A mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam


In order for this post to make sense, you must look at this comic by zen pencils about Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos”. It’s quite amazing.

It’s easy to forget the immensity of the universe. It’s easy to become so locally involved with our lives and lose sight of the big picture of life. It’s okay, on some level we have to do it. We all do it.

When thinking about the universe, or learning about the earth, space, or physics, it’s also very easy to become overwhelmed and feel scared about the vast unknown nature of our existence. It’s easy to feel small and unimportant, or like our lives our meaningless.

But, on the contrary, our existence is what makes us special and life incredibly meaningful. As far as we have seen, nothing even close to Earth exists, and nothing even close to the human species exists. This makes us unique and should convey how incredibly LUCKY you are for existing. The fact that you are alive, and have the capacity to think about your own life, your own existence, the existence of the universe and of the world, is so amazing that I could scream RIGHT NOW. Although, my neighbors might call the cops, so I’ll just scream inside my own head…

Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos”, blows my mind. It makes me feel scared sometimes, but my favorite part of the whole thing is that he uses all of his knowledge of the cosmos to show us how special we are as a species, and how we need to keep the big picture in mind when living our lives.

I had been thinking about this for a while before I watched the “Cosmos” series, and then boom- he said it. More eloquently than I could have ever put it. All of the ills, evils, and grievances that have happened and continue to happen, stem from a misunderstanding of what we are. I truly believe that.

As humans, everything we do is done in order to survive and to live the best lives possible. Political policies are experiments to find what works best. So far, we have not found it, but we’ve made great strides so far, as compared to a thousand years ago.  The implementation of capitalism as an economic system, the implementation of a Constitutional Republic as our political system, embracing the notion of individual liberty- these have all led us to become more prosperous and happy beings.

If everyone, including our leaders, and leaders around the world, would keep in mind what we are, the “nature of us” (unique, lucky, random beings floating on a “mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam”), then I believe we would not have the problems that we have. Wars would be the exception, not the norm. People would disagree on interpretations of facts, not dogmatic mystical ideologies. We could live as individuals, never sacrificing ourselves to others, nor sacrificing others to ourselves.

So, maybe we should all take a little advice and insight from Carl Sagan. Read the comic, watch the series (yes it’s worth the 13 hours of your life), and think about the world and your relation to it.

Oh, and we are the universe.

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