The Nature of the Finite-Infinite Relation
PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS An Introduction to A NINE-WEEK STUDY GROUP. For LINKS TO THE ALL Sessions, SEE BELOW.
Convener-Presenter: This could be you.
Purpose of this group. To develop a special graciousness and openness about life and beliefs, this group is for the people who want to get along with believers and non-believers. Can we find a deeper truth that holds up some new insights that will embrace both sides of an equation by focusing on the nature of the relation. We’ll engage the edges of scientific research and its implications for our current theories about the universe and its origins, and about who we are and the meaning and value of life.
Overview: One of the best sources for a study of the relation between the finite and infinite are the sacred texts within our religious traditions. Many of us who grew up in the Christian tradition and like typical college students, we tend to reject the old to begin to self-actualize. Then we begin studying at the limits and boundaries of our knowledge and the challenges can become so daunting, they get left in those undergraduate and graduate classrooms. Personally I went out as far as I could on the edges of physics, working with Bob Cohen, then chairman of Boston University’s physics department, and then with physicists from around the world. I began discovering there are conceptual overlaps between all the departments within the university. The most extreme appeared to be those who were religious and those who demonized all religions.
What can be more different that the texts within The Bible, both Old Testament and the New Testament, and most texts within the scientific community, that is between Genesis 1 and John 1 and Stephen Hawking’s big bang theory. These sessions are designed to examine concepts within the sciences, philosophy, ethics, and mathematics to see how and where these overlap with concepts about eternity, infinity, light, and love. We start with an integrated view of the universe, and that begins to inform our understanding of the infinite and infinity.
Structure: This small group will have just nine gatherings, no longer than 90 minutes each. A goal for these sessions is to chart a way to empower people to create such a small group study.
• The first two sessions. We will re-examine cosmological models of the universe (2 weeks).
• The 3rd and 4th sessions: We will explore various ways of approaching an understanding of the finite-infinite relation.
• The 5th and 6th sessions: We will explore a rather different understanding of light, a light that permeates and defines every notation and all of space and time.
• The 7th and 8th sessions. We will explore the challenges to our understanding of basic concepts like space and time. Both become finite and transaction oriented.
• The final session: Beyond the summaries, we will be searching for answers to the question, “What do we do now?”
Simple and small goals: The first goal is to open the door to a very simple orientation to science and faith that (1) works with science and mathematics and (2) allows for, and possibly informs, religious beliefs. The next goal is to explore the entry points between the finite and infinite. Another goal is to explore the physics, philosophy, and psychology of light. If we have even limited success, we’ll all begin to shrink space and time and open up an intimacy with the universe.