Thomas F. O'Neill
Spirituality and the Oscillating Universe
Throughout history humanity has stood in awe of the majestic splendor of our cosmos and wondered what secrets lie hidden in the vastness of space and time. Religions have understood the vastness of the heavens to house the gods that controlled humanities' outcome on earth. Science on the other hand turned to reason and nature to unravel the mysteries of our Universe.
It has only been in recent times (within the last 60 years or so) that some scientists have begun to turn elsewhere for answers and what they have found may help unravel the deep mysteries of our cosmos. The universal laws that govern our universe are just beginning to be unraveled but surprisingly not by science alone. Some Cosmologists, Astronomers, Astrophysicists, and Quantum Physicists have received help in the unlikeliest of places. Some modern Scientists have discovered that a key to unraveling the mysteries of the Cosmos and its Universal laws may lie in the ancient Hindu Sanskrit’s.
Scientists in the west have discovered the ancient eastern Pantheistic concepts in the east in ancient writings - written thousands of years ago. These mystical writings may hold the key to what western science has been searching for empirically for centuries. What some scientists have discovered is that the ancient eastern metaphysical concepts may hold the key to understanding the intricate order, balance, and the natural symmetry within the complexity of our Universe.
I found it fascinating when I read about recent breakthroughs in Astrophysics due to the invention of the Hubbel Telescope and the discovery of black matter in our universe. It was the discovery of black matter that has brought some Astronomers and Cosmologists into agreement that the Universe is expanding at an accelerated rate and at some point in the far distant future the acceleration will slow down and the Universe will eventually stop expanding. The Universe will then begin to contract in on itself -- they call this process the big crunch. Some Astrophysicists say the big crunch is inevitable due to the amount of dark matter in our Universe. This dark matter will cause an immense gravitational pull and this immense force of gravity will pull all the matter in our Universe in on itself converting the matter into an infinitesimal ball of subatomic energy. This in turn will create an immense explosion which is known as “the Big Bang theory.”
It is believed by many Scientists that “the Big Bang” will lead to the creation of a whole new Universe where subatomic energy will evolve into matter and eventually new life forms. This is what is meant by an oscillating universe -- a continuous cycle of unending crunches and bangs. Some Astronomers would describe this as an eternal recycling process; with each big bang a new universe comes into being. There are those however who do not agree with this Theory. There is also disagreement and debates going on among certain scientists who believe the universe’s acceleration growth will go on forever and others saying it will eventually slow down and then stop completely due to inertia. There are also those who believe the universe will eventually become static and die a slow death over a very long period of time.
What is fascinating about the Oscillating Universe theory is that ancient Hindu mystics wrote about this process thousands of years ago. They intuitively understood this process as being part of the karmic and universal laws of nature. They understood this process as cosmic cycles of death and rebirth and as an endless recycling process. They wrote that the cycles of death and rebirth can also lead toward a higher self realization if one turns to the inward journey. Self realization and the inward journey for the Hindu’s and mystics throughout history is the sole means towards greater spiritual growth.
I find the Oscillating Universe theory intriguing because it fits into the natural cycles of nature. We can intuitively recognize and understand these natural cycles because we are conscious living beings within nature. We intuitively recognize nature as being in a continuous recycling mode with death and rebirth as being part of a natural evolutionary process.
The ancient Hindu’s also understood that those who take the time to gain a greater understanding of themselves in relation to the world around them will eventually gain an implicit understanding of the natural karmic order of things including their intricate role within that order.
In other words, self awareness is not only the means to greater spiritual growth but it leads us to a greater understanding of the natural laws that are within us, around us, and most of all within the eternal life of god.
Astronomers and Cosmologists are only beginning to recognize and understand the cosmic order of things and our intricate role within the cosmos. As living beings we are intrinsically susceptible to the natural karmic laws that govern us and the universe in its totality.
The ancient mystics understood that when one gains a greater understanding of themselves they gain a greater understanding of their interrelationship with nature and how they fit within nature’s natural cycles.
They wrote about how everything is interconnected and essential for us to exist as self conscious living beings. They also had an implicit understanding of how living beings are evolving within the consciously evolving universe.
I find it intriguing how science is only beginning to understand what the ancient mystics implicitly understood and wrote about thousands of years ago. The mystics intuitively understood that in order to unite our understanding of the interconnectedness of all things we must first unite our understanding of our humanity. Modern Science however has a long way to go in fully understanding our interconnected role as evolving beings within the evolving universe.
Some modern day Physicists are beginning to ask critical questions as to whether there is an infinitesimal reduction when it comes to quantum physics and an infinite extension that makes up the ultimate reality of god. Other scientists however, argue that this is not science, but falls in the realm of Philosophy. Philosophy and Science are only beginning to compliment each other in our pursuit to unravel the mysteries of our cosmos.
Therefore, modern day Philosophers and Scientist’s are asking the same questions whether there are multiple universes like living cells that make up a greater living reality. In other words, just as the cells in our body make up a greater living reality and just as we are part of an even greater reality. Can there be multiple universes that make up a greater reality and that reality being part of an even greater reality and so on and so on.
Existence as an infinite expansion and an infinitesimal reduction within the eternal life of god was the ancient Hindu's view of god. God is the ultimate reality for the mystics, a reality without a beginning or an end. There is no starting point to existence or a final destination because the life of god is eternal, it is not created or destroyed. The mystics are simply Pantheists and the Pantheistic view of reality has eluded western science for centuries.
The ancient mystics understanding of Life was simply their understanding of god. They had no way of separating the life that is within them and around them from the life of god. Life and God are synonymous because god is the life and the essential core for everything that exists. The mystics had a deep understanding that we are intricate living beings within the living and evolving universe. The cycles of life and death are an essential part of the natural and karmic laws of nature. However, for the mystics there is no beginning point or ending point to the essence of life. They wrote about life as being the essential core of who we are as living beings. Those ancient mystical writings are helping us unravel the riddles of the world, a world that we are sharing with others. At the same time their writings point us in the direction of the inward journey. The inward journey leads to greater self discovery and the experience of the love that is within us and around us.
We are simply sharing our life with the eternal life of god. Our existence is an extension and the subtle altruistic outreach of god’s expression of love. The ancient mystics understood gods’ eternal love as being the same as eternal life. In order to love fully and to be loved fully one must become completely aware of the essence of eternal love.
Science and Spirituality are beginning to complement each other in our fast passed technological world. The age that we live in with our highly technical and modernized society and our super information highway called the Internet has given us a vast amount of information. With just the click of a computer mouse we have instant communication, information, and knowledge at our finger tips. Modern man however has still found the need to delve deep into the writings of the ancient mystics. Their timeless wisdom is being applied to modern day issues.
When the mind of the ancient mystics drew a blank to the worlds riddles they turned to the soul for answers. They understood that in order to intuitively grasp and understand the purpose of the cycles of death and rebirth, within nature, and within our own evolving process that we must turn to the soul for answers. Today’s western Scientists are only beginning to discover what the ancient mystics of the east implicitly and intuitively understood long before the written word was invented and history was recorded in the west.