Friday, October 16, 2009
A Glimpse of Eternity
Tonight I spoke at some length to my best friend about Complex General Relativity and some of the theories about the electron. To be sure, the more I learn, the stranger the universe seems to me.
Trapped in this human body, my mind is not yet able to access infinite intelligence, and yet sometimes, I can almost imagine I sense it. The most religious experience I have ever had was at the birth of my son. As the doctor removed his umbilical cord, he immediately passed my son into my arms. Suddenly, my son's eyes opened, and I was the first thing he saw in this universe.
What I saw, when I looked into to his eyes was alien, and I experienced a sense of vertigo as I felt what he felt, a whirl of sensations from this universe to another, spiraling down into the void of his eyes. In his face, I saw the faces of many of my family; my father, and both grandfathers and my brother, too. So many people, all in one shriveled little face. But beyond that, in the depth of the void in those eyes I felt a great intellect absorbing all that was in the room, and if ever I believed in the reality of God as an entity, it was at that moment when I stared face to face across a million generations of human soul.
Here was my son, a vessel descended from the ancient Russ, and who knows how many thousands, even millions of years beyond that. At this first meeting between father and son, I didn't get a sense of a human child, but instead I glimpsed a doorway to infinity and a brief window to all of creation. Deep in the depths of those strangely dark eyes was a light and I stared in awe at the immense depths before me. I saw spiraling galaxies and the untold history of all mankind, timeless eons streaked past across a vast empty space, all in just a few scant seconds.
Then, the doctor spoke, breaking my hypnosis, and I was swept back into the reality of the delivery room. The portal through my son's eyes closed, and he moved with a slight sigh, but he never cried. I sat down with him in my arms, and the eyes became his own, and he was looking up at me, studying me with calm curiosity. He, like me, was probably wondering who this strange being was in front of him. A nurse walked by, and his eyes followed her, he was quite aware of the environment now. I don't remember what words I spoke to him, I probably said something stupid like, hello. It was incredible to see this little creature, suddenly so alive and alert in my arms, just soaking up every sound and image around him. He turned to the sound of voices and when I remarked about it, his eyes returned to me again. My time with him only lasted a couple of minutes, before the nurses whisked him away to finish his post natal operation and antiseptic applications.
I have never forgotten those few magical instants, and unfortunately, I never had another chance to experience the live birth of a child, but I can tell you honestly, it was the experience of a lifetime. Even today I still recall vividly the immense intelligence that I felt in front of me for that brief moment, and the giddy sense I had of falling into eternity through alien eyes.
I can tell you I hunger for what I felt that night, as I think does every man of substance. For in those seconds, when the void spoke to me, I felt a continuity and rare cerebral serenity that is mostly not available to living men. For just a little while, I was completely at peace and I hadn't a fear or concern in the world, because what I saw was so vast and all-encompassing that I knew all things were on a path to righteousness, and nothing could stop what was to come.
I have come to believe that the struggle to ascend is more an act of compulsion than of ambition. We cannot be content to stay wherever we are at any instant. There is no rest for man or woman in this world. Life is a constant journey and we cannot stop, even though the mystery only deepens the more that we learn.