Universal Natural History and Theory of Heaven
Concerning Creation in the Total Extent of its Infinity Both in Space and Time
With its immeasurable size and its infinite multiplicity and beauty radiating out from all around it, the cosmic structure presents a silent wonder. If the picture of all this perfection now stirs the imaginative power, from a different perspective the understanding derives another type of delight, when it observes how so much splendour, such an enormous greatness, flows out from one single universal rule in an eternal and justified order. The planetary structure in which the sun at the centre makes all the active spheres of its system orbit in eternal circles by means of it powerful force of attraction is entirely developed, as we have seen, from the originally distributed basic stuff of all planetary material. All the fixed stars which the eye discovers in the high recesses of Heaven and which appear to display a certain excess are suns and central points of similar systems. The analogy permits us here no doubt that these were built and developed in the same manner as the one in which we find ourselves, from the smallest particles of elementary materials filling empty space, the infinite extension of the Divine Presence.
Now, if all planets and planetary systems acknowledge the same sort of origin, if the power of attraction is unlimited and universal, if the power of repulsion is similarly continuously at work, and if in comparison with the Infinite, the large and the small are both small, should not the cosmic structures have acquired in like manner an interconnecting relationship and a systematic coordination among themselves, as the celestial bodies of our solar system have on a small scale, like Saturn, Jupiter, and the Earth, which are special systems on their own and yet are linked together amongst themselves as rungs in a much greater system? If we take one point in the infinite space in which all the suns of the Milky Way were developed, a point around which, for some unknown reason, the first development of nature out of chaos began, then at that location the largest mass and a body of uncommon power of attraction will have arisen, which thus would have become capable of forcing all the development in the comprehensive systems within a huge sphere around it to move down towards it as their central point and to build around it on a large scale a system like the one which the same basic material which developed the planets created around the sun on a small scale. Observation makes this supposition almost certain. The army of stars through its orientation in relation to a common plane makes up a system just as much as the planets of our solar system do around the sun. The Milky Way is the zodiac of this higher world order, deviating from its zone as little as possible. Its band is always illuminated by its lights, just as the zodiac of planets is illuminated here and there by the shining of these spheres, although only in a very few points. Each one of these suns, along with its orbiting planets, makes up a particular system of its own, but this does not prevent them from being parts of an even greater system, just as Jupiter or Saturn, in spite of their own satellites, are confined in the systematic arrangement of an ever greater cosmic structure. Can we not acknowledge with such a precise harmony in the arrangement the same cause and manner of production?
Now, if the fixed stars make up a system whose extent is determined by the sphere of the force of attraction of the body located at the centre, will not more solar systems and, so to speak, more Milky Ways arise, which will be produced in the limitless field of space? With astonishment we have seen figures in Heaven which are nothing other than such systems of fixed stars restricted to a common plane, such Milky Ways, if I may express myself in this way, which present themselves to our eyes in different positions with a weakly glimmering elliptical shape appropriate to their infinite distance away. They are systems, so to speak, of infinitely greater diameter than the diameter of our solar system, but without doubt they arose in the same way, are organized and arranged by the same causes, and maintain themselves by the same dynamics as our system in its arrangement.
If we see these systems of stars once more as links on collective nature's great chain, we have just as many reasons as before to think of them in a mutual relationship and in combinations which, thanks to the laws governing throughout all nature, make up the first development of a new and even greater system, controlled by the force of attraction of a body of incomparably more power than were all former systems, from the centre of their rule-bound positions. The force of attraction, the cause of the systematic arrangement among the fixed stars of the Milky Way, works at a distance even in this cosmic structure to bring them out of their positions and to bury the world in an unavoidable impending chaos, unless the allotted rule-bound forces of motion achieve an equilibrium with the force of attraction and produce from the combination of the two of them that relationship which is the basis of the systematic arrangement. The force of attraction is without doubt a characteristic of matter as widely extensive as the coexistence which creates space, because it unites substances through a mutual dependency, or to speak more precisely, the power of attraction is just this common relationship which unites the parts of nature in space. It extends itself thus through the total extent of space right into all its infinite distances. If the light from these remote systems, which is only an impressed movement, reaches us, must not the power of attraction, this primordial origin of motion, which antedates all motion, which requires no foreign cause and cannot be halted by any barrier, because it works in the inner core of matter in the universal calm of nature without any external impulse, must not the force of attraction, I say, have set in motion these systems of fixed stars with their material in an undeveloped scattering at the first movements of nature, regardless of their immeasurable distances away? This is, as we have seen precisely on a small scale, the origin of the systematic union and the enduring permanence of its links, the factor which keeps them secure from collapse.
But then what will finally be the end of the systematic arrangements? Where will creation itself cease? We well note that to think of creation in relation to the power of the Infinite Being means it must have no boundaries. We come no nearer to the infinity of the creative power of God if we enclose its revelation in a sphere described with the radius of the Milky Way than if we enclose it in a ball with a diameter an inch long. Everything finite which has its limits and a determined relationship to unity is a long way distant from equaling infinity. Now, it would be absurd to set the Divine into effective action with an infinitely small part of its creative capacity and to imagine its infinite power, the treasure house of a true infinity of natures and worlds, incapacitated and locked into an eternal deficiency in practice. Is it not much more appropriate or, to express the matter better, is it not necessary to present the embodiment of creation as something which cannot be measured by any standard, which is how it must be, in order to bear witness to that power. For this reason the field of the revelation of divine properties is just as infinite as these properties (17). Eternity is not sufficient to bear witness to the Highest Essence where it is not united with spatial infinity. It is true that attraction, shape, beauty, and perfection are relationships of the basic elements and of substance making up the material of the cosmic structure. And we notice it in the arrangement which the wisdom of God still effects at all times. It is also most appropriate to the wisdom of God that these develop themselves in an unforced succession out of the universal laws implanted in them. And therefore we can with good reason establish that the order and arrangement of the cosmic structure take place gradually from the supply of created natural matter in a temporal succession. But the basic material itself, whose properties and forces form the basis for all changes, is an immediate result of the Diving Being and itself must be simultaneously so rich and so perfect that the development of its compositions could in the flow of eternity extend over a plane enclosing in itself everything which can be, a plane which has no dimensions, which is, in short, infinite.
Now, if creation is spatially infinite or at least was really already that from the beginning as far as its material is concerned and according to its form or development is prepared to become so, will space become active with worlds without number and without end? Will then that systematic union, which we have previously mentioned in particular among all the particles extend to the totality and the universe collectively, the All of nature, tied together in a single system through the unifying power of attraction and the centrifugal force? I say yes. If nothing but separate cosmic structures without any unifying relationship to a totality were the only things present, then, if we were to assume this chain of links as truly endless, we could imagine that a precise equality in the power of attraction in its parts on all sides could keep this system secure from destruction which the inner reciprocal force of attraction threatens them with. But this condition needs to be determined with such precise measurements of the distances proportional to the power of attraction that the slightest displacement would bring destruction to the universe and would deliver it over to collapse. The time would be long, but finally it would have to come to an end. A cosmic arrangement which did not keep itself going in the absence of a miracle does not have the mark of permanence which is the sign of God's choice. Thus, we find it much more appropriate if we make of creation collectively a single system creating all worlds and world structures and filling all infinite space and related to a single central point. In a scattered confusion, the cosmic structures might be separated from each other by distances less great and could have an unhindered tendency to rush to dissolution and destruction, unless a certain arrangement in relation to a common central point, the centre of the power of attraction in the universe and the foundation point of all of nature and its systematic movements, were in place.
At this universal central point of all downward movement in all nature, both developed and raw, is undoubtedly located the cluster with the most extensive power of attraction, encompassing in its sphere of attraction all worlds and ordered systems which time has produced and eternity will produce. We can probably assume that nature initiated its development and that around its location the systems have accumulated in the greatest density. Further away from that mid-point, the systems are lost in ever increasing stages of disorder. We could assume this principle from the analogy to our own solar system, and this arrangement could, in any case, serve to show that at great distances not only the common central body but also all the systems moving in close proximity to it collectively combine their power of attraction and, as if they were one cluster, exercise their effect on systems every further away. This will then help to include all nature in its extended infinite totality into one single system.
Now, in order to trace the foundation of this universal system of nature from the mechanical laws of matter striving to develop, in the endless space of the dispersed elementary basic material some point or other of this matter must have accumulated with the greatest density, so as to have assembled through the development going on there more than anywhere else a mass which serves as the foundation point of the whole universe. It is indeed the case that in an infinite space no point can really justifiably be called the centre. But thanks to a certain relationship based upon the inherent levels of density, according to which at the time of creation this material had accumulated more densely particularly at one certain location and its density decreased with the distance away from this point, such a place can correctly be called the centre. And it becomes the mid-point with the development of the central mass through its stronger power of attraction. It becomes the point to which all the remaining basic material incorporated in particular developments moves down and thus, no matter how far unfolding nature may extend, creates only a single system in creation's infinite sphere.
However, what is important and what, if it wins approval, is worthy of the greatest attention is the fact that, as a consequence of the ordering of nature in this system of ours, creation or, rather, the development nature first begins with this central point and with constantly progressive steps extends itself gradually out into the far distances, in order to fill limitless space with worlds and order in the progress of eternity. Let us for a moment contemplate this picture with quiet pleasure. I find nothing which can elevate the human spirit to a more noble wonder than this part of the theory concerning the successive completion of creation, as it opens up for humanity a glimpse into the unending field of the Almighty. If people grant me that the matter which is the building stuff of all worlds is not homogeneous in the entire infinite space of the divine present but was distributed in accordance with a certain law which perhaps concerned itself with the density of the particles and according to which with the increasing distance from a certain point, like the location of the densest accumulation, the disorder in this basic material increases, then in the original movement of nature the development will have started in the region near this centre and then, in a progressive temporal sequence, the more remote space will have gradually developed worlds and planetary structures in a systematic arrangement linked to this centre. Any one finite period, whose duration is connected to the magnitude of the completed work, will, in its development, always produce a sphere only a finite distance from this central point. The remaining infinite part will meanwhile be combating confusion and chaos and will be that much further from a condition of complete development, the further away it is located from already developed nature. As a consequence of this, although from our location we have a view into, as it seems, a fully completed world and, so to speak, into an infinite host of planetary structures systematically united, nevertheless we find ourselves in reality only in proximity to the mid-point of all nature, where it has already developed out of chaos and attained its appropriate completion. If we could step over to a certain sphere, we would there witness chaos and the scattering of the elements, which, in proportion to their proximity to the central point partly leave their raw condition and are closer to their complete development. But with the degrees of distance away they gradually are lost in a total scattering. We would see how the limitless space of the divine present, in which we find the store of all possible natural developments, buried in a quiet night, full of matter to serve as the stuff of worlds to be produced in the future and full of the initiating energies to bring it into motion. With a weak stimulus these begin those movements with which immeasurable nature in this barren space is yet still to be activated. Perhaps a succession of millions of years and centuries is to flow by before the sphere of developed nature in which we find ourselves grows to the perfection inherent in it. And perhaps an even longer period will elapse before nature will take such a wide step into chaos. But the sphere of developed nature is ceaselessly occupied with expanding itself. Creation is not the work of a moment. After creation made a beginning by producing an infinity of substances and materials, it is efficacious with constantly increasing degrees of fecundity throughout the total succession of eternity. Millions and numberless millions of centuries will pass, during which new worlds and new world systems will constantly develop and reach completion, one after the other, in the expanses far from the central point of nature. Regardless of the systematic arrangement among their parts individually, they will have a common relationship to the central point, which became the first point of development and the centre of creation through the capacity of the power of attraction of its preponderant mass. The infinity of the future temporal succession, through which eternity is inexhaustible, will thoroughly activate all the space of God's present and gradually set it into rule-bound regularity, appropriate to the excellence of its design. And if, in a daring picture, we could, so to speak, sum up eternity in a single idea, then we would be able thus to see the entire spatial infinity filled with world systems and a complete creation. However, because, in fact, in the temporal sequence of eternity the part to come is always infinite and the part gone by is finite, the sphere of developed nature is always only a small finite part of that comprehensive totality which has in it the seeds of future worlds and works, in order to develop itself out of the raw state of chaos in longer or shorter periods. Creation is never complete. True, it once began, but it will never cease. It is always busy bringing forth new natural phenomena, new things, and new worlds. The work which it brings into being has a relationship to the time nature expends on it. It needs no less than an eternity to bring the entire limitless extent of infinite spaces alive with numberless worlds without end. We can say about nature what the noblest of the German poets writes about eternity.
Eternity! Who knows you?
For you worlds are days and humans moments.
Perhaps the thousandth sun is now turning
And thousands still remain behind.
Like a clock animated by a weight,
A sun rushes by, moved by the power of God.
Its impulse comes to an end, and another throbs.
But you remain and do not count them.
There is no small pleasure in letting one's imagination roam over the limits of completed creation into the space of chaos and to see half raw nature in the vicinity of the sphere of the developed world losing itself gradually through all the stages and shades of incompletion in the entire undeveloped space. But is that not a culpable daring, people will say, to set down a hypothesis and to praise it as a delightful subject for the understanding when it is perhaps only arbitrary, claiming that nature is only developed to an infinitely small extent and limitless spaces still are at strife with chaos, so that they will display in the succession of future times entire hosts of worlds and world systems in all appropriate order and beauty?. I am not so devoted to the consequences which my theory offers that I should not acknowledge how the conjecture about the successive expansion of creation through endless spaces containing material in themselves cannot fully counter the charge that it is beyond proof. However, I expect from those who are in a position to appreciate levels of probability, that such a map of infinity, although containing a subject that certainly seems to be concealed forever from human understanding, will not for that reason immediately be seen as a chimera, especially when we take the analogy as an aid which must always guide us in such cases where the understanding lacks the guiding threads of indubitable proofs.
However, we can still reinforce the analogy with principles worthy of consideration. The insight of the reader who, I may flatter myself, will approve will be able perhaps to multiply these principles with more important ones. Creation does not bring with it a characteristic constancy. It does not establish for the common striving of the power of attraction, which works through all its parts, such an exact general determination which can sufficiently withstand the tendency of this power to bring destruction and disorder, unless creation allotted the orbital forces which in combination with the central tendency fixes in place a systematic arrangement. When we consider this, we will be required to assume a common central point for the entire totality of worlds, a point which holds all the parts of this totality together in a united relationship and makes only one system out of the entire comprehensive essence of nature. If we pursue the idea of the development of world systems out of scattered elementary matter, as we have outlined the subject previously, but do not limit the idea here to one particular system, extending it rather to all nature, then we will have to imagine such a distribution of the basic matter in the space of primordial chaos. This naturally involves a central point of all creation, so that the effective mass which encompasses all nature collectively in its sphere of attraction could bring the material together and make the general relationship work, so that all worlds make up only one single structure. However, in limitless space a sort of distribution of the primordial basic material can hardly be imagined of the sort which is to establish a true central point towards which collective nature sinks down other than one in which the distribution is arranged according to a law of increasing disorder from this point out into the far distances. This law, however, at the same time establishes a difference in the time which a system requires in the different regions of limitless space to come to its mature development. This period is shorter, the closer the location of the development of a world system is to the centre of creation, because in the closer region the elements of matter accumulate more thickly; by contrast, the further the distance away from this centre, the longer the time required, because the particles there are more scattered and come together later to develop.
If people think about the entire hypothesis to the full extent that I have stated, as well as about what I will still present, people will at least not consider that there is no excuse for the daring of its claims. We can calculate that the inevitable tendency which each world system brought to completion has to move towards its destruction is among the reasons which can establish that the universe, in contrast to that destruction, is fertile with worlds in other regions, to make up for the deficiency which it has suffered in one location. Although the entire part of nature that we know about is only equivalent to an atom in comparison with what remains hidden over or under the circles visible to us, it nevertheless confirms this fertility of nature, which is without limit because it is nothing other than the working out of the Divine Omnipotence itself. Numberless animals and plants are destroyed every day and are a sacrifice to mortality. But nature, with its inexhaustible productive capacity, creates just as many over again in other places and fills up the emptiness. Considerable parts of the earth's surface which we inhabit are being buried once again in the sea out of which they were brought at a favorable time. But in other places, nature makes up for the loss and produces other areas which were hidden deep under water, in order to extend over these areas new riches from her fertile store. In the same way, worlds and world systems go under and are swallowed up in the abyss of eternity. But, on the other hand, creation is always busy organizing new development in other regions of heaven and making up for the loss with advantage.
We should be amazed to admit mortality even in the greatness of God's work. Everything finite, with a original starting point, has within itself the mark of its limited nature. It must die and have an end. On account of the excellence of its arrangements, the duration of a world system has a permanence which, according to our ideas, comes close to a limitless time span. Perhaps a thousand, perhaps millions of centuries do not destroy it. But because vanity, which adheres to finite natures, works continuously for their destruction, so eternity will hold in itself all possible periods, in order finally to bring about through a gradual decay the moment of its collapse. Newton, that great admirer of the properties of God in the perfection of His works, the one who with the deepest insight into the excellence of nature combined the greatest devotion for Divine Omnipotence, saw himself compelled to predict the decay of nature through the natural tendency which the mechanics of movement had to bring it about. If a systematic arrangement comes close to a state of confusion as the essential result of its fallibility over a long period of time, even in the very smallest part that we can imagine, then in the endless current of eternity there must be a moment in time when this gradual diminution exhausts all movement.
However, we need not lament the destruction of a cosmic structure as a real loss for nature. It demonstrates its richness with a kind of dissipation which, when a few parts pay the tribute to mortality, maintains it in the full extent of nature's perfection with numberless new productions. What a countless number of flowers and insects a single cold day destroys. But how little we miss them, regardless of the fact that they are beautiful works of art and proofs of the Divine Omnipotence. In another place, this death will be made up once again with excess. Humanity, apparently the masterpiece of creation, is itself no exception to this principle. Nature shows that it is just as rich and just as inexhaustible in the production of the most excellent of creatures as it is of the most insignificant and that their destruction is a necessary shadow amid the multiplicity of its suns, because producing humanity cost nature nothing. The harmful effects of infected air, earthquakes, and inundations wipe out entire peoples from the surface of the earth, but it does not appear that, on this account, nature has suffered any damage. In the same way, entire worlds and systems leave the stage when they have played out their roles. The infinite nature of creation is large enough that it looks upon a world or a Milky Way of worlds in comparison with it as we look upon a flower or an insect in comparison with the Earth. In the meantime, while nature beautifies eternity with changing scenes, God remains busy with a ceaseless creation, forming material for the development of even greater worlds.
Who sees with equal eye, as God of all,
A hero perish, or a sparrow fall,
Atoms or systems into ruin hurl'd,
And now a bubble burst, and now a world.
Let us get used to the picture of these terrifying collapses as the customary methods of providence and look at them with even a kind of delight. In fact, nothing is more appropriate to the richness of nature than this. For when a world system in the long sequence of its duration exhausts all the multiplicity which its organization can contain, when it has now become an expendable link in the chain of being, then nothing is more fitting than that it play the last role in the drama of the passing changes of the universe, which is part of every finite thing, namely, it gives up what it owes to mortality. Nature demonstrates, as mentioned, even in the small parts of its being this rule of its processes, which eternal fate has prescribed for it on a large scale. And I repeat that the magnitude of what is to pass away is in this matter not the slightest obstacle, for everything large becomes small. Yes, it becomes just like a point, if we compare it with the infinity which creation will present throughout the succession of eternity in limitless space.
It appears that for worlds, as for all natural things, this fatal ending is subject to a certain law whose consideration gives the theory something new and appropriate. According to this principle, the fatal ending originates among those celestial bodies located closest to the central point of the universe, just as the production and development first began close to this mid-point. From there the decay and destruction gradually work their way outward into the further distances, in order to bury all the world which has gone through its time, by means of a gradual decline in its motions, finally in a single chaos. On the other hand, nature is ceaselessly busy on the borders opposite to the developed world producing worlds from the raw material of the scattered elements. While nature on one side close to the mid-point is aging, on the other side it is young and fertile in new generations. The developed world, according to this, finds itself in a limited space in the middle, between the ruins of what has been destroyed and the chaos of undeveloped nature. If we imagine, as is probable, that a world already growing to completion could last a longer time than it required to become developed, then the extent of the universe will in general increase, regardless of all the destruction which mortality ceaselessly brings about.
However, if we now allow an idea which is just as probable as the arrangement of the divine works is appropriate, then the satisfaction aroused by such a description of nature's changes will be lifted to the highest level of delight. Can we not believe that nature, which was capable of setting itself up out of chaos into a rule-bound order and a finely tuned system, is equally in a position just as easily to organize itself once more out of the new chaos into which the diminution of motions has lowered it and to renew the first unity? Might the energies which brought the scattered material stuff into motion and order not be able once more to be made effective by forces from a distance after the motionlessness of the machine rendered them inert and, through the same universal principles, be harmoniously regulated in the way in which the original development was produced? We will not examine the matter very long before conceding, if we consider that, after the final exhaustion of the orbital motions in the cosmic structure has thrown the planets and comets together down onto the sun, the sun's fire must increase immeasurably through the addition of so many large bodies, especially since the furthest spheres of the solar system, as a consequence of the theory we have previously established, contain the lightest and most effective fuel in all nature. This fire, given the highest intensity by the new fuel and the volatile materials, will without doubt not only break down everything into the smallest elements but will also in this way spread them out with an expansive force appropriate to the heat and at a velocity which is not weakened by any resistance in the middle regions. It will scatter them once again in the same wide space which they occupied before the first development of nature, so that, after the intensity of the central fire is damped down by the almost total destruction of the sun's mass, through the combination of the forces of attraction and repulsion the old generations, together with their systematically interrelated movements, will be repeated with no less regularity and will present a new cosmic structure. Thus, when a particular planetary system suffers destruction in this way and has been re-established by the essential forces, when indeed this entire play repeats itself again, then finally the period approaches when, in the same manner, the large system of which the fixed stars are links will collectively experience chaos through the lessening of it motion. We will have even fewer doubts here that the uniting of such an endless number of rich fiery store houses as these burning suns, together with their attendant planets, dissolved by the indescribable inferno, will scatter the material making up their masses, and there the material will provide for new developments through the same mechanical laws. As a result of this, the barren space can become active with worlds and systems once again. When we follow this phoenix of nature, which is only burned up in order to live again, renewed once more from its ashes, through all infinity of times and spaces, when we see how it progresses, even in the region where it decays and grows old, inexhaustible in new phenomena and, on another border of creation, in the space of undeveloped raw matter takes constant strides to unfold the plans of the divine revelation to fill eternity as well as space with its wonders, then the spirit contemplating all this is lost in deep wonder. But still dissatisfied with such great events as these, whose mortality cannot adequately satisfy the soul, he wishes to learn at close hand about that Being whose understanding and whose greatness are the fountain of that light which extends itself over all nature as if out of a central point. With what kind of awe must the soul not contemplate its own essence, when it observes that it is to survive all these changes. It can say to itself what the philosophical poet says concerning eternity:
When then a second night will bury this world,
When from everything nothing remains but the place,
When still many others bright with other stars
Will have completed their course,
You will be as young as now, just as far from death
As eternally alive as now.
Oh, how lucky the soul, when among the tumult of the elements and the ruins of nature, it is set on a height from which it can see rushing past, as it were, below its feet the devastation which the frailty of worldly things brings about. A blessedness which the understanding might never dare to expect teaches us to hope with conviction for the revelation. For when the bindings which keep us tied to the vanity of living creatures fall away in that moment established for the transformation of our being, then the immortal soul, freed from its dependency on finite things, will find in the companionship with the infinite essence the enjoyment of true blessedness. All nature, which has a universal harmonious relationship to the delight in the Divine, can fill that reasoning creature with nothing but eternal satisfaction, which finds itself united with this original fountain of all perfection. Nature seen from this central point will show on all side nothing but safety, nothing but propriety. The changing natural scenes are not able to upset the calm bliss of a soul which has once been lifted up to such a height. While it already tastes in advance this condition with a sweet hope, it can set its mouth to work on those hymns of praise with which in future all eternity will resound.
When Nature fails, and day and night
Divide thy works no more,
My ever grateful heart, O Lord,
Thy mercy shall adore.
Through all Eternity to Thee
A joyful song I'll raise;
For, oh! Eternity's too short
To utter all Thy praise.
Знаете ли Вы, что в 1965 году два американца Пензиас (эмигрант из Германии) и Вильсон заявили, что они открыли излучение космоса. Через несколько лет им дали Нобелевскую премию, как-будто никто не знал работ Э. Регенера, измерившего температуру космического пространства с помощью запуска болометра в стратосферу в 1933 г.? Подробнее читайте в FAQ по эфирной физике.