The Soundtrack of the Universe

At the end of his Purgatorio, Dante hear “the music of the spheres” as he ascended through nine concentric spheres of heaven in his journey toward union with God. In an article headlined “Scientists detect ripple in gravity,” the Associated Press reported that “it was just a tiny, almost imperceptible ‘chirp’, but it simultaneously opened humanity’s ears to the music of the cosmos and proved Einstein right again…”

“…Because the evidence of gravitational waves is captured in audio form, the finding means astronomers will now be able to hear the soundtrack of the universe and listen as violent collisions reshape the cosmos…”

“Until this moment, we had our eyes on the sky, and we couldn’t hear the music,’ said Columbia University’s astrophysicist Szaboles Marka, a member of the discovery team, ‘The skies will never be the same.'” Well, perhaps the skies will be the same, but surely our perception of the universe continues to broaden and deepen and perhaps “we” will never be the same.

I do not pretend to understand all the ramifications of this verification of the gravitational waves which ripple through time and space that Albert Einstein predicted over a century ago. But every discovery of an orderly universe which we can increasingly understand and verify confirms my faith in the Source behind it all, the Ordering Principle, the Ground of all Being which some of us call “God.”

There will continue to be those who see some kind of ultimate disconnect between science and religion. I am not one of those. If it is Truth, then it is true and, by whatever methods we use to apprehend it, we are increasingly being invited to share in the Mind of the Universe’s awareness of all that is.

I only lament the separation of physics from metaphysics and our continued search for “how we came to be here” without a similarly serious search for the “why we came to be here.” But it is science’s role to explore the “how” and religion’s role to explore the “why.”

Perhaps, if we listen together and honor one another’s vocation in all of this, we may one day be able to hear more clearly “the soundtrack of the universe” and discover that it is really “the music of the spheres.”


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