Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Meaning in the Universe

While I was at work tonight, I had one of those random "big-question" conversations with a co-worker.  It turns out that we both share skeptical/cynical tendencies, but we also share a sense of hope and yearning for something greater.  While we were talking about human sacredness and our place in the grand scheme of things, she shared this vision of the cosmos with me (well, this is my paraphrase):

So here we are, living in a particular time among billions of other humans on this thing called Earth.  And Earth is just one of many millions of planets in the glaxay, which is one of hundreds of billions of galaxies in the universe.  Even the universe itself may be one of infinitely many universes in the multiverse.

And that makes us really tiny.

In this vast, swirling cosmos, untouchable and devoid of meaning for us, we are nothing.  On such scales of immensity, we are infinitely small.  But because everything else is so unreachable, this cramped little world of ours is everything.  In the face of such emptiness, our lives and world are infintely meaningful.  

And what does all of that mean for us?

"Don't be an asshole," she said.


  1. That one is too good! Thanks for posting it.

  2. I can definitely relate as to how understanding of our littleness in the universe should help us to focus on what is meaningful up close. Heck, maybe that's one of the primary reasons God chose to create the universe the way that he did. And think, most of all that there is, that we know of, "out there" is matter that is lifeless (that we know of, not what actually is or may be), and such an immense lifeless universe shows us how significant we can be, all of us. None of us should take another for granted, but we do. I think that I'm going to take your co-worker's advice a bit more seriously now that I've reflected more deeply on the matter because of her thoughtful contribution concerning such meaningful things.


Let me know what you think....