Written by Elaine Walker, 1997. Posted Monday, December 31, 2007
Current mood: nostalgic
I wrote this TEN years ago. I just found it again! It hints at chaos theory.
The universe began as something beyond the range of our experience, and perhaps beyond the range of our mathematical imagination. We do not have and may never have the language to describe the exact beginning.
About as close as we can come is to say that the seeds of things-to-be were there from the start, including the seed of some essential Mystery to teach the parts how to become the particular universe that would emerge. The seed surely did not know what it would create, as only time could tell, but it contained the simplest instructions - all that was needed.
In an instant, the embryo of the universe came forth, verging perhaps on chaos. But within that instant, the guiding Mystery began to frame events as the creation of a universe-to-be: Time began, space burgeoned, and matter and energy filled it, cascading into existence.
As the universe expanded and the first glow of creation faded, gravity became the organizing force. Galaxies-to-be began to form, gathering atoms into banks of swirling mist, and within each bank of mist, smaller swirls of stars-to-be began to break away and coalesce. Then, in the darkness, the first stars were born to relight the universe.
As the first stars began to die, some of them exploded, scattering forth new forms of matter. Almost all of this debris remained in the galaxy of its birth, captured by the gravitational mass of the galaxy itself. Over time, much of it combined with remnants of primeval matter to form new swirls of clouds to become a new generation of stars, of which our sun is one.
From the remainders of the mother cloud of our sun, a new kind of planet formed, incipient with new complexities. Among the complexities that were realized, was the emergence of a microscopic structure which could capture energy and resources from its environment and replicate itself -- the first life form, from which every creature on our planet has developed in an unbroken chain.
There was some variability in the replications, variations which were passed on to future generations. Some of the variants were better able than their parents to compete for the resources required to sustain life and reproduction. The competition became intense, and over time, living things came to exhibit great complexity and variety.
In the end, however, in perhaps the strangest twist, victory went neither to the swiftest nor to the strongest, but to the most intelligent species - a species equipped to understand itself, to sort out its origins and those of the universe, and to imagine the possibilities of its own future.
If we accept this story or a similar one as our (malleable) story of creation, then much of our direction and energy can become focused on discovering the ultimate Mystery of the universe. It may be beyond our mathematical imagination, but as we unravel it bit by bit, we are essentially becoming closer to the great Mystery, our new kind of "God".