Imagine a match striking.
See a great flaring forth.
Imagine a single point so energetic
that it would burn you from light years away –
Trillions of degrees hot.
It’s exploding faster than the speed of light.
Imagine a vast space
and wonder to yourself:
Does matter change form?
Is the universe static or evolving?
Now think of the universe as a story
with a beginning, a middle and . . .
perhaps an end somewhere in the far distant future.
Sit at the lens of a 100-inch telescope.
It belongs to Edwin Hubble.
His invention and insight from the 1920s.
Look carefully. Train your eye and your mind
and you will see not only stars but galaxies
. . . galaxies rushing away from each other.
Think about this massive explosion
carrying the galaxies apart for millions, billions of years
Know about its rate of expansion.
If it were moving slower,
it would collapse like a balloon imploding.
If it were moving faster,
even one millionth of one percent faster . . .
It would explode. Kaboom!
Hooke 100” telescope at Mount Wilson, used by Edwin Hubble, Wikipedia CC by 3.0
But no, it’s moving at exactly the rate necessary.
Is it alive? Does it know?
See how it learns in self-generating patterns of development.
Did it know that life was coming?
Did that light from the beginning of time know
that we would discover its secret all these years later?
Is life evolving?
Can photons tell us the story of the birth of the universe?
Can we at last realize that the Milky Way galaxy
is not so much a thing as an activity?
Wave upon wave upon wave.
Our very reflection on this imaginative script
tells us something about our beginnings,
about the middle muddle we are in
and about what we are all dying to know:
Where will it all end up?
* Di Shearer is a retired educator with a practice in spiritual direction and supervision. After teaching mathematics, she spent a decade in the jungles of Borneo training leaders of the Indigenous church. While employed in tertiary institutions in later years, she specialized in Intercultural Communication and the Psychology of Learning. In retirement she completed a PhD with a thesis entitled “Intercultural Personhood: A Mainstream Australian Biographical Case Study” and complemented this with a master’s degree in theology with specialization in spirituality and pastoral ministry. Pursuing this quest further, she completed a DMin with a thesis entitled “Finding my Way, Minding my Call: A Catholic Quest” during which she began her practical and scholarly interest in the writings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. She has an absorbing interest in the evolution of consciousness and group spiritual direction to bring ecozoic understandings to the everyday lives of citizens of the globe.