Limitations dissolve once they are confronted in faith. Love relegates them to a lower level of reality so that we can continue to live expansively, despite them. Patience redefines our experience of time so that we can feel the future evolving in the present.
Because of very recent discoveries our view of the universe is now being transformed by having found what scientists have been looking for since Einstein glimpsed his little bit of reality, with the profound simplicity that is too much for most of us to understand, a century ago. We have found gravity waves. Now that we see what we have been looking for we are eager to trace them back to the final frontier, the origin of time and space, the big bang itself.
As with spiritual knowledge, the discoveries of science always lead on to new questions and frontiers. St Gregory of Nyssa and the Pauline writer called it ‘epiktasis’, forever pushing forward the frontiers of knowledge. Forgetting those things that are behind and reaching forth to those things which are ahead, I press towards the mark (Phil 3:13).
This sounds like hope springing eternal; and it is. But it is not wishing. It is authenticating experience. The best proof is experience, said Francis Bacon, one of the founders of modern science. The mark that we press ever onwards to, recedes in front, eluding the attempt of our left brain to grasp it and turn it into a concept, a picture of reality, a piece of stored information. But the right brain knows it in its perennial freshness, ever ancient and ever new and is content to know it without labelling it.
We begin to meditate with a profoundly simple glimpse of reality that assures us of the existence of an interior expanding universe: the kingdom within, the cave of the heart, the tiny space that contains all things that exist. In the infinitely small we rise to the infinitely great. In the deepest interiority the boundary between inner and outer is transcended.
If proof is found, it is not through calculation and measurement but through a different kind of experiential knowledge. Our own minds alone cannot know this kind of knowledge. But the wilderness, the conceptual desert of silence formats us for this knowledge. We know what the Mind of Christ knows because it is his will that he share all that he has learned of the Father.
Lent is not less than learning better to live in the ever expansive and inclusive Mind of Christ.