Posts tagged beuaty
Posts tagged beuaty
I just got back from staring at a small fraction of our galaxy: a small fraction of our local cluster: a small fraction of the universe. Simply put, I was stargazing.
I have never felt this calm and this at ease with reality before - and I wish I could share the feeling.
I don’t know how to describe it. But as I looked at the stars, I felt a very unusual calm. About everything. My mind thought in waves; they came in peaks and troughs. The troughs my mind was blank, taking in the world as I saw it, smelled it, sensed it. In the peaks my mind was racing with thoughts about the enormous distance that the light had to travel to reach my eyes, marveling about the quantum reality of our universe, trying to wrap my mind around the incredibly small, imagining every chemical surrounding me, yet trying to understand the enormity of the world. I felt like I was indeed a minute creature on a pale blue dot; I am a speck of dust in reality. Yet, I am by far not the smallest thing possible; in fact, the orders of magnitude larger the universe is than I nearly matches the orders of magnitude larger I am than Planck length.
My mind danced with the awe of being there, being the result of well over 3 billion years of evolution. That I was the end result of a supernovae, of which the stars themselves formed from gravity pulling at the forming gasses after the big bang, bringing them into higher and higher states of entropy.
Somehow, against all odds, against all statistical improbabilities, against what seems reason itself, I, a part of the universe, exist and am marveling at everything around me.
And I know that at some point I will die.. but so what? Reality exists apart from me. Evolution will continue to act, and more advanced life forms than I will even better yet be able to marvel at what’s around them. I will leave the stage eventually, but I am on it, right now, and have the privilege of being part of the play. When “I” die, “I” will simply cease to exist. And in that time as I stared at the stars, I didn’t care. Special relativity itself predicts that past, present, and future are nothing more than illusions of the mind. But I know that this mind is nonetheless capable of perceiving the present, a small fraction of the electromagnetic spectrum, can hear a few magnitudes of vibrations of air waves and interpret them meaningfully, can feel atoms repel each other and attract one another, can smell chemicals in the air and interpret their significance, and can taste molecules, feel variations of heat and energy, and more. My mind is capable of rearranging the environment to suit its needs or desires.
One day, my brain, effectively myself and my consciousness, will “die”. But everyone else around me will still live. The circle of life continues. The dance of the stars carries on. And I appreciate my chance to be a part of it, to understand it, to be it.
I just felt… immortal, I suppose. I don’t know how else to describe it.
Ahhh… I love the smell of the universe in the morning after a night of basking in its silent beauty.