Scientists say that absolute zero cannot possibly be attained. Professor V. de Haas, of the University of Leiden, who in his laboratory experiments readies a point one five-thousandth of a degree above absolute zero, has declared that absolute zero (the ultimate extreme) will never be attained.
"Absolute zero is — 459.8 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature all gases become solid and all motion ceases."
Thus, still another absolute point has been recognized as impossible. Likewise there results a small difference during decompositions and inversely, compositions. It turns out that that which is mechanically synthesized loses something which it formerly had, and which could even be detected on the scales at the beginning of the experiment. A well-known experiment with the decomposition and mechanical recomposition of a potato shows that there remains something that eludes formulation.
Similarly, one can observe something inexpressible in all manifestations. Moreover, precisely in this circumstance which eludes formulation something essential will be contained. Again one is obliged to recall the fact that the weight of a man immersed in intensive thinking differs from his usual weight.
On the one hand, such a factor is disappointing to the investigator in its unattainability. But on the other hand, precisely this something, even when detected by our crude physical apparatuses, always remains both inviting and inspiring. Could one hardly be distressed or disappointed when such obvious possibilities are already accessible to earthly expressions? No doubt there will come into being in the investigations some new approach which in place of the imagined absolute will provide a new infinity.
It is related that certain outstanding military leaders, during their most crucial battles remained in their quarters, seemingly absorbed in some mechanical usual occupation. Those who do not know would advance all sorts of ironical considerations. Some would even assume that in these moments the leader wished to mentally absent himself, under the influence of fear. But those who knew these great men intimately understood full well that at this time some unknown process was going on, which could not be put into words.
The leader has done everything that was dependent upon his decision. At this time he could not rationally make changes where his orders were already being carried out. The leader wished to set aside the language of reason and to allow something inexpressibly profound to create a new influential process. A small mechanical occupation was not just a killing of time. On the contrary, this was one of the means of shifting his consciousness. It stands to reason that the consciousness can be shifted without any mechanical distractions, but for this, along with the art of thinking, one also has to be in full possession of the reverse art of arresting thought.
Though the art of thinking is not easy, yet the ability to arrest thought can sometimes be still more difficult. For this it is necessary that the process of thought must entirely cease so that a new formation may arise in the consciousness without being burdened in any way. And this is very difficult, for here again the absolute is not reached in such an experiment.
Very often people assume that they have ceased thinking about something, yet it still remains an illusion of theirs. They compel themselves forcibly to think about something else. But this very compulsion will leave behind some reflexes of the former thought. Yet in order to shift the consciousness it is surely necessary to attain some almost infinitesimal numbers having many zeros. And, nevertheless, this will be a relative matter.
But long ago it was said on the Heights, "If you wish to become a new man, breathe a sigh about the Inexpressible. In a single sigh transport thyself unto the verge of Infinity."
Thus, not by prolonged calculations but in a single sigh about the Inexpressible is the consciousness renewed. And where a rocky cliff appeared insurmountable and impassable, calling distances are unexpectedly revealed.
But everything must be voluntary. In this concept is contained the greatest law. No coercion, no constraint enables the consciousness to be loftily transported. Voluntariness usually remains a not very well interpreted concept. In the ordinary understanding any liberty is often considered not concordant with good, with a heartfelt concern for one's fellow men.
Indeed, all testings and vital experiments will sufficiently demonstrate how much a true voluntariness transforms all actions. After all, this beautiful desire emanates from the depths of the chalice of consciousness. It results in both self-abnegation and a desire for continuous creativity in all spiritualized labor.
Again, it is very difficult to discern where is true voluntariness and where some alien considerations have entered in. In military organizations there are also volunteers. But among them only a few will be true volunteers, while the volunteering of the others will be tinged with extraneous considerations. There are entire army units where the members are supposed to be volunteers, but in reality they are trying to evade or conceal this or that dramatic factor in their life.
In all thought processes voluntariness plays the principal role. Without it there remains only a crude mirage which never renews the consciousness.
What kind of luminous sigh about the Inexpressible can bring forth that which is unexplainable through relative formulas? What kind of transference of consciousness into the Inexpressible helps to change matter into spirit, or rather, one state of consciousness into another? Where the will terminates, where desire is extinct, where the command is wordless, a single sigh about the Inexpressible will regenerate everything.
The most refined pranayama may be ineffective where a sigh about the Inexpressible is borne into the great spaces.
People read bookish words about the most great. These words are beautiful, but where there is the Word, the best words require something else, the still greater — the Inexpressible.
It is asked, "Is it for me to think about the Inexpressible?" "Verily, precisely for you on all the paths."
April 28, 1935