Reconciling Science and Religion, Part 3

light

But as important as the second law of thermodynamics is to scientists, the study of energy, of light, is of first importance. Jesus appears to have seen that the secret of the universe must rest in light, primordial energy, and that in the creation of light rests the secret of creation itself. If He realized the nature of it, He must tell its story in large drama because prime energy, or elementary particle, cannot be identified and is not an individual. In making Himself a symbol of light in order to reveal its nature, and in being a symbol of saving grace in man, He took care to insure that someday men would realize His revelation was of universal truth. This is to say, He did not forget to enfold in the being of all humankind the primordial energy of God that He represented…for to the multitudes before Him, Jesus said:

“…you are the light of the world…”

From a scientific point of view, what is light? Is it a wave or is it a particle? It is actually both, depending on how we observe it. Notice what Preston Harold said above: “elementary particle…is not an individual.” Just this past week the first visual representation of actual light as both wave and particle has been documented. Here is a brief summary:

Please note how quantum theory, part of the “new physics” comes into play in this situation. Preston Harold says:

To evaluate Jesus’ revelation of the law upon which the universe operates and its psychic parallel, and to appreciate His dramatization of light, one must attempt to grasp, at least in some small measure, some of the basic ideas of the new physics. The relationship between science and psychology, which today largely substitutes for religion, cannot be determined by exploring only one realm or the other. To make the acquaintance, to have at least a nodding and speaking acquaintance, with the doctrine of science, psychology, and religion is incumbent upon [modern] man.

Just as light is neither particle or wave but rather both particle and wave, we as humanity can no longer approach meaning using either science or religion/psychology but rather both science and religion/psychology.

Either/Or is out the door.

Both/And is where we land.

But it takes some work on ourselves to “repent,” to change our way of thinking. Preston Harold continues…

To attempt to grasp in small measure some of the basic data of the new physics is not an easy task. And to see in the working of the physical world something of a mirror-reflection of the operation of man’s psyche might strike many as being too far-fetched to give the subject much consideration. A question must also arise – how could Jesus have known anything of physics in today’s sense of the word? His realization arose from the unconscious…. Aniela Jaffe says:

“The parallelism between nuclear physics and the psychology of the collective unconscious was often a subject of discussion between Jung and Wolfgang Pauli…The space-time continuum of physics and the collective unconscious can be seen, so to speak, as the outer and inner aspects of one and the same reality behind appearances.”

If only Hyacinth Bucket was aware of the reality from which appearances arise! Richard’s, Emmet’s, and the Vicar’s lives would have been so much simpler!

hyacinth

Now that we’ve thought about light a bit we will return to the second law of thermodynamics. To prep us for chapter 6, we will listen to Preston Harold’s last words of chapter 5:

This study does not attempt to show that Jesus precisely formulated the secondary law of physics – rather that His words and drama are congruent with the physicists’ explanations of these laws… Jesus’ view of the cosmic significance of nature’s supreme law differs from the nihilistic view of many scientists, disputed in some circles, but His descriptions of its working harmonize with those given for the layman. Jesus must speak to a world wherein even among the learned there was no language or mathematics to couch His realizations if they were as advanced as their congruence with scientific data indicates. Thus, He must be a poet, or in drama show nature’s operation that He grasped – and to be congruent with today’s science, His words must be as enigmatic, contradictory, yet true, as are the secondary laws of physics versus the classical, or as is the wave theory versus the quantum theory of light.

With that we are ready to tackle chapter 6 and how Jesus’ poetic and dramatic ministry expressed truth for the listeners in His day to the same extent that science and math express truth abstractly through numbers and data for modern mankind. Until next time, peace.

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