We are studying Swimme and Berry’s The Universe Story in chapel each day, reading one paragraph at a time and using the structure of the African Bible Study model to explore, ponder, discover, and challenge ourselves to delve into this amazing place in which we live.
Today it was about the “habits” of the Universe: the four basic forces of gravity, electro-magnetic, strong nuclear and weak nuclear. These four immutable actions determine relationship and interraction throughout the Universe, and though we rarely think about it, they determine how we live our lives in minute detail.
But what caught my attention was the instant before those forces coallesced into existence. In the primordial moment, there was no gravity, no electromagnetism, no strong and weak nuclear forces. There weren’t any atoms or quarks, either, and I can’t even begin to imagine what “time” and “space” meant at that point.
Just as I cannot grasp the concept of time or space having a beginning point, I can’t wrap my limited brain around the idea of “pre-gravity”. In the beginning the flaring forth was wildly chaotic—an exploding soup of heat and light and infinite possibility. And almost instantly, in Universe time, that soup differentiated into forces and particles, and the infinite span of future possibilities narrowed dramatically.
There is something about our Universe that yearns toward organization—not to the exclusion of ongoing creativity, certainly, but that “leaning into” the creation of determined structures is clearly there. Our Universe seems to prefer building its unique body on a skeleton of predicability.
So I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that I have the tendency toward organization as well. I have a definite penchant for neatness and clear space; I am driven by a-place-for-everything-and-everything-in-its-place thinking. I can’t be creative when surrounded by personal chaos. In fact, I find it hard to breathe in a chaotic environment. (Perhaps literally: the dust bunnies under my bed were beginning to grow teeth and develop language.)
So I spent most of yesterday implementing my own laws of structure in the mini-universe of my bedroom/office space. I know my sisters find my leaning into organization annoying (on their best days), but I prefer to think of it as echoing the nature of the Universe. Of setting structure into place so that creativity can blossom forth. Of living in harmony with the basic nature of the Universe.
Yeah, that’s the ticket.