Magma is molten rock located beneath the surface of the Earth or other terrestrial planet. This complex, high-temperature fluid often collects in a magma chamber and may contain suspended crystals and gas bubbles. Upon cooling, it solidifies to form igneous rock. Magma is capable of intrusion into adjacent rocks, extrusion onto the surface as lava, or ejected explosively as tephra to form pyroclastic rock. The study of magma helps us understand the structure, composition, and evolution of the Earth's crust and mantle over geological time.
From a Unification perspective, several points can be made:
- When magmas cool and solidify, they form igneous rocks. These rocks, along with sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, provide the foundation on which numerous creatures, including humans, dwell. They thus enable our survival and growth on this planet.
- The scientific study of magmas provides us with a means of understanding the structure and history of the Earth. This type of work requires superior mental faculties, which are connected to our spiritual dimension and reflect the higher intelligence of our Creator. In addition, the results of these studies provide glimpses of some of the processes by which God invested His heart, intelligence, and energies in creating this world.
- Our efforts to study magmas spring from our inner desire to understand the natural world, regardless of whether the knowledge gained helps us for our practical, survival needs. These efforts distinguish the human species from all others on our planet.
- By investigating magmas, we work toward establishing harmony with the rest of the created world and stewardship (dominion) of true love over it. In Unification terminology, we work toward fulfilling God's "Third Great Blessing" to humanity.
- Magmas serve humanity and other species by shaping the Earth on which we live. In so doing, they provide us with an internal guiding principle: to live for the sake of others. By so doing, we demonstrate God's nature in action, and we can create a world of harmony and peace, which is the desire of all people.