Home Letters Solar eclipse is motivation to reflect and learn
Now that the solar eclipse has occurred on the face of the universe, I would like to make some observations, even though I am not an astronomer and have not seen the eclipse either. My observations might have a touch of rational and religious facet, because there is a thin line between reason and religion, or science and spiritual.
An editorial of this newspaper, dated 16th August 2017, emphasised a natural phenomenon of the solar eclipse with appropriate research, and I would like to commend the editorial writer. But I would like to add a little flavour to the natural phenomenon with supernatural phenomenon, without undermining the natural element.
Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, a planetary scientist and the director of the Vatican Observatory, and also an expert in asteroids and meteorites, made an interesting mention in the Time Magazine on Thursday, August 17. He says, “this phenomenon of the solar eclipse must remind us of the immense beauty of the universe, which occurs outside our small world of our occupations. It takes us away from our own world to remind us that we are part of a great, glorious and beautiful universe. The meaning of any phenomenon comes with enquiries, and we can approach this phenomenon spiritually, to bring meaning to our lives, irrespective of our traditions. Ask yourself, what are the questions that rise in me? And answer these in your own heart first.”
My way of looking at this experience will be different than others, because I believe that God has a way to show His grandeur more concretely through the natural occurrence. God chose to make this rational universe, so that we can predict this natural occurrence with great precision, although not every natural phenomenon can be predicted with precision. We, as humans, grasp the natural phenomenon through our senses as much as we could; but beyond our senses, the universe remains speculative reality. In other words, we see the universe and its contents differently, such that a poet might not look at the universe as a cosmologist would look at it. Therefore, it is important for us to reflect on natural phenomenon by keeping supernatural reality on the hindsight. If we try to separate these two realities, we would ignore what is beyond our comprehension. We are fortunate to gaze at the solar eclipse through our senses. This eclipse has to help us to live in peace and harmony, because we live under the same sun and its shadow. This also must motivate us to learn more through scientific and spiritual mind.
Jerri Melwin Dias