An unexpected awakening

Okay, the last post was definitely a needed rant/venting. Felt good to get it out and return to honesty. BUT… it was more representative of how I felt months ago. Recently, I have begun a real shift in my perception of life, and suffering.

I’m what you might call an armchair cosmologist. I absolutely love and am fascinated by the big questions, such as:

Where did life spring from? How was the universe created? Is there a purpose to life? What caused the initial spark of life? How did rocks, space dust, and basic elements become planets? And why, so far, is there only one known planet that not only has life, but intelligent, HUMAN life?

During my blogging break, I have seen tons of science and philosophy documentaries covering these types of questions. And I am awed at what humans have discovered.

Did you know, for instance, that physicists agree that our universe as it is today, is statistically impossible? Our very lives are impossible, mathematically. Astronomers have tried over and over to create computer simulations of the origins of the universe, and each time, the result is nothing like the universe we ended up with. There are an insane amount of variables to consider. So many events had to happen precisely the way they did. Imagine accounting for every possible electron and atom, starting from the Big Bang. Then imagine accounting for the various elements that those atoms formed. Things like carbon, hydrogen, iron, and everything else on the periodic table of elements. Then imagine those elements forming giant rocks, and planets, suns, and eventually our own blue/green living marble planet. Imagine if our home planet was just a little farther from the sun, or just a bit closer to it. The world could have easily frozen over, or become a fiery, radiated planet.

Then imagine from that same planet, the one perfectly positioned in it’s distance from our closest star, life forming out of a sea of primordial sludge. It would have looked like a barren, unforgiving, lifeless wasteland of an ocean. But nevertheless, those same atoms and elements found their way onto Earth, and into the sludge. They probably crash landed from a meteorite and brought those elements with it. And somehow, in the soup covering our then young planet, these atoms, and elements collided and mixed over and over, until eventually one of those collisions formed life. Bacteria. Then imagine that bacteria merging with other elements and forming several types of other bacteria, and later microscopic creatures. Then millions of years later fish, and not just one kind, but a sea of vastly unique living creatures. And on land, blooming plant life. And plant life that produced oxygen, allowing the opportunity for life to eventually foster on land. And helping to produce Earth’s protective ozone layer.

Of course that can’t be predicted by a computer. Too many variables. Too many things that had to happen exactly as they did. Even any “mistakes” had to happen. If anything was different, even by a small amount, none of us would exist. Our very existence is impossible. Consider that.

Here’s another thought to ponder: think of yourself. You were born of two parents. They had 4 parents combined (your grandparents). And those 4 grandparents were born of 8 other people. Keep going, and then there’s 16, 32, 64, 128, 512, 1024, 2048, and pretty soon you’re up to thousands of ancestors. That means THOUSANDS of couples had to meet, and procreate, and have the exact children they had (and lose the the children they did). Had any ONE of those couples not met, or if any ONE ancestor had chosen a different mate than the one they did, YOU would never have been born.

We are indeed impossible creations. Otherwise known as miracles. Statistically impossible to recreate.

And I got it: the gift is life itself. We are the lucky few, in this vast universe to know what it is to be alive.

And then, once I realized that the gift is life itself, well…somehow it made sense. See, perfection does not exist in this universe. If you think something looks perfectly smooth, just look deeper, and you’ll notice microscopic bumps and valleys.

Imperfection is built into everything, alive or not. It is part of everything we see. And every human. I am imperfect, as we all are. But I am alive. And that is my amazing gift. I can look up at the stars and ponder all I want about life and its origins. What a marvelous and miraculous treat.

Life is our gift. Nature isn’t perfect, so naturally some of us have more imperfections than others. But when I consider the impossibility of it all, I think my illness is a tiny mistake compared to the majesty and beauty of the world around me. Looking at the big picture, I can forgive nature’s little mess up with me. I can let go of blaming God, and focus on living as best as I can. I was never owed good health. How could I expect myself to be genetically flawless, when perfection doesn’t exist? The same Great Mystery that created golden sunsets, blue oceans, giant redwoods, star-filled skies, and the precious humans I call friends and family, also created me. And allowed me the  opportunity to be able to appreciate it all. I cannot continue to harbor resentment. How can I?

Did I really expect that there would be no errors in any part of creation? Well. yes. As a child, I did.

But now? Of course not. Too many variables. Mistakes are built into the fabric of nature. The universe is so giant it may as well be infinite in size. That’s a lot of stuff to create. I’m just a tiny piece of it. By comparison to the size of the universe, I may as well be infinitely small. I can’t be upset because some cells went haywire in my body.

The important thing, is my impossible existence. I am alive. I am imperfect. But I AM ALIVE. Against all odds, from the Big Bang, and every tiny and giant action afterward, to me. I am so grateful to be one of lucky few who were born. I love that I am even able to THINK about this stuff. Anything extra, besides the breath of life, is a privilege. Nature only ever guarantees one thing: death. But even death might not be the end for us. (I’ll save that for the next post.)

I don’t consider myself religious, but I am definitely becoming more spiritual.

3 comments

  1. Chris says:

    Science! It is a showcase of human brilliance and creativity. At the same time, it is also a showcase of how much we do not know. So much more to learn and ponder. Discovery is a beautiful thing.

  2. Maytrella says:

    That was deep. Wow, that was an incredible post (awakening) Chris, thank you so much for sharing & for your insight. Isn’t it also amazing that no two fingerprints, eyes, or even hair strands are the same?? I truly agree with you that life itself IS our gift, it is a miracle that we came into this world — and to wake up every day!

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