The Genius of Spirit
“I want to know all of God’s thoughts; all the rest are just details.”
~ Albert Einstein ~
Do you know how much faith it takes to be a physicist? Or, for that matter, just your “average brown bear” (human being)? Well, one possible way to find out would be to watch the National Geographic Channel’s 10-part series “Genius”, the story of Albert Einstein’s life. The series is currently airing on Tuesday nights — and based on last week’s first episode (which will replay this Tuesday prior to the second) it is a must see.
“Genius” (both the show and the man it’s based on) is not a dull recitation of science. Rather, it promises to be a full-blown exploration of Einstein as a very human (and therefore spiritual) being. That is if the first episode is any indicator. It was full of drama, tension, and (very) real life dimensions — ones that feel quite relevant based on what’s going on in the world today.
Take, for example, the scene during young Einstein’s first dinner in the home of Professor Jost Winteler. After failing his first attempt to pass the entrance examine at Zurich Polytechnic Institute, Albert has come to live with the professor and his very lively and intellectual family for a year of preparation to retake the exam. During dinner, Albert is asked to say something about his own outlook. According to the script of “Genius”, here’s what he said:
“Natura naturans — everything is connected. Nature isn’t a product of God.
Nature is God. If that is true, then we must conclude that the Universe is not
some Netherworld outside the grasp of our understanding. From the smallest
molecule to the largest galaxy, everything must have a definable answer —
and I intend to find those answers.”
While this might sound like a dispassionate and egotistical statement of an wanna-be physicist, in the context of the on-screen conversation it comes across as a really gigantic two-part statement of faith. First, it’s an expression of young Einstein’s belief that there is order in the [God’s] universe — everything can be known. And second, Albert affirms his confident belief that he can discover the answers about it.
Of course, Einstein goes on to pass his second attempt at Zurich Poly’s entrance exam — and later develops the theory of relativity (e = mc2), etc. And we could say that the rest is history….
But, it is, of course, only history so far (or, in the case of “Genius”, perhaps up to Einstein’s death in 1955).
For even Einstein was left with unanswered questions. For most of his life, for example, he believed in a static universe (one of finite size) — and he developed an equation with a “cosmological constant” as “proof” of that belief. But then Edwin Hubble, using a new and powerful telescope, observed distant galaxies that were receding, thus “proving” the universe was expanding.
Apparently non-plussed, after meeting with Hubble, Einstein accepted and embraced this information. But we wonder whether this development shook or deepened Albert’s faith? Hopefully, the “Genius” show will give us insights.
Given that Einstein carried on, we assume he maintained “the faith” — as we are called to do when we encounter the unexpected. There are always so many questions that remain unanswered. Einstein discovered many “answers” (as provisional as scientific answers always are). But today’s physicists are called to even greater faith as more information has evolved.
For example, current understanding suggests that “common matter” represents only about 4% of the universe. Of the rest, about 23% is “dark matter” (whose presence currently is unseeable but is indirectly observed by it’s effects) and 73% is “dark energy” (which still remains essentially unknowable as a scientific mystery today).
Scientists — or us lay-people — might be discouraged, overwhelmed, or despairing that we only have knowledge of 4% of creation (and of that, only partial, imperfect, and fuzzy knowledge at best). But, just think about how much more about the 4% we’ve come to understand in just the past 100 years or so!
At the dawn of the 20th century, we didn’t know about relativity, “the Big Bang”, continental drift, subatomic particles, or genetics and microbiology. But now, thanks to new scientific instruments (from radio telescopes to scanning electron microscopes to the Cern particle-collider) and computer technology, our understanding is expanding at an almost exponential rate.
Every day new discoveries are being made. While much remains to be learned, like young Einstein we can renew our faith in the order that flows from the Heart of the Universe — and feel confident that we will eventually learn more and more of the answers that he sought.
As we do, we are liberated from the need to rely on supernatural explanations of what we experience in life. Instead, we find ourselves increasingly awed with the mysteries yet to be explained…. and the very genius of Spirit that supports all of creation.
Spirit is the true genius. But because it often “takes one to know one”, we’re thankful for the “Genius” we know as Albert Einstein — and all of his colleagues in every field (including you!): past, present, and future!
Let the Spirit of Big Love grow in, as, and through us as we all connect with the Wisdom that we find within us and all around us!
The Genius of Big Love is alive and well!
Olivia & Steve
Reflect on what newly discovered knowledge has been discovered or revealed during the course of your own lifetime. Consider the following questions:
(1) What new insights, information, technologies, or other forms of changes are you aware of?
(2) In what ways are you filled with awe as a result?
(3) How do you feel about the rate of change in the world today?
(4) What does the pace of new revelations suggest to you about the future?
(5) How do you relate to these on a spiritual basis?
If you’re willing, please share your responses in the comment section under this blogpost as it appears on the Big Love Community Facebook page.
You might have noticed that we did not post a blog last week. You might say that it was “lost in transition”, as we were in the process of relocating from the Evergreen (or “Evergray” — depending on your perspective) State of Washington to the Golden State of California.
We’d planned on moving to the Monterey area, but after a frustrating week of searching and not finding “the right” place to live, we decided to have another look at San Diego. As difficult as our search had been in Monterey, it was quite the opposite in San Diego. We found a place in a day and moved in the next!
The Spirit of Big Love is telling us we that it still wants to be present in Monterey. So, once we get settled, we’re going to explore ways to spend time there as well. In the meantime, we’re amazed at how things are flowing for us in San Diego! We are in awe of how Big Love works — and know it is guiding us perfectly in every way!
If you there are topics you’d like us to address, please send us an email from our “Contact Us” web page.