Navigating faith in a vast infinite universe

If we turn our gaze to the 13 billion year history of the cosmos and the evolution of life on Earth, we encounter a humbling reality: humanity is a mere speck in the grand tapestry of existence.

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By Gurnam Singh | Opinion |

Imagine embarking on an extraordinary journey, one that delves deep into the three most profound questions of existence – the origins of everything, the intricate workings of the universe and the purpose of human life. Often accompanying discussions of these question is the possibility of a universal, omnipotent force, often referred to as God, responsible for the inception and sustenance of creation. Pondering this concept invites us to explore the very essence of faith, the mysteries of our cosmic connection, and the depths of the human spirit.

Among the intriguing ideas that emerge is the notion of a universal force that set the universe into motion, guiding its course throughout time. As we contemplate this awe-inspiring proposition, a paradox presents itself – how can we reconcile the contrasting narratives of God found within various religious traditions?

In these sacred texts, we encounter vivid imagery, like that of a venerable elder with a flowing beard. However, this depiction appears somewhat incongruous with the abstract and boundless nature of a universal force that transcends temporal and spatial confines.

If we turn our gaze to the 13 billion year history of the cosmos and the evolution of life on Earth, we encounter a humbling reality: humanity is a mere speck in the grand tapestry of existence. We also know that humanity’s fate is sealed; we will cease to exist in the not too distant future! It was no other than the scientist and astronomer Stephen Hawking who commented that “humanity won’t survive another 1,000 years on Earth because of, you know, the usual suspects – climate change, nukes, robots.”

Confronted with this perspective, questions arise about our significance within the cosmos and the role that a cosmic force might play in our lives. It is akin to contemplating why an artist of cosmic proportions would focus attention on a minuscule fragment of their masterpiece.

As we grapple with the multifaceted interpretations of the divine, a pathway of inquiry leads us to the origin of the concept of God within the human psyche. One trail of thought suggests that our remarkable faculties of imagination, creativity, and linguistic expression might have given birth to these stories. Additionally, we explore the profound role of faith in our journey as a species, that has an inbuilt need to contemplate the meaning life in a seemingly chaotic cosmos.

What emerges from this voyage of contemplation is the remarkable universality of faith across cultures and time periods. It is intriguing that a belief in something transcendent persists even when empirical evidence remains elusive. This phenomenon hints at an innate human need to find meaning in the cosmos, to seek connection with a force beyond the visible world.

As we assemble the intricate puzzle pieces of science, logic, myth, and the creative human mind, a wondrous tapestry of insight takes shape. The very notion of a universal force breathing life into creation resonates with the ineffable beauty and complexity of existence. Yet, amidst this elegance, we encounter stories that stretch our comprehension. These stories, while diverging from reason and logic, showcase the remarkable capacity of the human imagination.

A paramount question emerges, namely, how can we reconcile our infinitesimal stature in the grand cosmos with the notion of a cosmic force deeply invested in our lives? At the core of this question, we find a profound truth – our insatiable human inclination to seek out purpose and connection in the vast expanse. Whether we envision a divine being or draw solace from tales of the miraculous, or from mathematical formulas, our journey is a testament to the human spirit’s quest for understanding, significance and transcendence.

Gurnam Singh is an academic activist dedicated to human rights, liberty, equality, social and environmental justice. He is an Associate Professor of Sociology at University of Warwick, UK. He can be contacted at Gurnam.singh.1@warwick.ac.uk

* This is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Asia Samachar.

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