ABOUT STARS AND SOULS
In the beginning was — hydrogen! Nothing else existed within the cosmos for countless eons after everything exploded in motion during the first nanosecond of the Big Bang. In fact — there was no Cosmos as we know it today. The universe was in chaos for an eternity and then, slowly but with irresistible force, gravity sucked the swirling hydrogen clouds together into gigantic glowing globes that grew so dense and so violent that they cooked off as incredibly vast and powerful nuclear furnaces. Stars were born, lived, died and were then reborn in incalculable numbers. We have trouble wrapping our minds around that initial concept alone for there are more stars in our Milky Way galaxy alone than grains of sand on all the beaches of Earth. And there are up to three or four hundred million galaxies across the void. Perhaps you are beginning to understand what I feel when I use the term mind-boggling, with my statement that this is the greatest story ever told, that God the Cosmic Creator, the Seminal Spirit, the Author of Existence can be welcomed as a loving companion in our lives.
The starter stars in each island universe, such as Andromeda or the Milky Way, spewed off immense clouds of radioactive stardust that is still being transmuted through cosmic alchemy into the ninety odd elements needed to form more sophisticated stars and their planets. Much as uranium is changed into plutonium within a nuclear reactor, so simple hydrogen is transmuted into new elements within the blazing nuclear engines. Then, as radioactive stardust spewing away from each star is compressed through gravity into further generations of stars, it is transformed still more into all the matter needed to support life. God’s process of continuous creation continues on this divine scale, for astronomers now have incredible photographs of developing stars popping off like strings of firecrackers along unimaginably long columns of hydrogen based stardust. Every day — yesterday and today and tomorrow, hundreds of trillions of tons of this stardust drift down to earth, growing our planet about an inch in diameter every million years. And if that seems slow, it is because you haven’t seen God’s time frame!
I have often wandered in awe under the stars in the clear, dry nights on the New Mexico desert, trying to picture what the universe is really like out there. Finally, after half a century of study, I only think I understands the Cosmos. I really don’t — no one does fully. There is nothing simple about this god-like alchemy that culminated eventually in the meta-universe in a time frame our flea-bitten, snaggle-toothed ancestors couldn’t possibly understand. Indeed, how do we ourselves describe a worm hole that may open into a parallel reality in an alternate universe? Or a cosmic singularity, a black hole of ultimate density in which time and space cease to exist? Of course, the time span and the distances of the Cosmos are much too vast for our limited human frames of reference to comprehend. As for people watching a movie in which each frozen frame lasts longer than our lives, the universe only appears to be static because we don’t live long enough to see much of the show. This apparent lack of progression confused our ancestors, especially ancient theologians and philosophers who tried to understand the God’s Cosmos without any real knowledge of science to guide their assumptions.
In our development into a sentient or thinking species, we left the less complex creatures behind as we developed a deep sense of mystery or mysticism that both satisfies and confuses us at times. We became so complex intellectually and spiritually that we all need a sense of meaning and purpose in out lives — a spirituality that extends far beyond the routine aspects of existence. This is why Jesus reported; Man does not live by bread alone. We live in our present state of existence with the need to mature beyond secular attitudes, expectations and choices or we starve ourselves in the most meaningful ways. We are first and foremost spiritual beings and any failure to meet our spiritual needs leads to frustration, spiritual bankruptcy, intellectual disaster and emotional despair. .
Unfortunately, many individuals, denominations and bureaucracies have frozen that illusion of rigidity into their traditions and ideologies where it causes considerable harm when circumstances shift and they and their rigid organizations must adapt enthusiastically or perish.