This is one of the most bizarre of Lectio Divina meditations I have ever had. I even hate writing it down because it sounds so implausible and totally out of the box. Yet, the more I think about it, it makes perfect sense, so much so that I wonder why I never chanced on it before. My Lectio Divina is always about Phil 2:5, “have in you the mind of Christ Jesus.” I just sit there on the park bench in the dead of Winter and wait for Christ to come by. While waiting, I try not to think of anything, or ask for anything from Christ other to be in his presence and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” I began to drift into thinking that all reality fits together somehow and that I just need to find the right combination of mind and heart to open doors hitherto closed and unaccessible. In Science, it is called wonder, in my search for God, it is called wonderful.
TWO CONTENDERS TO REACH OTHER WORLDS
There are two contenders to reach out beyond us to other worlds and colonize it. The human heart has a collective yearning for living beyond our lifespan. Animals or plants don’t have this desire to propagate the race beyond our earth, they are satisfied with just propagating period. In doing this, like pollinating flowers depending on bees, they continue their collective existence. No human intervention here. nature does it automatically. Darwin discovered a piece of the puzzle when he came across species that evolve across time due to their need to survive. Individuals don’t survive, speceis do. But, humans are a unique species, one that can know that they know and can change environmental factors for good or harm by how they address the world around them through choices. Being one of multiple species on earth, humans also want to propagate their species and move forward in space and time to live, at least collectively as humans, even though our normal life-span is inching up from seventy years.
Both of these contenders in the space race have the same goal, i.e., to continue the human race in the future on some world, one compatible with our limited human requirements for survival. These two contenders to sustain our race (granted that there is something worth sustaining) could not be more radically different (not opposed, but certainly out there). One system must use technology that we have and much more scientific discoveries that we don’t have, to make it possible for humans to leave this planet for another destination which we don’t even know supports life. The other way has been around forever, and some of us get it, but most just dismiss it as fantasy, like reading a Dune novel.
My two approaches to make a star trek are:
Don’t laugh! I told you some would dismiss the contemplative approach to reality out of hand before even considering what it might mean. Let me share with you some ideas, although not exhaustive of all ideas, that I had about these two ways of space travel and some of the implications involved. We will look at what they are, some characteristics and finally a comparison of both approaches to sustaining the human species.
SCIENTIFIC AND RATIONAL SPACE TRAVEL
I just got back from the Branch Library of our Tallahassee Library where I chanced to pick up a magazine called Popular Science (Summer, 2018). Among the many interesting articles is one about space travel and what it would take to colonize our nearest Star system. https://www.popsci.com/tags/summer-2018?page=2
This is what some secularist and.or scientists call the real world (physical and mental universes). I hold it is only part of reality and the other part, spirituality, also makes up what is real. The reality of this type of space travel must have sustainability for any humans attempting it, proper environment to keep us from drying up, liquid water, food, proper fuel to propel the spacecraft, ability to travel long distances without the deliterious effects of weighlessness. I ask the common sense question when faced without all these challenges to human existence in space and time, “Wonder if we are not meant to leave the earth?” We don’t usually live beyond eighty years of age. One could argue that our purpose is to find purpose within our time frame based on prior knowledge and discoveries in order to make earth better. As long as we live (usually only eighty years for individuals, longer for collective consciousness), we can’t break out of the birth-death cycle. There is another point of view.
CISTERCIAN CONTEMPLATIVE SPIRITUALITY
This is the world of the inner self of each human. It is the place where Stephen Hawking and some of the other cosmologists could not look. It is not that they were not brilliant and insightful in looking at worlds without end, it is that they just could not look in a place that housed the Mystery of Faith. For them it was not real. It was not real because their assumptions about what is or is not real depends upon natural laws that can exist only in the physical universe and are accessed only with the human collective intellect.
Some people are also afraid to look inside themselves using contemplation because they are scared of what they might find. Demons lurking there? Going in the darkness and not being able to return. It is a kind of spiritual clostrophobia.
Humans, as I have uncovered in some of my Lectio Divina meditations (Phil 2:5), are actually not destined for this world. This world is only astronaut training to make it to the next level of reality–to be with God forever. All of our senses, all of our thinking , the way we make assumptions about space, time, macro and micro levels of science, all point to the spiritual approach to be nonsense. It is, if you use these assumptions. We are not made to ride in a space ship, like proxima b, to a nearby star. We are made to live with God forever. Death begins our trip to the reality of the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus even left being God to show us how to make the trip. There were no complicated formulas or periodic tables, nor miraculous medications to help you live longer, you just had to love one another right now, as Christ loved you. Love is the atomsopher that is our power to reach another world (world that have no past nor future, only a present). We must go beyond our fragile human senses to a place that is the heart (love, not the organ). It is a place of contradiction that doesn’t make sense, if you don’t hold the correct assumptions. Here are some assumptions you must have to make the trip to Forever.
Energy is the only constant in all three universes (physical, mental, spiritual). Energy evolves in each universe. It the physical universe, it exists whether we know it or not. In the mental universe, because we know it, we begin to comprehend our purpose for being and our need to continue being as long as possible. We call that enlightenment.
In the spiritual universe, energy is a so sophistocated that it is a person. Imagine God coming down to earth to tell us I Am pure energy, 100% of my nature, and don’t try to comprehend or tease out what that means because you are incapable of grasping the idea of energy as a person as an amobea is capable of solving Fermat’s Last Theorem. This is why Jesus taught us that by loving each other with the energy of the Holy Spirit, we don’t have to worry about knowledge as much (faith informed by reason) but consentrate on loving one another.
As a Lay Cistercian I am just beginning to approach the Mystery of Faith with wonder, with trust that the word of Christ to us is true, that we are adopted sons and daughters of Pure Energy and destined to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven (a fancy word for living on other worlds).
I can access this Kingdom of Heaven right now when I use Cistercian spiritual practices and charisms (one of many such ways) to sit on a park bench on a cold, Wintery day and wait for Pure Energy to pass my way. When Christ sits down next to me, I am warm, I all my humans senses are at their peak, what feeble thinking I have is energized beyond what I can imagine with this infusion of love. The propulsion system is God’s own energy. The spaceship is my mind and my heart. I don’t have to worry about living long enough to reach Heaven.
My time on earth is preparation to reach this world, which is actually not a world as in Alpha Centauri, but a person. The cost? Every THING you think you know about reality is so much straw. To put it another way, Christ tells us that we must die to self in order to rise to new life in Christ. Not all religions lead to eternal life. Not all demoninations have the authority from Christ, the Way, the Truth, the Life. You have the freedom to choose what is true, or nothing at all.