Tag Archive 'metaphysics'

Mar 15 2015

Profile Image of Walt

Big Questions

Filed under Blog Post

gastropod1What’s the weather like? What’s for dinner? What’s on TV? These are the kind of questions that most people ask themselves nearly every day. As long as I keep to this program, I’m just a regular guy. But I have a tendency to stray. I have a tendency to ask big questions, very big questions – questions for which there are no simple answers.

Last year I completed a manuscript about my immersion into amateur astronomy a decade ago and the big questions that arose from it. At the same time, I read all sorts of theological works, sampling the world’s major religions. The result as been a long winter of intense metaphysical inquiry and difficult writing about things that no one really understands.

Last fall I visited Fisk Quarry and saw the fossilized remnants of creatures that lived hundreds of millions of years ago. Those swirls embedded in rock reminded me of spiral galaxies, hurricanes and other natural phenomena. All this suggests to my impressionable mind that there’s such a thing as natural order, that the patterns I see in the world around me are not just a figment of my imagination. That gets me thinking about why patterns exist.  And that, in turn, gets me thinking about the Absolute.

The great thaw has commenced here in the North Country. Soon I’ll be wandering around the woods looking for spring wildflowers, blathering like a fool about how wonderful and beautiful the world is. Then I won’t be so lost in my abstractions. Then again, everything in nature reminds me of divine order. I see spots on the back of a ladybug, a heavy mist clinging to a forested mountain, or the waxing moon rising after dark and sense the sublime. I’m a hopeless romantic.

 

Comments Off on Big Questions

Dec 12 2013

Profile Image of Walt

Back into the Cosmos

Filed under Blog Post

telescopeThe urge to further explore the cosmos is coming back to me. When the night sky is clear, I can’t help but look skyward and marvel at the universe. Not long ago, I pulled out my binoculars and revisited the Andromeda Galaxy. More recently, I went to the Astronomy Picture of the Day website and checked out the incredible photos there. I think it’s time to crack open some cosmology books, dust off my telescope, and let the cogs in my head whirl about once again.

I reviewed my cosmos manuscript the other day, clicking into it after a short round of writing. What I found there got me thinking. It’s pretty good for being an early draft. Why not finish it?

I abandoned the cosmos manuscript years ago. At that time I couldn’t justify putting a year of work into something that would be difficult to market. After all, I’m no expert in the field. But I have a passion for the subject and that’s reason enough to finish the book. Besides, I am ready to have my mind blown again.

Cosmology is not for the faint of heart. The wild universe, hidden in plain sight, undermines any complacent understanding of things. Do not go there if you like having your feet planted firmly in some comfortable worldview. I have delved deep into the matter only to have my head explode, time and again. It’s intellectually thrilling yet exhausting. If you have ever pondered the big bang, red shifts, black holes, or dark matter, then you know what I’m talking about.

Unlike most people with a scientific bent, I do not look skyward and say, “God is dead.” On the contrary, I find in the night sky affirmation that we live in an ordered universe, that it is not all chaos and random occurrences. One look at a spiral galaxy is proof enough to me that some organizing force is at work. Gravity alone defies chance.  But what is really going on out there? Like I said, the subject isn’t for the faint of heart… or the simple minded.

 

One response so far