Envisioning the future, we tend to have two extremes. One is pessimistic, and the other is optimistic. We’ve seen many variations throughout our human history. Either way, the implication is that the world would end someday.
Depending on how we see this end, it could be either pessimistic or optimistic. Like Abrahamic religions from Judaism to Christianity to Muslim and their variants, God is supposed to embrace both edges of spacetime. And, He is the end to end.
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.Revelation 1:8
Alpha is the ultimate beginning. There was no spacetime before it. The universe was only at this tiny point that contained infinite possibilities. Even in physics and cosmology, this ultimate point could contain its gravitational infinity, called Singularity. Thus, it could be the cause of the Big Bang.
Outside of such spacetime from the Big Bang to the ultimate end, that is to say, from Alpha to Omega, there would be His divine eternity. At the moment we can no longer perceive spacetime, His divine eternity would emerge. It could also be nothingness and emptiness. It could be nothingness in comparison with spacetime. It could be emptiness even beyond such finite and infinite comparison.
If the universe is linear, we could articulate the Alpha point as the Big Bang. If so, how about the Omega point? God embraces two edges of the universe. What is His Omega point? Is there any specific kind of Singularity?
In a pessimistic perspective, we see the Omega point as a sort of doomsday.
There are various apocalyptic visions. Abrahamic religions have them as their key messages. Even in the fields of natural sciences, there are several apocalyptic visions, especially from the environmental point of views. As our world is vulnerable, because of our destructive actions, one day, it will die as any life forms would die as well. Or else, God will end it with His judgment. As He created it, He can also shut it down.
In an optimistic perspective, on the other hand, we see the Omega point as a sort of open-ended progressiveness.
Its infinite possibilities should be intact from the beginning to the end. If so, what is this end? It is, indeed, open-ended. We can recall the thought of the French Jesuit Catholic priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881–1955).
In his work, The Phenomenon of Man, the spacetime from the Alpha point should be rather evolutionary with ever-increasing complexity from atomic particles to molecules to viruses to bacteria to plants to insects to animals to humans. It is from the geosphere (inanimate matter) to the biosphere (biological life) to the noosphere (the sphere of human thought).
The characteristic of the noosphere is its reflexivity and self-consciousness. We humans can see us in our minds and locate us in the spacetime sequence. In other words, such spacetime could see itself in its own. We humans could see a glimpse of God as the spacetime entity within and without.
And our human consciousness would continuously expand and eventually transcend itself. At this culmination, it would be no longer that we see the universe, but rather this universe sees itself by its own.
At this very moment, the Omega point is God’s consciousness Himself. Hence, “I am Alpha and Omega.” In the words of the Nicene Creed, it could be “God from God,” “Light from Light,” “True God from true God,” and “through him, all things were made”.
I think this is one of the optimistic perspectives for the end of the universe and the Omega point; how the Bing Bang would end by itself eventually.
Interestingly, in his work, The Singularity Is Near, Ray Kurzweil (1948-) also mentions a similar evolutionary view, calling such Omega point “the Universe Wakes Up.”
One of the significant differences, however, is that he considers the technological advancement as part of the noosphere expansion. In this expansion, there would be the moment from humans to transhumans such as General and Super Artificial Intelligence.
I don’t think this is as simple as AI with self-consciousness and the like. More correctly, there could be a merger between technology and human intelligence, which exponentially accelerates the noosphere expansion towards the cosmic consciousness. Ray Kurzweil describes it as the Six Epochs of Evolution.
Personally, I don’t know how much the technological advancement could contribute to such path to the universe awaken. One thing for sure is that the Omega point here is also optimistic, not the last moment of a doomsday clock.
Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians; Image by skeeze
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