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Om bhur bhuvah svah
tat savitur vareṇyaṃ
bhargo devasya dhīmahi
dhiyo yó naḥ pracodayāt

Marvelous rising sun
I bask in your light
May you inspire me*

Happy Solstice, people! Browsing a little popular physics this morning, thinking of the sun god and why I have to get over my annoyance at god-botherers.

If it is the case that "basic properties of our universe are accidental and uncalculable" and that "we must believe in the existence of many other universes" even though "we have no conceivable way of observing these other universes and cannot prove their existence," and that finally "to explain what we see in the world and in our mental deductions, we must believe in what we cannot prove," then I can't get bent out of shape when humans fall prey to that most essential human instinct — to go ahead and explain anyway.

To wonder what if this or that law of our universe were different, to posit an otherwise and find that otherwise completely inimical to life, is to, well, to wonder. To be in awe of the very fact of our existence to wonder about anything anyway. It's all very slippery and you can see why intelligent design physicists (and Ronald D Moore) might be forgiven for looking for an Other to explain it all.

“To get our universe, with all of its potential for complexities or any kind of potential for any kind of life-form, everything has to be precisely defined on this knife edge of improbability…. [Y]ou have to see the hands of a creator who set the parameters to be just so because the creator was interested in something a little more complicated than random particles.”

I'm still enough of an atheist to say that the necessity of belief doesn't entail the necessity of a particular belief, though. How about we just sit back and praise the state of it. That there is light, water, food, friendship, kindness. Call it Savitr or accident or the Multiverse or grace. But let's just agree on the wonder of it.

That Mallarmé quote! “Yes, I know, we’re nothing but vain forms of matter – but sublime enough to have invented God and our souls! So sublime, my friend, that I want to give myself over to this spectacle of matter, fully aware of it and nevertheless maniacally dashing forward into the Dream matter knows it isn’t, singing the Soul and all the other divine impressions built up in us since the first ages, and proclaiming, before the Nothingness that is the truth, these glorious lies!”

*I like this translation too (from Wiki): "Whoever produced me and the one [who] recites this mantra, let Him save both of us from sinning against each other." Wonderful confusion and profusion of speakers in the structure of that enunciation.


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