Vision, Policy & Practice Adviser, M.P.Aff.
ProSocial Democracy, Engaged Education and Quality of Work Life
Theory of Everything Again
This may be my favorite Key Idea and Image, it certainly has a way of weaving all the others together and make the whole so, hmm, impossibly resonantly lyrically everlastingly expansive and quite real, palpable, immediate, intimate. It certainly is quite remarkable in the history of the modern world that we have two opposing and reigning scientific worldviews explaining the underlying and ultimate nature of physical reality and our cosmos: the theory of relativity (Einstein) that remains a robust description and explanatory framework for macrocosm phenomena and outermost reality, and quantum physics (Bohr) which does the same for microcosm and innermost reality.
As you may now already anticipate, I find this singularity a shout, a cry, from God and Humanity, the very depths and heights of our expanding cosmos: these can be reconciled and unified as the highest revelatory and evolved theory of everything of God, humanity, creation, each and every person and social relationship, all living creatures, great and small by keeping them as they are in creative tension as two opposing truths, realities, ontologies, each with its own domain, wisdom, problems and solutions, applications and relevance.
The triple mobius strip illustrates my overall dialogical interpretive framework as intended to unify two opposing ways to understand our relationship as finite humans with everything far larger, beyond, before, after, within and without, our small biosphere, reality, brief history. Imagine in the center is our eternal God and illimitable Humanity, positioned right and left, respectfully and lovingly (my construct to welcome all theists, nontheists, faiths and sciences to the same universal struggle for meaning, purpose, truth, and all other divinehumane goods). Let us find ourselves either in the mobius on the right, where we are in communion with God, or on the left, where intimately with Humanity. Thus, is how I reconcile Einstein and Bohr, and indeed everything, though as appropriate and relevant to the subject and object of study. We need both Einstein and Bohr, correspondingly on the right and left, to evoke, embrace and everlastingly expand our plenitudes, promise, life and understanding of the infinite possibilities of what it is to be human in such an extraordinary germinal cosmos of miracle, mystery, and endless truths, goods and loves awaiting us to discover, reveal and bring them to fruition.
God and Humanity, these two divine and humane “opposing realities” are not just a one great “I Am” forcing a singular worldview that makes and sustains the tragic violently divided nature of our total modern world. They are interwoven two distinctive participatory partners, each an underlying living reality in creative tension as “We Are,” my unified public theology is supported by previous twofold theologies (e.g. Luther, Calvin) but wholly different, more like a secular “theory of everything” unifying the two unreconciled scientific worldviews—Einstein’s relativity and Bohr’s quantum mechanics for what was impossible even for Stephen Hawkins in the realm of science is possible in our eternal divinehumane realm for all finite human beings have “a sense of being part of something larger than themselves,” a taste of the infinite, a liminal and palpable transcendence, immanence and kairos life.
I embrace being in two universes at once. The first is that of Einstein’s theory of relativity and for many of the inherent and ultimate “creator’s” goodness inspired and originally spoken and then first scientifically explored, discovered and still regnant: this first Word and Einstein’s relativity still thundering and resonating and carrying me away in my own finite taste of the infinite, my joys, fears, mysteries and courage before the macrocosms of our eternal God, liberating and haunting reality, illimitable humanity of a wondrous rational and ordering vitality, liminality, eternity. As Einstein famously said and multitudes obscure but of the same native genius have innately understood:
“The intelligence of man is great enough to be able to see clearly how inadequate that intelligence is when confronted with what really exists.”
And in this way, scientists, romantics and poets are alike in their own differing ways full of a child’s innocence, a world weary traveler’s rest, that our life together is of the enchanting mystery and epic grandeur of our shared germinal primeval, our unfolding humanity and beloved good earth in a universe as better understood as unfinished symphony of two equal participatory and extraordinary composers, each having their own music, vision, rhythms, orchestral movements, lyrical keys, let us for now simply say one is our eternal God and the other is our illimitable humanity.
Bohr wants to say, however, we are in and of two separate finite/infinite worlds, each complementary to the other and thus his Copenhagen dualism is a social and political worldview he believed would help bring the world to a more reconciling and unified sharing of the world with one another, a quantum physicist seeking passionately to usher in peace, justice and meaningful and completely whole social relationships, loving communities and perhaps even international shared flourishing in our common good earth (a rather impertinent upstart in doubling Einstein’s one divided world) and both of these are in and of each other. In one we are material and the other spiritual, and both of these are in and of each other.
We are in and of Einstein’s world and Bohr’s world too, and these are in and of each other. The macro and the micro worlds like individual human nature and social interwoven humane being, like Hegel and Marx, liberals and revolutionaries and Frog and Toad are together again: a theory of everything! Ah, what was impossible for Stephen Hawkins to do, I have just done, for nothing is impossible in verse, especially when you yourself are a couplet, sometimes with meter, rhyme and reason, sometimes oceanic, unpredictably, madly not.