Eightball and Thundercloud's RANT

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Our Little Rant by Eightball & Thundercloud
From InfoAve Premium Issue #105
October 21, 2005
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The Blue Marble Express

"We succeeded in taking that picture [from deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam." (Carl Sagan)

Tonight I gazed at the stars again and once again I watched in wonder and awe. There is something compelling about the stars, the planets, the moon, and the galaxies. It looks and  feels like home. And, perhaps it is. We are all star stuff. We all live and die traveling through the cosmos - all of us, passengers on the Blue Marble Express.

The greatest among us live lives as insignificant in the grand scheme of things as the tiniest microscopic creature that swims brainlessly and aimlessly in a single drop of water. Yet we go about our daily lives as if we ruled the universe and the sun rises and sets just for us.

Yet we have no such control; we have no such importance. Not a single one of us can even sit still. You're sitting there at your computer or PDA reading these words but you're not sitting still. You're being whisked through the cosmos at over a million miles an hour. The earth circling the sun, the sun spinning around the Milky Way, the Milky Way tracing its ancient celestial path: and the earth, the Blue Marble Express, spinning around once each day. We are always moving. We all heading in the same direction, no matter who we are. For we are all passengers on the Blue Marble Express.

Our own true insignificance seldom pondered, we like to think of our own importance; some of us more than others. Yet the greatest of us is but a grain of sand on the grand celestial beach of the great and glittering cosmic ocean. All of us are insignificant specks in the vast and magnificent universe. A universe larger than any of our imaginations can ever comprehend, more beautiful than any eye can ever behold; more complex that the greatest minds can understand.

All of us are passengers on the Blue Marble Express. Some like to believe that there is no "God". No grand Creator. They like to think that man is all there is and all we see and all we know is all there is to see and know. I guess that makes them feel important; indeed somehow divine. I feel sorry for those poor creatures.

Yet, for me, it's hard to look out at the grandeur of the universe and believe there is no God. The order and beauty of this perfectly balanced and infinitely beautiful universe leads me to believe in a Creator. Some would say there's more chaos than order. Some brilliant mathematician somewhere, buried under reams of formulas in some university; a teacher, no doubt, of quantum physics - from chaos comes order and God is not in her equation. I'm still waiting for a blueberry pie to evolve from a blueberry. And, I'm still waiting for the answer to who or what made the first hydrogen 'Adam' :-) and what initiated the so-called "big bang" that, some say, created our universe and everything in it.

The birth and death of the stars, the endless eternity of nothingness between the stars, the solar winds, the nebulas, the exquisiteness and symmetry of our universe, is too perfect to be random. At least not to me. The wonder and the stunning beauty of the cosmos, the quiet balance of the planet on which we live (despite man's constant attempts to upset it) and the sheer scale of the universe which lies beyond any man or woman's ability to comprehend is a comfort to me. I again revel in my own puny insignificance;  yet know, somewhere inside, I am part of it all. I am star stuff and I am confident that no matter how things seem, "no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should".

So I, like you, am a passenger on the Blue Marble Express, heading toward a grand destination unknown. I'm speeding along with you at over a million miles an hour, comforted by the thought that I can never be still. Everyone who ever lived, everyone who ever died, was and is a passenger on the Blue Marble Express.

It seems to me that we ought to get along better than we do. How many millions of young men and women have died in wars? How many are murdered every day? We're all trapped, at least for now, on the Blue Marble Express - passengers all. Even the greatest among us is as inconsequential and insignificant in the grand scheme of the cosmos as the tiniest amoeba swimming in a primordial pool of slime. All of us passengers and all heading to the same destination at the same speed at the same time. Yet it is our own awareness of our unimportance and our ability to comprehend our insignificance that makes each one of us special.

Tonight I looked up at the stars again and I felt as if my true home was somewhere out there. And though I am but a mote of dust, insignificant and unimportant in this mighty universe I am as much a part of it as the grandest and most beautiful star. I am as much a part of it all as the most beautiful nebula or the most enormous spiral galaxy. I am star stuff and I'm lucky to be a passenger on the Blue Marble Express, sailing along on the cosmic wind in a universe that is divinely inspired.

I am star stuff. And so are you.

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