Friday, February 15, 2013
The Allure of the Infinite
Last summer Aunty went to Spain, whar' one can
visit the astounding' caves along the northern
When ya' lose yore breath gazing in sheer wonder
at how them primitive folks could paint their world on
rock caverns with nuthin' but firelight yore idea of
"primitive" shifts a bit. Some research I done when I
arrived home turned up another marvel: modern
scientists agree that these cave dwellers,in whichever
location over the globe and in whatever era, all had some
sense of a "Great Spirit", an awareness that beyond them
was God (however named).
Ain't that a puzzle? How on earth did it git into the haid of a
Cro-Magnon that thar wuz a god-like dimension somehwar'?
Now, afore ya' start down the trail of modern nihilism, thinkin'
"Aw Aunty, OF COURSE they had such ideas because the
idea is primitive, but we's sophisticated now (an we know we
doan need God-Who-is-dead-anyhow-cause-professor
Thickeskull taught us Nietzsche an' Darwin an' Marx).
Please help me think this through. Iffin' them Cro-Magnon's an
other cave dwellers was "natural" man, doan ya' think that the
natural (by which Aunty means nuthin' outside the realm of the
visible, experiential, solid, measurable...in short, somethin'
scientifically confirmed as existin') would be all they knowed about?
But somehow they--an' others in far flung caverns--git into their
haids the idea of somethin' "out thar'", somethin' divine (to judge
by the artwork, graves an' adornments). How? Why? Darwin
didn't make no case fer belief in the other worldly as an
evolutionary necessity to cave-dweller survival, did he?
How come Cave Dweller buried his daid wif' ceremony, as if
he knowed' that death heah ain't the finite thang
that post-modern Cro-Magnon thinks it is?
So mah puzzler is puzzled (an' charmed) to know that Early
Man somehow had in his heart ( brain? spirit?) that somehow
thar's more to existence than what's observable in the natural.
In short, how did that idea happen? Whar' did it come from?
How does an idea,(inspiration?)fer which thar' ain't no
observable proof, git thought up in the first place?
What is it about Man that he yearns for that which is infinite?
That which is beyond the natural world which is itself incredible?
Auntyhas her own theory, of course (of course!!) An it be this:
God is infinite. And Man, made in His image, also "knows" his
destiny lies in the infinite, not the the finite. Some of y'all may
have a different angle of view.
Herman Wouk (Caine Mutiny, The Winds of War) wrote The Language God Talks in 2010. It's a fun read, a slim volume that looks at scientists looking at the God possibility
via quantum mechanics or electro-something--or- other. Not a
God of dogma or commandments, but God as an intelligence
beyond what our science has yet to discover. He makes a witty
case for calling a truce a'tween science an' faith, since they
both hope to arrive at truth. They jes' come from
I want a front row seat.
Hope y'all find the topic as intriguing as Aunty do.
Please share your ideas, links, insights.
Next week: The infinity within--a look at neurotransmitters and human inspiration and intuition.