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About the Universe and the fall of Man

“He laid the foundations of the earth that it never should move at any time”.

Where do the Bible and the teachings of the Holy Fathers fit in with the observation of today’s science?

The “missing link” may be found in the falling of the universe (of the whole of Creation) due to sin of man. The Earth may had been created as the center of the universe and maybe even everything was static then, or maybe everything rotates around the Earth even today while the Earth remains static. But what we know is that with the fall of man the whole universe fell, got corrupted and trends towards entropy. When we look at gravity we see one of the consequences of the fall – unless something “struggles” against gravity, it falls down to earth and crashes. So it is with the soul of man – it has spiritual gravity, without doing nothing, without struggle, it falls into Hades. Today we are rotting on account of the Fall and unless energy is pumped in, all leads to chaos – third law of thermodynamics states the same principle. So in order to prevent the destruction of the whole universe things may had had to “start” to rotate so it did not completely destroy itself before time – the centrifugal force of rotation counters that of gravity and prevents everything from collapsing, for now. In other words, with the fall of Man and of the whole Universe, the laws of the fallen world as we see today had been put into effect, and they may not be the same laws that were originally established. It is said that a new Heaven and a New Earth shall be created after their complete destruction. When looked at the Cosmos from this perspective, the fact the Earth may rotate or may not rotate today starts to look less and less in contradiction with what the Bible states.

All that we can observe today are the laws of the fallen universe. Some of them we came to understand, some we didn’t and never will. While some of the glare of the former universe still remains for us to wonder at, it will never give us the full splendor of the one to come … neither will we ever discover its laws. It appears that whatever scientific knowledge we have, is really only a model of the reality and not the reality itself. Blessed Fr Seraphim Rose talked much about the essence of created things. This is what we don’t see in our fallen state. For example, pick up a rock and look at it. What do you see? Do you see the the essence that it carries in God’s Creation, do you see why it exists? No. But a really holy person might see some of that, but not all. Science today only deals with the how’s, where’s and what’s. But it can never handle the “why’s” of existence. At our repose, our guardian angel takes us on a “tour” of creation in order to glimpse the infinity of this process and to get a better understanding of the essence of things. This, according to the Holy Fathers, happens in the first few days after death and before one comes before the Lord for the “temporal” judgement. Hence, even an unbeliever then, can not escape the fact and must confess that: “God is the Lord and have appeared unto us, blessed is he who cometh in the name of the Lord”.

Having looked at the creation from the Orthodox perspective and not from the perspective of this World’s wisdom, it may therefore not be completely senseless to think that God created the universe initially in stillness, for God is stillness. St John of the Ladder spoke of the last step of ascension towards God as something beyond prayer, contemplative stillness. As the man fell, entropy started to enter the creation, and this entropy means movement, agitation, hence planets and stars started to spin, move, shake, gravity formed etc. We can see it in our lives today, how much farther agitation has entered the world compared even to earlier centuries. Stress (a form of entropy) is engulfing everything. And what does stress lead to? Sickness – the result of the state of entropy which is destruction. The modern society is heading for complete sickness and destruction on account of increasing entropy and continual fall. War is one of the lowest forms of entropy and means complete destruction. It is easy to see that the world today is heading towards total entropy and chaos, yet some call this evolution …

Likewise, spiritually the man also fell from the state of continual contemplation of God to that of entropy where contemplation has been replaced by agitation – think of the multitude of thoughts we are subjected to every day, every moment. The modern man is plagued by disquitness and continual bombardment of thoughts. The more he falls away, the more disquiet and entropic (unsettled) his mind and soul are, and the only way back is through seeking stillness in prayer: thoughts are to be suppressed as a must of having any sort of meaningful prayer. Thus does not finding God also mean returning to the original state of stillness? Stillness of the creation is revealed from the very first passages of the Genesis 1:2 – “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters”. The Spirit of God is shown hovering, meaning remaining in a still position above the waters.

When Christ appeared to His Disciples after the resurrection He found them in a state of excessive entropy (hiding in fear of the jews) and He said onto them: “peace be onto you”! Fear is also spiritual entropy that leads to destruction, so what Christ did was giving them a little of the stillness their souls needed in order to stop fearing, replacing in them the state of fear (entropy) with that of contemplation saying: here I am, stop being afraid! The “peace” our Lord was talking about is that stillness and quietness of soul which man lost in the fall.

There is one difference in the entropy of body and that of soul, between the entropy of material world and the spiritual. While the material world, and therefore the body, can not recover from the fall which is leading to their total destruction (death of the body and the destruction of the universe followed by the creation of a new Heaven and a new Earth), the spirit can recover through repentance. Therefore stress and sickness can not be avoided in this fallen world, but can be used for saving the soul – by bearing them and accepting them with joy as an acknowledgement of the state of our sinfulness.

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