„GOD“ as a NEW DIMENSION and „FLATLAND“

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[written in October 2013]

A few days ago, I met a wonderful young lady, scientist, who grew up in one of the Eastern European countries where she never came close to learning about  God, faith and religion. Something really new for her is the easiness that everyone here in Western Europe has using these concepts – whether they agree or not.

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Dr. Quantum: Flatland

It reminded me of “Flatland”, a novel written in 1884 by Edwin A. Abbott, an English schoolmaster. It is narrated by a Square living in a two-dimensional world. One night, he is visited by a Sphere, or, rather, from his point of view, a Circle of varying diameter. The Sphere has come to explain to him that there is a dimension he knows nothing about…

 

 

Leah Libresco, a convert from Atheism to Catholicism recommends the book :

“The great thing about Flatland is that it’s all about learning on abstract things in a way that’s still useful. The book is about a square that lives in a 2D world and is visited by a Sphere. The Sphere is trying to explain three dimensions to him (which he can’t really experience directly). So as he learns to think three-dimensionally, the reader learns how to think about four-dimensional topology.” [2]

And here is a question: Has the Sphere the right to intrude and disturb the world of the Squares  and Circles? Squares and Circles lived very well so far, no doubt. And everything new creates fear (watch the movie – [3]). But still: hasn’t the third dimension beauty, meaning and explanatory power to offer?  We – all those convinced it is worthwhile to engage everyone into God’s discovery – should address these questions carefully.

And God is a very special discovery. As St. Augustine says:

“We are talking about God; so why be surprised if you cannot grasp it? I mean, if you can grasp it, it isn’t God.” [4]

And there also goes a legend with St. Augustine:

He was walking along the beach at Hippo, his diocese in North Africa. He was trying to figure out the mystery of the Trinity. And as he moved along, he saw a boy running back and forth from the surf, carrying water in a bucket and pouring it into a small hole in the sand. Augustine was curious. He asked the child what he was doing. The boy responded: “I’m pouring all that water” — meaning the ocean — “into this hole.” Augustine said: “That’s impossible. The ocean is huge, and your hole in the sand is tiny.” The boy responded: “Then how can you expect to put the mystery of the Holy Trinity into that little head of yours?” And then the boy disappeared.

Notes:

[1] Edwin A Abbott, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, 1884

[2] Joe Heschmeyer, Hearts of Flesh: Leah Libresco on Her Conversion from Atheism to Catholicism

[3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWyTxCsIXE4  (the focus is on multiple dimensions in science)

[4] St. Augustine, Sermon 117,5

 

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