By Simon Marshland
Those who claim we are made in the image of the Creator may have a point. Though if we take this Christian tenet seriously, we should examine it from a broader viewpoint. A viewpoint not limited to man himself, but encompassing the vastness of his surroundings that have played such a vital part in his creation.
Our solar system forms an insignificant part of the Milky Way. A galaxy which in turn forms a small part of what is termed a Local Group which consists of about thirty other galaxies. Our particular Local Group is five million light years across, though larger Groups can exceed 100 million light years in width. Our own Milky Way is formed as a rotating disk some 100,000 light years in diameter and 3000 light years at its deepest point. It is thought the centre is occupied by a massive black hole. The Solar System lies some two thirds out from this galactic centre and takes 250 million years to complete a single orbit. The Sun is but one of a few hundred billion other stars that reside in the Milky Way, which in turn forms one small part of our Local Group, which in turn forms one of the many billions of Local Groups that go to make up the Universe, which forms a minute part of the Cosmos, a multitude of which make up the Macrocosmos.
We live in a time scale geared to planetary revolutions and orbits around the sun. A time scale that has no meaning beyond the confines of our Solar System. We live in a three dimensional world complemented by our three senses of touch, sight and smell. But what if there should be five, ten or a thousand further dimensions. All beyond our comprehension yet all existing within the same space. Then even the vastness of the Universe we barely know would seem diminutive within this greater greatness.
We find nothing strange in the transformation of water, a vital substance without which we could not exist. In its basic fluid form we can drink, swim or drown in it. As a solid we can walk, skate, or drive upon it, and as vapour we can breath, walk or fly through it. Yet we find it difficult to accept the possibility that in a similar yet vastly more complex mix, our true selves might mirror that constancy of water and so co-exist in several of the many different dimensions that could well surround us.
According to the Big Bang theory, fifteen billion years ago our particular Universe was compressed into the confines of a single atomic nucleus which suddenly exploded and has been expanding ever since. This may well be so, and with the aid of modern methods of calculation perhaps we should accept these truths. Though at the same time we should recall the equally accepted theories of earlier scientists, who a scant three hundred years past concluded the Earth a central point around which the Sun and Universe revolved. Similarly there are many suppositions regarding the origins of universal life and basics laws of time, which according to our present knowledge of physics can stretched, reversed or nullified. But at present they remain suppositions which is probably as well, since we have yet to devise methods of travel within the limits of our own solar system, let alone the incalculable vastness that lies beyond.
Many find solace in religion, which could well prove a disciplined pathway to evolvement. Though the eternal ocean that laps the many million inlets of our individual psyche, may dictate that no-matter where we stake our placards of belief in the ever shifting sands of doubt and hope, the oncoming tide will treat them all equally.
The great mystery that hides the face of creation is far beyond our comprehension. But as children of the stars we are surely an integral part of that creation. For each of us is born of stardust.
Author’s Note: The quoted figures come from reliable scientific sources, but I do not hold myself responsible for their accuracy."