November 22, 2011


Sometimes I wonder if there is a group of people that know something the rest of us don't. I'm not talking about the CIA or psychics, but maybe something along those lines. I'm not sure exactly what I am talking about. When I start to think like this, I usually begin to think about outer space, death and souls. I begin to wonder if there are people that know the secrets of the world. How are we able capture images of the beginning of the Universe and clone living things, but not understand what it all means? Are there people that do know why the Universe began and what a spirit is made of? I am not talking about physicists or religious people. I'm thinking that maybe there are people that were just born knowing and understanding these things that the rest of us don't.

Maybe this is a childlike way to think about more grown up questions. When we are young, most of our questions have answers. There was always someone we could go to to answer our questions. I think that my hope for a group of all knowing people has a little to do with that childhood comfort. Why is there a hexagon on Saturn? How do atoms know their exact position in constructing the eyes, hair and toes that will form a baby? These questions are endless. Some, I am sure, can be answered. I'm not sure that I would even be able to understand those answers. Maybe I have just watched too many movies or taken too many classes, because I am left feeling the presence of something so big and mysterious out there. I feel like it wants to be understood. It has been here long before us and will be here long after us. It is dramatic, expansive and explosive. It can make you cry, think differently and do things to surprise yourself. It is not one thing, it is so many things.

We all know that everything that lives will eventually die. Most things begin to shrink or shrivel before they die. Stars die. Were stars ever considered to be alive? Planets die. Maybe a better way to put this would be to say that everything that has a beginning also has an ending, planets, stars and people. What I am really setting up is just another question. With all of this in mind my question is, will the Universe die? It had a beginning, but I'm not sure if it is considered to be alive. If the Universe were to die would it begin to shrink first? Will it ever stop expanding? I think, when it comes to dying, I am more concerned about what happens to the Universe than I am about what happens to myself. That may be because I imagine that when I die I simply continue to be part of the Universe. But what happens to the Universe when it dies? Will it decay and implode, shrink and shrivel? What does the Universe become part of? Are there endless other Universes coming and going, just like people, stars and galaxies?

Sometimes the thought of how expansive all of this is gives me comfort. When I begin to feel like I need to control things I think about the Universe. I think about how small I am compared to everything. I think about what a small amount of time I will be here. This helps me put things into perspective. It helps me focus on what I consider to be important. The things that make life worthwhile become so much more evident to me. I begin to take everything less seriously. My problems begin feeling smaller too. I start to enjoy all the little things more than usual. Thinking about the Universe is one of my tricks to restoring my spirit.

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