Living In Between

We exist in the middle, in between.

Stretching out beyond us in one “direction” is the micro-world, where we discover that matter and life and love all arise out of energy, and we lose track of what is going on, or at least the ability to imagine what it is like, as we enter the realm of quantum uncertainty.

Stretching out beyond us in all directions is the macro-world. The Max Planck Institute created the millenium simulation to extrapolate from the visible universe what its large scale structure might be like. But the full, big picture we cannot see. We know that we are connected by gravity to the most distant objects in our universe. But what the universe as a whole is like we cannot ever hope to see.

We are the most transcendent form of existence on our planet. But are we part of something bigger? How do we live in a way that does justice to the fact that the right combination and arrangement of energy gives rise to matter, that the right combination and arrangement of matter gives rise to life, that life gives rise to mind, and mind gives rise to bloggers (among other things)? Should we stop at the level of humanity or of sentient beings like us, or should we surmise that we are transcended by, and part of, something bigger, something that arises out of the combination of energy, matter, life and mind to make something more transcendent still? What metaphors can we use to express the mysteries of existence, without claiming either that we know more than we do, or that we know less than we do?

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Arvo Pärt at St. Vladimir’s Seminary

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