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Hilbert’s human heart

Posted on Apr 4, 2014 by in My Story & Ideas

Milky Way

It’s been one of those weeks where I feel like I’m shining, as if people can see my true intent and being just by looking at me. Strangers telling me I’m kind and gentle just by having  a brief conversation with me… all the wonderful things people who know me say… And then, yesterday, I had a moment almost like an out-of-body experience, where I observed how I responded in a situation, where, even a year ago, I would have been upset and would have responded very differently. Though growth of late seems incremental (compared to the leaps and bounds of last year and other periods of my life), being able to see a real (not imagined or forced) manifestation of what I have been aiming for creates in me a deep peace.


At the same time I am re-reading Power vs Force by David R. Hawkins and wondered how it is possible for the human heart to continue expanding. Whenever I have felt in my life that I achieved something great in myself, new possibilities, states of consciousness, wisdom and awareness present themselves. But in that moment you had felt so full and satisfied that the ability to attain to something higher seems impossible (and often leaves you, or at least me, feeling like a ton of bricks had been dropped on me). A reminder of shortcomings even in a moment of triumph. Until the next step is taken and the process is repeated.

Then I remembered – or at least, from now on I’ll remember, because this bit of personal insight is as fresh as newly fallen snow – Hilbert’s paradox of the Grand Hotel, a mathematical attempt to understand the concept of infinity. A paradox is something that seems counter-intuitive or improbable, but under scrutiny is essentially true. Hilbert’s Grand Hotel has been used to explain such grand concepts as the existence of God, the expansion of the universe and so on, but I want to propose an understanding of the human heart based on Hilbert’s great paradox of the Grand Hotel.


I love science and maths, the search for roots, truth, hypotheses and wonderful thought experiments, unravelling the very nature of existence and contemplating reality – it’s a high calling. For the 60-second lay person’s explanation of Hilbert’s Grand Hotel, watch this quick video:

If you have a bit more time, read this simplified explanation:


Although the experience of growth and expanding our hearts and consciousness doesn’t always make sense in that moment when you are confronted with the ‘No vacancy’ sign, in fact, there are infinite rooms and always space to make a room available while the hotel remains, at the same time, packed to capacity. We only limit ourselves in our development of our consciousness and our journey to enlightenment… by believing the ‘No vacancy’ sign. If you present a new guest who needs a place to stay (be it greater compassion, kindness, love, exploring concepts that shake your world, etc, etc) there is always room in the Grand Hotel, even though it is always full. You are the Master of the House in a very real sense. Asking the (perhaps disgruntled) guests to move up to make more space is in your hands as the manager of the hotel.

I love this idea and the illustration. Worlds upon worlds await. Let the infinite bus loads come. There’s room for them here, as long as I choose it. And I choose it. I find comfort in that.