As the rain falls outside the window, and as the guitar rolls on the speakers, I look at myself. There is nothing out of the ordinary that I see. This is me, and this has been the case for the last 2 decades. But I am struck with this feeling of amazement and wonder, something which I knew all the time, yet I hadn’t ever really grasped the meaning thus clearly. Perhaps it is the rain or the music, or maybe the mix of everything.
Science, or rather astronomy, has shown us that Universe is made up of trillions of galaxies, each having trillions of stars, and then this accounts for 5 percent of the Universe. The other 95 percent of the Universe is made up of “dark” matter and “dark” energy, things which we only have a vague idea about. The reason we need these terms is to account for the ever-expanding Universe, something which we cannot explain with our current knowledge. Its like throwing an apple in the air and it keeps on getting faster with time. Human beings, arrogant as we may be of our intelligence, are still clueless about most of the Universe.
One thing we can be certain about is that Universe is indeed big. As Carl Sagan puts it, Earth is just one pale blue dot in the cosmic ocean. In all this massiveness, where do we, Earthlings, fit? How do we find sense and meaning in this life form we find ourselves in? Can science even begin to answer the question? Are we humans attracted to religion because of our inherent need to find purpose and meaning in the nothingness?
Yes, there are way too many questions to answer. And, answers cannot be found from just one source or one book. If that were the case, everyone would have found their answers by now. These questions require constant self-searching and I feel each person answers the questions, his or her own way. There are many philosophies and religions available for us to choose from. But one thing is certain, science has a power to show us, awaken us and enlighten us about how precious and rare we are, as living beings, in the cosmic massiveness.
Our body is made up of multitude of elements ranging from iron, oxygen, nitrogen, potassium, sodium, carbon and so on. Where do all these elements come from? How did Universe create these elements in the first place? The answer lies in the core of the stars where nuclear fusion creates all known elements in the Universe. Following the death of the star, all these elements are released in a massive explosion, spilling them across space. And its these elements which lie inside our body now. Its in the death of stars that new life awaits.
Instead of we being separate from the Universe, we are part and parcel of the Universe. I am the Universe. And Universe is me. The atoms and molecules that sit in our body today have undergone countless cycles of birth and death across massive portions of the Universe since the birth of the Universe: the Big Bang. Guess, its safe to say that we were born 14 billion years ago. And to top it off, through the incredible process of evolution, we have been gifted the intelligence to fathom this fact. I find this incredibly amazing.
So, what is the moral of the story? We are made up of the Universe, and perhaps we have only one life to experience the beauty of the Universe. We must take steps to not only appreciate what we have, but also use this incredible power as human beings to do things which matter to us, things which might be very small, but gets us closer to realizing the beauty of this Universe we find ourselves in. Showing love for the loved ones, making others a bit happier, taking time to enjoy the nature, appreciating the multitude of cultures, enjoying art, pursuing our passions and putting ourselves through myriad experiences are some ways I feel we can justify being “alive”.
We all are awesome. And we all are a part of one big human family. After all, how many pieces of matter in the Universe have the ability to think, enjoy, love, feel and appreciate what they find around them. There might be other living beings in the Universe, but for now, we are the only ones we know about. We are the products of the magnificent workings of the Universe, which has amazed us and will continue to amaze us for eternity. No matter how we may look, feel, or act, we are all awesome in our own ways, after all we are the products of the Universal amazingness.