The Energy of Within and Without

Two days ago, I showed you some binding energy. (You can refresh the discussion by clicking here. Yesterday, I showed its twin, caught energy, here.)
Today, I’d like to show you the energy that moves between them:

Ponderosa Pine

This is the energy of within and without. In its simple form, the one that concentrates on bodies separate from other bodies, it can be seen as a pair of spatial relationships: “in” and “out.” It places separate compounds and beings in space. It’s likely, this is how you’ve met it before. You can see it in the image of a young ponderosa pine below: the needles have definite boundaries, with chlorophyll in-side them and air out-side them. Between these two realms lies the skin of the needle: a transition zone that defines the relationship as consisting of in and out.

It is also relative. To the air, oxygen and carbon dioxide molecules are “in” and pine needles are “out.” In this conception (the one that fills many every day worlds), one can only inhabit one side of this relationship at the same time. One can’t, after all, be “in” and “out” at the same time, practical thinking has it…

… but one can. In the moment of observation, you are both within and without at the same time, just as the light in the image below is both within the pine needles and without them. If there’s a difference, it is because one has been declared, no more.

It’s not necessary to make such a declaration. If, for example, within-and-without is a form of energy, which takes form on both sides of a boundary, then the clarity of the light above and its embodiment and re-transmission within the needles are the same energy. In effect, it contains the boundary, or the leaf, within itself. More specifically, the needle’s surface takes the place of the human will that declared there to be an in and an out, and touches both at once.


To a tree, they aren’t in and out at all, but a part of the same essential process, of passing electrons across a membrane, or rooting in a soil atmosphere and branching in a celestial one.

That is what trees are, this balance. It is not a bridging energy, because it is less intentional than that and does not carry traffic.

Only confusion, however, results from ignoring it. Thank you, Ponderosa!



1 reply »

  1. Wonderful! Your photos, with all the movement and soft back-and-forth, carry the message perfectly. I bet you could describe both-within-and-without-at-once equally well, in terms of the sounds the needles make with the wind.


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