Saturday, May 31, 2008

Atoms and elephants and really little stuff that is really big

In this age of excitement and the ever quest for evermore titillation, we become jaded to the ever uniqueness of our every breath and our every thought, without which common and ordinary and even unique have no meaning. The human mind makes it all unique, even if the composition of it all can be reduced to even a more common denomination than quarks and gluons, whatever that may be. Without a discovering mind and an inventing mind, everything just is. But with a discovering mind and an inventing mind, mere humans can get a glimpse of the Builder of ALL. First we discovered atoms. Then to our amazement we discovered a universe within each atom. Nucleons, the protons and neutrons that compose the atoms. Then even deeper within, that which we cannot see, but can detect, and we name them quarks. And this a zoo of "up" and "down" and a "chromo force" which we think even more minute and call gluons. And here we think we are, in the basement of matter! But then again, I wouldn't be surprised if this basement has a hidden trap door, and perhaps when opened, an even more and vast universe lay beyond?

We call this Builder of All, God. Yet, we are but humans, and even at our best, when we conjure up every description to describe what we acknowledge to be indescribable -- Omnipresent, Omniscient, Infinite, Truth, Love, Creator, Provider, Savior, Deliverer, Elohim, Adonai, Yahweh, Ehyeh -- we are doing our best with what we have, and that necessitates "projecting" our humanness, and the universe about us, upon that which is not. The creation is not the Creator.

I like what Isaiah says when describing God as the Potter and we humans as the clay, "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'He did not make me'? Can the pot say of the potter, 'He knows nothing'?"

"Eddington's elephant."
The astrophysicist Arthur Eddington gave an illustration of "an elephant sliding down a hill of wet grass." To the physicist the elephant is irrelevant after one ascertains it weighs two tons, and the hill is also irrelevant when one ascertains the hill is 60-degrees, and too the wet grass is irrelevant when one ascertains the friction of this wet grass. In other words the elephant has been reduced to mass and the hill reduced to angle of slope and the wet grass reduced to coefficient of friction. Now the physicist has something to chew on, a problem to solve and an answer that can be found. But in this reduction to certainties the poetry has disappeared and totally gone is that hill covered with wet grass with that zany elephant sliding down it. Irrelevant?

God is nowhere -- God is now here. The difference a little space makes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm suspecting that knowledge - the human mind - is all that renders the creator and its creation different.
Otherwise, that zany elephant is the two tons, the grassy slope, and the coefficient of friction.
"God is nowhere -- God is now here" is the same thing. If you don't think about it.

Like you said:
"Without a discovering mind and an inventing mind, everything just is."

Well, hell. I thought I had a point when I started out.
I'll end up trying to remember a quote from Lao Tzu I read just today: "Trying to understand is
like straining through muddy water.
Be still and allow the mud to settle."