November 2011

Top of This issue Current issue



When I was much younger, but still quite a sentient adult, already a nurturing father of three of my four children, and quite happily married, I found myself very impressed with Hamlet’s sage advice to his boon companion, Horatio. “There are more things in Heaven and Hell than are dreamt of in your philosophy”. That somehow resonated in the interior me -- the soul if you like —somehow where Wordsworth’s great words also deeply impressed in my college sophomore survey course of English Literature many years before. A lifelong treasure such as his great ode on Intimations of Immortality…… “Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting…The child is father to the man ….. We come trailing clouds of glory from God our Father…..not in entire nakedness, or utter forgetfulness. Heaven lies all about us in our infancy!...”. Undoubtedly to a hard core agnostic or atheistic person these words can be a problem, but there are many left who still glory in this pseudo, or neo realism” mystique who can carry the material burden of the scientific facts intermixed with some inspiriting afterthought. Einstein himself insisted in his dogmatic search for a unified field theory of all the basic physical forces that “God does not play dice with the universe”, and he pitied those who did not understand ‘the music of the spheres’ the almost holy narrow confluence of certain elements that allow for fragile human life to exist. One instance---- all liquids freeze over to solid form as the temperature continues dropping but water inexplicably expands below 35 Fahrenheit, allowing all marine forms to continue life and not be irrevocabably frozen over. And still continue to evolve. Einstein, an agnostic perhaps, but definitely not an atheist.

And neither are most people, surrounded (bedeviled?) though they are with all manner of technologic wonders. Being a Bible salesman still yields an eminently satisfactory six figure income. Perhaps a little more worrisome, thou, is the fact that sales of the Koran, the holy Islamic revelation of Allah are also very strong. (Jihad, Faith and Fanaticism are still a very dubious mix!)

Jews, in their very long human biblical history record a celebrated midrash of the Lord creating and destroying the world ten thousand times before resting. In the actual record of the Torah God is depicted as quite unhappy with His chosen people many times. In the flood story soon after human kind had its first flourishing as related in the first book of the Hebrew Torah, Noah and his family his family, and all the animals that Noah saved , in his famous very sea worthy ark, all included were apparently all that was saved in the forty day deluge that evidently vanquished all the other hapless or evil unworthy creatures on planet earth. Quite possibly this famous survival story is part of the possible positive remnants of the “ten thousand worlds” the Lord God supposedly created before ceasing his divine cosmic efforts.

However, be that as it may, we know, as of now, as we peer backward 42 billion light years to our cosmic horizon which represents how far light has traveled since the Big Bang has started planet earth ---13. 7 bililion years ago. We also now know from these and other equally astonishing numbers how much the universe has expanded since our humble planet began its part of the vast solar “heavenly” story. And even then when I was a mere callow youth,in l945, lacking sophisticated adult smarts, I was reassured that it was most probably a “lives happily ever after story”. For, you see, while we knew that the universe was still expanding in all directions,---even at that primeval time astronomically, less than 80 years ago-- we were confidently assured by cosmologist pundits that gravity, one of nature’s basic physical forces would soon take hold and start its counter attracting force on all the helter skelter fleeing solar elements. Not to worry!! Soon a sort of solar equilibrium and stasis would occur and then—eventually—a sort of implosion might start to occur and ultimate collapse might be inevitable as the gravitational pull of the larger existing bodies became inevitable. Many million years later. So, on went back to our usual juvenile pursuits; the attractive pull of the very proximate , and generally permissive young female cohorts circling all around. The planets and galaxies are still fleeing each other but here on planet Earth a good many people are enjoying increased intimacy physically, but still to the dismay of their concerned parents who are very upset with the growing instability of the existing social fabric. Frequent abortions, teenage pregnancy, single parent “families”, and the gradual dissolution of the concept of the male /female union as the basis of successful parenting.

Also, our new century seems “blessed” with a somewhat uncomfortable new astral event. The universe, thanks in large part to a rejuvenated Hubble Solar Astral Camera, and careful study and measurement, reveals that the universe is still fleeing apart at an increasing pace. And most of the volume of this increase is what we call “dark matter” a mysterious substance that neither emits nor absorbs light and is known only by the gravitational effects it manifests. Dark matter accounts for five times as much mass as ordinary matter---protons, neutrons,electrons, etc. About 90 percent of space is made up of dark matter, but the exact physical and chemical nature of this stuff is still a baffling secret. Does its presence affect its gravitational pull , and account for the increasing speed of the dispersion of all the elements in space? And of perhaps equal importance have we reached the limits of our visual acuity, now about 42 billion light years out in space? Cosmologists speculate that many galaxies do indeed exist beyond the growing dimness we now experience as we probe the evidently increasing vastness of the universe.

But most importantly do we not need to understand totally a new science of physics intergalactically. And its meaning in fundamental human terms There was Copernicus, Newton, Einstein and now almost incorrigble quantum mechanics and beyond ….. Or back to the beginning. Obviously there are “more things in heaven and hell, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. And can we still “come trailing clouds of glory from God, our father…..and is the child father to the man …..(and does) Heaven still lie all about us in our infancy?

And how does mortal man account for his ----and her---redemption and salvation in this ever increasing cold infinity all about us? The Book of Job struggles with this question. Infinite God against infinitesimal man and God’s evident unjust treatment of Job and why the wicked flourish and the righteous suffer. But, miracle of miracles!, God answers Job “out of the whirlwind” and in essence highlights all the wonders of the world humanity takes for granted. But carefully side stepping the delicate question of unjust wordly treatment. But, at least God is quoted verbatim in a long harangue against Job’s smug friends, who also blame Job unjustly.

God is rarely quoted directly in the Jewish scriptures. In the New Testament of course, Christ, the Son of God, is quoted often, especially The Advent. But, of course, persistent fellow that I am, we may have to rethink heaven and hell substantially—from myth to wish to utter reality. When Columbus sailed with his tiny “armada” the Nina, Pinto, and Santa Maria to find the Northwest Passage to India and the lucrative spice trade he found impeding his way the previously unknown North American continent and all the untapped wealth that made Spain a leading power in Europe for many centuries.

So, what’s so strange in finding in all that dark matter out there in space which is now almost impenetrable, clues to other forms of humanity and their manifest souls; a different version of time (space time?) ; a different way of perceiving reality?