Mike and his guests were discussing solar sugar cubes surrounded with solar cells that would convert light to electricity for electric powered cars. The tritium and aerogel were incorporated and radioactive particles emitted by the tritium struck against phosphor in the porous aerogel and produced light. Tritium decays slowly and would provide power for twenty years or more. Judith wondered, in passing, why they thought manufactures would buy a battery that would power a car for more than twenty years without replacement, but her mind was mostly preoccupied with her brother’s question.
Perhaps she was exerting too much energy toward dead ends. Judith remembered something she read about the ancient Greeks and how their thinking changed through the centuries and shaped the way man, today, thought.
Is it possible that ancient Greeks already had all the answers to questions that puzzle us so, and lost real knowledge in their quest for philosophy – for abstract “wisdom” and logical thinking? Was Socrates’ assertion, that God only is wise and that the wisdom of man is little or nothing, perhaps the final truth?
The theory of evolution is so much like Ptolemy’s assumption, in which scientists cut up and disfigure every new thought to fit the theory, that Judith found it hard to accept the conclusions of today’s physicists without questioning them.
Since many of the “laws” of nature have been found to be invalid or incomplete, limited or flawed, Judith was tempted to assume that the laws which are believed to be so accurate and infallible are as subject to change and revision as the others.
Judith talked with her guests whenever they happened to notice she wasn’t included in the conversation and tried to remedy the fault, but mostly she was left alone to think her own thoughts, and all of those thoughts seemed to be memories of what Paul said.
“Man was created with such perfect intelligence he could give names to all the animals. He was in perfect physical condition with a body and mind meant to live forever. After the fall, when the laws of nature took over, his life span was less than a thousand years, and it has already decreased until it is less than a hundred years. With each succeeding generation man’s physical and mental ability for survival becomes increasing less stable. The nutrients have gone from the ground and poisons take their place. Our resistance to disease is lowered. We consume drugs instead of wholesome food. Our bodies and minds are both breaking down under the stress. Mankind is on a roller coaster ride to self-destruction. In the past decade more murders were committed than in the last fifty years, and there is a shocking increase in motiveless crime. Psychopath, terrorist, and mass murders are the trend.”
When Judith tried to sleep that night she kept hearing Captain Largo Ask that troublesome question about who she would attribute the beauty and grandeur of the universe to. When would she see him again? He had said good-bye, and yet, he also said he would be expecting her answer.
When she finally fell asleep, it was to dream of Captain Largo and Paul. In her dream they were the same person but when she woke, she reasoned they couldn’t be the same person. They may have pretty much the same physical appearance, but Paul’s dress was casual “today” in America, and Captain Largo’s uniform seemed to have grown on him in his own universe. They both had the same slow smile, but Paul didn’t go flying around the universes in a spacecraft.
Much later Judith reluctantly pulled herself out of bed and stumbled into the kitchen.
“You look awful,” her brother said. “Why don’t you go back to bed? I ‘ll get my own breakfast.”
“No,” Judith said. “I tried that and dreamt the world was burning up.”
“You’ve been reading too many of those books,” Mike said. “You need to get outside and get some fresh air.”
“I guess you’re right,” Judith said with a sigh. “Maybe if I get outside for a while it will blow some of those cobwebs away that have been collecting lately.”
After Mike left Judith cleaned up and collected the necessary things for a relaxing day on the beach. She was standing on the shore, watching the waves ebb and flow in orderly disorder. The clouds above her moved from one pattern to another, as far as her finite eyes could see, pattern and color cooperated to declare a power she was not sure she was ready to acknowledge. She could see again the bright colors and moving particles in space. Infinity and eternity, time and space without beginning or end demonstrated in the vast universe of galaxies of such distance and age that only God could ever hope to know or understand.
“These are things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.” Judith turned and smiled at the sound of Captain Largo’s voice. He put his hand on her shoulder. “Have you an answer for me?”
“In the beginning God created,” Judith answered without hesitation.
Captain Largo’s smile made the morning even brighter. “He told your prophet Isaiah to comfort his people with the promise that the King shall come and feed his flock like a shepherd. He shall gather the lambs into his arms and carry them close to his heart.”
“But where are the dead?”
“Your parents are safe in the arms of Mashiach.”
Judith looked out over the ocean and watched the waves until she could feel them. As the fire from the setting sun dashed across the sky and the fluffy white clouds were lit with a crimson glow a great calm settled over her. She was alone now. She turned and made her way back home.