What you need to know:
- My own way of perceiving ‘space and time’ (s-t) is ‘distance-ness and duration’ (d-d). Before ‘space and time’ came into existence, there was no dimension or concept of ‘distance and duration’.
My esteemed reader, let us commence this current flight of our intellects, into the physical and the eternal, by recalling those unforgettable words from our childhood reading that everyone knows by heart – or does someone not remember ever reading them?
Before the beginning, the Word was already there, and the Word was with the Eternal One, and the Word was the Eternal One. The Word and the Eternal One were two-in-one prior to the beginning.
Through the Word all things were made; without the Word nothing would have been made that was made. From the Word proceeded life; and that life became the light of human beings. This light shines on and on in the darkness; and the darkness can neither comprehend nor put it out.’
As you realise, the above is my own free rendering of the first five verses of the story book that we both have copies of.
In this rendering, you note that I have replaced ‘In the beginning’ of the original with ‘Before the beginning’; and I have also paraphrased as ‘the Eternal One’ the well-known three-letter original, God. (Asked for His precise name once upon a time by an overwhelmed mortal, the Eternal One simply said, ‘Tell them I AM has sent me’!)
And so, let us take off! In that context of ‘before the beginning’, where ‘space and time’ did not yet exist, the Eternal One, in His manifestation as the Word, at one specific point pronounced – ‘Let the universe spring into existence!’ And at once - a big bang occurred within the womb of eternity! And it all amazingly started from an infinitesimal, microscopic nucleus – and from it, the entire universe sprang forth, and continues to expand up to now!
Our scientists reckon that the big bang occurred some 13.7 billion years ago. And with it, ‘space-time’ came into existence!
My own way of perceiving ‘space and time’ (s-t) is ‘distance-ness and duration’ (d-d). Before ‘space and time’ came into existence, there was no dimension or concept of ‘distance and duration’.
It was, therefore, within the parameters of the new existential phenomenon of ‘distance-ness and duration’ that, following the big bang, the stars sprang forth and sped outwards within ever-expanding ‘distance-ness’.
The universe that ‘the Word’ spoke into existence comprised of numberless stars, fixed in immense space that has no boundaries and no end.
Scientists tell us further that there is an observable universe; and there is an un-observable universe, which is un-measurable and un-comprehensible.
The observable universe consists of hundreds of billions of galaxies. And each galaxy consists of stars (or suns) that range from dwarfs with just a few thousand stars to giants with one hundred trillion stars, each orbiting their galaxy’s own centre of mass.
Next, some 4.6 billion years ago, ‘the Word’ commanded the Solar System to occur within the womb of the universe.
And this came to pass, our astrophysicists attest, as a result of the gravitational collapse of a giant molecular cloud, which gave rise to the Sun together with its orbiting group of planets as well as the smaller objects such as dwarf planets; and small Solar System bodies, such as comets and asteroids.
Most incredibly, the Word also caused to materialise, within the cosmos, monstrosities to be known as ‘black holes’ in ages to come.
Billions of times as massive as the solar sun – a black hole is an extensive void or abyss which has a gravitational field so intense that it will suck in any cosmic entity that strays into its vicinity!
And the Eternal One saw that everything that He had done was excellent. And all the duration, from the emergence of the stars through billions of years of the mellowing of the Solar System planets to a decimal point of their original temperatures (to accommodate biological life) – He called it just ‘One Day’!
Prof Timothy Wangusa is a poet and novelist. [email protected]