The Theory of Everything: Grappling with the Universe

The Theory of Everything MovieThe Theory of Everything is a 2014 dramatized version of the life of Stephen Hawking—who has one of the most brilliant scientific minds since Einstein—and his wife, Jane (Wilde) Hawking. Stephen Hawking It’s rare to have a movie produced during a celebrity’s lifetime that is both accurate (not perfectly, but in essence) and approved, but The Theory of Everything was so carefully researched and crafted that Stephen Hawking not only approved the movie, he even allowed the producer to use his actual voice synthesizer, making people feel like they were seeing the real Stephen Hawking act! Felicity Jones Furthermore, his wife Jane remarked that Felicity Jones (who played Jane’s part) had done a masterful job of learning even her mannerisms and speech patterns. The Theory of EverythingI definitely recommend The Theory of Everything, although it’s absolutely heart-breaking to watch the struggles of a young couple trying to live a life of triumph in the midst of tragedy. Falling in love Stephen was first diagnosed with ALS as a young graduate student at Cambridge University, and despite having a prognosis of only 2-3 years to live, Jane Wilde fell in love and married him! The Theory of Everything marriage In an interview, Jane recalled: “We had this very strong sense at the time that our generation lived anyway under this most awful nuclear cloud—that with a four-minute warning the world itself could likely end. That made us feel above all that we had to do our bit, that we had to follow an idealistic course in life. That may seem naive now, but that was exactly the spirit in which Stephen and I set out in the Sixties – to make the most of whatever gifts were given to us.” Jane Hawking, Stephen Hawking's first wife, at Theory of Everything PremiereI have to confess that by the end of the movie it was really Jane that I most admired…for her faith, her fidelity, and her amazing strength of character for sticking it out as well as she did with a man who was so unable to provide for her physically or even emotionally. At one point, Jane reflected in her memoirs that she was left living in her own “black hole” of loneliness. stephen-hawkingHawking always preferred to be regarded as “a scientist first, popular science writer second, and, in all the ways that matter, a normal human being with the same desires, drives, dreams, and ambitions as the next person.” I believe this is utterly true of all humans, regardless of their physical appearance or disabilities. I remember a dear paraplegic friend in college, who once confided that the highest compliment he ever felt (from an emotional standpoint) was the day some of his friends forgot that he wouldn’t be able to dance. Oh, for the grace to see others the way God does, looking on the heart rather than outward appearances (1 Samuel 16:7). The Theory of EverythingThe movie’s title refers to Hawking’s endless obsession with trying to find a single equation that could explain all existence by uniting the four fundamental forces of nature (as he sees them): the strong force, the weak force, gravity, and the electromagnetic force. He also tried to find a mathematical way to rewind time and understand the beginning of the universe: “Here, time stops. You’ve reached the true beginning of everything. There is no previous time in which the universe could have had a cause. It spontaneously created itself in the Big Bang…I had controversially shown the laws of nature suggest there is no need for a creator or God. The universe just came into existence all by itself.”   I have no clue how he jumps from point A to B in his reasoning, because to me God’s speaking the world into existence coincides perfectly with the Big Bang Theory. However, I know that either believing in a first cause or not believing is a faith principle. Atheists also believe, they just believe there is no God. We all believe something; we just choose what we will believe based on our opinions about the evidence and our personal desire to live by our own direction vs. that of Another.NASA-Can-Stop-Looking-for-Black-Holes-Says-Stephen-Hawking-2Plagued constantly by the slow but unrelenting progression of his disease,  Stephen Hawking wrote in 2006 (more than 40 years after his predicted death): “The victim should have the right to end his life, if he wants. But I think it would be a great mistake. However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there’s life, there is hope.”  How true, and he is such an inspiring example to the rest of the world in this! The-Theory-of-Everything I know that Stephen Hawking will never read my blog, but I would like to encourage Stephen in his quest to find—not the illusion of knowledge—but true knowledge, which will answer the riddle of how the universe began and give not only hope while life shall last on this earth, but hope of a glorious future that includes perfect health and an infinity to explore the fascinations of the universe!

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).


15 thoughts on “The Theory of Everything: Grappling with the Universe

    1. The ending broke my heart, but I didn’t want to “ruin” the story for people by talking about the ending in my post. I agree with you. I definitely did not like the ending!

    2. I’m with you. I was shocked. But, after reading up on his life, the second marriage ended in a divorce (not surprising), and he and Jane have become good friends again, although she’s now happily married to her second husband (whom, just for the record, she did not marry until something like 7 years after Stephen left her). Hope nobody reads these comments until after they’ve seen the movie! 😦

  1. I so enjoyed reading this post, since I just watched the movie last night. I literally sobbed during most of it. It was so beautifully done. The scenes depicting moments in every day life, like at the beach, were just heartbreaking. I just loved the film’s score as well. Thanks for posting! Done gushing now!

    1. Thanks for gushing! The movie made me cry too. I’m glad there are other people out there who empathize with the terrible emotional (and physical) pain some people have to endure. You must be an awesome nurse! Do you ever watch “Call the Midwife”? I love that program!

      1. You’re so sweet, Kathi. I can’t speak for all nurses, but most carry out the empathy they feel for other people through the work they do. They choose to do something about pain and suffering, in other words. Anytime I see a true account of suffering in someone else’s life, it stirs real life emotions in me that oftentimes must be kept in check in order to do what I have to do, or see what I have to see sometimes. It results in a real tear fest at times, let me tell you!Actually, I rarely watch TV, so no, I have not seen the show you mentioned.

    2. I believe most nurses I’ve ever met (including my spiritual little sister, who was an intensive care nurse for many years) are very compassionate people who are nurses because they have such tender hearts and desire to help suffering humanity. Lizzie (my “little sister”) used to always struggle with needing to find the balance between enough emotional distance to be able to cope and do her job vs. continuing to experience deep, vicarious pain with her patients. It’s a huge burden of love for those who serve and care! BTW, we don’t have a T.V. as such ourselves, but my husband finds old re-runs on his computer sometimes. “Call the Midwife” is a BBC series based on the (true) journals of a nurse midwife in England during the 1950’s. Very touching. You’d enjoy them, I think.

      1. Finding that emotional distance is exactly it. You stated it so perfectly. It sounds like you have had a lot of personal experience with the never-ending balance issue nurses always seem to have. I would love to look up that show – you piqued my interest now!

      2. My husband is a physician, so I’ve watched doctors and nurses for years. My experience is that female nurses are (as a group) the most compassionate and willing to keep “feeling” with their patients. But, it’s their empathy that gives the patients what they need so desperately…a sense of someone who is for them “God with skin on”…someone who cares and understands! Bless you, dear sister!

      3. Well then you only know a little about these things then, Kathi! Those are very kind words to say. They mean a lot. I think it’s important for nurses to keep that empathy as well, because patients do need it so badly. But with burn-out issues, it’s a struggle. You have to find a place where you can feel that way, or you really shouldn’t be in the profession. Thanks again for such lovely comments about nursing. God bless you and your husband as well.

    1. Great point, Annette. The facts of our reality do change, but God and His eternal truths are always constant. Praise God, for that!

  2. Life is lived through the mind and the spirit of a person. Mike is fulfilled in his heart as he surrenders to Jesus Christ, and expresses creativity through his art. 20 years he has been confined to a wheelchair, and before he gave in to the confinement it frightened him terribly, yet now he has more freedom and found a certain amount of contentment.
    For me, I married for life, in sickness and in health; I understand the black hole of loneliness, yet, unlike Jane, my True Love is Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom of the Church as a whole, and as individual Christians. He is my Rock, my Dove, my soul’s Delight, my Sustainer.
    All things work together for good to those called according to His purpose and who love Him; and He gives good gifts to those who wait for Him…in His time and in His way, and it is by the strength of the Holy Spirit that we can wait and focus on Him instead of our faulty imaginations that would take us out of reality to the illusion of a dream.

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