Friday, August 24, 2012

Explaining Convergence

What's In a Worldview? 

My entire perspective on spirituality, meaning, and morals is directly related to my worldview, the story (or model, see last post) I use to describe the world. What is your perspective? What is the glass through which you view the world?

Vonnegut on Story Arc
Like any good story, my worldview has a beginning, a middle, a climax, and an end. The beginning is the Big Bang, the rising action is the development of our galaxies and finally the development of life. The end is total community between all matter, what Christians might call  Kingdom of God. That means the climax is right now, the internet age, our radical connectivity.

My universe story is largely influenced by Teilhard de Chardin. The Jesuit priest/paleontologist formulated a part scientific, part mystic evolutionary model in which all of time and space is moving towards each other converging on what he called the Omega Point. Teilhard observed that all physical matter was connected and naturally formed networks (which turns out to be more true than he knew). Likewise, he observed that people like to network and connect, and that the planet in his time (early 20th century) was getting more connected than it was before. Finally, he knew that Christianity was all about getting closer to God, with Jesus the transcendent as a model.

Teilhard imagined the universe in terms of concentric spheres of interconnection. We know we are connected as a planet in terms of geosphere and atmosphere. We know we are connected as living things in terms of ecosphere. We are also connected as thinking, spiritual things in what Teilhard calls the noosphere.

I think this is the holiest, most helpful model for Christianity - we imagine different planes of existence (heaven and earth, God and world, other and us) and we revere those who connect them (mystics, teachers, saints, prophets). Jesus achieves his saving power by being fully connected to all planes simultaneously. Our goal, then, has always been to follow Jesus as closely as possible to bring about the Kingdom of God, or the perfect community between divine and terrestrial planes.

The more we learn about our world the more I am inclined to trust Teilhard. When viewed in large scale we observe that galaxies form clusters, like nodes in a network. Galaxy superclusters are vast assemblages of thousands of galaxies or more. The voids between filaments can be billions of light years across:

Galaxy clusters in red, voids in blue.
Similarly, the internet can be visualized as a hierarchy of connections tending towards merger, or increased levels of connection: 

visualization of the internet, arranged by connectivity

Vive Omega Point!
This is why I say that promoting connection, community, and love is the essential human goal. From data and experience I think we are moving towards each other on all levels, and I think that is a great thing. 

1 comment:

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