Last week the usual cycle of trash news was interrupted by reports of abnormal eruptions on the surface of the sun. These were the most powerful X-class solar flares, releasing as much energy as billions of megaton hydrogen bombs. For about an hour the solar eruption interfered with radio communications and GPS signals on the sunlit side of Earth. The various explanations later offered by scientists were so self-contradictory that one could not help but think that astrophysicists today are still far from a complete understanding of what is really going on with our life-giving star.
For example, Sergei Bogachev, who is a leading Russian expert in solar research working at the Laboratory of Solar X-ray Astronomy at the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Physics, offered the following thought in an interview to the Russian media:
“In regard to heavy protons … they are certainly not produced every time there is a flare. But special events called ‘solar proton events’ do occur. And generally speaking, they don’t have anything to do with the strength of the eruption. You could have a weak flare that still produces an enormous number of heavy protons. Or you could have a massive event that produces only a few of these particles … In some ways this is a mystery of physics …”
As he continues, he peppers his answers with phrases such as: “Perhaps science doesn’t know the answer, but it can speculate”; “… the situation is really not very clear”; “… the current eruption is unusual – it is actually even more unusual than one might imagine … in a certain sense it doesn’t really fit with the conventional thinking about the way the solar magnetic field behaves,” and so on.
In the end, the scientist reaches an important conclusion: “The sun doesn’t work the way a clock does – it’s more complicated and not something we fully understand … Instead, the behavior of our star is proof that the sun is a complex organism … And for these purposes you could even say that it’s alive.”
That’s a pretty bold thing for a scientist to say. After all, conventional scientific materialism assumes that everything in the world operates on the basis of stable cause-and-effect relationships. Not all of these relationships (laws) have been identified as yet. But conventional scientific thinking assures us that this is a temporary situation and that if we can be a bit more patient, tomorrow or the next day the relevant laws will be discovered.
Apparently, neither Professor Bogachev nor most of his astrophysicist colleagues are familiar with the writings of the famous philosopher and saint, Nikolaj Velimirović (the Serbian). Back in the middle of the last century, he explained that no natural laws could exist and that attempts to discover them only revealed the spiritual ignorance of scientists. Only one Supreme Moral Law exists in the world, which was established by the Supreme Lawmaker – God. Half of the saint’s writings touch on this idea, but it is in works such as Symbols and Signs and The Science of the Law that St. Nikolay the Serbian articulates his thoughts about true and false laws in particular detail.
The history of the world centers around God and man (mankind). God is the Lawmaker who dictates the guidelines for life (behavior) to his creation – man. Without infringing directly on man’s freedom, but in every way desiring his salvation and admission into the Kingdom of God, God works quietly to help his creation. The most important way in which He does this is through nature, assisting mankind by sending him the needed signals, while also using nature to both bestow upon him indispensable blessings as well as punishments intended for those who have violated the laws He has established. But these are not natural laws – they are exclusively spiritual and moral.
In his work Symbols and Signs, St. Nikolaj offers us his interpretation of the first verse in the Bible: “It is written: ‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.’ (Gen. 1:1). ‘Heaven’ refers to the realm of spiritual realities, which are invisible and incorporeal. ‘Earth’ is understood to mean a collection of visible and corporeal symbols, i.e., the provisional physical tokens denoting those spiritual realities. Therefore, Earth is a symbolic image of heaven.”
This is a very important idea. We cannot behold the world of spiritual realities (“heaven”) with our corporeal eyes, and so to aid in our perception we are left with the world of matter and nature (“Earth”). Thus while gazing at “Earth,” we should be able to view “heaven” using this spiritual vision. For man, “Earth” is merely an image (symbol) of “heaven.” “Earth” is also the piece of paper on which God writes his messages to us (signals and portents). A person of faith who is spiritually astute should be capable of reading these “letters” and responding appropriately to these missives sent by God.
And here is what the saint writes in regard to the variety of physical, mechanical, thermal, and other processes that occur in nature: “All the physical forces of the Earth, such as attraction and repulsion, heat, electricity, radiation, etc., are symbols of the spiritual forces of the Kingdom of Heaven. These physical forces would not be forces in and of themselves and could not exist if they did not emanate from immeasurably great spiritual sources. And if there were no eternal, rational forces controlling or wielding power over those physical forces, those physical forces would cause utter chaos throughout the whole world, as it is written about the Lord and His creatures: ‘Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die.’ (Psalm 104: 29).”
When necessary, the Lord uses natural disasters to remind mankind that they have strayed far from the ways of God and transgressed against the Supreme Law. This is manifested in earthquakes, floods, droughts, infestations of locusts and insects, dramatic changes to the climate, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, magnetic storms, etc. If mankind loses all semblance of its humanity, shamelessly trampling upon the commandments of God, then – with the help of the forces of nature – the Lord simply begins to destroy. Suffice it to recall the Deluge or the destruction of Sodom.
An important place in the arsenal of God’s natural “tools” is held by the stars and the closest star to Earth – the Sun. In his work Symbols and Signs, St. Nikolaj writes, “On the first page of the Bible it tells how the Creator created the stars within the firmament of heaven in order to divide the day from the night and to act as portents. On their surface, these words mean that they will be signs ‘for seasons, and for days, and years,’ as it is written. But the deeper meaning is that those stars will act as spiritual and moral signs for the wise. In other words, they will act as signals to God’s people, signals of God’s favor or anger, or as cautionary or prognostic omens.”
Here is what the saint writes about the stars as portents: “... The star of Bethlehem, which guided and directed the wise men from the East to the grotto in Bethlehem, heralded the birth of the Great King. Of course that star was unique in every respect. But if you think about it, ordinary stars have served as portents from God (i.e., signals) in various eras and under varying circumstances. The Creator has used them to reveal Himself and His will.”
The saint places special emphasis on the Sun – both as a symbol and as a portent. He writes: “The sun is a symbol of the Lord God himself, St. Gregory the Theologian wrote, ‘The sun, to the carnal man, is like God to the spiritual man.’ Just as the sun shines and thus through its light illuminates and warms all Earth’s living creatures, so too does God use His reason to illuminate all souls and His love to warm them. The absence of the sun would mean death to physical organisms, and the absence of God – death to souls.”
The sun also acts as a portent. The saint writes, “At the prayer of the righteous Joshua, the Almighty halted the movement of the sun and the moon. This is a sign as to how the Lord God listens to the righteous. There is nothing that the Most Merciful Lord would not do for those who love Him! He stops the sun and goes to the Cross – all for the love of those who love Him.”
The saint points out that Christians do not worship the sun, the stars, or the moon, as do the pagans. They view “Earth” (the whole of the natural world), the sun, and the stars as symbols of spiritual reality, but in no way as reality itself. “Unlike us,” writes St. Nikolaj, “pagans, both in ancient and modern times, view these astronomical bodies as the sole existing reality, and when they see something material and tangible, they begin to deify or even worship it! That is why the pagans in every era succumbed to a terrible error, bowing down before the creations of the Creator as if before deities.”
“The error of both ancient and modern idolaters arises from the fact that the spirit does not guide their gaze, but vice versa: the gaze leads the spirit. The spirit, like a blind man, straggles along behind visual perception, worshiping what the eyes take for reality and call a deity.”
Speaking of modern-day idolaters, the saint was also referring to those scientists who perceive stars and other cosmic bodies as a sort of “living” source that governs human life.
If you compare nature to a book, it is clear that the book is secondary and its author is primary. And so it is with nature. At times we forget that behind it stands its Author/God, the Creator of the visible and invisible world. And the letters in this book are objects from the universe and from the natural world here on Earth, which are called “symbols.” People of science study individual objects (galaxies, stars, planets, plants, atoms, and even smaller particles, viruses, microorganisms, etc.) and go into raptures over the individual “symbols” (letters), but are unable to piece together those symbols/letters in order to form a unified picture (such as a word or sentence). And if they make attempts to do so (usually it is philosophers who take on this task), then the most they can manage to do is to spell out a sentence. But they are like children – they read, pronounce words, and hear, but they miss the point of what is pronounced and heard.
There can be no doubt that the eruptions on the sun that occurred last week are portents for mankind. People should be shuddering at these dreadful warnings from the Supreme Lawmaker, realizing that they have gone too far in their violations of the principal Moral Law. But who paid any attention to them, other than scientists and suckers for cheap, sensational journalism?
Source in Russian: Tsar’grad Media
Adapted and translated by ORIENTAL REVIEW.