21 Juin 2016
In recent weeks (Monday, 25 August 2014 18.30), it comes to my mind many thoughts that revolve around the construction, building, material and architecture. I propose or intent to examine them in order to obtain profit.
In the first chapter of Genesis, it is described in great details the process of creation of the world by God. The text can be read without too much reflection, that there is a fairly clear transition from invisible to visible, from darkness to light, from nothingness to being alive. At every key moment of creation, there is a sentence which in my opinion reveals something worth pursuing, "God saw that it was good." My purpose therefore, is to enter and see God as the Supreme Being that tastes good and judges all his works. What God sees has value in its essence, a flavour; a reality that is not reflected immediately in the first impression. It occurs to me, looking around me, as a strong intuition of something great and precious, something that is able to change my vision of the world and God.
The story of the Creation of the world and all beings is marked by time. There is an increase in change, a change over the time. After the appearance of light, in many forms, different species emerge. A radical transformation takes place and begins a long and slow process (more than 5 billion years) in which we are given the opportunity to participate. We are witnesses and participants in the creation of the universe, a world older than us and beyond us. The scientific understanding we have today allows us to understand that the creation of the world as described in Genesis was not done instantaneously, but over the time. The illustrious Teilhard de Chardin, a Jesuit scientist, was the first to have this intuition.
By looking around, I see the world of the living and inert beings, plants, animals, minerals and men. There are animals and plants that eat to live. I see men and women move up and down, working and building etc. I acknowledge the works and achievements of men and animals. All what I see is filled with pleasant and unpleasant things. But the most part of it, everything is beautiful.
I can also feel and smell the aroma that emerge from plants, greenery and nature. I perceive odors from the works of human beings (cosmetic, cars and others). All of this is spread by the moving air which is known as "Wind". These pleasant smells make me feel good; they soothe me, produce joy in me and tranquility.
I can also taste like any other living being. I eat in order to survive. This is the basic need for survival. However, the foods that I eat have taste, have flavors that I cannot deny. I also feed on fruits, vegetables, roots and animals that contribute to my growth. My body consumes them in form of nutrients so that I can grow. At the end of my life, my body will feed the earth thus strengthening the plants and animals. We feed on each other. It is a perfect cycle which allows the evolution over time of all species. Some disappear and others emerge. As a human being, I have the sense of taste and so I eat and enjoy all that is delicious.
I touch. Yes, I touch my surroundings: solids, liquids and sometimes gas. I am surprised and I marvel at the diverse states of matter. The same object can be liquid, solid or gaseous. I realize that I have the ability to change states of matter in my hands. I change the temperature or pressure, and then I get something else as a result, something different, new and special. Through my hands I can give a form, I can destroy and build. Major cities of this world, the architectures which make the objects of our admiration, reflect this constructive and destructive force that we have in us. I realize the power I have in my arms. Today it seems normal to see a plane flying, a space craft orbit the Earth, call somebody by phone and see the image of someone who is at a distance of thousands of kilometers and this in real time! It seems normal to see athletes swim for more than two hours ten kilometers offshore. With scientific intelligence it is even able to create new viruses, bacteria, new drugs as specific and accurate as possible. We are heading towards an improvement of the scientific art. By our hands, we can accelerate or delay the life in its development. I am surprised and I marvel at what I can touch one way or another. God has shared with us a priceless treasure: Science and Technology.
The ability to listen is another option that allows me to perceive and change my surroundings. There is a wide variety of sounds and noises. Geneticists use to observe that man has lost over time its ability to listen. This compared with most of the animals (dogs, cats, bats ...). With the small percentage of our sound perception, we can appreciate good melodies, birdsong, the language of animals and wind. I can listen and collect, identify and recognize. Listening puts me in touch with the living world. I realize that I perceive a certain sound frequency to all the possibilities that exist. This limitation pushed to invent a frequency amplifier, and then I can expand and extend my listening skills and perception of the world and reality. I master the sound.
The current knowledge of science allows us to say that we have five senses. But I think there is another one that we have not yet demonstrated scientifically in order to develop it. This is intuition. This power is inside us and is expressed in various ways. It is expressed in clear advantage for intellectual work and during sleep in the other. For me, prayer participated in this contemplative experience of the world through my senses. It is a spiritual exercise that Saint Ignatius called Application of senses.
Pitti Djida Alain SJ