When I am listening to a Beethoven symphony or a Tchaikovsky ballet — or another of my favorite classics — my joy leaves me wondering if the universe is listening. The genius that grows such timeless works is surely a gift from the universe. If they are not heard beyond the earth, the universe is poorly served by its own creative power. Still, the audience may be as boundless as the universe. Isn’t genius itself boundless, a mirror of the universe?
The answer lies in knowing where genius comes from. Our earth-bound mortality grants us no certain answers. We have no facts, only the ability to appreciate genius when it brightens our lives. But again that recognition is framed by earthly limitations.
Members of the larger traditional religions see the universe coming from the mind and hand of one God, of male gender. How earthly that view! Is He the Christian God? The Muslim God? If God is God, I can’t see Him or Her bound up in gender, or caring in the least whether mortals are bowed in worship.
So much for belaboring organized religion. I’m far happier sifting my own convictions. They have led me to a very personal view of the universe, in which genius makes the universe whole.
Thanks to Einstein, among other geniuses, we know that the universe is two dimensions: matter and energy that are convertible to each other. Such genius also convinces me that God and the universe are manifestations of each other, of the same three components: matter, energy, genius. Genius makes it work and keeps it all growing. Genius supplies perpetual motion, recycling itself in its use. It wouldn’t be genius if it didn’t.
The universe is thus integrated and perpetuated by this third dimension. Earthly manifestation of genius is a natural extension of this power. Landmark moments in the evolution and progression of mankind too numerous to count are gifts of this power: the Theory of Relativity, Jefferson’s declaration of liberty, the wondrous works of music, literature and art all express this power, a stream too full for recorded history to more than sample. So is science, and its accelerating momentum. Science reveals the genius of the universe, just as it is driven by it. Science is the way of reality, grounded in facts — facts that hold the only hope of altering its course, as they are drawn to that purpose, guided by more science. To serve us, we must use them. How long will we duck global warming?
Mankind’s stream of discovery continues to feed dreams that it will produce the penultimate gift of energy unleashed by perpetual motion. If it comes it will come, I believe, by the same integration that forms and perpetuates the universe. Matter, energy, genius – the trinity both God and Godhead.
By the same integration, and perhaps only by it, will mankind bring eternal life to itself. Science tells us that the sun and the earth could well live on five billion years. Mankind’s ultimate victory would be proving itself capable of living by the enlightenment of science and art for as long as sun and earth allow. Another 5,000 millennia? Perhaps even a few million millennia? That would be humanity in perpetual motion, making the most of science and art drawn from and by the 3-D universe. Are there other prospects? Is there a more perfect illustration of genius than DNA? Every living creature has its own identity. How easily individuals might be replicated by the same power to populate planets endlessly. I find myself dreaming, as I listen to Mozart, of space travel in which I see my twin greeting me on the first planet we reach.
Frank Mensel — March 2013