The title, I must apologize, is somewhat misleading. In my Lectio Divina (Philippians 2:5) this morning, while I was sitting in the bathtub taking a shower (at 81+ I have to sit in a chair), these thoughts came to me. I was struck by what the center of the physical universe might be. Here is the YouTube I referenced later on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itcS4gQjobQ
My assumption, part of the way I think about reality, is using The Rule of Threes. I look at reality to parse the complexities of scientific, philosophical, and spiritual dimensions, each with distinct characteristics and different measures to access them. One reality with three very separate and distinct universes I observe as one. Only my mind can separate these three functions because they occur each moment and simultaneously.
PHYSICAL UNIVERSE– This is the basis for all matter, energy, time, and properties of matter, with the physics that we now know. Humans, animals, plants, gases, rocks, stars, planets, black holes, dark matter and energy, and everything made up of physical matter all inhabit this universe.
MENTAL UNIVERSE– Simultaneously, the mental universe allows humans to ask questions of the physical universe and devise languages to probe the depths of what, why, who, when, where, and so what? Only humans live in this universe. This is the universe of collective humanity and each individual with a beginning and an ending. Scientists can use their tools and measurements with logic and scientific methodology to determine the center of the physical universe. Determining the center of the mental universe is quite a bit more challenging. I hold that the center of the collective mental universe is me from when I begin to depart this life. What I do in-between influences the value of my life. Some choices are good, while others are inferior and can lead to dysfunction. Erich Fromm has such an approach to human love, which he says must be acquired through experiences and testings to see what is authentic. I appreciate Fromm’s approach to learning love and recommend you listen to the audiobook. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKwIlz-dzx4
In one sense, the human race is the center of the universe (both physical and mental). Humans are the only ones that know that we know. We have reason to be able to look at the physical universe and seek our purpose. We also have the ability to choose options which means we can define that purpose with whatever we think is meaningful. Animals share many characteristics of life with us, but they are not self-aware as we are. They are self-aware according to their nature, however.
As the only being in this universe, we observe one other dimension within the human species: the individual who has a beginning and an ending.
Each human being has a purpose and a center to their lives within the timeframe allowed for their existence. Humans have reason and the ability to choose because whatever happens within their beginning and end is the sum of who they are. Not only that, it is the promise of whom they can become.
A center is the one value or purpose that, if you took it away, all the other values and behaviors would collapse. Each person has a center. They either choose it, or it is a default.
I wake up, and eighty-one years later, I can ask, What is the purpose of life. Not only that, I have the authentic answer. My individual universe is within the macro universe of the physical universe plus the mental universe. I will die because this universe has an ending for me, whenever that is. Is that all there is?
My conclusion for there being a physical and mental universe is that all reality prepares me to make a choice about the next step in my evolution of the species. In this concept, each individual chooses to say YES to the YES of the first creation, to reestablish the NO of Adam and Eve, to confirm that the YES of the resurrection of Christ is real for me and that I recognize and accept my adoption as a son (daughter) of the Father and my inheritance awaiting me in the Kingdom of Heaven.
SPIRITUAL UNIVERSE— Here is mindful of cogitating. The purpose of the physical and mental universes is that I (and all the other I’s) can say YES. Yes, to what? I have reason and the ability to choose so that I have the option to choose the next universe (spiritual universe). This universe began with the Christ Principle, and its sole purpose is to teach me to love authentically so that I can claim my inheritance as an adopted son (daughter) of God. I AM the most important person in all three universes because I am the only one who can say YES to God’s invitation (Baptism) by my free choice to love others as Christ loved us (Belief).
One of the characteristics of the spiritual universe is that it assumes the image and likeness of the one who created it. God sent him an only-begotten son to become one of us to show us how to go. In the relationship covenant with God, Israel got part of it right but failed to move from just the New Jerusalem as a city to the New Jerusalem in the kingdom of heaven. Christ came as messiah, not to do away with the law, but to allow it to evolve as it was intended before time existed.
I am the only one who can say NO to God, powerful as God is, and there are no repercussions for my choice. I have to live with the consequences of my choice now and later.
Choosing the spiritual universe means I realize that I have dual citizenship (the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of earth). Each and every human is affected by the sin of Adam. St. Paul says in Romans 5 that “…12* Therefore, just as through one person sin entered the world,h and through sin, death, and thus death came to all, inasmuch as all sinned”
What that means for one who chooses the sign of contraction, the cross, as a coat of arms, is that everything in the spiritual universe is the opposite of what you experience in the world. It is schizophrenia of sort with two sides tugging over who is authentic. That is why St. Paul warns us that “.
16Now if I do what I do not want, I concur that the law is good.
17So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
18For I know that good does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh. The willing is ready at hand, but doing the good is not.k
19For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want.
20Now if [I] do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
15What I do, I do not understand. For I do not do what I want, but I do what I hate.
I begin my dual citizenship, living in the world until I die and living as an adopted son (daughter) of the Father forever, with Baptism, and continue under the watchful eye and blanket of Faith of the Church Universal.
Key to the understanding of my adoption as a son (daughter) of the Father is the realization that my nature is good (what God made is good, not rotten) but that I am prone to making bad choices in terms of that adoption covenant. To think otherwise would be to discount the value of my free choice and my resolve as a Lay Cistercian to seek God each day where I find God and as I am.
I have chosen you, says Christ, you have not chosen me; from all eternity before there was time, my plan was for you to be with me Forever. You must take up your cross daily (battle the forces that militate against the gifts of the Holy Spirit) and follow me. Just because your road is rocky doesn’t mean you are on the wrong road. Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your soul.