The Universe: Radiating – Might of God and Plight of Humans

by Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE on September 19, 2018

in Featured, Featured News, News

Fr.B.M.Thomas (Bombay Diocese of the Indian Orthodox Malankara Church) – Contributing Author & Research Associate – OCP News Service- 19/9/18

“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visit him?”Psalms 8:3-4

A caption on one of the iconic photographs taken by the Voyager spacecraft from the vicinity of Saturn’s rings… reads…” Do you see a tiny white dot in the picture below? It is the Earth as seen from Saturn.” That picture made humans feel so insignificant about their stature in this cosmos. It is a well-known truth that 7.6 billion people live in that white dot. All great kings who wanted to win the universe were fighting for this small particle of dust in the universe. We, with all our possessions, mainly our ego, are reading this write-up sitting on a chair on this white dot. It is ironic that the residents of this white dot have individual egos much bigger than the universe.

Humans often forget that they are just another mortal being on this Earth. They forget that they are just microscopic organisms in comparison to the whole universe. The vastness of this universe is in-comprehensible to the human mind. As in the above verse, King David meditates upon the unimaginable glory of God, who is the creator of this whole universe. We humans have an intellect, and only those things that limit within our intellect could be apprehended by us. But many a time humans fall prey to that very limited intellect that they possess and anticipates that they are the supreme of all, even disregarding their creator. Many a times it is felt that the scientific conquest into space and the outer realities have diminished the stature of humanss. The human being has always thought of discovering the undiscovered and explore the unexplored. It is the limited intellect of the humans that has gained them victory in accomplishing many scientific marvels in the present age. But however great we jump, we neglect the fact that it was just a naught in the indefinite expanse that stretches nowhere.

If we try to imagine some of the figures related to our galaxy ‘The Milky Way’ or Sun or even our Earth, those will be much beyond our apprehension. We have learnt in our childhood days that the earth rotates round the sun in 365 days and that is what is called a year and that causes the seasons to change etc.etc. But we have never thought of the fact that the earth revolving around the sun will be having some velocity, and that is going to alarm us as it is such great as about 66,000 Miles/Hour or 1,06,217 Kms/Hr. Now our Sun and its planets the Solar System revolve around the center of the Milky way galaxy at speeds near to 483,000 Miles/Hr or 7,77,313Kms/Hr. Also, our Milky Way galaxy is not stationary, it is moving at a speed of 1,300,000 Miles/Hr or 20,92,147Kms/Hr.These figures seem extremely gigantic, when compared to the modern world air and land speeds powered by the turbo jets. We can just conceptualize vaguely that we humans are moving at enormous high speeds, although we may seem to be still, sitting on our chairs and reading this write-up, as we are still only relative to the ground we are, but there are greater realities happening, of which we are not at all aware and bothered. Still, that is just a slow motion when compared to the vast, un-ending, un-imaginable extent of this universe.

This universe, with all of its complexities, connectivity and beauty, is revealing the majesty and magnanimity of God, who is invisible omnipotent and transcendent. And it is that God who incarnated into the world in the human form so that humans would be beatified. Truly as David wonders ‘What is man that God so loves him?’ the answer to this complex question lies in Gen 1:26f, Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our own image and likeness…”

We believe that the created world itself in a ‘Mystery’ originating in the sovereign will of God accomplished by the action of the Holy Trinity, and we confess that in the Nicene Creed. As St. Basil the Great says, “We should understand in the creation the original cause of the Father as a founding cause, the cause of the Son as a creative, and the cause of the Spirit as an implementing one.” Thus the Father is the “Creator of all things”, the Son is the one “through whom all things were made”, and the Holy Spirit is the one “in whom are all things”.

There is no doubt in the truth that God is the Creator of this amusing world. The world as cosmos, i.e. a created order with its own integrity, is a positive reality. It is the good work of the good God (Gen. 1), made by God for the blessed existence of humanity. The Cappadocian Fathers teach that God first creates the world and beautifies it like a palace, and then leads humanity into it. The genesis of the cosmos, being in becoming, is a mystery of the human mind, a genesis produced by the Word of God. As such, the world is a revelation of God (Rom. 1:19-20). Thus, when its intelligent inhabitants see it as cosmos, they come to learn about the Divine wisdom and the Divine energies. The cosmos is coherent, it is a created synthesis of unimaginable magnanimity, as all its elements, from the tiniest quarks and leptons to the biggest supercluster Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall, are mutually united and interrelated in time and space.Just an imagination of the vastness of the cosmos and its un-slithering order, leaves our mind bewildered. Then the imagination about the unimaginable is beyond human imagination.

And it is in this image and likeness that he creates humans.For a better understanding we will investigate the most common meaning of the above term. In the computer world an image is an exact copy of a computer’s hard disk, made for backing up data or setting up new machines. And this definition of image is best suited here. Humans were created as to be the exact copy of the creator, made for setting up an example, so that such exact copies could be produced further. Through their sins the humans adulterated that image, and it is to restore that adulterated image that God came forth in this world as an unadulterated perfect human. The process of deification is that procedure through which the adulterated form of human gets transformed into the perfect unadulterated human who is that perfect image and likeness of God, which God had created. Deification is a process of becoming more human or a perfect human, a human who is the perfect image and likeness of God himself. Adam and Eve were not created merely by the word of God, like the other creations, but by the direct involvement and action of God. It not only shows the special relation of the creation to its creator but also the outstanding position of human in the whole creation. The reference to “the image of God” is to be understood in terms of Jesus Christ, since he is explicitly identified with it (2 Cor.4:4; Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3 ff). Thus, for mankind to be in the image of God means to be in, or assimilated to, be like Jesus Christ. This is a matter of grace and act and not a matter of nature, because only Christ is by nature God’s image as God’s eternal and natural offspring, his only begotten Son. The “likeness of God” is often connected with the grace of the Spirit who assimilates us to Christ. It is the likeness of God that forces us to become the image of God. It is the likeness that guides the fallen human towards deification. Again, these images and likeness are incomprehensible to the human intellect. God is the fullness of that image and likeness.

Upcoming environmental issues like, Global Warming, air and water pollution, depletion of non-renewable resources, destruction of the ozone layer, increasing nuclear radiation, deforestation, desertification of vast areas and moving away of birds and animals from human influences etc. threaten the life itself on and of this planet. There are unprecedented rains resulting in floods, draught conditions claiming lives, earthquake tremors are felt at areas that till now didn’t fall under earthquake belts. The gifts of science and technology are being misused by human beings to the extent of abusing nature and turning today’s life on earth into a hell, not only for the many millions of existing people but also for the generations to come. Our selfishness today is erasing our children from the face of Earth. While human creativity and freedom can be armed as supreme gifts of God, it should also be emphasized that they should be rooted in divine wisdom and human spiritual maturity.The environmental crisis is a sin and sets judgement upon humanity. The contemporary world must repent for the abuses which it has imposed upon the nature, seeing it in the same kind of relationship to us as we see the unity of our human nature in both body and soul. We must begin to undo the pollution we have caused, which brings death and destruction to the mineral, vegetable and animal dimensions of the world environment. The simple definition of a virus goes like this –“an infective agent that is too small to be seen by light microscope.” Considering the Cosmos and its magnanimity the infective agent humans become the virus. If the virus acts against the system, then the system synchronizes itself to produce anti-virus and get rid of the virus. Hence it is time for the humans to be alert, not to be rejected by the immune mechanism of the cosmos.

It is here that humans must act as real image of God.They must re-assure the image and regain it.The creation needs to be reintegrated, but this can happen only as it is brought once again into communion with the Lord, so that it may find its fullness of purpose and its transfiguration. Humanity can no longer ignore its responsibility to protect it and preserve it. To do this, however, humanity must learn to treat the creation as a sacred offering to God, an oblation, a vehicle of grace, an incarnation of our most noble aspirations and prayers. The Lord God created His universe and all that is in it as an integrated whole. Today, we have brought about the disintegration in what God intended to be integrated.

Hence humans must keep out their ego, as they are nothing in this vast expanse of the cosmos, but in turn maintain their self-importance and self-respect of being created in the image and likeness of God. Come let us strive for a reintegration.

OCP News Service

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