This is where to submit your ideas and suggestions for the 2019 Charles Kingsley 200th anniversary festival hosted in his parish of Eversley
In the year 1848 revolutionary movements stirred in France, Germany and to some extent in England due to the appalling working conditions of the poor. On April 10th 1848, 170,000 police under the command of the Duke of Wellington were gathered to protect central London from the expected masses gathering on Kennington Common However bad weather dampened proceedings and the demonstration fizzled out. Kingsley, together with fellow clergy, however, had put up pamphlets in London which included the word: “Workmen of England! You say you are wronged...and many besides yourselves know it. The working clergy know it. They go into your houses; they see the shameful filth and darkness in which you are forced to live crowded together...’ (Footnote).This effort on Kingsley’s part led to more publications and books on the same theme.
A very significant side to Kingsley’ s longing for reform was the emphasis he put on science and the value of cleanliness, clean water and the proper disposal of sewage, rather than just pious advice about Christianity. Today we know about viruses, bacteria and modern medicine has solved many of the problems of Kingsley’s day, but we are left with the problem of what to do when we are all so physically and the psychological problems of comfort raise their heads, and how we deal with death. How do science and Christianity meet in this situation?
Einstein exposed the conundrums of light, space and time, Planck discovered the irreducible nature of the quantum and Heisenberg the problem we have in deciding whether a thing the size of a quantum is really there or is just a sort of cloud or wave of possibility. What we are made of after we are dead, and attempt to follow Charles Kingsley’s scientific approach to our religion
Sir John Eccles’ ideas won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1963, oddly enough 100 years after the publication of The Water Babies. He took up Neurophysiology after a mystical experience at the age of 18 or so.
Eccles has written a short book, ‘How the Self controls it’s Brain’ about how the ‘will’ is formed, that is how we make original decisions. Eccles make a good case for his theory that this sort of ‘willing’ is a quantum phenomenon.
The basis for quantum physics is that at under the minute dimensions with which it deals, objects are not present in any certain way – you know; the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Objects or ‘events’ as they are better called are present in only a probable way. From the point of view of God the whole universe is subject to this uncertainty, because it is so small; ‘it is and it isn’t’ depending on your view point, as the Mad Hatter might have said at his tea party, and as the ‘dead’ Christ too might have said to his disciples, as he ate broiled fish and some honey comb in their presence. In the eternal world time and space as we know them do not exist and the second law of thermodynamics does not hold sway; there is no entropy According to Eccles this eternal world communicates with our brains, depending on a correspondence between that world and ours, by entering the macroscopic physical and emotional world of our brains through ultramicroscopic structures in the cerebral cortex in which synaptic quantum sized ‘events’ are small enough to correspond to the arrangements of a timeless world.
Kingsley graphically describes in his letters to her, his love for his wife Frances Grenfell and based on that experience, the effect of love on the characters of some of his novels, especially in his book Yeast. The masterly way in which he describes magic world of the Water Babies also falls into this category which is why he was so popular in his day. He was a master of language.
Footnote. p137. The Apostle of the Flesh. A Critical Life of Charles Kingsley. J. M. I Klaver. (Brill 2006)