Nothing exists by itself. This insight is actually supported by the discoveries of quantum physics called quantum entanglement, which includes the ideas of non-locality and non-separability. Yet, this holistic concept could just as easily find its expression in a Sunday sermon.
There is a unifying principle in the universe. Physicists seek it in a Grand Unified Theory (or Theory of Everything) and the clergy seek it in God. Therefore, the topic of unity in the universe seems to be a reasonable area where science and religion can begin to have a meaningful encounter with each other. I would even go so far as to say that to the extent to which science and religion cannot be unified one must hold their theories and theologies under suspect. This is the premise I take in my future book, entitled “Proving God.” So, for the purposes of this mini-discussion, I would like to provide a few examples of how existence is founded on relationship.
In the current scientific model of atomic structure everything is held together by an exchange of photons, gluons and quarks. In the human body and other forms of bio-complexity in nature, everything is held together by an exchange of labor. Human society is also held together through an exchange of labor and sharing our special talents as well.
Human cognition involves recognition of ratios and proportions, which are relationships (out of which springs mathematical reasoning). Neuroscience is moving closer to the idea that human affection focuses our attention and shapes our memory by forming new relationships between thoughts and ideas (which lead to creative imagination and abstract thinking).
Marriage between two people is a most intimate sharing of each other’s lives.
It seems that for anything new to come into existence, previous (a priori) things must coexist, that is, form relationships.
Love is relationship. Religion can be looked at as a lawful strategy for taking the unifying dynamic operating in the universe even further. Loving God and the neighbor represents the epitome of relationship forming. Scripture teaches us that all the law of the prophets hangs on these two expressions of love. (I cannot imagine a legitimate religion that is not founded on those two tenets.)
If there be a unifying principle in the universe, LOVE would make a good one! Here’s why. First of all, love is psychical and operates within the human mind. The mind cannot be said to operate in space. Therefore, love gives us a unifying principle of agency that can exist as a special initial condition of a pre-natal universe when time equaled zero (t = 0). Having its domain in pre-space, we are given a unifying principle whereby every created thing can be non-locally connected simultaneously—towards an eternal goal.
Love is the one force that absolutely necessitates the constants of law and a fine-tuned universe because it creates through self-similarity. This self-similarity (correspondence) finds its ultimate expression of unified relationship in the bio-complexities of living organisms and finally the human race through God’s covenant. Love also offers a new way to view top-down causation in a way that preserves self-consistency through discrete operations.
The manifest universe emerged out of a conscious living force. Physics (classical and quantum) has to be reformulated to reflect this principle or it will fail to find the answer to the nature of agency in the universe. Religion also needs a paradigm shift.