One thing I like with science is that it helped me strengthen my faith. For one thing, I found that Einstein may have been wrong about God – he thought that God does not concern Himself with our daily affairs – but he was right with regards to science and religion. He was quoted to have said that “Religion without science is blind and science without religion is lame”. If it were not for science, I am not sure I would be a believer.
While it may be true that the ways of science and religion don’t mix and that many scientists do not believe in God, it is equally true that science is the search for truth and God, or whatever His name is, is the ultimate truth. We cannot say there is no God based on the religious practices and beliefs of a few people, scientists though they may be. Therefore, there must be religious truths in scientific findings. How can a personal reality like faith have scientific underpinnings? It is in the way we came into being – with only matter and energy as the bedrock of our existence. The key to understanding God, then, is in understanding the very subject scientists are most concerned about and the “language” of which we are made: matter and energy.
One of the many beliefs we Christians hold that intrigued me no end is Christ’s declaration that “I am the Light, the Way and the Life.” As a Christian, particularly a Catholic, would I also be “the Light, the Way, and the Life” in this my time? Would praying or performing the religious practices be enough to make me Christ-like, becoming the Light, the Way and the Life for others in this world today? From the standpoint of what I understand about matter and energy, the answer is both a “yes” and a “no”.
Just like army rituals and exercises, all religious practices are supposed to discipline the faithful into “acquiring” the belief. Praying and attending masses are not only reminders to the faithful of these beliefs but are also actually exercises that are designed to put order in the lives of the believers. In science, order can only be attained at the expense of energy. No one can stop disorder unless he or she uses a lot of energy against it. Therefore, if we have a disciplined and ordered life, we have a concentration of the energy – or of forces – in us that will make us light up with power as Christ once showed us. So, no, religious practices will not make us Christ-like but, yes, religious practices will help us concentrate our forces such that we will also exude that Light and power that Christ demonstrated for us in His lifetime.
The nature of matter and energy, of which all things are made, are in themselves intriguing. Not only are they interconvertible from one to the other, they also interact with each other. For example, we cannot see anything unless light, bouncing off from an object, hits the molecules of matter in our eyes. This will send a signal to our brain and tell us we saw something. There would be no oxygen in the air, too, and no food on the table if the molecules we know as chlorophyll are not able to trap some parts of the light provided by the sun. Such energy is used by the plants to put order in the other molecules of nature, particularly water and carbon dioxide, concentrating such energy in bigger molecules called carbohydrates which, when eaten, provide the heat in our bodies and define our capacity to move and do work.
How can we not see the metaphor that, as human beings, being matter, we also need this energy concentrated in us to propel us into God’s kingdom, back to where the source of energy is? Not that God is the sun but it would be wrong to think of hell as a fiery place. If Christ is the Light, then the absence of light is unChrist-like and, therefore, evil. If God’s kingdom is full of energy, then hell must be a cold, dreary, and desolate place. No light reaches that place and, therefore, there is no energy to make their molecules vibrate in the real dance of life. It is such a disordered state and nothing comes out of it but desperation. Could this be the reason why the “un-enlightened” tend to scratch and claw at those who are?
I think Christ’s greatness is not in dying on the Cross but in showing us the Way of an enlightened person. We might be killed for walking that way, as Christ was before us, but if we have concentrated the power in us already, it would not matter anymore. The best message about the Resurrection (and even of Ascension), I think, is that once we have the power in us, we don’t need the matter we were born with; we can soar and travel like light.
The other message of Christ is equally clear: we cannot go about living our life accommodating evil because they will suck out of us the energy we have. It is like mixing hot choco with frozen yoghurt – nothing remains hot or frozen in the mixing. That’s why Christ’s way is the Way – strong against temptation and focused on getting back to where the Father is. We cannot be worldly and godly at the same time. What is pleasing “To the Father” alone was His Way of living His life. He showed us to trust in the Father rather than fear Him even if, like Him, on occasion, we could be abandoned because it is the only Way to the Father. Besides, He showed us that the power of one can light up the neighborhood and have many more energy left to rise up from the dead and connect back to God.
I think, there are no bad people really, only souls who have not received the Light and are frightened of losing what little they have left. Unfortunately, instead of humbling themselves and asking for the Light, they suck on the light of others to get by. In science, this means they try to set up an equilibrium system where the energy of one system gets to be equal to one that had no energy in the first place. Christians should not allow such equilibration to happen and should not vacillate between Caesar and God at their convenience. Christ did not say we avoid evil because it is not enjoyable, or that it will not make us rich and famous, but by the metaphor of His life, He is saying “Resist evil because it dilutes and ultimately dissipates your energy, the absence of which defeats your purpose for living”. So, yes, Christ is the Life, too, in that sense.
Christ may be the only one to have the Power of One,
but if we are united with Christ, who knows, right?
Happy Easter, everyone!