Newton’s Universal Law of Gravitation: Any two bodies in the universe attract each other with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.
(Disclaimer: We are going to some strange head-spaces in this one. Don’t give up on me, please. Stick with it and we will get through it together.)
I am writing this from 30,000+ feet in the air, watching the earth roll away beneath me. The subtle bend of the horizon reminds me of how tiny this place truly is, and how short my time on it will be. For all of history, humans have been locked upon its soil, stuck to work it, bend it and even break it. Nonetheless, from my vantage point it seems those days are beginning to be over.
Even though my earthly brothers and sisters have beat her, carved her, stabbed her toward her death, she still clings to me and pulls me toward her heart. We have dug deep into her skin, peeled back the clothes she has worn for so long, pillaged her body for our desires and needs. From these wings, I can see her scars. Still, deep in my belly, even here, I feel her tug. The earth below me is still clinging to my core as if it can’t bear to see me go.
It has been “discovered” that all bodies pull each other. This truth has always been there. Right there holding our feet to the ground, holding our planet in the cradled embrace of our sun, our source of energy from which all life as we know it springs.
And that Sun is held in a cradled embrace by forces beyond its own, and so the story goes. Spiraling orbits, corkscrewing their way through what used to be thought of as a simple punctured backdrop showing tiny points of light, with us in the middle of it all, are now known to comprise a fathomless expanse of space on which we reside simply and impotently upon the fringe.
Oh, the self-aggrandizing ideals our ancestors held concerning our place in all of this. To think that they knew, just KNEW we were the core, the reason, the end.
Just as I am pulling away from the earth, so too am I pulling away from my initial thoughts and reasons in writing this blog. Let’s chalk it up to foreshadowing and continue.
Back to gravity:
Here are some other mystical properties of this incredibly beautiful force:
Without gravity we would have no heat (thermal) energy. The source of energy is the tug and spin, collision and fusion of particles, planets, — bodies.
Without it we would have no time. Time is that measure of movement of objects through space. Were all objects to cease movement, time would stand still. No breath, no heart beats, no tides, no spin, no combustion, — bodies would no longer roll on in their relational path ways.
Without gravity we do not have life. The ability for one body to stay connected to another would be gone.
Gravity is the weakest of the major forces we have discovered. Although, this is the force through which bodies relate. It is delicate, nuanced, steady, unchanged. You cannot see gravity, but know it exists through witnessing how it affects the reality we can observe. Nothing is outside of its reach. Nothing can stand in its way. Everything within our understanding is affected by it, from the smallest particle of light, to the largest red giant star. All things are graced by this force. Even its most subtle kiss evokes change.
There are mysteries and physical realities here that I am not smart enough or educated enough to delve into. It is not my intent to fully illuminate anyone on the physics of these forces, although I am going to share some internal parallels to this external world.
Here are some more background axioms about how I view the universe.
- There was a force that kicked this whole thing off (so far we are not discussing this force as being physical, spiritual, close, far, intimate, indifferent, altruistic, hedonistic, good, nor evil at this point. Although, those discussions will be fun and intense, I am certain.)
- This force seems to have started in motion a universe that abides by measurable, repeatable laws.
- We are a part of this universe, possibly even a product of it (the science divides with some religions here.)
- We are subject to these laws.
- We are self-aware, curious, and thoughtful.
- We possess an incredible capacity for logical understanding; even discovery through this tool (a priori)
- Gravity is the logical explanation that we have come up with that describes this set of rules in which we have found our universe and selves.
- The physical world we live in is paralleled by the emotional/mental world we live out of.
Let’s get religious for just a bit. Much of my early world view was constructed within a religious system. I can’t fully get you immersed in where my head is now unless I can help you see where my head was then. This system is still held by many of the people I deeply care about, and possibly even you. This is not an attempt at deconstructing any of your world views, by any means. Know that if you care to go on this journey with me, and you do not wish to have your worldview compromised, this is more of an attempt to explain to you my personal world view, why I have it, and how I came from where I was to where I am today. I wish to create, not destroy; bridge, not break.
In a moment, if you don’t mind, and it is at all possible for you, I am going to ask you to step into the world view that I used to have. Some of you will have great challenge with this. Others of you live here. I ask that you try your best.
Before we into that, even MORE background. You see, a system is a system because within itself it actually works. The religions and anti-religions that exist are not followed by mindless idiots, like we sometimes think from the vantage point of our own world view. We need to understand that we are ALL thinking humans who are searching for truth. We are all capable of understanding and accepting truth. But, when something clicks for us in a certain way, although it may not be fully true, it could possibly seem to make enough sense to convince us of a truth. In order for us to fully function as a group of neighbors, we need to understand this. We need to find why something would make sense to a person, instead of pointing out where we see the glaring error.
You see, something that we can ALL agree on is that: None of us are perfect, none of us have the mental abilities to have everything completely figured out; this is another axiom. I like to think that our flaw is a gift. It allows us to be different, and it forces our learning and growing to be collaborative and collective. If we count one group or another group off of our list as worthy of us learning from, we have just thrown away a large source of knowledge and enlightenment that would certainly have lead to a new layer of self-discovery.
As you settle into to my old mindset and the system it was locked within, please keep in mind that there are some truths that could be lurking there.
FINALLY… (I seem to beat around the bush a lot, eh?)
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and the earth was without form, and was void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. When God spoke, out of the darkness, the void, the emptiness there sprang into existence: LIGHT.
God continued to speak. His very words begat the sun, moon and stars. He willed, through his whispers, the spawn of life, and all of the creatures unfolded and swarmed from his creative glory.
Up till now, in my world view, these moments of creation were individual points on a timeline. That timeline was eternal. There was a moment of decision within this timeline when God conjured this plan. There were individual moments from which sprang each individual round of creation. In my mind, the stars sprang out at once. A mouse. A beam of light. No, ALL beams of light. An apple. A protozoan. On the reptile day, all reptiles were made, individually, and have not changed in their expression of variation since. So too was my world view for all other items cast in this theatre of creation.
There is no law here. There is no natural order, other than the imagination of a being that is in a six day creative frenzy. I chalked that up to God being able to exempt himself from the natural order of things. He created this Universe, and he exists both within it and outside of it. To me, the scope of God was greater than the scope of all existence. So, if he wanted to cut in for a dance, it was His prerogative. All nature must bend to His will and authority, since he truly is the author Himself.
Skip forward to my thinking today.
Why then, if this were true, would a system of such pristine clockwork exist? How could this feat of utter and majestic logically relational systems roll the way they do if they sprang from a place of such binary decision making? One day logic, the next day the platypus. One day Gravity, the next day a planet with no universe to hang within. One day light, the next day sun, moon and stars.
This began to crumble for me. It did not crumble into oblivion, on the other hand. It was rather distilled down to that more perfect remaining force that I now see as being behind that first push toward our reality.
If it is true that all things have a synchronicity to them, and that we have access to understanding these systems, so it must be that we have the logical ability to figure out more than we may be giving ourselves credit for. And now, let’s begin to work backward.
In the New Testament there is a verse that has always captured my heart, and caught me off guard. It seems to conflict with much of the rest of the scriptures, especially much of the Old Testament. If I were to have a religious residue left from my youth, this would certainly be the core truth of my belief system.
GOD IS LOVE
It is a small moment in the Bible. I do, however, fully acknowledge and believe that this one scripture was personified in the philosopher (yes… I will get some major flack for this adjective, I know… Hang in there with me) Jesus of Nazareth.
Dig deep in yourself. Look at a moment in which you know for a fact that you felt love.
The moments I conjure are the first time I looked at my new born children. When my mom held me after I was hurt, or taught me how to cook. That extremely cold night camping in a cave with my dad when he did not sleep all night, but held me and kept me warm, and safe from hypothermia. When I taught my brother how to walk. When I learned my wife was pregnant. When my sister stuck up for me and got punished along side of me for something neither of us had done. When a job was offered that I was not qualified for.
When I stare at the stars on a clear night.
When I see a Hydra through a microscope.
When I step into the ocean.
When I hear music.
When I hear my wife whisper.
There is an element to these moments that is mysterious. We do not see love, but we feel its tug deep in our bellies. The faster we try to pull ourselves from it, the more fire we have to expel. As I fly further from my earth, my home, this very moment, the deep pull toward home with my wife and children is far stronger and far more real than the gravity that I feel now loosening its grip.
WHAT IF LOVE IS SOME TYPE OF GRAVITY
It is a crazy thought. I am aware of this, but think about the laws it abides by. No, I am not stating that we can boil love down to a formula.
What if though…. Just… What if all that exists is held in motion by the intentional force and mystery of love? What if God really is Love, and Love really is Gravity. What if love is just as natural and real and dirt and stars and air and light?
Do you see the parallels?
Love within us brings forth these images of light, connection, creation, joining, this emotional gravity.
I remember the first time I saw my wife. Yes, it was love at first sight. It was not an infatuation. It was truly an acknowledgement of change deep within me, and the draw to her I had as if a natural force had been there before laying the groundwork and we simply planets following a pathway toward each other.
But you have been there too. I can name a select group of people with whom I have something we typically call a “connection.” There is this stuff that exists between us drives away the need for a prior knowledge of each other. There is a synergy between us that is simply stated, spontaneous love. We just love each other, and for no describable reason. There is gravity to our relationship.
The first question that combats this idea that God is Love and Love is Gravity (beyond the reality that love as we know it is an emotional construct within our brain, measurable by the neurological and chemically charged impulses within our brain) is of course, “Why then is there suffering?”
This has always been the downfall of God. It has also always been the downfall of love. Within all of these relationships I have had you harken back to, there have been moments and periods of deep suffering. The deepest love comes with the deepest suffering. The most innocent are usually the ones struck by the most intense suffering.
Another point of contention for me has been: if God is this intimately involved being who knows my every thought and motive, and cares to feed the individual sparrows, but yet he also exists on the outside of this creation, how is it that these forces can truly be universal? There is then not just a God who exists outside of this reality, but a parallel universe. This is where it is taught heaven and hell exists, along with the angels and demons, and everything else. However, all of these beings are also held by similar forces and explained in the Scripture as bodies with emotions, making decisions, subject to God’s will, and in places that exist in some kind of a space and time. The rules within this system are far too fuzzy and nonsensical to fully follow. I was told here that I just needed to believe it at face value, and that this is called “faith.”
Queue the next blog please!!!!
I am still in the air. A few hours have passed. The sun is down and I am sailing through inky black night. As I look out my window toward the western horizon two pin point lights shine clearly, Mars the smaller and Jupiter then larger. Although Mars is much closer, Jupiter outshines him without question. Although I clearly see them, my skewed perception of them is clouding my judgment of their truth. Yet, to know them at all I have to be in almost complete darkness.
More to come…