Einstein told us that our universe is shaped and defined by light. We live in a visual cage, and what we call time is simply the ever-moving shadow of the bars which confine us....But suppose that...we were able to outrun the waves of light which undulate across the universe. As we leap...across the galaxy we overtake and leave behind the light which left the surface of the earth...the image will travel forever in this everlasting night, seeking its home among the stars, reaching ever outward toward some hypothetical destination at the universe's problematic end. Is light, then, the stuff our souls are made of?
A human being is part of a whole, called by us the "Universe", a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest -- a kind of optical delusion of our consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.