Saturday, 30 July 2011

The scroll

An aspect of the icon which is not ‘old’ but ‘new’ is the scroll at the top of the icon and gives a real sense of a cosmic or universal Christ. Ian notes that:

... the sun and moon, set against a map of gravitational energy, emanating from the planets and stars, [is] being rolled up to make way for the new heavens and the new earth. … The heavens here are as a scroll being rolled up, and the pattern behind is drawn from one of the latest imaging of gravitational energy. Modern science has enabled us to perceive far more of the wonders of the universe than ever before in the history of the world, and maybe even of the cosmos as a whole. There are invisible forces at work, all within the marvelous order of creation, and all of which has its ultimate fulfillment in Christ.

The scroll is an excellent example of how the blog has contributed to the writing of the icon. In this case I put a few ideas together and Ian (brilliantly) captured them in iconographic terms. The idea (Read here.) of ‘gravity’ waves was, of course, originally put forward by Einstein in his theory of relativity in 1916: Einstein’s theory suggested that gravity would – in curving space-time – exist as waves rippling from bodies in space-time- like a rock thrown in a pond. Recent research has made some fascinating breakthroughs in simulating such theoretical waves.

In simple terms (!! ) love for Teilhard is a fundamental energy in the universe. It flows out from God , and like Dante, Teilhard sees it as the energy that ‘moves the sun and other stars’. It is this (gravitational) energy which human beings have to harness, like all the other energies in the cosmos. So the scroll nicely illustrates the cosmos, but also provides a focus for reflecting on the challenge of harnessing, for God, the energy of love that permeates all things in Christ.

A few quotes:

'Love is the most universal, the most tremendous and most mysterious of cosmic forces.....Love is the primal psychic energy...Love is a sacred reserve of energy...the blood of spiritual evolution' Teilhard, ' The Spirit of The Earth', in Human Energy.
'Love is nothing more or less than the direct or indirect trace marked in the heart of the element by the psychic convergence of the universe upon itself', Teilhard, The Human Phenomenon.

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