Saturday, 13 June 2009

814 - 3.00am Revisited

Ideas contained in the post I wrote at 3.00 the other morning have been steeping in my brain. Drawing a simple equivalence between body and mass, spirit and energy, works. It is fascinating to consider biblical texts about bodies impacted by spirit as observations of the effects of energy on mass. Here's a burning bush. Here's a stick enlivened till it becomes a snake. Here's a dead man walking, and a mass of people, hearts leaping, tongues waggling, spilling onto a street to declare the marriage of spirit and mankind.

Einstein's observation that energy and mass are equivalent replicates the insistence of the gospels that Jesus is a consummation of God and man, so that we can conclude that what the gospels say, science says. And vice versa. "It's okay: we're neither dead meat or unlicensed energy. We're both in interplay. That's the way it should be, and that's the way it is."

The way it is is a pretty good definition of the kind of universe I'd expect a loving god to create. But it is also no more or less than science expects to observe.

And in effect, the shift of perspective represented by the gospels away from God=Spirit, Humanity=Flesh, to God=Spirit and Flesh, Humanity=Spirit and Flesh, is identical to the shift science is itself undergoing away from Humanity=Observer, Cosmos=Observed, to Humanity=Observer and Observed, Cosmos=Observer and Observed. And just to make clear that what I am not saying is that all scientists are just unwitting Christians, this shift of perspective is surely present in all cultures, and marks the point in maturity where a person accepts that his or her life is neither the exercise of will on flesh, or flesh on will, alone, but both exercising on each other. In other words, it's a function of growing up.

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