Manny's Reviews > L'itinéraire spirituel de Georges Lemaître

L'itinéraire spirituel de Georges Lemaître by Dominique Lambert
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Sep 24, 14

bookshelves: french, history-and-biography, science, transcendent-experiences, if-research-were-romance
Recommended for: Francophones interested in the history of science
Read from May 22 to June 29, 2012

There's this passage in Orlando Furioso, quoted at length in Anthony Powell's Hearing Secret Harmonies, where Orlando's friend Astolpho meets Time in person. Time is frantically busy dumping things in the Well of Oblivion. Nearly all of what is thrown in stays there, but every now and then an item is rescued by one of the local swans, who bears it away to the Temple of Fame. Powell uses this image throughout the book as a metaphor for rescuing the past.

The author of the present book, Dominique Lambert, is evidently a swan, and his life work has been to rescue Georges Lemaître from the Well of Oblivion and restore him to his rightful position in the Temple of Fame.

The rest of this review is available elsewhere (the location cannot be given for Goodreads policy reasons)
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Reading Progress

05/22/2012 page 60
27.0% 2 comments
05/27/2012 page 92
41.0% "Father Lemaître is holding a church service. He's just blessed the bread, and then he accidentally skips a page. "You forgot to bless the wine!" whispers the verger. Lemaître picks up the chalice, takes off the lid, and looks inside. "So I did!" he agrees, and goes back a page."
06/23/2012 page 138
62.0% "In 1929, the Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal William O'Connor, advised his fellow-Catholics to shun the theory of relativity because it was "a befogged speculation producing universal doubt about God and his creation... cloaking the ghastly apparition of atheism.""
06/25/2012 page 148
66.0% "Lemaître tries to be scrupulous about keeping science and faith separate, but Our Lady of Fatima is too much for him. He tartly notes in a letter that astronomers observing the sun on 13 October 1917 did not see it move."
06/27/2012 page 170
76.0% "Towards the end of his life, Lemaître speculates that God maybe operates on the world through quantum indeterminacy, staying strictly within the laws of physics but pushing the outcomes in a specific direction. I wonder if this theory has been developed further?"
06/28/2012 page 202
90.0% "Lemaître's last public address, 1963. He quotes an encyclopedia article that describes him as being a faith-based author of theories that use the expansion of the universe to justify a supernatural account of its origins, and fairly bristles with indignation. "It would be hard to find more mistakes in a shorter piece of text"."

Comments (showing 1-22 of 22) (22 new)

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message 1: by Stas (new)

Stas That's a really fun fact.


Manny As you can see, I have become quite fascinated with this story...


message 3: by Stas (new)

Stas It makes me think of Monsieur Chouchani.


message 4: by Ian (new)

Ian Heidin[+]Fisch I'm going to need you to explain this to me tomorrow:

http://slatest.slate.com/posts/2012/0...


Manny It's clearly what our CERN friends have been whispering about for the last two or three weeks. They abruptly stop when you come near them and say it's classified.

It's been quite infuriating... I'm relieved that they're finally going public!


message 6: by Ian (new)

Ian Heidin[+]Fisch I can't wait to find out which particular God it is.


Manny If only I were better versed in the Hindu religion, I could identify the relevant member of the pantheon. I think it's one of the minor avatars of Vishnu, appearing as the giving-mass-to-particles god.


message 8: by Ian (new)

Ian Heidin[+]Fisch Why doesn't Christianity have words like pantheon and avatar and Vishnu?


Manny I know. They're got a pantheon, and all we've got is a Trinity. I try not to let it get to me.


message 10: by Ian (new)

Ian Heidin[+]Fisch I can just imagine those Vatican cheapskates going, "Yeah, three's enough for a pantheon anyway."


Manny Well, we've got the Virgin Mary too. She's almost like a fourth member.


message 12: by Ian (new)

Ian Heidin[+]Fisch Sort of like the drummer. Mo Tucker to God the Father's Lou Reed.


message 13: by Mala (new)

Mala Manny wrote: "If only I were better versed in the Hindu religion, I could identify the relevant member of the pantheon. I think it's one of the minor avatars of Vishnu, appearing as the giving-mass-to-particles ..."

Mr.Rayner you already know SO MUCH,atleast leave something to ignoramuses like me!
It wasn't a minor avatar of Vishnu who gave "mass to matter", rather Vishnu himself in a sleeping state,created Brahma who then created the universe. Infact our religion believes that the universe was created with the holy sound of OM(omkara),i guess it was your big bang sound & if i'm not mistaken,even the Physicists at CERN accepted that.I hope the scientific community soon puts this matter to rest so that all of us can live peacefully but that will mean Paul Bryant loosing his fav bone!
Here are links,you might like to peruse:

http://1stholistic.com/prayer/Hindu/h...

http://www.indianetzone.com/31/omkara...
Kind regards,
Mala


Manny Mala, thank you for your kind words... but it pains me to admit that most of what I know about the Hindu religion comes from reading Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light as a teen. Your comments are most welcome, and now I am intrigued to find out how far you can get in lining up Hindu mythology against the scientific story!

As you can see from Lemaître's essay, people have been trying to do this with Genesis for ages (I have my own little attempt here). But I've never seen a Hindu version before. I would love to know which stages of the Big Bang correspond to the sleeping Vishnu, Brahma's act of creation, and the sound OM!

Also, I understand the Hindu cosmology is cyclical, so the universe must be closed, contracting again after it has finished expanding and then exploding once more? This model has been discussed extensively by cosmologists, though it is currently unpopular for various technical reasons.


message 15: by Mala (new)

Mala Well intellectual as you are,i'm sure that if you are really keen on this subject,you'll surely master it.The Puranas talk abt creation but they are in Sanskrit & i don't know if any authentic translation exists,there shd be.If you google the topic' Creation of the world acco to Hinduism',you'll come across many relevant pages. Surprisingly,i couldn't access some of those,they are blocked here!
The Gita talks abt creation in a cursory manner,so i can't give you much.
Pls look for relevant books: the true seeker always finds the truth,that's what we believe:-)


message 16: by Ian (last edited Jul 03, 2012 06:26PM) (new)

Ian Heidin[+]Fisch http://www.stuff.co.nz/science/721870...

We're going to Melbourne on Friday for a week. I thought I might try to sneak in here:

http://www.ichep2012.com.au/

This is apparently where the announcement will be made.

Is there anything I can say that will guarantee me entry?

Like "I know Manny and Not"?

I'm assuming that nobody will be radioactive.


message 17: by Kevan (new)

Kevan Manny wrote: "Mala, thank you for your kind words... but it pains me to admit that most of what I know about the Hindu religion comes from reading Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light as a teen. Your comments are most ..."

My knowledge on the topic also comes from the same source - what's scary is that this seems to make us more informed than most people


message 18: by Mala (new)

Mala Kevan wrote: "Manny wrote: "Mala, thank you for your kind words... but it pains me to admit that most of what I know about the Hindu religion comes from reading Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light as a teen. Your comm..."

Well i haven't read that book so that definately puts both of you way ahead of me!


message 19: by Mala (new)

Mala Manny wrote: "Mala, thank you for your kind words... but it pains me to admit that most of what I know about the Hindu religion comes from reading Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light as a teen. Your comments are most ..."

An interesting panel discussion,comprising spiritual leaders & scientists. Worth a look:

http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/the-...


message 20: by Manny (last edited Oct 08, 2012 07:35AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Manny Well, I hope I'm doing a little in that direction :) I have come to admire him very much!


message 21: by Tuck (new)

Tuck i find it quite interesting that the chistians of 1500's or so we very excited about their discoveries in physics and such and thought that a better understanding of natural world and science would only strengthen their faith and glorify god/bible etc. but now all that has been turned on its head. many hard core reliogionists absolutely deny natural processes as "un-biblical" and anti-christian . least that's what i leaned from montgomery The Rocks Don't Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah's Flood and sobel in some recent readings A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos


Manny I guess Lemaître was an old-school Christian then. There are still some left - I didn't think Collins's The Language of God was all bad - but he wasn't that exciting, and even people like him are rare now. Sad.


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