The Universe

A man said to the universe
“Sir, I exist”
“However,” replied the universe
“The fact has not instilled in me
a sense of obligation.”

Stephen Crane

The universe is not uncaring.  Caring and uncaring are concepts that are applied to organisms that have feelings.  The universe does not.

The universe is not harsh.  Harshness is a concept that can only be applied in the way one organism treats another.  We consider a pride of lions eating a zebra while it’s still alive ‘harsh’.  The zebra might agree, but the lions don’t care.

The universe merely is.

There are rules that must be followed.  We have attempted to discover these rules as we have progressed through the ages.  From the concept of fire to loop quantum gravity.  We are all playing a huge game where we don’t even know most of the rules.

The universe is not the referee.

We are not special in any way shape or form.  There are almost 7 billion humans on this planet.  There are more bacteria in one human’s belly button than there are humans on this miniscule little planet in an out of the way corner of a none too special galaxy.

There are approximately 60 stars in our galaxy for every human on Earth.

And there are about 20 galaxies in the universe for every human on Earth.  Each galaxy containing between 10,000,000 and 100 trillion stars.

If the chances of other life existing in the universe is 100 trillion to 1, then there are still billions of species out there in the universe.

The only thing that makes humans special is our interactions with others.  We are not special because we (as a species) are smart or tool users or capable of modifying our environment.  There are dozens of species that do all these things.

A person is special because someone else believes them to be.  The universe doesn’t even ‘not give a shit about us’, because it still isn’t anything that could or could not ‘give a shit’.

The universe is a collection of rules and pieces of matter and flows of energy that follows those rules.  And it is still more amazing, wonderful, and awe inspiring than any religion, structure, or concept that humans ever developed or even imagined.

It is truly stunning to me that there are millions of humans right now, kicking the crap out of other humans in order to be in charge of a tenth of percent of the surface of a miniscule piece of rock, around a tiny, common sun, in a common galaxy, in a universe with structures so large is takes billions of galaxies to make them.

We are special because of our interactions and we can’t even handle that with common decency.  Even in the most enlightened country in the world, there are those who think that they know better than everyone else and who think they have the right to tell others what to do, think and be.

The universe just is.  It is we humans who project our uncaring, hatreds, harshness, fear, and loathing onto it… because we refuse to be responsible enough to admit these things… even to ourselves.

If that is the case though, then we also project our love, awe, wonder, and strength onto the universe.

There’s no one else.  It’s just us and the billions of organisms in millions of species that share our world  with us.  We can’t count on god to save us.  We can’t blame the devil for our faults.  We can’t say the universe is unforgiving.

There is no special ingredient.  It’s only you.

This entry was posted in Astronomy, Culture, Philosophy, Science, Society and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Universe

  1. Eugen says:

    Cool article Ogre.

    “And it is still more amazing, wonderful, and awe inspiring than any religion, structure, or concept that humans ever developed or even imagined.”

    We agree on that. Universe ( and material reality) is our cage – very nice, comfy deluxe cage.

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