This week’s DYK was written by a prominent professor with long-time sobriety: If the ground of being which preceded the Big Bang which created our universe could run out of energy, it would already have done so at some time in the infinite past. The ground of being is therefore omnipotent, in this sense. Its extraordinary reserves of energy can apparently exist forever.


And in addition, the ground of being is by necessity something even more extraordinary yet. Space and time were not created until the Big Bang occurred, which means that the ground of being lays outside of the box of space and time. Our human minds are so imprisoned within the box of space and time that we can barely even imagine such an alien reality: it confronts us as das ganz Andere, the “Wholly Other,” and sends a shiver down our spines.

This ground of being is the infinite itself, the boundless, what the pre-Socratic Philosopher Anaximander called the apeiron, that primary existent out of which everything else in the universe came into being and was formed. In Ancient Near Eastern religion, it was the Primordial Abyss which existed before the creation of the world, what the ancient Greek creation myth called Chaos, the gaping void which was all that existed at the beginning of all things. It was the all-swallowing gulf which the ancient Babylonians mythologized as the she-monster Ti’amat.

Our ordinary laws of science cannot be applied to the ground of being, because they are all phrased in the form of mathematical equations which make no sense when infinity is introduced into the formulas. What happens to equations from mathematical physics like F=ma when we try to introduce infinity into their terms? We get nothing which makes any sense at all. The concept of infinity does not work that way. Is X plus infinity bigger or more than infinity by itself? The question itself is mathematically meaningless. Multiplying X by infinity is mathematical nonsense. Infinity is not just an extremely big number, but something quite different: a process which proceeds without limit and goes on forever.

God is the ground of being. Let us think about the traditional attributes of God. For thousands of years theologians have said God is eternal, in the sense that this ultimate reality (unlike the physical universe) has no beginning or end. The theologians have said God is omnipresent, which actually means that—since this reality lies outside our box of space and time—it is everywhere and nowhere. The word “where” we remember refers to physical location at a specific point in space. The ground of being is immaterial and incorporeal, because it is not composed of the electrons and protons and neutrons and other types of matter which form our physical universe. It is omnipotent because it is not subject to the law of entropy, and can never run down or decay. It is also ineffable, which means we cannot talk about it in ordinary human words, because even the greatest scientists cannot fit it into their mathematical equations and precise definitions. It is not just a matter of clever scientists coming along and working out new laws of physics which will enable us to analyze the ground of being. Because that which is truly infinite cannot be constrained within the kind of mathematical equations which would have to be drawn up in order to bend it to our manipulations.

The Waynedale News Staff

The Waynedale News Staff

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