Astronomy (n): The study of stars which makes humans realize how insignifcant they really are.
The universe is gigantic. Gigantic beyond comprehension even. Billions and trillions of stars, millions of galaxies, an infinite amount of energy, somewhere out there, in the universe. It sure makes you feel small. It makes everything on Earth seem so insignificant with respect to the infinity of the universe. But why is it so big? What does it mean for us that we are so much less important than we initially thought? Most people resist taking on a cosmic perspective, at least in my life, and I think I know why. Because it is overwhelming and kind of depressing at first. Even taking on a global perspective is kind of demotivating, if looking at your life with respect to everyone who has ever lived on this planet. It just makes you realize your time is limited here.
But if we are living on a spinning ball, making revolutions around the sun, in a heirarchy ofmillions and billions of other systems like this, some dying, some being born, then what are we ? Why are we here? That is the one question that everyone wants to know the answer to. Some so badly they will buy just about any story someone can come up with. If someone says that we are here to learn a lesson or that there is an invisible man in the sky judging you, that you should strive to do good and not evil, people listen with great intent. And it is not a bad thing to give meaning to your life, but in a way, isn’t it a form of denial? I mean, I do believe there is life after death, a spiritual life, but I still question what that will mean, or if it will all be revealed to me once I cross over (but not with Jon Edwards). And when discussing the meaning of life with the close-minded evangelical-like believers, they will never change their perspective or even consider yours. Which is a recipe for disaster if you ask me.
Sure, there may be, and probably is, a spiritual side of life, and it is more empowering to believe that after you die, you will still exist. The other perspective is worthless, is demotivating, and will bring you a very depressing life because if there is no meaning, what is the point? But if you believe that there is something beyond this crazy planet and the whole universe, then you will most likely have less fear because no matter what happens to your physical body, you still exist in some form, therefore nothing can really destroy you, the essence of your being.
But if we are spiritual in nature, why are we living on some gigantic sphere, spinning around in circles around another even bigger sphere, along with other spheres, and other stars, for billions and billions of years, forever and ever and ever? I don’t know. I still have not figured out what this means. There has to be some reason why all of this is here. It’s not just for us to look at. Before us, these things were still here, so there has to be some purpose to it. Animals don’t question these things, they just live their lives. They instinctively must know something we do not. They must already know something about the infinity of time and space and are just allowed to live. The human, with his inquisitive and rational nature, is always wanting answers to questions that, from his/her perspective, are unanswerable.
Life goes on. Like some roller coaster ride that never ends, the universe does what it does best. And we stay here, trapped on some blue marble in the perspective of the whole universe, our lives nothing but a cosmic wink in the grand scheme, and for some reason we still find a way to get out of bed in the morning. Even though we either consider life meaningless or timeless (in the spiritual sense). I guess the way to look at it is, you could either believe life is meaningless and be apathetic, lethargic, and careless about your actions, which don’t really matter, or you can believe in a spiritual life beyond the grave, and make an effort to enrich your life here before moving on to whatever lies ahead. It would seem to me that option number two, the latter, would make a better choice to live a fulfilling life. And even if I am wrong, at least I lived a good life.
I would like to close this post with abstract thinking I would like to share with you. Imagine getting a snapshot of the universe. Of the whole thing. And pretend you were looking from far above at this thing, and what would be outside of it? How would this provide a bigger context for living? Would this solve anything at all or would it only create more confusion? We are imbedded in this system, so we have no way to see the whole thing simultaneously. Maybe doing so would give us some sort of answer. Maybe not. Have a cosmic day.
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