Lesson 97- Law of Correspondence and Evolution
In my last program I introduced an idea that might have seemed shocking to some of you: the idea that God might be like a woman in childbirth. For some reason many of us seem to have trouble associating God with anything that has a sexual connotation and yet the Bible is full of references to God and sexual union. I have already mentioned the symbolism in the story of Hosea in which Hosea is a symbol for God and his unfaithful, prostitute wife, a symbol for us. In the Bible, idolatry, or the worship of false gods, is compared to fornication and adultery indicating that God views sin as a betrayal by His lover or wife. In the Song of Song, God is portrayed as a stag yearning with sexual desire for his doe. In the New Testament, Jesus is conceived through a spiritual sexual union between Mary, a spiritual and biological virgin, and the Holy Spirit of Truth. In fact, we might even say that God’s sperm is Truth and that when we allow ourselves to be impregnated by it, we, like Mary, will give birth to Wisdom. Throughout the New Testament, Jesus uses the imagery of a wedding feast to describe the Kingdom of God where God and Humankind will unite in marriage. He compares Himself to the bridegroom and the church to His bride. Thus, it appears, that God is not as skittish about sex as we are and maybe that is because He understands its true nature and purpose. After all, He created it and declared that everything that He created was “good!” A problem arises, however, when something that is sacred and good is transformed into something that is profane and bad and that occurs when we sin by “missing the mark.”
In a previous program I suggested that part of the problem is that our culture has so distorted and degraded sex that we automatically associate it with lust rather than love and, in doing so, we miss the sacredness involved in sexual union. We have reduced it to its biological components and have ignored or minimized its philosophical and spiritual dimension. Christian writers throughout the centuries have pointed to the fact that the union between a man and a women that results in a child reflects the union between the Father and the Son that results in the Holy Spirit. Of course, one of the problems is that our language forces us to use terms like “father” and “son”, which imply sexual roles that don’t lend themselves to a sexual union, whereas the terms of “Yin” and “Yang” are broader and more easily understood as principles of interaction rather than biological roles. And that is why it is profitable for us to borrow concepts connected to other philosophies and religions when they are compatible with our own beliefs. God is not a respecter of persons and so we must assume that He will respond to anyone who “asks” or who “seeks” the Truth with a sincere heart. He is only waiting for someone to ask the right question and, if we don’t ask it, we should be willing to listen to someone who did. Thus, Lao Tsu delved beneath the surface of sexual union to discover the underlying principles that it reflected. As a result, he saw that these were principles of interaction in which a female principle that was built to receive, called Yin, interacted with a male principle built to give, called Yang. And through this interaction between a giver and a receiver, all things moved from potential to actual existence. In essence what he discovered was that biological sex was just one example of many types of dialectical relationships in which two things interacted to create a third. This was observed by the famous physicist, Neil Bohr, whose theories helped to lay the foundation for atomic energy. He proposed a Law of Complimentarity that states that the universe is composed of complimentary relationships which seemed to be in opposition to each other but in reality are part of a cooperating whole. Among the relationships that he described were the proton and electron, space and time, matter and anti-matter, male and female etc…
To understand what he was suggesting consider the nature of the hydrogen atom that is made up of a relatively large proton that has a positive electrical charge that is being circled by a relatively smaller electron that has a negative electrical charge. Notice that the proton is large and stable while the electron that orbits it is small and dynamic. For those who have the eyes to see, we see in this, the basic atom of the universe, the beginning of two basic principles, order, representing stability, and freedom, representing change. With a little more imagination we might also see space, which is large and holistic, and time, which is small and discreet, or the right lobe which is spatial and the left lobe which is temporal or time, or ovum, which is large and passive and sperm, which is small and dynamic, or, as Lao Tsu saw, Yin and Yang,
Other physicists have described this dynamic interaction between two seemingly opposed things as “ a Cosmic Dance of paradoxical, yet unified, relationships.” It is a dance because it involves two things that are interacting and responding to each other. It is paradoxical because it involves two things that don’t seem to go together because they are in opposition. It is unified because, in reality, they are cooperating towards a common end. Let me give you one example that I use with my students.
I ask my students, “Who makes the best locks? The locksmith or the thief?” They look at me with a confused expression as if to say, “How could a thief, who is the opponent of the locksmith, be involved in the making of the best locks?” Then I say, “The locksmith sit down and designs the best lock that he can imagine and concludes that it is the best lock. However, the thief looks at the lock and begins to figure out ways around the design. Once his lock is broken into, the locksmith tries and figure out how the thief overcame his lock and he redesigns it to take care of the problem. However, the thief finds a way to overcome his new design. Back and forth they go and each time the thief forces the locksmith to redesign the lock by finding the flaw in the previous model, the locksmith moves closer to designing the best lock. They seem to be opponents yet, in some paradoxical way, they are cooperating in designing the best lock.
But let’s dig a little deeper. What are we really looking at here? It’s the Laws of Competition and what it suggests is that, paradoxically, the best way to cooperate is to compete. Our capitalistic economy is a shining example of this principle. However, let’s dig even deeper. It is also the Hegelian Dialectic because the locksmith is the Thesis and the thief is the Antithesis and the improved lock is the Synthesis. Dig again and it is the Law of Evolution that describes how living things are constantly improving themselves through the adaptations that they must make to the changing conditions in their environment in order to survive. In short, it’s the Laws of Nature based on Natural Selection and Survival of the Fittest. Keep digging and it is the Law of Development, both physical and spiritual. On the physical level, weightlifters express this principle as “No pain, no gain!” In other words, muscles develop only when they are tested by something that causes them to struggle. Or as Fredrick Douglas once observed, “Without struggle there is no progress.”
But this law applies to everything. As Hegel once observed “The movement of evolution is a continuous development of oppositions and their coming together into a more complex unity. Not only do things develop and evolve according to this “dialectical movement” but thoughts do too.” Thus rational beings, like ourselves, are constantly improving our understanding by resolving new facts and new concepts into new syntheses and, as we do, we move out of Gehenna, the hell of “empty thought”, towards the Kingdom of Light and Understanding.. The same is true of our personality. Harriet Tubman, an uneducated runaway slave who became the Moses of the Underground Railroad was once knocked unconscious by the plantation overseer with a blow from an axe handle. She said that while unconscious a heavenly being told her, “ Struggle bring endurance; endurance brings character; character brings faith; and faith, in the end, never fails.” And finally, Jesus says, “If you want life and you want it fully, pick up your cross and follow Me.” His Passion and Death, as I have said in previous programs, may have been more about “struggle, death, and resurrection to a higher level” than about pain and suffering. In other words, if you want to progress to higher levels of life, face the difficulties that life presents to you and follow the Truth. Pain and suffering without a goal is unbearable but pain and suffering for a goal is ennobling. This is bad news for our hedonistic flesh but good news for our spirit. Thus, the universe, according to these physicists, is “A Cosmic Dance of paradoxical, yet unified relationships.” And, according to one hymn we sing in church, Jesus is the “Lord of the Dance.”
But let me play with it one more time. I have already explained how the thief is paradoxically helping the locksmith to make the best lock. Now I want to ask “Who helps the thief to make the best burglar tools?” The obvious answer is the locksmith. So who is the Thesis and who is the Antithesis? The answer is, “They both are. It depends upon how you look at it.” In fact, the answer to many, if not all, “either” “or” questions in a paradoxical universe is “both.” Is God one or many? The answer is “both”. He’s a Trinity. Thus He is a paradox and it appears that His creation has the same paradoxical nature.
Thus the dialectic is a mechanism for mutual improvement. The lion who is chasing the zebra by catching the weak and slower ones is improving the genetic stock of the zebras so that they become faster. However, at the same time, the speed of the zebra is weeding out the weaker and slower lions and improving their genetic stock. It’s a paradoxical relationship in which your opponent, in some long term way, is your best friend. The reason is obvious. If, from the point of view of the Hegelian Dialectic, the only persons we ever interacted with were those who agreed with us, , it would be Thesis to Thesis, and like asexual reproduction, would result in the repetition of the same pattern. If, however, we come in contact with people who disagree with us and challenge our ideas about life, it is Thesis to Antithesis. Although it upsets us, it also causes us to dig deeper into our own belief system and, in defending it, we either become strengthen in our commitment or we begin to modify it to accommodate new insights. Thus, Thesis toThesis equals Thesis while Thesis to Antithesis equal Synthesis. In fact, these programs and this analysis is the result of my struggle to resolve the issues raised by secular humanists to my Christian beliefs. There are times when I want to thank them for causing me to think. Without their challenges, I would have drifted along, as many traditional Catholic do, repeating the same answers with no greater understanding than I had as a child. Sooner or later, in our adult life, we have to dig deeper to discover the underlying principles behind our faith and the world we live in.
In other words, to understand the universe, one has to see beyond the concrete facts to discover the underlying operating principles. Once we view biological sex as simply one example of the many different types of dialectical unions that exist in the universe, it frees our imagination to sense the dialectical nature of the universe and its Creator. In fact we could even say that a “dialectical God, with a dialectical mind, created a dialectical universe, based on a dialectical form, using a dialectical process, to create a human being with a dialectical brain that was made in His own image and likeness.” Broken down and stated in more simple terms it states that a dialectical God would be a Trinity composed of two persons who interacted to create a third. His dialectical rational mind, like ours, would be composed of an artistic, intuitive genius right lobe interacting with a logical, technological craftsman left lobe, giving birth to a creative enthusiastic spiritual frontal lobe that would build and renews a universe based on the dialectical nature of the Godhead. In keeping with this theme, the basic form this Godhead would use would be a triangle that, according to Buckminster Fuller is the only form that is able to stand by itself because it is a “union of opposites.” The dialectical process used to move this creative act from the Alpha to the Omega would be evolution in which created beings, representing the Thesis, would face challenges and crosses, representing the Antithesis, that would force them to adapt, representing the Synthesis, to changing conditions in order to survive. Those that did would remain in the Book of Life and those that didn’t would become extinct. In other words, a Natural Selector would judge those who would survive and those that wouldn’t. The ultimate aim of this process would be a progressive movement towards higher forms of life, resulting in a human being who, because he possessed a brain with a right lobe that was an artistic genius that was reflected upon by a left lobe that was a logical craftsmen, resulting in a frontal lobe that formed judgments based on the input it received from the other two, was made in the “image and likeness” of his Creator.
Thus the Hegelian Dialectic can be compared to many things and it seems to be a model that is being used throughout the universe in many diverse ways. It’s a model for competition, for reflective thought, , for sexual union, for immunization, for physical and spiritual development, for the Trinity Itself.
Now let me use it one more time as a model for an event that is familiar to all of us and may be related to the very nature of God and the universe. It is a model for childbirth. To illustrate this, I often act out for my students the following scenario. Thesis…..An….ti….the…sis….Synthesis; Thesis….An….ti….the…sis…. Synthesis; Thesis…..An….ti….the….sis….Synthesis. I am not trying to be vulgar. I am merely trying to show them that childbirth results from a Yin Female Principle that is acted upon by a Yang Male Principle that results in a struggle that concludes in the birth of a Child Principle which, when it grows to maturity, becomes a New Thesis that generates a New Antithesis and begins the same process of childbirth over again.
In my last program, I told you of a mystical experience that both Fr. Teilhard de Chardin and I experienced. He saw the face of Jesus go through a multiple transformation that finally came to rest on an expression that was either the greatest joy or the greatest sorrow he had ever seen. In similar fashion, I had a spiritual experience as I read Proverbs 8 in which I cried waves of tears that seem to be coming from the center of my chest. At that moment, I didn’t know whether they were tears of the greatest joy I had ever felt or the greatest sorrow. Where I wondered in human experience did this equal mixture of joy and sorrow take place? Then, months later, it came to me. A women in childbirth has great sorrow because of the danger and struggle involved and yet, at the same time, is filled with joy as she brings a new life into the world. This insight raised another question. Is it possible that God is like a women in childbirth who, since the beginning of time, has been involved in a struggle to bring forth newer forms of life.
Once again the use of human language muddies the insight because we are forced to use terms like male, female, mother, and child that confuse the analogy. However, our frail human intellects have no other choice. Thus, the scriptures compare God’s relationship with His creation to a mother bird with her brood, a mother to her child, a father to his children, a master to his servants, a lover to his sweetheart, a husband to his wife, a bridegroom to his bride. Each one adds something to our understanding but all fail to fully describe His relationships to us. Therefore, I am not interested in whether He is father, mother, suitor or husband and I am in total agreement with the Church that we should continue to use terms like Father and Son so long as we understand that God exceeds all of these terms.
Anyway, if God, who is dialectical in His own nature, is the source for all dialectical relationships, of which sexual union and the resulting birth are but one example, then it seems reasonable to assume that the Creation was the result of spiritual intercourse that took place in the Godhead itself. Let me explain as I begin my presentation of Fr. Teilhard de Chardin explanation of evolution from a theistic point of view.
According to the physicists, before the universe began there existed only an Event Horizon in which the entire universe was compressed into a dot smaller than the smallest sub-atomic particle. Can you imagine that? I can’t even imagine myself being compressed in something the size of the smallest sub-atomic particle. But what about the earth… or our solar system. These are enough to “blow my mind.” But to consider a universe that contains trillions of solar systems containing trillion of stars is just too much for my feeble mind to even imagine. Yet, according to the physicists that is what existed in the Event Horizon.
Now if that is hard to conceive, consider their next observation. They say that this Event Horizon had a spatial dimension but no linear dimension. In other words, it contained space but no length, width, or depth. How this can be is beyond imagining but let me try anyway. Let me use Yin and Yang and some of the other models that I have used throughout my talks to try to explain how space could have no linear dimension. But first we must understand that linearity is related to the left lobe of the brain and the concept of time.
The Yin or Female Principle is foundational and the source for all creativity. It is the source from which all things are drawn. It is like the imaginative right lobe of the brain and it is spatial. It is greater than the Yang or Male Principle because it represents “existence itself” while the Yang represent “development.” In a sense, it is the Great I AM, the name that God gave to Moses for Himself. However, it is passive and, being spatial, non-linear in nature.. From an Aristotilian point of view, it represents the Pool of Potentiality that contains everything that ever “could be.” However, these potentialities are like the unspoken ideas in the mind of a creative, artistic genius that have not yet become actualize by being objectified. In order to do so, it would have to speak a Word, indicating a complementary left lobe or Logos. It is Yin or the Dark Side of the Yin/Yang symbol that contains just a small circle of light that, like a child in its womb, is ready to be born. Then, according to the scientists, this Event Horizon reached a point of “critical mass” where its inner pressure built up to the point where it exploded and gave birth to the universe. At that moment, the non-linear, spatial, Pool of Potentiality that was the Event Horizon gave birth to a linear, temporal, Line of Actuality. In other words, “space begot time” because, according to philosophers, the definition for time is “the measure of movement in space.” In other words, if nothing moves in space, there is no time. Let me demonstrate.
Suppose I am standing in a spot from which I have never moved. The best that I can say is that “I am here!” which, in any time sense, would mean “the present.” But I can’t even call it “the present” because the word “present” has no meaning unless it is compared to the words “past “or “future” and they don’t even exist. Now I decide to take a step. The moment I move in space, I beget time because “I was there”, which is the past, I am now “here”, which is the present, and, since I could move again, that is the “future.” Thus, until there was movement in the Event Horizon, only space existed. It had no linear time dimension. However, once space exploded, it begot time and linearity development began. But there are even more insights that we could apply to this event.
For example, from the view of Yin and Yang we could say that the Female Principle begot the Male Principle; from Aristotle’s theory of Potential and Actual existence, we could say that the Potential begot the Actual; from Hegel’s theory we could say that the Thesis begot the Antithesis; from the split-brain theory of Dr. Sperry we could say that the right lobe begot the left lobe; from the Old Testament Jewish view we could say that the Creator begot His Wisdom; and from the New Testament Christian point of view we could say the Father begot the Son, His Wisdom.
You might have noticed that I keep using the word “begot” instead of “created” or “made”. The reason is that there is a significant difference between “begot” and “created” and “made.” In a previous program, I mentioned that I was surprised when an evangelical Protestant radio personality asked, “What was the first thing that God made?” Then he answered his own question by saying “Wisdom.” I was shocked because this was a very good and sincere believer whom I respected and still do. However, it was obvious that he didn’t understand something that the Church has taught from its beginning. “Wisdom” was never created, it was “begotten.” In Proverbs 8 Wisdom says, “The Lord begot me, the firstborn of His ways, the forerunner of His prodigies of long ago. From of old I was poured forth, at the first, before the earth… Then I was beside Him as His craftsman and I was His delight day by day, playing before Him all the while, playing on the surface of His earth; and I found delight in the sons of men.” In John I, he writes, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God and everything was created by the Word…” And in the Nicene Creed it states, “We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father. Through Him all things were made…” Jesus, according to the Church, is the Divine Wisdom or Word, or Logos that the Creator Father used to build the universe. He was, as Proverbs 8 states, His craftsman. He was the logical dimension of the rational mind of God who, upon seeing His Father’s plan in its potential form began to map out and build the logical steps necessary for its actualization and the agreement that existed between the two of them gave rise to a Creative Spirit of “enthusiasm” that provided the energy for the task. He was also His only begotten son who, like a child, played before Him.
We “beget” children because they are taken from our own flesh but we make chairs, tables, cars, and other material things from the raw materials we take from the earth. Thus, in an analogous way we can say that “Yin begot the Yang because that tiny circle of light in the Dark Side was like a child ready to be born. Also, I have already described how recent discoveries in fetology have revealed that the female sex is the default sex and that males are simply modified females who have been created to be reflective agents on the female. We can also says that “space begot time” because the potential for movement in space resulted in time when it was actualized. It is also appropriate to say that the Thesis begot the Antithesis because the nature of the Antithesis is connected to the nature of the Thesis. For example, if I say as a Thesis, “I like vanilla ice cream!” and you say as an Antithesis, “I prefer Cadillacs”, it makes no sense because it is unrelated to the nature of my original statement. On the other hand, if your response is “I like chocolate ice cream” then we can form a Synthesis of vanilla fudge. It would also be correct to say that the artistic, intuitive, creative right lobe of the human brain begot the scientific, logical, technological left lobe because, at birth, both lobes are functionally right lobe. It is only later, when language develops, that the logical left lobe develops as a separate reflective agent. Finally, we could say that potentiality beget actuality because whatever becomes actual had to be in the Pool of Potentiality.
What does all of this suggest? Well, first of all, it suggests that there is another natural law called the Law of Correspondence that states that things that are different in appearance correspond to each other in principle. I have just demonstrated how Yin/Yang, Space/Time, Thesis/Antithesis, Potentiality/Actuality, Right Lobe/Left Lobe, and Father/Son, although different is appearance, correspond to each other in principle. It’s another one of those paradoxical things that seem to defy human logic and yet are an integral part of our universe. For example, are these things different or the same. The answer is “both.” They are different in appearance but the same in principle.
The second thing that this analysis suggests is that the universe began as a result of spiritual intercourse between the artistic right lobe and the logical left lobe of the Super Rational Mind that created the universe. The artistic right lobe said, “I got an idea.” The logical left lobe reflected upon it and said, “It’s great!” and from this agreement came an explosion of creative energy that scientists called the Big Bang and we call the Holy Spirit.
If we look at the same event from the view of Yin and Yang, it might be appropriate to call the Big Bang a Cosmic Orgasm because it appears that all creativity begins with a explosion of creative energy or ecstasy. In sexual union this it referred to as an orgasm, but a similar type of energy is released whenever a creative achievement takes place. It shouldn’t surprise us that God, the Creator, would imprint His creative nature on all creative acts.
Well, I see that my time is up. Here’s Dom!