Wednesday, May 25, 2011

(1) Enthusiasm

Several months after returning from Greece and Turkey, I was
still pondering where I might head after my encounter with the
Pantocrator. Yes, I had made the connection about the
CONTINUUM of the Logos, but I began to wonder whether we
need stay in the territory of archaic information when it came
to the concept of the Pantocrator. Perhaps there need be a
way to thrust a more modern mantle onto the Pantocrator.

Again, one of those strange events happened! One day I was
wandering about in a bookstore, and I ran into a Benedictine
Oblate I occasionally saw at the monastery. Her name was
Francis Jean. Probably some 20 years older than me, she
was a little bird of a woman--small, fragile, but no fear! A
free spirit, she was not only tough-minded but also a super
spiritual explorer. I still remain grateful that she took me under
her wing.

Francis Jean was into Thomas Berry, the Passionist priest and
monk who had worked with the physicist Brian Swimme.
Eventually we both would head off to yet another workshop
presented by these two gentlemen. Looking back, it would
seem that they belonged to that cadre of early forerunners who
espoused the "New Cosmology." Essentially it is a spiritual
approach to the evolution of the universe, integrating what we
now call Evolutionary Theology with the theoretics of modern
Particle Physics and Astrophysics. Whew! This workshop was
my first serious exposure to the Phenomenology of Science
and Spirituality. I was rattled by the wonder of it all. And there
was more to come!

Returning to Washington, Francis Jean introduced me to the
Smithsonian Associates program held at various museums
down at the Mall. The Smithsonian had started providing a
series of lectures given by some of the world's greatest
scientists. The very first lecture I attended was presented by
Alan Guth--a physicist and cosmologist at M.I.T. He talked
about his concept of an Inflationary Universe, about the Grand
Unified Field Theory.

Frankly, at the time, I was barely cognizant about what Guth
was discussing. What I really began to notice was his demeanor.
This scientist was utterly enthralled by his subject. He was full of
enthusiasm. He was wonderfully joyful, and he thrilled his

Guth's special enthusiasm grabbed hold of me. It was like I was
taken by the shoulders and turned around towards a new
direction. From that moment I knew that I needed to know more
about these wonderful new science theories--and somehow
relate them to my old friend, the Pantocrator.

Catching on fast I not only enjoyed the Smithsonian lecture
series, but I also joined the Washington Evolutionary Systems
Society. With both accounts, I had exposure to not only world-
class scientists but also to the really bright scientific minds
available in the Washington area. And beyond the lectures, I
started acquiring a library of recent theoretic publications by
renown scientists.

Slowly I was developing a background in modern science
theory. However I was not satisfied, mainly because I knew
that what I really needed was a disciplined professional approach
when it came to the study of Science and Spirituality. Providence
saw to it, per usual.