Saturday, February 03, 2007

D and E


They are things I live in. I move into them in the morning, and often I've trashed the place by the time I leave that evening. Sometimes, though, I keep the place nice. I explore all the rooms, and realize the place is much bigger than I thought it was. I mean, you can do anything in this place! Other days, I spend mostly in the basement. I crawl up the stairs, crack the door open, maybe even go to the kitchen to grab a bite, but quickly descend the stairs back down into my cold, dark, self. But most days, the Living Room is full of friends, and those are good days.


Are you ready for some crazy? Okay. Let's go.

I'm developing my own view of eternity, somewhat apart from, though not disconnected from, the theological ideas. My theory has to do with the speed of light. According to the theory of Relativity, one's experience of time slows down the faster they travel. It's been proven by an experiment with atomic watches. One was kept on the ground, and one was taken on a plane. When the traveling one was reunited with its grounded counterpart, the traveling watch was a tiny fraction of a fraction of a second behind. So the theory goes that someone traveling at the speed of light or faster would have practically no experience of time. Remember the 80's Disney movie 'Flight of the Navigator'? The kid goes away on a space ship for what he believes was a short time, but when he returns he's been missing for several years. No experience of time.

For part two of my theory, we turn to Star Trek. In Star Trek, the Enterprise travels at 'warp speed.' This is a speed that is faster than light, which allows them to travel great distances in little time. Warp One is the speed of light, warp two, twice the speed of light, etc. Now, there can be no warp ten, but only 9.999 and so on. This is because, as the actual science part of Star Trek goes, there would come a speed so great that you're actually just there. There is no passage of time whatsoever between traveling from point A to point B. That means you're both places at once. If a being could reach this speed, they would actually cease traveling and simply be in all places in the universe at the same time, and the universe is infinite.

This brings me to God.

God is limitless. In a sense, he is traveling at Warp 10 at all times. He is everywhere in the universe at all times, or more accurately, everywhere in the universe is, at all times, inside him. If one's experience of time decreases exponentially as one closes in on "Warp 10", then to be experiencing "Warp 10" is to experience no time at all. Often theologians will say that God is outside of time. More accurately, if God is "traveling at Warp 10", then he is not outside of time at all. In fact, all time is inside God. Physically speaking, he is present at the farthest star and in the smallest quark at the same time. Temporally speaking, God is fully present in the smallest measurable fraction of a mili-second. He has no experience of traversing time, as a rope stretched from point A to point B is fully present in both places.

And this brings me to the Eucharist.

When the Most Holy Mass is celebrated, time and space, in our experience, are split and inverted upon a moment that happened 2000 years ago. Christ's sacrifice at the cross and his resurrection are re-presented to us through the bread and wine. Because all time and space are inside him, he's free to do whatever he wants with it. In a sense, he enters time and space, and, in a sense, we leave time and space. We're present with him at his passion, death and resurrection. He invades the bread and wine with his presence, so that it's not just bread and it's not just wine, it's him. We partake of it, he becomes a part of us, and we become part of him.

When we die, we step out of time in an even fuller sense, and enter into his "Warp 10" experience of time and space, and enjoy his beauty and love forever, which is really... in no time at all.