No Beginning and No End
Recently, there was very interesting article posted on the internet trying to help us understand the relationship of the earth to the planets in our solar system, the sun, the universe and galaxies and then on to the other reaches of space.
You can get a sense of this by visiting this site: https://www.khanacademy.org/science/cosmology-and-astronomy/universe-scale-topic/scale-earth-galaxy-tutorial/v/hubble-image-of-galaxies
In my mind, I don’t know about yours, I like to make things fit into some sort of order. A box, a triangle, a circle. Some way to get an understanding of the thing I am talking or thinking about. To be able to get my arms around it, as they say.
In this article, and some others related to the same subject, a small square section of the sky was chosen as a “target area” and the Hubble telescope was pointed in that direction and took pictures steadily for several hours. One might reasonably expect to find some planets here and there, some stars and some space in this vast region. What they saw was mind blowing.
They saw the occasional planet, sun, etc. but they saw much more. There were galaxies! Not one galaxy but multiple galaxies, each containing millions of stars, planets and suns. And we do not see an “end” or an “edge”. Nor do we see a beginning.
What they were seeing is not talked about as being “miles away”, as that does not compute and the number of zeros would be unfathomable. These galaxies were many light years away. A light year is the amount of distance light would travel in one year at 186,000 miles per second. See this link: http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/how-far-is-a-light-year
That is almost beyond one’s ability to fully understand and it raises many questions. What is all of this content of millions and millions of stars and galaxies contained in? Is there something that we might consider a container? Could one travel far enough to find the end, the edge, the beginning?
Where did all of this stuff come from? The idea that all this stuff came from nothing is just absurd to most of us. Even if you do not believe in “God” or “The Creator” it just does not compute that there was nothing and then there was something. If it was created by “God” where did He come from?
Then, there is the thought that with all of the planets and stars and suns that apparently exist, it is absurd to believe that we are the only planet with life. If we are alone in all of this unimaginable vastness, does that make it more or less likely that there is a God?
If we are “freaks of nature”, something that evolved from another lifeform as some would claim, then it is very likely, it would seem to me, that there are many, many planets with life throughout this “space”. And, it is also reasonable to reach the level of thinking that would suggest that there is so much vastness that multiple planets with life are so far apart that no interaction would likely ever take place. Even if a spacecraft could travel at the speed of light, the beings on board would have to live to incredible life spans or reproduce so many times during the journey that the thought is just not comprehendible.
If we were created by God in His image, then we could conclude that God created life on one planet to keep from being lonely. If that is the case, one might also assume that He might have concluded that humans were far too much trouble to repeat that creation on multiple sites.
It may have been one of those moments where God stopped and thought, “My goodness, look at what I went and did!” Or, “I should have quit while I was ahead.”
For me, understanding all of this with “no beginning” is beyond my ability of thought and reason. An area with no beginning and no end that is contained in another dimension that is so big as that it could hold the first dimension with no beginning or no end is impossible to invision.
Did man invent “God” as a way of making sense out of the overwhelming vastness and complexity of it all? That could be except the idea of “God” came along far in advance of telescopes and Hubble Space crafts. Before we knew about light years and galaxies and blackholes.
The conclusion that brings sense and comfort to many is that we were part of the Creation by a Creator and that helps explain purpose and worth. It helps explain the “The Beginning and the End.” And that allows us to carry on in a vastness that does not seem to matter to us as individuals. No Earth human is likely to ever reach the edge of the universal universe and we are relegated to the sphere we are on and to maybe a few “close” planets reachable in a lifetime or two.
Because, for each of us there is a “beginning” and an “end”. The “end of time” regardless of your view on God and a Supreme Creator, comes to us all. Our clock starts and stops. Time ends. It does so in a period of time and a place in space that we can understand, somewhat manage, and have an impact on the quality of during the existence. But when one can accept God as his or her creator, it becomes much easier to understand the coming and the going of us all.
As humans struggle with idea of life after death, we still look for that window into the dimension of the dead that would allow us to see it and have concrete proof. And, it just might be out there, that window, in the Hubble’s picture of a galaxy far, far away. That if we start out today in that direction at the speed of light, we would be there in only a few thousand light years to see for our selves. But in reality, we may be there in only 70 or 80 years using our normal process that we call life…..and…..death. At a place in the continuum of time when we have had our “beginning”, our “middle”, and our “end”.