“When you look up at the clear sky at night, you may easily realise a truth at once utterly simple and extraordinarily profound… Let us put it like this: There is something within you that has an affinity with space.”
It’s hard not to be awed by the vast passage of time on our planet when staring into the face of a massive T-Rex. Because he could not longer move, I stared hard into his ancient face, and through his sharp fossilised teeth, he growled, “I could tell you a thing or two…”
“I could tell you that this place didn’t always look like this. The shape of this land, now dry and carved with hills was once lush and green and warm all the time. The forms that you see around you, that look ‘true’, are changing faster than you know.”
He said, “I could tell you that once, not so long ago there were no humans here at all. The only footprints to touch the earth were us dinosaurs… And that was true for much longer than humans have walked the earth so far.” (Dinosaurs lived on Earth for about 175 Million years, humans have only been around for about 200,000!)
His hollow haunting eyes looked into mine and he said, “I have survived to tell you this truth. You are a blip. A tiny tiny blip…what will you do with that truth?”
It’s a big challenge to really admit you are just a blip…a tiny, potentially insignificant moment on the vast stretch of Time, an almost undetectable form in the infinite landscape of the Universe.
Luckily for me I had also been the National Space Centre twice in two weeks…and seen the AMAZING planetarium show ‘We are Stars’ twice.
So when the T-Rex told me I was a blip, I remembered that the same molecules that now make up the cells of my body (MY body) were first created in the centre of STARS. Molecules of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen etc. were all created through the process of nuclear fusion in the centre of superstars over 4.5 billion years ago! Literally, the bits of my body, my skin, my eyes, my heart…everything is made out of the stuff of stars. And so were the dinosaurs…and everything else around us, every form on our earth, including our earth.
And because I remembered that, I looked back into the hollow eyes of the T-Rex, into his magnificent bones, and I whispered – you don’t scare me, because I AM you. We are connected. We come from the same place.
But there is something else… Because when I look into the night sky, or at photographs of deep space, I am not only amazed by the beauty of the various forms of planets, stars, nebula etc. I am overwhelmed by the sheer vastness of SPACE. Of the empty space, the incomprehensible distances between these forms.
Eckhart Tolle writes,”If you have ever experienced a sense of awe when looking into space, perhaps even felt a deep reverence in the face of this incomprehensible mystery, it means you…have become aware not only of the objects in space but of the infinite depth of space itself. You must have become still enough inside to notice the vastness in which these countless worlds exist. The feeling of awe is not derived from the fact that there are billions of worlds out there, but the depth that contains them all. …Let us put it like this: There is something within you that has an affinity with space; that is why you can be aware of it…”
Yes, the molecules that constitute our body were made in the centre stars. But at an atomic level, our bodies are actually mostly made of space. And that part of ourselves that we feel deeply and experience as our true self but which ‘exists’ no where…that sense of being also has an affinity with space.
So, “When you contemplate the unfathomable depth of space, or listen to the silence in the early hours just before sunrise, something within you resonates with it as if in recognition. You then sense the vast depth of space as your own depth, and you know that precious stillness that has no form to be more deeply who you are than any of the things that make up the content of your life.” (Tolle, A New Earth p.216-218)
So there you go…everything you are and everything that surrounds you is just bits of Stars in disguise!