The Big Picture

Article in Stretton Focus, February 2013

Some people of my age look back to their early years and describe them as ‘mis-spent youth’. One of the ingredients of my own mis-spent youth (which I thoroughly enjoyed) was going to the cinema. There, for sixpence, you could be entertained by Flash Gordon, Abbott and Costello, or Goofy and Donald Duck, as you built up your excitement for the ‘big picture’ which would come next (after the ice-cream).
As you grew older, you realised that there is an even bigger picture to be seen. Not on the flickering screen, but on the flickering Cosmos of an evolving universe, in which we all live and move and have our being. Scientists are analysing the Cosmos by splitting the atom into smaller and smaller particles, hoping to find the ultimate ‘big picture’ of the universe where everything will be seen and understood.
It’s a bit like looking for the last piece of a jigsaw puzzle to complete the picture. This ‘last piece’ has been called the ‘God particle’, after which there would be no unsolved problems or unanswered questions. But in an evolving universe that’s a delusion, because everything is in motion and constantly changing.
Anything ‘ultimate’ is not available to us. It’s not a case of looking for the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle, but recognising that we ourselves are actually part of that jigsaw puzzle. We can’t stand outside the Cosmos and observe it objectively. For we are part of the Cosmos and so we can never see what we might be disposed to call the big picture.
A new kind of thinking is required. Scientists call it Quantum Physics where the distinction between the observer and the observed disappears; and everything (and everyone) is connected, or perhaps a better word is ‘related’. If there is a big picture to be seen, it can only be seen by God!

Donald Horsfield

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