I have been, unfortunately, stuck in a hotel room for the past two weeks. Hopefully, I will find a house to rent this week and I can move out of the hotel. But for now, I'm stuck with about 8 TV channels and a number of books I brought with me. I can only read for so long before my eyes start to give out and my ears start to yearn for another's voice. Last night, that voice came from Penn and Teller. Despite my hotel not having very many channels, it does have 3 channels of showtime. On this night, the first showtime channel was playing Penn and Teller: Bullshit! - Abstenance. In this show, Penn and Teller (well one of them, the other doesn't talk - not sure which is which) went through the virtues of sex and how the religious right were just crazed lunatics. They talked about the health benefits of sex and how schools should teach safe sex and masterbation instead of abstenance because statistics have shown 80% of those in abstinance only programs engage in pre-marital sex; therefore, those programs don't work. They brought out Jocyln Elders and Ph.D.'s in sexology and even some from abstinance only programmes (though they mainly just made fun of them).
In their defense, it was not meant to be "fair and balanced." It was designed to demonstrate that their viewpoint was the enlightened one, backed by the latest scientific evidence: instead of the crank religious right's viewpoint which is only backed by 5000 years of tradition and mysticism. I laughed at their arrogance and thier egotism. Their naivete at what they don't know is astounding. I fully admit that there exists a plethora of information that I'm not aware of. In a world where information is king, I am but a jester. I firmly believe that we only know a small fraction of what we could know and touting scientific studies as proof of anything is just lunacy.
The Bible is full of information on how to live your life, both physically and spiritually. It describes interactions in two very different worlds. It discusses how changes in the spiritual world greatly affect the physical. In our modern era of science and experimentation, we know those to be the ramblings of ancient and ignorant peoples. They could only explain the world they knew by creating a world they didn't know.
Recent superstring theory tries to unify gravity and quantum mechanics through the vibration of unfathomably small strings. If a string vibrates a certain way, it produces an electron, a different way would produce a neutrino, and so on for all the sub-atomic particles. According to their theory, our universe is a cosmic symphony. Being a music lover, I like that. I like to think that we are all working to produce a harmony. Currently, it is the leading theory in the push to find the GUT (grand unifying theory) and it is gaining quite a bit of momentum. But, there is one oddity to the theory. It requires spacetime to have not 4 dimensions, like we are used to (3 of space, 1 of time), but in fact 10 or 11 dimensions (9 or 10 of space, 1 of time). Scientists often pose thoughts as to where these spacial dimensions are, but no answer has been widely accepted. A common answer is that the dimensions are curled up into a ball so tiny that we cannot see them. We pass through them without even knowing it. Another common answer is that they dimensions are vast (like the 3 with live in), but we have no faculties for noticing them. They are all around us, a shadow world that we cannot see or touch. According to the latest scientific research
there is a world all around us
that we cannot hear, see, touch, or explore
. And they call religious people mysics.
I know that the spiritual world is real. I wonder if it is somehow embedded in those extra 6 or 7 dimensions. If so, then the Bible is not just a guide for how to live in a world you understand, but also how to live in one you can't. Not only must we ask how something will affect our physical selves, but also our spiritual selves - selves that exist in dimensions that we can't penetrate. In the battle against abstinence, one can bring in tons of evidence on how sexual intercourse is medically benefiicial. I certainly don't deny it - nor would any other Christian. That is why sex is an important part of marriage. That is why Paul says not to withhold sex from one another in a marital relationship. It is how we were designed to operate in the physical world. But, we must also ask ourselves how we are to operate in the spiritual dimensions. Is there a spiritual version of an STD? How does marriage affect that portion of our selves? We understand the physical aspects of sex. We understand how nerves react to the stimulus. We understand how hormones affect us. We even understand how not to get pregnant. We don't understand the extra-dimensional properties of sex. What happens to our spirits when we engage in intercourse with another person? Is this food to the spirit? Is it recreation or procreation?
There are so many questions about the spiritual world: ones that are still veiled in mysticism. However, as science advances, so too might our knowledge of these extra dimensions and parts of us that extend into them. Perhaps learning to heal a soul in a spiritual dimension will help reduce the number of crimes in the physical world. I honestly don't know. I don't even know how to look. I can't even begin. I can only think. And dream.