Thoughts on our place in the cosmos

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science.”

Albert Einstein

We need to know how our universe began, and in the next 50 years or so cosmologists hope to have an explanation. Meanwhile, they do agree that many other universes exist. Our task at present is to imagine new possibilities, to ask the really big questions. We must reach out beyond ourselves to understand this strange cosmos and how it began.

Saint Augustine was asked what God was doing when he created the universe and he answered, “Since God created time when he created the universe, there was no before.”

The creation of the cosmos has been a spiritual as well as a physical process. We have to believe in what we cannot prove; we must have faith. In Africa, our twelve month old first child was saved from death’s door miraculously. Now the human species needs to be saved. Expert doctors saved our son; but earth has all the necessary experts to save the planet.

A cosmic opportunity has fallen into our laps just at the point when it is required of us. Scientists know that if the universe had expanded a trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth faster than it did, it would have blown apart.  And if it had expanded a trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth slower, it would have collapsed.

The evolution of the earth over 4.5 billion years shows us the miracle of molten rock becoming monarch butterflies and the music of Mozart. We are NOT stewards, but co-creators of the cosmos. We are connected to the universe through our bones, our history, our atoms, our minds. We are stardust plus time. We need to understand how the universe has meaning to us.

The responsibility we have to the universe is larger than the responsibility we have to the earth. Our responsibility to the universe is sacred. The majority of earthlings are on a robotic march to death, using up the planet with no plan for the future.

In our modern short-term culture we’re impoverished by the lack of a meaningful universe, but a larger context of a cosmic society can be the ark which carries us into the future.

These comments are not originally mine.  They belong to Thomas Berry, Brian Swimme, Alan Lightman, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Nancy Ellen Abrams, Joel R. Primack, and others.

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