To see a World in a Grain of Sand 
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower 

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand 
And Eternity in an hour
William Blake (Auguries of Innocence)

Through the Eyes of Psyche

What a beautiful poem from William Blake, wouldn’t you agree? What does it mean to hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour? What lessons can we take from this beautifully written stanza of wisdom?

Perceptions of Infinity

Let us start by defining these seemingly opposite constructs of reality. As with all archetypes, Infinity and Perception are interrelated, dependent, and paradoxical by nature. They operate within and outside of the perception that perceives its presence. Yet infinity is somehow perceived differently, not by the sensual experiences afforded to the human body and mind. Instead, through perceptual experiences, the soul (psyche) finds the essence of spirit possible only when it touches upon its more divine traits. In the space between perception and infinity, we see the shadow and light elements so beautifully represented by such symbolic content as Yin and Yang, female and male, night and day, moon and sun. Spirit and soul operate in these depths. At the same time, beautifully felt and directive, neither science nor philosophy can fully grasp the grandeur of these symbols because their epistemologies rely on the binary constructs of language.


A judgment that results from awareness and understanding of an observed phenomenon. It is reliant on our sensory experience of the world.

The movie and best-selling book The Secret first introduced us to the idea that a universe cannot exist without consciousness. While this may sound at first to be egoic by nature, placing the locus of control into the human that perceives reality, it is not far from the religious truths preached within Genesis. This creation story informs us that humanity exists both within the consciousness of God’s image, even though that image is inherently both masculine and feminine.

26 Then God said, “[ai]Let Us make mankind in Our image, according to Our likeness; and [aj]let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the livestock and over all the earth, and over every crawling thing that crawls on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:26-27)


That which is boundless and endless.

If you examine the construct of energy, you will find that it is all-encompassing, moves in and out of form, has no beginning or end, and is the source of all there is, was, and forever will be. Sound Familiar? Yes, because that is similar to the definition theologians give to God. We know the construct of infinity yet cannot fathom its vastness outside the symbol we use to explain its essence. Like our perceptions, the binary aspects of language again fail us in our simple endeavor to understand and explain God.

What does it entail to see the world in a grain of sand? 

Holonic theory shows us that we are the equal sum of all parts that make us, yet these parts are deeply affected by the whole itself. The parts die without the life force of the whole, and the aspect that assumes dis-ease can negate the entire existence of the whole. A grain of sand is a minor part of the world that creates it, just as we are. Yet, that grain of sand holds within it the same spirit and consciousness of the world that granted its presence. 

Can You Find Heaven in a Flower?

Ask your wife if this is the case. We honor the heaven that created beauty’s inner essence when we see it in the simplicity of nature. A flower cannot exist without water, just as that water could not exist without the loving touch of the sun’s rays falling upon the oceans and land of the earth. Heaven exists in all things material. Einstein even knew this as he produced his physics-based relativity theory. Energy = mass times the speed of light squared. Energy? God?

Can you Hold Infinity in the Palm of Your Hand?

Why not? In Buddhist philosophy, we are divided eternally into Atman and Brahman. That which exists as a single (Atman) and the whole (Brahman) creates the universal form the Dao states is formless and nameless. Personal and universal are not separate; they are the same. When we look at the above verse biblically in the story of creation, we also see tenets of this wisdom present. Only our fall into consciousness creates the division present between ourselves and the source of holy nature that lies at the gates of the unfathomable. Yet the smaller we dissect the world around us, the more we realize it too is a world unto itself. 

How to Hold Eternity in an Hour?

What is eternity? What is eternal? In the end, I have heard that time slows. Close your eyes. What is your infinite eternity? Do you see it? When I did, the only vision I saw was a feeling that was there, exists, and forever will be. 

May you have many blessings, my friends. May your journey find peace, love, and a little bit of the good feelings life and faith affords us as you advance confidently in the direction of your dreams.

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One response to “Perceptions of Infinity”

  1. Dear Dr Thomas Maples,

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