Gabriel Shanks and Russ McIntosh

by Russ McIntosh (Inspiration Piece)


“The Way It Began (A Sacred Cantata For Science Nerds)”
by Gabriel Shanks (Response Piece)
with additional text reconsituted from the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Book of Genesis


Lights up. The big bang.

I, Krishna,
am the source of everything,
And all worlds come out of Me.
Dwelling within and without,
I destroy the darkness.

Of sun gods I am Vishnu,
of lights, the radiant sun.
I am Indra, king of heaven.
I am glorious Shiva among gods of destruction,
the great Meru among mountains.
I am Skanda, god of war.
I am the ocean.

I am the endles serpent, Ananta,
and Time, the measure of all that endures.

I am the Creator facing all directions at once
and time inexhaustible.
I am Death, devourer of all,
and the origin of all things yet to be.

All that exists,
all that is beautiful, radiant and powerful,
is but a spark
of my brilliant light.

Behold.  Hear.

And tremble.

In the beginning there was nothing. Formless and void. Darkness upon the face of the deep.

In the Beginning, God exploded into a bajillion pieces. A blinding, shattering bang of light and force and sound and matter. And suddenly, from nothing, was Space-Time – the Precious Dazzlement, the Science of the Divine, the Corporeal Majestic, the Invisible Beheld, In Glorium Rex Cæléstis. The tapestry of dreams and quasars and breath and supernovas. The interwoven stuff of Cosmos.

And God moved. Outward, dark energy racing into infinity, into something truer. And the Spirit of God reached inward, the dark matter holding all things together, intangible force of galactic magnetic, the Tao, the Named and Nameless. And this is how the push and pull, the gravity and the repellants, the extremes of existence came to be. This is how stars are born, how suns die. This will be the end of everything. And more something.

Then God troubled the waters. And lo, there was now, and now, and now, and now, and now, and now, and now, and now, and now. And yesterday, next Wednesday, all times and all spaces, millennia in both directions mirroring the infinite, all the slices that have been or ever will be. And God whispered, “time will have no meaning, and all things will exist always, reality will be revealed as a fiction, and our senses will betray us again and again and again.” And God saw that it was Good.

Glória in excélsis
Laudámus te,
benedícimus te,
adorámus te,
glorificámus te.

Let there be Light: galactic dust and kaleidoscopic gases shook the dark matter, converged and swirled and stars were born,. Beautiful bright yellow and caustic red blazes, blue dwarfs, spinning pulsars and black holes pulling into their gaping maws, where space-time looped back into its own spiral.

And around these stars, pebbles collided with rocks, and debris smashed into asteroids, and things stuck with molten lava glue. And the planets were born…firmaments in the midst of the waters. And God multiplied, galaxy upon galaxies upon galaxies. And still the dark energy rushed out toward the edges of space-time, and the dark matter pulled back in answer. And this is how the universe was born. And how it began to die. They are the same thing. This is the way of all things.

And God thought about taking a break. And decided against it.

Down, down, down into the tapestry God went, inside the rocks to the atoms to the electrons to the neutrinos to the Particle Known As God, to the Thing That Is All Things, and there God commanded them to spin. And the stuff of existence slung circles, began to form cells and protons and living things, all tiny obritals, spinning microscopic galaxies, mirroring the cosmos.

And then God stopped and asked, what else is there.

And then God said, I don’t exist. Not really. Not the way you mean it.

And God said, don’t be obtuse.

And God said, drop it.

And this is how humans learned to argue.

Behold.   Hear.

And tremble.