better you become at it. Practicing not being self-obsessed is ALWAYS a good idea.

Practicing NOT viewing the world-at-large as a bundle of separate objects means (logically) keeping to the forefront of one’s thinking the “ones-ness” of it all.

Keeping to the forefront the ones-ness of it all means understanding that the Universe has an operating system that is increasingly discernable over time (by practicing Wholeness Perception). Seeing the system of life and interlocking existence as an ocean – rather than a mishmash of waves and currents helps us to understand the basic principles of how life and stuff are put together and behave here at home base.

You see, Nature does not reinvent itself every time it creates something new. Rather it borrows heavily from everything that came before, building off of the previous models. The point is this:

The basic laws and working systems that operate on every level, from atomic system to ecosystem to solar system — all apply equally to human existence and behavior. The distribution of warm water into cooler water is no different from the dissemination of new ideas into a society. The colonizing behavior of penicillin mold on bread is incredibly similar to the colonization of “virgin” land by humans.

Humans are passionate; and so are molecules. They hook up, long or short term and form new families with new properties when they “mate” with other molecules. Every law of Newtonian physics and biology can and is applied to human construction and human behavior.

We arose out of the Universe, are made of its stuff, and follow the same principles in our short existence as does the rest of the mess.

Simple! Molecular Zen rules. Now back to practicing…practice, practice……

Larry Plesent is a writer, philosopher, part-time farmer and soap maker living and working in the Green Mountains of Vermont. Learn more at



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