We’re missing something in Western culture. We’ve lost a sense of awe of amazement, of wonderand reverence. We’ve settled for scientific discovery as a finding in the natural world, be they earth-bound or galactic. Though the scientists, biologists, geneticists, astronomers and medical researchers who uncovered them are far more thrilled than the rest of us, in general, outside the scientific community; we have come to accept discovery as commonplace— as if we have been doing this since the inception of the universe. Not so.
Though the Ancients may have been visited by extra-terrestrial beings to start them along their path of technology, in more recent days, say the past 2,500 years, we have come to rely on innovation and invention. A rudimentary scientific method was initiated by Parmenides in the 5th century BCE. The “scientific method” as we know it, was formulated almost entirely by Galileo Galilei in the 16th century; his question-hypothesis-speculation provided us with an even more precise approach through which to screen and test our findings.
Still, there is something missing. It is that sense of mystery when we gaze into the heavens. With the naked eye we cannot even see their end: with a telescope, a little deeper; with the Hubble Telescope, deeper; a radio-telegraph, even deeper. Wouldn’t you think that measuring something 45,000,000,000,000 light years away might provoke a sense of awe onto the gazer? How far away is that, actually? Well, try this— http://scaleofuniverse.com/
If we could use the world’s largest electron microscope, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, we would see the order and accident of the universe at a minutia level, far below the atomic level. Coupling the breadth of the universe with the order and accident at the 0.0000000001 yoctometric level (quantum foam & string theory stuff), it should be observably obvious that the universe, this earth, and our own bodies are very intricate entities.
But with these incredible measuring devices where is the mystery? Where is the awe and amazement? As science uncovers more of the complexity of our world, be it across the universe or within the electron of an atom, it seems, to this writer, that there is little probability of it all staying in balance through mere coincidence and chance. The survival of the fittest hypothesis seems just too simplistic.
Is it possible that the mystery and awe have been there all along? Just not discoverable with our measuring tools. Rather, it is within the human spirit, of which we all partake; but also for whom this universe was created. It has been said that God creates: we measure. Maybe our past mystical experiences were not merely flights of fancy after all; but rather explanations of what we had actually seen, yet not measured. Mysticism unmeasured.
If it turns out that We are what all of this is about, then there will truly be a time of celebration and rejoicing…, not to mention our great humility and contrition.
For what it’s worth,
3 thoughts on “Mystery & Mysticism”
Gary, there are many good webs out on the internet (discernment is still required as is: “come let us reason together”); I see that you mentioned (tagged) the scale of the universe (http://scaleofuniverse.com/). That ‘load’ can really stretch ones brain (I have it as one of my top mind stretches – for those whose minds need to be ‘stretched’ and most Christians need stretching). But here are a few others (and this is just off the top of my head – an excel list exists on my computer…I’m at work). The Privileged Planet (dial that into Google) is one of the best DVDs I’ve seen for cranking up ones curiosity (garnished with a bit of conscience) to get one interested in asking good questions (for which I expect God to answer–Jer 33:3). I met Jay Richards who narrates the PP at the SES conferences in Charlotte NC and when he makes the statement (in the DVD) that: “everything smacks of conspiracy rather than coincidence”…it really shocks the science only mindset. The PP DVD is in its tenth year on the market and the write-in comments section on the amazon web (which sells the DVD) are many and both overly positive and argumentative–making for good debate! Another good web clip is “Nature by Numbers”. This will touch on to the mathematical design that is Behind Nature (hinting to the Fibonacci sequence and fractal geometry—and of course a Designer). This clip seen on youtube and Vimeco has been around for the last four years (just dial the quote into google). Also to reveal the design structure of life: from lungs to trees…check out this youtube presentation, “Fractal geometry: the Hidden Dimension” (it also comes in a DVD from Amazon). There are many more that will focus more directly on God’s deliberate Design but what I find interesting is having someone who is just barely questioning watch these (and others) and see their wonder and curiosity switch on. We are built to question and seek answers; we are designed with a brain capable of understanding (we are created in the Image of an intelligent designer!). We imagine, are intuitive, we create poetry, and art, can do abstract mathematics, seek fairness and perfection, have four dune buggies on the moon and a LHC in France and Switzerland—and not one of those mentioned has any Darwinian survival value. This is a temporary journey, this is not our home, we are here for a purpose (stewarded the planet and promote relationships). Our only problem (a big one) is that of sin: God knows this; and He has taken care of it; by His Grace of salvation via Christ. Now let’s not insult the creator of the universe by being ungrateful for the brain we have: in short, when one finds information it must point back to Intelligence. Order does not come from chaos unless there is input via intelligence (that’s basically the second law of thermodynamics/entropy…also hinted to in reverse in Romans 8:19-20). Numbed and dumbed Christians do not promote a good image of Christianity—Jesus was not numbed or dumb by the world…nor should any Christian! We are to be IN the world but know we are NOT of the world. The Truth is not one of ONLY religion…or ONLY science; it is a discerned knowledge of ALL input which then leads to wisdom and that wisdom is the ultimate knowledge of God as the ONE and ONLY Intelligence.
Thanks for the input, Gordon. Well said.
I am a meager scientist, at best. my primary skill would be best described as intuitive future forecaster. I see what IS, recall what WAS, draw some connections between the two, and then think outside the box. i don’t try to do this; it’s just what I do.
Thus, looking at this present day dismissal of religion by science, I RECALL where scientific method originated, look at the interface between science vs religion today, and LEARN that, eventually, we must come to a Supreme Being who runs the show.
Scientifically, just adding another billion or two years on things will still not produce what we see around us today. But if you preclude a “Designer” in the formula, then you have to do something, I guess.
Maybe someone needs to delineate the discoveries and inventions of the past 3,000 years and then project out another 3,000. Now that’s a Brain-Trust I’d like to sit in on!
Hi, Gary… Glad you enjoyed my post… if you get to view the Privileged Planet; I’d really like to ‘hear’ your ‘thoughts’ on it! I came across a hint to a pet peeve that has been ramping through the media, yet is one-sided (the media/world wants to focus only on what man does to gain knowledge–science, yet in reality we gain no knowledge without The ultimate Intelligence which is behind and responsible for all information and too the brains in our heads we use…to decipher information…CORRECTLY. Information points to the Intelligence of God…and by exercising such information we are ultimately revealing God to a blind world and worshiping God). Curiosity is OK but it needs to be guided by an active conscience (acts 24:16 always strive to keep conscience clear before God and men)… science gets in trouble when it goes its own way…and with no consideration for/to God. This is part of a quote from your email: “Thus, looking at this present day dismissal of religion by science, I RECALL where scientific method originated, look at the interface between science vs religion today…” Oddly this idea of “science versus religion” is an overreaction a misrepresentation and frankly…lies! If one looks up “Christian scientists” the list is immense http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_thinkers_in_science Yet there were two individuals John Draper and Andrew Dickson White…who are nearly totally responsible for poisoning efforts of other people to work together (to recognize theology, science and even philosophy to reveal ultimate wisdom): Please take some time to read about these two people http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conflict_thesis (and search for some other pages too…don’t let me lead you, search for yourself…so there will no bias. “Test everything hold on to that which is good/true”) Also there is a priest ” Georges Lemaître” (dial him up in Google). He is ultimately responsible for the idea of a beginning universe; “big bang” (which was not big and there was no bang) George called it the “primeval atom” or “cosmic egg”. it was Fred Holye who in a derisive comment, attempting to ridicule George during a radio broadcast called it a big bang. Fred in a sense says: “Oh George, you mean the beginning was like some big bang?” The term stuck…and that is HOW we got that phrase!! Cosmologists now recognize a singularity event in which all space, time, and energy began…microseconds after which plasma condensed out into hydrogen (75%) and helium (25%)…the continuation involves much more typing but at one specific time 380,000 years after the beginning at a time called “the recombination” photons were finally free to leave the plasma and this is when “let there be light” OR (if I may) let the light be…streamed across the expanding space…. Science tells us how the heavens go, the Bible tells one how to go to heaven yet there are parallel meanings. While surfing for Lemaitre (pronounced la-MA-traa) look for just images (photos–a selection off the Google main page margin)…also Google search for images of “Lemaitre and Einstein”. You will find that Einstein and Lemaitre worked together (sort-ta) attempting to figure out the universes’ beginning, expansion and relativity. George actually…eventually convinced Einstein!! I actually have collected articles about Lemaitre and have Lemaitre’s only printed book “A Day Before Yesterday”. I have a very strong THOUGHT that no where in Christian teaching or for that matter secular teaching is the truth revealed about these two problems regarding science and religion (Draper and White) nor is there instruction about the positive side of such learning (Lemaitre and Einstein). There is no place to go with such knowledge: Schools will not allow the ‘theology’ and churches will not allow the science!! We are part of the problem!!! We can not force the schools but we can influence other Christians in churches!! Thanks G