Meet Dr. Kathleen Duffy, professor of Physics at Chestnut Hill College, who believes in the unity and interconnection between spirit and matter. Part 2/4.
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The Great Cosmic Tapestry Part 2/4 Daffy: I began reading a little bit at a time probably. We started with the Divine Milieu. I think that was the first book that I read of his. And I was very taken by it. I think because of the poetry, it really speaks to the heart. He seemed to be able to hold both science and religion in his same hand. And that was very inspiring for me. But what was very puzzling for me was the imagery of physics. He used a lot of physics symmetry, and I had never studied physics. So actually, it was he who motivated me to go into physics because I thought if I can only understand and I’d remembered the Santa Clause story. Again, I’m trying to understand. If I can only understand this imagery then I’ll be able to understand his thought. And then so off I went to study physics eventually. Male: Not unlike many great scientists before her, Daffy finds that as her understanding of the physical universe grows so too does her appreciation of the divine. Daffy: It made a big difference once I began to study science, and to think about how religion and Teilhard’s view of religion was able to bring a complimentary view to the two. Male: Pierre Teilhard imagined the holed existence engaged in a journey of cosmic development. Plants and animals, stars and planets were constantly growing, changing and maturing through time. Something similar he believed happened within every human being. Daffy: Teilhard talks about two threads, the thread of the inner development and the thread of the outer development. These are two threads that connect each person to God and to everyone else. As he explores, he finds a connection or a similarity between the two journeys and the journey down into the deepest self. So as we begin to know ourselves and know who we are as spiritual beings, there’s an exploration that goes on that we learned more and more about ourselves. Male: Life is often described as a journey. Every step of the way is a chance to learn more about ourselves as spiritual beings. Moving from ones fear of life to the next from family to friends to colleagues and beyond, allows us to discover and develop the qualities that define our character, courage and fear, regret and forgiveness, selfishness and empathy. Daffy: And in the same way, he explores the cosmos. He goes down into the cosmos, goes back to the beginning of time and tries to understand the work. As a paleontologist, he could almost see that progress. He was also a geologist and could see in the rock the patterns that will tell about the history. He would look at fossils that will tell about the ancient history. So he would go back in time in his mind and try to put all these pieces together about the way the cosmos was formed. Male: The earth’s scientific theory suggests began as a ball of hot gases and molten rock. Gradually, the components cooled and separated, and a solid crust was formed. In time, water gathered on the surface of the planet in lakes, rivers and oceans. And from this water, all life was born, countless creatures at the land, sea, and sky. Teilhard found in studying the stages of earth’s development, spiritual lessons.