March 2, 2014
Since I was a youth four images of The Beginning have lived side-by-side in my thoughts. All weave together fact and fiction into the mythos of the genesis of all things. I quote them here in order of influence:
The first is the Jewish, as adopted by Christians and translated in the NIV:
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
The second is from the Dao De Ching as I have memorized it:
1- The Way that can be told is not the eternal Way. The name that can be spoken is not the eternal Name. Named, It is the beginning of ten-thousand things. Nameless, it is the beginning of heaven and earth. Ever desiring we know manifestations. Without desire we know mystery. These two are different, but arise from the same source. This source is called darkness. Darkness within darkness. The gateway to all understanding.
The third is from Christian scriptures, the “Gospel of John,” NIV:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
The fourth is my summary of various science sources:
In the beginning was the singularity. The singularity was without form, or time or space. Any description of the singularity is not the singularity. Then, the singularity moved, and it expanded into a universe. At first this expansion was immensely rapid; gravity and particles were formed, radiation and elements, then it slowed to dust and heated to stars and cooled to planets and vast spaces, and the wonder of life.