"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him and without Him was not anything made that was made....and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth."
The mystery of vastness, the perplexing notion of infinity, the "cerebral inconveniences" of impossible mathematics, the loveliness and terror of images that reduce human significance to the omega point. That's what my new book is about - or at least that is what it's about if you can combine rational processing of data with aestheric responsiveness and an educated but not too loopy imagination.
A multi-tasking exegesis of John's Prologue might include simultaneous listening to Richard Strauss's Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001 Space odyssey), looking at these Hubble space images, saying by heart the text about the Word printed above, and asking the question with bewildered humility, "What are human beings that you are mindful of them?'
Not all theology is verbal. And not all pictures are theological. But as a human being capable of reflection and self-consciousness, I contemplate these images of the universe, and wonder, and trust, and hope, that "all indeed shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well". Julian's image of the hazelnut is more manageable -
"In this vision he showed me a little thing, the size of a hazelnut, and it
was round as a ball. I looked at it with the eye of my understanding and
thought "What may this be?" And it was generally answered thus: "It is all that is
made." I marvelled how it might last, for it seemed it might suddenly have
sunk into nothing because of its littleness. And I was answered in my
understanding: "It lasts and ever shall, because God loves it."
A vast universe that exists because it is loved presupposes a God of love beyond telling. Stands to reason.