Thus One Journeys to the Stars


Thus one journeys to the stars - -  Virgil

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If we ever meet another civilization out among the stars,
perhaps they will forgive our faults if we show them our music:

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So, we - you and I - have completed our journey - and retold our story:
It is the story of the humans - you and me - and even the story of our universe. 

PoohLife

We learned that we think, feel and belong - a combination of all these things we think about, how we feel about them and how they connect us to one another - how we belong.

    Belonging through thinking and feeling is what we call love.  

We learned that we seek not knowledge, but experience. We learned that we want to experience love - the experience of belonging - belonging to each other, belonging in this universe.

We learned that this new view of ourselves and the world is flexible - fluid and dynamic - no longer fixed and frozen by doctrines and dogmas of the past, we have learned that the entire universe is changing too. We only thought it was fixed in the past because of our short lives and small size. Now we can measure the long lives of giant things: galaxies and whales, and we can also measure the high speed of tiny things: atoms, molecules and cells. 

We also learned that we are temporary - faces on the waves of atoms and stars !! 
We - you and me - and indeed everything here - children, flowers, even stars and galaxies - is temporary. The time will come when even the stars are gone.

"I'll tell you a secret. Something they don't teach you in your temple. The Gods envy us. They envy us because we're mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we're doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again."

             —  Brad Pitt as Achilles to Briseis in Homer's Iliad via Troy the movie

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We surveyed modern science, but we skipped a lot - scientific things like particle physics, cosmology and calculus - social things like religion, culture and history. Like Newton’s little boy, we are distracted by shiny things on the beach, while the great ocean at our feet reaches towards infinity and far, far beyond our ken. 

Maybe you want to explore further. How about the grand tapestry above us of the universe as a whole, of which our planets, stars and galaxies - even superclusters of galaxies are mere threads? How about the processes nature uses to build structures from atoms to humans, including weird things like language and pheromones? Or how about Jesus’ rescue from crucifixion by his friends - something institutional religion will never tell you about?  
Many wonderful ideas and mysteries - lie ahead, waiting to be discovered.

Now we know,
    not only about ourselves and about this universe,
        but also about Invisible Machines, like those in our heads:

Like fish in the ocean,
        we swim in a vast sea of information. 
Like fish discovering water,
        only now are we becoming aware of this sea.

That awareness is called consciousness.
It will carry us deep into the waters of thought itself. 

Soon we will meet intelligence beyond our own.
But it will come, not from the stars,

It will come from us.

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In closing, I leave you with two of my favorite Einstein quotes :

1: —————————— 

A human being is a part of the whole called by us the universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience our self, our thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. …


Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self.

  —  (Albert Einstein, 1954)

2: —————————— 

The most beautiful and most profound experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. 

To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms - this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.
  —  ( Albert Einstein - The Merging of Spirit and Science)

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In our closing video we watch the birds arrive. 
Like all life here, they ultimately come all the way from the stars,
acrosss billions of light years of space-time, gigaparsecs even,
through incredibly violent processes, leading to quarks, atoms, molecules and us.

Finally, from 2:07 on:
One Great Bird steps down onto the water, 
and we see a spaceship, coming in  from the stars.

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We shall not cease from exploration

and the end of all our exploring

will be to arrive where we started

and know the place for the first time.

                                        — T. S. Eliot

Deep peace of the shining stars to you - Gareth+

© Gareth Harris 2017       --------        Contact email: garethharris@mac.com        --------         see also: GarethHarris.com