The Idea of Infinity in Its Physical and Spiritual Meanings

Graham Richard Nicholson

Abstract


This article compares the physical meaning of infinity with the spiritual meaning. It notes that infinity remains somewhat of a mystery in a physical world in which our comprehension is largely framed around the concept of boundaries. But our sense of the scope and nature of our understanding of finiteness has been gradually expanding with the development of human civilization, and is now expanding at an even greater rate than ever before, both at the micro level and the macro level. The article suggests that if we are ever to understand infinity, we have to move outside the dimensions of this physical universe as we perceive it, moving to that other and higher reality, to the metaphysical, or, as some would describe it, the spiritual. It has long been thought that the spiritual realm was the realm of the infinite, just as the material world was thought to be the world of the finite. Viewed in this light, there is no difficulty for many in associating the concept of infinity with the greater spiritual realm, that is, that realm that exists beyond the dimensions applicable to humanity in this physical world. But if the spiritual realm is infinite, and if the physical world is merely a sub-set of the higher spiritual realm, then arguably infinity also applies to the various dimensions of the physical world of existence through its ongoing evolution. The search for boundaries within those various dimensions may be merely a reflection of our limited perception as humans. The reality of the physical universe may be one of infinity in time, space etc., even though we may have difficulty comprehending this. Once we move beyond the finite physical perspective, then science and religion can come together, being different aspects of the total infinite reality.


Keywords


Infinity; Physical; Science; Mathematical; Metaphysical; Spiritual

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References


Bucky, P. A., & Weakland, A. G. (1992). The Private Albert Einstein (p. 86).

Clegg, B. (2003, Robinson). Infinity: The Quest to Think the Unthinkable (Chapter 5).

Wilbur, K. (2001, Shambhala). No boundary: Eastern and western approaches to personal growth.

Penrose (2005). The Road To Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe (p. 363).

Bernard d’Espagnat (2009). Quantum weirdness: What we call ‘reality’ is just a state of mind. The Guardian, 21 March 2009.

Clegg, B. (2003, Robinson). Infinity: The Quest to Think the Unthinkable (p.47).

Hick (1993). God and the Universe of Faiths (One world, p.139).




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/10831

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