Friday, October 14, 2016

For mine eyes have seen

I read recently, that there are about two hundred million galaxies in the observable universe, and that each galaxy is composed of millions of stars like our own sun. The same article made the astonishing claim that this means, there are more stars in the universe than the number of grains of sand on the planet earth. The scientists who discover these things also tell us, that everything in the known universe emerged from a singularity of infinite density and in size very nearly (if not) nothing, and that in the first unimaginably small fraction of the first second of existence, the ‘big bang,’ an event that initiated the expansion of that singularity, had already pushed the limits of all created matter and energy to a circumference far beyond the outermost orbits in our solar system. They did not see it happen. They do not claim to understand what caused the singularity to explode (if that is the right word). It is on the basis of experimentally derived physical ‘laws’ and the logic of (very much) higher mathematics, that they say these things, trying to create models of natural processes that fit human thought patterns.

Now, it has taken scientists about eight thousand years to arrive at this point. Not much progress was made in the first seventy-nine hundred years, but in the last hundred or so, they have finally arrived at the place where they are today. What they tell us about the creation of the universe takes for granted that everything that exists is evolving. People knew this long before Darwin applied the idea to his theories on natural selection, the survival of the fittest, which have come to be known in the aggregate as ‘the theory of evolution.’ Now, I believe in the first kind of evolution, and am even open to the possibility that the second kind (that of living entities, including man) is also true. But my belief is only that—a belief, or even an opinion, based on the best information I find available. It is still only a belief. What creation is, what existence is, neither I nor anyone else can really know, at least not as we now are.

There are other ‘technologies,’ if I may call them that, which have arisen and coexisted with the scientific method, even from antiquity. In a very general way, and for lack of a more precise term, I have called them ‘spiritual technologies.’ Ironically, though, they are not really spiritual, well, not exactly. Scientists use devices which they have made to measure what can be measured, and using logic and mathematics, have developed our knowledge of the physical universe. Spiritual technologs (I have to create a new word—sorry!) use the human being as their only device of discovery, and then proceed to do exactly what scientists do, with the exception of using higher mathematics, they logically organize their discoveries into systems. I said that calling this ‘spiritual technology’ is ironic, and indeed it is, because this body of knowledge is still primarily concerned with nature, with physical realities.

Because the only device or tool of discovery is the human being, in singular and en masse, the body of knowledge is as holistic as a human being is. Not everything about a human being is discoverable by the scientific method. Where that discipline ends, another ancient one begins—theology. Yet even that term is imprecise, because it is one sided. Theology by the meaning of the term should be the body of knowledge about God, but it is actually only about God in His interactions with man, in other words, about nine-tenths about human nature, and one-tenth (if even that much) about Divine Nature. Still, it is what it is. To the scientist God hides Himself absolutely. To the spiritual technolog He reveals Himself—in human flesh!—so amply and pervasively that He can be overlooked. ‘What forest? All I can see are trees!’ But for eight thousand years this other discipline of discovery, call it what you will, has delivered to us moderns at least as much, if not more, information about the universe.

The universe was created out of nothing by ‘X’ in a series of time sequences or ages, except for the last and current age, in which all instantaneous creation has abruptly stopped. We who live in this current age have not ever seen anything like the instantaneous creation that occurred in the previous ages, so we can only conclude that things just don’t work that way. Everything evolves. Just as we have noticed evolution, that is, change, happening all around us and within us for the past eight thousand years, we just assume that’s how it’s always been. The human being as instrument of discovery, though, has given those who thus use it, more information than that which can be measured and weighed externally. Something inside us, if we care to look—which is what we were created to do: we are the eyes, ears and mind of the living universe—something inside us has discovered other realities, even the ultimate Reality by coming into contact with It within our own being.

This is a place where space and time dilate until they become meaningless. Size, or better yet, scale is irrelevant. Zero and infinity are experienced as extremities of the here and now. We go to a lightless field on a cloudless night and look up. Our eyes see, gradually more and more, the visible universe. There are stars beyond all reckoning, and distances unfathomable. Yet something inside us, comforting, says, ‘All that you can see is still contained within the plates of your own skull.’ Like a young Mother who once bore within her womb the Child who is pre-eternal God, we know inwardly that we are ‘wider than the heavens,’ and that the Sign we bear within us is the key to comprehending the whole universe. There is no being at all without meaning, and it is this meaning that makes all life possible, and all endeavors, even encompassing every discovery of science that has ever been or shall be made. Encompassing all, giving meaning to all, revealing that everything is a function of the one we call ‘X.’

Yes, once not long ago, only a few centuries, there was a single pursuit—discovering who or what ‘X’ is, and that pursuit uncovered everything else that exists. This pursuit is the main function of the human mind, an intelligence which inhabits the body organ we call the brain. The brain was created, or evolved—whichever you prefer it doesn’t matter—principally so the universe could discover its reason for being. Anything else that the brain does is ‘thrown in’ as a bonus. Well, almost. Brains can’t live in a vacuum, at least not yet. The mind lives in a brain which lives in a body. We live in houses for the same reason, that same Reason whose pattern is indelibly imprinted on the whole universe, that Reason which wants us to discover It. Yes, I am speaking of that ‘X’ again. Bodies were made for the brains to live in, so that the mind could use everything else in our human nature to do what it was made to do—discover.

Whatever or whoever we call ‘X’ in any particular place or moment of time, it is the same, operates the same, and welcomes all the same, envyless, unprideful, inexhaustibly merciful is its nature, and for what we are, it is the perfect fit. Everything points to it. We only have to look. I termed it ‘X’ to emphasize that I don’t know how it will fit you, and to give you time and space to find it. As for me, I know who, not what, He is, but not why, except that everything He has made calls me by name and welcomes me to His side. Something in me has disclosed the door of the age to come, and to enter that door I want to be ready, as ready as him who said, ‘Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace according to Thy Word, for mine eyes have seen…’

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