Sunday, 21 October 2007

Gravity and God

Can theology answer the law of gravity? Yes! :)

I was thinking about this one the other day during a lecture at university. When God created the first human being he called him Adam. The Arabic word is adim-al-ard -- literally means 'something from earth'. God creates human beings who must dwell on earth and remain associated with earth. And so the laws of gravity strengthen this association as we are unable to move away from earth! A believer’s submission to God is both earthly and divine. This is why every Muslim has an obligation to God and then to their fellow human being. I believe the human being in this instance is a metaphor for 'earth'. The earth demands a right from us. Of course we do move away from the earth when we die but interestingly we leave behind our earthly body which was only of use and significance on earth, after death the soul and life that God has given us moves away to a different world, for the believer a world which is not controlled by the law of gravity.

The 19th Century poet Mirza Asadullah Ghalib from India says,

"The pleasures of the world are nothing but dust before my eyes,
Except for blood in the liver, there is nothing left in the liver."

1 comment:

  1. The Holy Father Pope Benedict says something similar (well, some might say he actually puts it better than you, Aman):


    Redemptoris Mater Chapel
    Saturday, 3 March 2007

    Your Eminence,

    On behalf of all of us gathered here, I would like to say "thank you" to you for the marvellous inspirational presentation you have given us this week.

    At Holy Mass, before the Eucharistic Prayer, we respond every day to the invitation, "Lift up your hearts" with the words, "We lift them up to the Lord". And I fear that this response is often more ritual than existential.

    But during this week you have truly taught us to rise, to elevate our hearts, to soar upwards towards the invisible, towards the true reality. And you have also given us the key to respond every day to the challenges of this reality.

    During your first conference I became aware that in the in-lay of my prie-dieu the Risen Christ is shown surrounded by flying angels. These angels, I thought, can fly because they are not regulated by the gravity of the earth's material things but by the gravity of the Risen One's love; and that we would be able to fly if we were to step outside material gravity and enter the new gravity of the love of the Risen One.

    You have really helped us to come out of this gravitational force of everyday things, to enter into this other gravity of the Risen One and thus, to rise to on high. We thank you for this.

    I would also like to say "thank you" because you have given us a very acute and precise diagnosis of our situation today, and you have especially shown us how, behind so many phenomena of our time that appear to be very far from religion and from Christ, there is a question, an expectation, a desire; and that the one true response to this ever-present desire precisely in our time is Christ.

    Thus, you have helped us to follow Christ more courageously and to have greater love for the Church, the "Immaculata ex maculatis", as you taught us together with St Ambrose.

    Lastly, I would like to say "thank you" for your realism, your humour and your concreteness; even for the somewhat audacious theology of your maid: I should not dare to submit these words, "The Lord may have his faults", to the judgment of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith! But in any case, we have been able to learn and your thoughts, dear Cardinal, will accompany us for more than the weeks to come.

    Our prayers are with you. Thank you.