Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Do the math

Medieval scholars branded void as evil—and evil as void. Satan was quite literally nothing. Boethius made the argument as follows: God is omnipotent. There is nothing God cannot do. But God, the ultimate goodness, cannot do evil. Therefore evil is nothing. It made perfect sense to the medieval mind.

--Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea, by Charles Seife

Surprising words from a book ostensibly about mathematics. But it turns out from this fascinating book Zero that the story of mathematics is a metaphysical one. For at every turn, the nature of new mathematical discoveries threatened the prevailing concepts about God.

Zero traces mankind's wrestlings with two concepts that continually wreaked havoc with reason: nothingness and infinity. You and I learned about these concepts as a matter of course in school, yet until very recently they were unexplainable and contradictory.

And it seems, through the development of arithmetic, geometry, trigonometry and calculus, mathematicians have come to the same conclusion that Mary Baker Eddy did with Christian Science: there is no material infinity. There can't be. The material universe (the only one mathemeticians are concerned with measuring) came from nothing and will return to nothing. Infinity must exist outside this universe.

Okay, so, if matter came from nothing and will go to nothing, how can it be that it ever became something at all?

And this is the basic point that makes it possible to experience spiritual healing. For spirituality is something, indeed the only thing.

In Christian Science, substance is understood to be Spirit, while the opponents of Christian Science believe substance to be matter. They think of matter as something and almost the only thing, and of the things which pertain to Spirit as next to nothing, or as very far removed from daily experience. Christian Science takes exactly the opposite view.

--Science and Health

With matter being nothing, the only reality becomes consciousness. What fills your consciousness is reality to you. External forms, therefore, are subjective and able to be altered, since they are not true substance.

Have you ever tried to completely shut off physical inputs and dwell only in your thought? I try to do this whenever I pray. Physical inputs are the nothingness that have no past and no future, because they have a beginning and an end. On the eternal timeline of infinity they don't even take up a basis point. Our perception of time in the physical universe is not even a blip on the radar of infinity.

So I shut off physical inputs, mortality, the finite, when I go into the spiritual space that is prayer. I release my thought from material boundaries and allow myself to entertain a reality that has no limits whatsoever—where perfection is the norm and harmony reigns. This is only possible in the void of infinity—void only in the material sense, but filled with the substance of Spirit.

This reality is powerful enough to alter my very perception of the material universe. I lose my fear of what physical inputs are telling me and instead come to rely on Spirit. Once my perception is changed, the physical inputs themselves also change. I no longer even see or feel the thing that frightened me, it has returned to the nothingness from which it came. I am healed.

To say it in mathematical terms, prayer is not irrational or imaginary, nor does it have limits. Prayer brings you to the heart of reality. Spiritual reality resolves all of our questions. Do the math.


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1 Comments:

At 8/15/2006 10:51:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going to check out that book; sounds interesting. Brought to mind this quote:

From Science and Health, pg 113: "De Quincey says mathematics has not a foot to stand upon which is not purely metaphysical."

Vicki

 

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