This is one of the screen-savers on my Mac.
The graphic reminds me to look up every once in a while with child-like awe and the reverence of a tiger.
It’s pretty easy to see how the vastness of the universe surrounding us offered inspiration. Speculating about this thing we call space, this thing we call universe, seems naturally predisposed to produce questions of being.
From a physical standpoint the universe encompasses all existing matter and space. The universe is the place in which our home floats along with other planets. Universally speaking, we are one in a crowd of many.
However, to some this is a petrifying thought. For them the twinkling stars and glowing planets are mere decoration adding to the night sky’s ambience. To contemplate our place among these myriad objects is so stultifying it causes them a brain cramp.
I have notice that despite our acknowledgement to the contrary — yes, the universe is miraculous, big and shiny — our species doesn’t seem very impressed. If anything we are “compressed” between our own time and our own space. We’ve limited ourselves metaphysically as we wrestle with the physicality’s of daily existence.
When considering the infinite aspect of space and time — that light from a dead star millions of light-years away is only reaching us now, that what we gaze upon in the heavens may in fact already be gone — these notions can cast our daily toils in pale, meaningless, insignificant or cynically futile light.
Or, we can come at it from a different direction.
Perhaps being insignificant does not necessarily make us small. Perhaps the recognition that the universe was not made for us but rather we were made for the universe might shift our perception to a place where we might contemplate differently.
The potential to see differently could be the thing that ultimately saves our species from our own damn selves. If we see ourselves as connected to, as and interconnected part of this vastness, then perhaps we’re in a position to receive answers from the universe that might help with the questions which plague us most.
Still I also wonder what happens if you throw up in zero-gravity, as well as how much those space diapers actually hold.