As Neil DeGrasse Tyson points out, we are made from stardust. It takes a supernova to generate the energy to create the heavier elements. That stuff diffuses, then gravity slowly congeals into new bodies. Now this takes time, many millions up to billions of years. Even geologic time is somewhat inconsequential compared to galactic time.
That’s a reason why we are so deluded with respect to time. For children, the weeks leading up to Christmas can seem like forever. It’s no time at all. However, sometimes when I sit in meditation, time seems to stand still and I get jumpy. In truth, our lifetimes are meaningless when viewed from even the nearest galaxy to our Milky Way.
The message in this? Chill, already. The therapist I saw for my ADD had me put a sticker saying NBD on the dash of my pickup. No Big Deal. Universes come and go in the blink of Kali’s eye, and we are obsessed with He Who Must Not Be Named’s tweets.
What is important is what we do with this tiny minute we are here. I am attempting to connect with that eternal universe I tend to ignore most of the time. Going back to the roots. Well, the roots are made from stardust.
My brain gets oxygen and food these days, so it goes into action, what it evolved to do. The action is thinking. Thoughts arise, mull around, and pass to something else. We are physically safe most of the time, so it isn’t really necessary to be on alert all the time. The saber-toothed tigers are gone.
So, my task is to stop thinking so much, and just be space and stardust. It’s where we came from and where we are going, so why not just be with that? When I am able to let the clutter go, I am more in harmony with the changing universe, not my nearly ceaseless churning of the noise I absorbed yesterday. What arises, fleetingly, is equanimity and serenity.
In the long run we are all dead, so what’s the big deal? Maybe we need catacombs, ossuaries we visit regularly to remind ourselves of the impermanence of it all. I would like ho hold Nietzsche’s skull in my hands. So much for the Ubermensch.
Can’t we all just get along? If I remember something, I wand to remember yesterday’s sunset and look forward to the breeze in my face as I walk out of the coffee shop. Oops, there I am thinking about the future, not enjoying the nice people in the coffee shop.