Let me begin with two fundamental tenets of my belief system: First, I utterly and without question believe the Universe we inhabit was made by a singular, living, creative, brilliant, loving God Whom I happen to call “Father” but you may prefer to call “Mother” or any other of the many possible appellations for our Source and Center, a Creator who got it in His mind a very long time ago, as we measure such things, to set up all this vastness for His own purposes, perhaps many purposes, but at least one of them was to eventuate – after massive expenditures of energy and time – His material daughters and sons: you and me. I cannot say that He did this “the better to know and love us” since I have no idea what His initial motivation may have been, but I do know that once we had been made “in His image” He most assuredly came to love and care for each and every one of us as deeply as any parent ever has. I know this because I have lived it, witnessed it, observed it in my own personal experience for a lifetime, but I also know that it is, alas, impossible to prove.
And, my second belief follows from the first: we earthlings are surely not alone. How can anyone even begin to believe that the earth is the only place with intelligent life in all the grand universe? I have always felt in my bones that there must be millions of inhabited planets strewn across the substance of space, each one boasting millions of diverse material creatures who, like us, are doing their best to get the most they can out of the lives they lead. I’m not sure how I first subscribed to this notion, but perhaps I simply came to believe the velvet of the midnight sky teems with life because it is the inescapably logical extension of a larger idea: that our nurturing God, while loving and generous, is never, ever wasteful (after all, He recycles everything) and would not have expended such a wealth of matter and energy for countless eons across billions of light-years just to give us fumbling humans – His loveable but meager earthlings so very recently arrived and rarely deserving – a starry, starry night.
Of course I am aware that your own conclusions – the grains of truth in your own collecting thimble – may be the polar opposite of mine, but I persist because these are, to me, joyful possibilities that hunger to be shared, if a truth can yearn for the light, and I relish the doing.
Now, the thing is (and for the sake of discussion, regardless of your own beliefs) if God is God, then the physical logic – the science – of the material universe He created must, perforce, flow from Him just as surely as the joy to be found in a moving hymn or the inspiration from a stunning sunset. In other words, the operating, actual rules of physics must also, by definition, be the actual rules of God, Himself. And if this is true, then those like me who profess belief in Him do our fellow seekers – and truth – a profound disservice when we dismiss proven science because it upends some long-held religious dogma or doctrine, however venerated that teaching may be. Likewise, I would ask the scientist – empiricists of all stripes, really – to be equally open-minded enough to at least allow for the possibility of a living spiritual dimension even if it has not (so far at least) been proved. There were always germs, not to put too fine a point on it, but we only discovered them in the last century. “Though science courses from the Source//Who spawned, as well, the spirit//The Source cannot be proven//So, they socialize over coffee//And miss the point.”
Rudi Giuliani famously remarked not so long ago, “Truth isn’t truth,” and in the topsy-turvy world we currently inhabit a huge swath of folks apparently accept this view (perhaps because it provides anyone an excuse for intellectual laziness), but of course he is wrong. Truth, by definition and whether he likes it or not, is singular. There can ever and only be ONE Truth. That which IS, is. Hydrogen is lighter than helium because it IS, and always will be and no matter how brilliantly you may argue otherwise, this truth will not change. This is science, the realm of matter, but it is not all that matters to me. And when you have been inspired as I was by my transformative preschool visits with Christ (see previous essay “Uncle Jesus”) to spend your entire life looking for new ways to introduce Him to others that they, too, might come to love Him as you do, you take as many paths as you are able, and when you are looking for Truth without fear or favor wherever you can find it, sometimes you stumble upon things you had no idea you were even looking for; sometimes the pieces of a material puzzle you didn’t even know you were solving can simply fall into place like a gentle embrace as the new realization enfolds you. When Truth is singular, sometimes in your personal seeking you might turn over a spiritual rock only to find a physical reality underneath, and that is exactly what happened to me.
This essay surely represents my most audacious reach into the limits of possibility, but I persist, because I think these ideas are thrilling and fundamental. They lay out a constant, loving connection – a tangible connection – ever streaming from our Father at the center of all things to each one of us. But, as it directly contravenes accepted cosmological belief, it requires a slight adjustment from the current conjectural understanding of the Universe and how it works. A redefining of something called the Higgs Field from a static blanket of a thing that goes nowhere, into a Higgs Flow, a constant, sustaining, foundational dispensation of light, life and love from our Creator. But, before I lose you completely, please allow me to explain.
A loving Father God would never create a static universe any more than a loving parent would procreate a child never to be fed. If God is the God I love Who is ever within and beside me, He didn’t just fling the stars out into the sky and leave them to fend for themselves! Rather, He made a living, breathing, dynamic universe where His children might be eventuated, a place perfectly designed for them to thrive and grow and, in the fullness of time, come to love Him in return for His generosity and astonishing skills; a creation made to reflect His very nature – His Beauty, Goodness and Truth – into which He might ever and always pours His love-in-action – tangible support in substance and energy to sustain His vast family. And, the more I have thought about it, the more clarity I have gained.
The idea of a ‘static’ universe that never increases in mass (though it may “expand” by spreading apart what is already there, as it is said to be doing) has never made any sense to me. I recently learned that Einstein, himself, believed well into his middle age that the Milky Way was the entirety of creation! For almost all of human history ours was assumed to be the one and only galaxy – the extent of the reach of God, if you will – until telescopes were finally improved enough to reveal additional great bands of stars swirling in the farther reaches of space. So it is perhaps simply out of habit that science still considers the observable matter in the universe to be all there ever was or ever will be. But why? Where did this ‘truth’ come from? Perhaps because a universe that is fed – that grows in mass as well as size – has to have a feeder. The additional substance has to come from a source. A Source. And, if there’s a Source, then God, by definition, is undeniable, though the nature of such a Source is still up for grabs. It could be a personified He or She, as I believe, or some utterly impersonal font of energy that was eventuated from nothing (like the big bang), but this is where faith comes in, and my faith says the Source is the same Loving Father to whom I pray and in whom I have my being. “In the beginning was the Word,” said the Apostle John, “and the Word was God.”
You might say that I have come to these realizations by the back door, since one would expect scientific insight to come from scientific study rather than spiritual seeking, but if God’s truth and science’s truth are one and the same, then it shouldn’t matter which door one might use to get inside. And, wonder of wonders, once you accept the possibility of a “flow of God” emanating from the center and moving outward across all space to the outer edges of creation, the solutions to the two most daunting of astrophysical mysteries – 1) where is all the missing mass? and 2) why is the universe expanding when it should be contracting? – seem to fall into place with a simplicity and elegance that I find downright dumbfounding.
Pause with me, for a moment, and ask yourself about all those stories we have read for decades about ever-more-distant galaxies we are finding billions of light years away thanks to increasingly powerful telescopes. Have you never wondered if it was not possible that the actual reality of those fifteen-billion-year-old sights we see through such a distance darkly as they were all those ages ago could not have completely changed into something quite different by now? We are told these observations as if they have never changed a whit in aeons of aeons, yet, as we have surely learned from life on earth, NOTHING made of matter stays the same. Even mountains of granite are eventually turned to sand. It is the nature of nature to erode, to change, to morph, yet we are expected to believe that these distant galaxies have not changed in fifteen billion years?
But, of course, if nothing is ever added to the Universe – if all that IS or ever shall be, every speck of dust in the entirety of all creation, was released by that teensy-tiny corpuscle of density that became the universe in one split second, one big bang – then there is perhaps some sense in assuming that not much has changed over billions of years. In such a scheme, things would inevitably settle into some sort of equilibrium of mutual gravity and stay that way, even if they drifted apart over time. But consider, please, that if a central source has been adding energies to the Universe for all time, as I propose (and bearing in mind that our measly few decades window of observation is not even enough to get a whiff of what universal processes, movements, additions or subtractions might really be happening over billions and billions of years) then guess what? Not only would the amount of change in the distant starry regions be completely beyond our ability to know, blinded as we are by time and distance, but the ongoing addition of that unseen mass, day in and day out, would surely have, by now, increased the overall substance of Creation enough to account for the missing matter that has so stumped observers for a generation – we just can’t see it yet.
Telescopes are nothing less than time machines and the farther they look, the more ancient is the truth they reveal, but God’s love is “an ever-present help in time of need” and I believe He never stops delivering His gifts of light, life and love to His creation, and consequently that our universe never stops growing, eventuating, evolving according to His vision. Even so, my adventures in astrophysical conjecture might never have begun had they not been inspired by the worldwide scientific search for “The God Particle,” or, more properly denominated, the Higgs Boson, the recent discovery/confirmation of which required the construction of the largest machine in the world, the Large Hadron Collider [LHC], placed within an underground tunnel 17 miles in circumference beneath the French/Swiss Border that took 10 years to build “in collaboration with over 10,000 scientists and hundreds of universities and laboratories, as well as more than 100 countries.” [Wikipedia]
That’s a passel of resources – billions and billons of dollars and more than a few entire scientific lifetimes– just to observe particles that only last for a nanosecond before dissipating into nothingness, for Higgs Bosons are literal flash-in-the-pan impossibly small particles that, in and of themselves, are not all that important, but the fact that these flashes happen, as was recently proven in the LHC, does matter – even matters enough to actually go to such extraordinary lengths to find them – because they confirm the existence of something infinitely greater: the “Higgs Field,” which as currently understood is the absolute condition precedent for any matter, at all, to occur.
Now, I promise not to get too far into the weeds, here, but the Higgs Field is described as a sort of vast circular skirt covering the whole of the known universe. The Simple English Wikipedia definition says:
“The Higgs field is a field of energy that is thought to exist in every region of the universe. The field is accompanied by a fundamental particle known as the Higgs boson, which is used by the field to continuously interact with other particles, such as the electron. Particles that interact with the field are “given” mass and, in a similar fashion to an object passing through molasses, will become slower as they pass through it. The result of a particle “gaining” mass from the field is the prevention of its ability to travel at the speed of light.
“Mass itself is not generated by the Higgs field; the act of creating matter or energy from nothing would violate the “laws of conservation.” Mass is, however, gained by particles via their Higgs field interactions with the Higgs Boson. Higgs bosons contain the relative mass in the form of energy and once the field has endowed a formerly massless particle, the particle in question will slow down as it has now become “heavy”.
“If the Higgs field did not exist, particles would not have the mass required to attract one another, and would float around freely at light speed. Also, gravity would not exist because mass would not be there to attract other mass.
“Giving mass to an object is referred to as the Higgs effect. This effect will transfer mass or energy to any particle that passes through it. Light that passes through it gains energy, not mass, because its wave form doesn’t have mass, while its particle form constantly travels at light speed.”
In other words, if there were no Higgs Field, then there wouldn’t be anything at all. Neither you, nor me, nor the stars in the sky.
Now, also, in that definition above, it mentions the “Laws of Conservation” which say, simplistically speaking, that neither energy nor matter can be added to the universe, but only moved around or changed; that you cannot create something out of nothing, and only the original Big Bang output of quarks and such is available to interact with the, now proven, Higgs Field to create matter. Further, that the amount of energy in an isolated system (i.e., our universe) can morph from one form to another (electrical energy to heat energy, for example) but can never increase beyond the energy released in that Big Bang moment. And, it is with the Laws of Conservation that I have my argument, for I believe our Creator cares for and nurtures His family,
I simply don’t believe the Universe is static. I believe it lives and grows.
Now, having said all that, allow me to shift the light from science to spirit for a moment and consider something that might, at first, seem entirely unrelated: the oft repeated idea of “living water,” or the “water of life,” which is surely one of the most cryptic and mysterious concepts in the Bible. According to the site Openbible.info, there are twenty-nine scripture verses about “living water” and exactly one-hundred about the “water of life.”¹ Isaiah², Jeremiah³, and Zechariah⁴ all mention “living waters” in some form or another, the book of Revelation is overflowing with citations⁵, and perhaps the most famous Biblical reference of all is found in the story of Jesus and the “woman at the well,” when He, having no dipper of His own, asks her for a drink and then uses the opportunity to invite her to partake of the living water of God “and never be thirsty again.”⁶ But, all that said and for all the mentions in our sacred writings, none of these writers actually define it. What, exactly, are all these people talking about?
I suppose almost all of us with any introduction to Scripture have asked ourselves this question at one time or another, but probably not for very long since, this side of unwieldy theological dissertations, there is very little to go on. And, to be honest, I never really gave the idea much thought, myself, until I backed into it when – just like my Uncle Jesus epiphany – it grew out of my ever-evolving daily prayers.
If you happened to read my “Uncle Jesus” post, you are already familiar with the part of my prayer that seeks to embrace all of our neighbors as family, as cousins – from the neighborhood to the city to the world – having proved to my own satisfaction that it is a near mathematical certainty that nearly everyone on earth is far more related than we think, and more than that, that Jesus, himself, is equally likely to be our mutual great-uncle (going back about 62 generations).⁷ But, this part of my prayer only comes near the end, after I have spent considerable time doing my best to align my personal, conscious will with our Father. In concert with my angels and to the best of my ability, I have settled over time on a sequence of thoughts and phrases that help me to attune my wavelengths to His; to open my perceptions and align my motivations – right down to the least whim – with the will of God, until the love between us flows unimpeded in a joyful circle. Even Jesus began with “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done….”
First I thank our Heavenly Father – whom I perceive to be both at the center of all things , as well as within my heart – for the day ahead and all the opportunities and challenges it contains. Then, I ask Him to please accompany my angels and me as we go from “moment to moment and place to place, task to task and person to person,” that whatever we may choose to be, do, or say is in accordance with His desire; that every joule of energy we may expend is spent as He would have it. Then – and this is where, for me, at least, the science and spirit begin to merge – I ask for His help in aligning myself as perfectly as possible with the steady flow of His living water, that I might drink deeply from those energizing gifts of the spirit He sends so very far, even to our little orb of jewel-encrusted iron spinning so silently through space – isolated, idiosyncratic, but never alone.
Now, theoretical physicists tell us that without the Higgs Field there would be no material reality at all, and that would be that; that the Higgs Field blanket of “molasses” is the foundational warp through which the weft of coordinate forces are woven into the fabric of time and space. In other words, without it, every star, every planet, everything down to the last atom of hydrogen would simply cease to be. But, if I’m right, their theory, while correct as far as it goes, has stopped two stations short of the destination. They have discovered the train and the track it rides, but have yet to realize it actually moves. And, even more importantly, they have completely overlooked the cargo it carries, the additional mass and those energies freighted to the outer reaches of His universe by our generous Creator.
Just to make it perfectly clear, what I’m proposing is that both the “matterizing” Higgs Field and that mysterious Biblical “living water” are actually the same phenomenon, merely seen through the lenses of different disciplines and different times, requiring different words to have meaning. After all, even if you were a Son of God who completely understood the science behind these concepts while living as an itinerant prophet in First Century Palestine, how would you even being to explain it to your flock without any common vocabulary of physics? Given His situation, the “living water” description is about as accurate as Jesus could be. How else could He have described it, if His goal was to assure His followers that the love of the Father is always engaged, and the more we are able to align with it – the more we can drink in of His largesse – the more we will be able to utilize the gifts He so generously and constantly delivers, right up to and including eternal life?
But what, really, does this living water do? How are we affected as it flows through and around us? As I have prayed my prayers over the years, consciously striving to align myself with the Father, His mind, and His flow the better to absorb it, I have also gained an ever-growing appreciation of, at least, how I see these treasures. Consequently, while it is possible that there are more of them that I have yet to unwrap, I am settled in my personal belief that our Father has graced us with at least seven identifiable gifts, invaluable life forces to help us along. Christ asks the impossible: “Be ye perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”⁸ But then He makes it at least nearly possible through these endowments that may, when fully embraced, expand our awareness one-hundredfold – even a hundred times a hundredfold – thereby transforming and multiplying our otherwise merely animalistic potential into something much, much greater for our long journey ahead.
Our Doting Granddaddy God
If Jesus is truly our flesh-and-blood Uncle and, according to both of them, God is His Father (if you include that voice heard overhead when Jesus was baptized),⁹ then the Source in the Center must also, by definition, be our Heavenly Grandfather, and, like all grandparents everywhere, Granddaddy God is overly generous, especially considering what an unappreciative, even unnoticing, crop of offspring we truly are. Nevertheless, our Father is Mercy, Itself – He Who forgives and forgets, apparently – and we are the clear recipients of His never-ending magnanimity; His constant flow laden with gifts for His beloved grandchildren everywhere.
As I have come to clarify my understanding of each of these gifts over time, they have fallen, really, into two groups of three, plus a bonus that arises naturally from the first six. The first three are gifts of energy, and are absolutely necessary for the lives we lead: The energies of Love, Light, Life. The next three are gifts of discernment and must be gifts from the Heart of God since we could live perfectly successfully without them – biologically speaking – but not nearly as well: Our astonishing and otherwise inexplicable discernments of Beauty, Goodness and Truth. Because, I presume, He wished His children to share the wonder of His vast, utterly magnificent universe – the stunning results of His astonishing artistry – He has given us the means to do so. And, the seventh? That would be the gift of Hope, a loving grace note adroitly placed to complete our Father’s grand embrace of every single person.
And, all of these gifts have one extraordinary quality in common: each is universally accepted as something real by everyone – even the most cynical of philosophers – but none has any provable origin. These seven gifts of God exist simply because He said so, and I believe He said so that we might have life and have it more abundantly. Let us take them one by one:
The first, of course, is the energy we call Love. Now, you may not think of love as a form of energy, but, if so, you have forgotten your youth. Surely one is never more fulsome than when first flung into the throes of love. And as for the Love of God, well, that must surely predate all except God, Himself – even before the “Alpha” – since it is the only conceivable reason for building the Universe in the first place. Creation is nothing less than God’s own Love in action, and the miracle of His Love is the ability it gives Him to hold each and every one of us in His heart, one-by-one and One-on-one. “Were there not Love//Would be no fear//For there would be nothing to lose,//Would be no hope//For there would be nothing to gain,//Would be no life//For there would be no reason.”
The second gift of energy riding the divine waves is Light, itself, and when I use the word “Light,” I mean it in all of its usual connotations: physical, mental, emotional and, most mysteriously of all, spiritual light. This includes, of course, all the “energies” of space that would require the Higgs Field/living water to exist in any case (the strong and weak atomic forces; gravity; and the great spectrum of electro-magnetic manifestations that include our visible light but also many other forms like x-rays, heat, etc.), but my definition of Light also includes the Light of Divine peace “that passes understanding,” the alluring, consoling, protecting, adjusting, rewarding Light of the Holy Spirit with hosts of angels at Her command.
And, to my mind, the third of the energy gifts delivered on the wings of His Flow is that riddle called Life. Of course, if there were no bosons, and thus, no matter, then neither would there be any living thing. But even if all the atoms and molecules required for life could somehow be assembled, I submit – in spite of recent claims to the contrary by overly optimistic biologists – that without the touch of God, the assemblage would simply sit, inert. The Love of God requires us, the Light of God illumines us, and the breath of God gives us Life.
But, even as beautifully, lovingly created as we are, without the next three gifts – those of discernment – almost all of creation’s blessings would tragically pass us by, utterly unnoticed. Truly the keys to life well lived, the discernment of Beauty, Goodness and Truth are capacities that I presume to have come from God since I can conceive of no other possible source. Consider: it contributes nothing to our evolutionary success to be awed by the Beauty of a dragonfly or transported by the colors of a sunrise, and yet we are. Goodness? Find me any other species in all the great array of nature’s diversity that has ever even approached the ideas of “right” and “wrong” – the “knowledge of good and evil” – and yet we are consumed by such judgments from birth until our very last breath. And, Truth? Well, we could discuss the “truth of Truth” forever, but no one can deny the healthy instinct that resides within each of us for telling truth from falsehood: the Spirit of Truth.
No, our appreciation of Beauty, delight in Goodness and awareness of Truth are discernments that must have come from somewhere, but they didn’t arise organically. Nature cannot account for them, only Heavenly nurture. No other beings throughout the entire evolutionary history of earth have even come close to conceiving of such things, much less attaining the levels of perception necessary to inspire the building of great museums to beauty, temples to goodness or tribunals for truth, and yet, by God’s own Grace, we, His grandchildren, have done these things.
And, finally, the seventh gift of the flow of the Father is a special one because it is not carried across the universe on waves of living water like the other six, but springs naturally, unbidden, from the human heart in response to God’s constant flow: the gift of Hope. For – at least it seems to me – even the most destitute, downtrodden or abased of us, once attuned to the Father’s Love, Light, Life, Beauty, Goodness and Truth, cannot fail but find Hope there, as well. Who could remain discouraged when showered in a constant stream with such rich and wondrous treasures? Hope is the bridge that carries us safely over life’s deadly chasms, the light at the end of every tunnel, and our never-failing spiritual salve, always at the ready to embrace us with its assuaging power, to lift us up and carry us forward past the inevitable disappointments of a material life. And, I believe, the living waters of the Father supply the fount of all hope.
And, so, there you have it: my take on the Flow of God, on Living Water, on the extraordinary generosity of our Source and Center Who has ordained these things from the beginning, Who set in motion our great Universe that in the fullness of time it might become populated by many diverse will-creatures made by Him to learn of Him that all might ultimately come to know and love Him. For it is already very clear that He knows and loves us, a reality that we will explore in the third and final essay in this series, “The Love of God: Uncut Diamonds”
Thank you for coming along and please remember me in your prayers!
Originally published March 7, 2014; Fifth revision April 10, 2020
© 2020 by George Thomas Wilson, all rights reserved
² Isaiah 58: “10 if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. 11 And the Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your desire with good things,and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.”
³ Jeremiah 2: “12 Be appalled, O heavens, at this, be shocked, be utterly desolate, says the Lord, 13 for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns, that cn hold no water.”
⁴ Zechariah 13: “1 On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.”
⁵ Revelation 22:1 (epigraph); 21:6: “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.”; 7: 17: “For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
⁶ Gospel of John 4: 1-15: “Now when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), 3 he left Judea and departed again to Galilee. 4 He had to pass through Samaria. 5 So he came to a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and so Jesus, wearied as he was with his journey, sat down beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. 7 There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink.’ 8 For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?’ For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. 10 Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, “Give me a drink,” you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.’ 11 The woman said to him, ‘Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep; where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, and his sons, and his cattle?’ 13 Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’ 15 The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.’”
⁸ Matthew 5:48, King James Version
⁹ Matthew 3:13: “13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’ 15 But Jesus answered him, ‘Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness.’ Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him; 17 and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.’” Revised Standard Version