Laws of Physics as Metaphor


Newton’s first law of motion predicts the behavior for which all existing forces are balanced:

“The presence of an unbalanced force will accelerate an object, changing its speed, its direction, or both its speed and direction.”

As I ready myself for a PET CT scan tomorrow, I see my mind as a physical object, an entity that has been met with the presence of an unbalanced force. My thoughts are unruly, my mind in a state of motion. I have tried to prepare for this day, have been disciplined about practicing meditation, but those efforts feel somewhat futile right now .

With the aim of taming my fear, I have not allowed myself to recall the exact date of the scan which would mark the 6-month period since my cancer treatment began. Only last week did I open my pocket calendar to the final week of June, keeping myself one step ahead of the hospital’s appointment reminder call.

Galileo’s concept of inertia:
“Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion.” Newton’s first law of motion:
“A body in motion stays in motion unless an external force is applied to it.”

Today my mind is overactive, thoughts are moving too quickly. I recognize this response to fear. My work is to slow my thoughts without pushing them away. Running from fear is reactive,

sitting with fear allows the motion in my head to eventually slow down.
Newton also taught us that “increase in the mass of an object increases its acceleration.“

My head feels large, heavy with thought. Can thoughts have mass? Can their mass, and, therefore, their speed, increase?

I have no control over the results of my test tomorrow.
I can choose to be optimistic, though, and try behave in positive ways.

I lessen the burden of my thoughts by experiencing the delightful weight of my body held safely on earth at this very moment.

If I befriend gravity, I can even learn to embrace the potential gravity of illness.