The Day My Head Exploded

By Anthony Gold

I loved studying calculus in high-school and throughout college. I even had a chance to use it for several computer systems I helped design.

One of the most fascinating terms used in calculus is infinity, depicted with this symbol: ∞

Infinity is not just a really, really large number. It’s larger than any number. No matter what number you can say or write out, infinity will be larger.

But even though I had done thousands of equations that included ∞, I never appreciated how big it really was.

Until the day my head nearly exploded.

I’m not sure what started me down this path, but many years ago I was thinking about the number 5. And I wanted to divide 5 by numbers that were smaller than it.

I started with dividing 5 by 5, and of course the answer is 1.

Then I divided 5 by 4, and the answer is a little bigger than one.

5/3 a little over 1.5.

Five divided by 2 is 2.5. Divided by 1 is 5. The result keeps getting bigger.

But then I started going into fractions.

Five divided by ½ is 10. Five divided by ¼ is 20. Five divided by ⅛ is 40. Five divided by 1/16 is 80. Five divided by 1/32 is 160.

It was at that moment that I realized – not just intellectually understood, but truly experienced the fact that the closer the fraction got to zero, the larger the result. And that fraction would never get to zero. No matter what fraction I chose, I could always select an even smaller fraction that was still greater than zero.

Meaning that the result of dividing 5 by those tinier and tinier fractions would result in a never ending sequence of larger and larger numbers. Without end. Without limit. Truly infinite.

At that moment, my head felt like it exploded.

That was the first time I touched infinity.

Touching the infinite is an incredibly exhilarating yet humbling experience.

Everything in this world is a world of limits and ends. Our bodies will eventually die. Every mountain will eventually crumble. Every star will eventually burn up.

But touching the infinite gives us a glimpse, however slight, into what is beyond the world of limits and bodies.

Conditioned by our ego mind, we are so rapt by everything going on in our lives: our bodies, our bodies in relation to other bodies, our possessions – what we have and what we want, and, at some point, we contemplate the end of our body. But we still cling to the concept of “I” and “me”.

What happens to “me” after death? Will I be in another place? Will I meet others who have gone before me? Will I be reincarnated? Will I simply cease to exist?

All these questions are limiting questions of the ego. They start by placing the concept of “me” at the center, and then attempt to ascertain the next or final disposition of that “me”.

But when we’re able to step out of the ego mind, it is at that moment we are aligned with the realm of infinity. An experience of indescribable peace and bliss – transcending all understanding. No ends. No limits. No death.

There is no right or wrong way to enter the domain of the infinite. Some do it through meditation or spiritual practice. Others by entering into a state of presence – getting into the “now”. Still others through the usage of psychopharmacological substances. And some strange people by trying to divide 5 by zero.

“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite.”  ~William Blake

The key is recognizing that anytime we’re not experiencing that amazing peace and bliss we’ve aligned ourselves with the ego mind. By changing our mind, our perception is instantly cleansed revealing the truth of Infinite.

Join me in Monday’s class where we’ll explore how we can practice entering the state of the infinite and experience the resultant peace. I look forward to seeing you then.

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