Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Harmonizing



I encountered this delightful little video of scientists "singing" the praises of creation through the miracle of FaceBook, and felt obligated to pass it on after offering up the requisite tip o' the hat to Jeremy over at Master's Way. It's simple enough in it's own way, just another in a series of rather marvelous applications of Autotune. Lil Wayne hath wrought far more than one might have imagined.

After watching it, I drifted for a while into a reverie about that soaring place where science and faith almost...almost...meet. What I find fascinating about this video are two discrete but related things.

First, that it comes so very close to expressing the delight in the connectedness of all things that defines the experience of mystics within each of the world's religious traditions. Listening to this assemblage of scientists autotune their paean to the interwoven and interdependent structures of spacetime, I hear them harmonizing with Thomas Merton and Jacob Boehme and St. John of the Cross. Sure, it might be Carl Sagan, but with only minor tweaking it could also be Jalal'adin Rumi, or Chuang Tzu, or Thich Nat Hanh. The wonder they feel from their science is a close cousin to the wonder that the mystic intuits in those fleeting moments of union with all things.

Second, I found myself connecting connectedness to the core ethic of Christian faith. Folks of a radically atheistic persuasion will often argue that faith...particularly Christian faith, but they'll happily go after whatever you've got...is fundamentally evil. It's inherently irrational and opposed to science. Worse yet, it turns human beings against one another. Makes us hateful naaarsty peopleses!

But Jesus of Nazareth's message is a radical proclamation of orientation to the Other, a declaration of the fundamental unity of creation. We creatures are not separate from one another. We don't exist for ourselves alone, isolated from all other things.

Instead of focusing on our own interests, the central and defining fundamental of Christian faith is the ethic of love. That demands that we see ourselves not as isolated, separate beings, but instead calls us to understand ourselves in light of our relationship both to other beings and the One Who Is.

At its essence, Christian faith and ethics do not stand in opposition to the wonder many scientists feel at the intricate interweaving of ecosystems and cosmological constants.

It's a different spin, perhaps. But a harmonious one.

2 comments:

  1. When I read Sagan's "Varieties of Scientific Experience" I came away with the same feeling.

    Thanks for the plug, too.

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  2. I've always wondered when science would catch up to faith. They're getting it now- the love that connects us all.

    Welcome to the real world, my friends...

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