Outward Bound Ideas

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Monday, March 06, 2006

47. From: The View From The Center of the Universe

Contemplating the Cosmic Uroboros
From; The View From the Center of the Universe
by Primack and Abrams

The Cosmic Uroboros has no beginning, because it is all here all the time. But to speak about it with words we must start somewhere. So let's begin with that spot at the bottom that represents our own world, the world of things that are measured in meters or miles, the realm of Midgard.
In Midgard you––personally–– are midway between the size of a living cell and the size of earth. Think of a single cell on tip of your finger. That cell is as tiny compared to you as you are compared to the planet earth. A single atom in that cell is as tiny compared to you as you are compared to the sun.
Now imagine that you curl yourself up into a ball and you become an atom in the cell on your finger. What does the world look like? Your electron cloud touches the electron clouds of the atoms all around you. It is a cozy world.
But now imagine that you are the nucleus of that same atom. You look outward but it is six miles the to next nucleus of your kind, and there is little comfort in knowing that three miles away its electron cloud is touching yours.
Imagine now that you are a star. It's an even lonelier world. You are sitting in California and your closest neighbor is in Australia. You are the only two people on earth. Even if you are a star in a globular cluster, that tightest of all star clusters, your closest neighbor is still a thousand miles away.
Imagine now that you are a galaxy. Things become almost cozy again. Other galaxies are not far away. In this room, your nearest neighboring galaxy is sitting only 20 feet from you. If you are a rich cluster of galaxies, you nearest neighbor is only a few feet away.
Now imagine that you are a supercluster of galaxies. You are touching the next supercluster, and it touches the next. Like people holding hands and encircling large voids. But your consciousness is wavering and flickering because unlike a galaxy, you the supercluster, are not bound together by gravity. Your parts are expanding away from each other. In time you will drift apart like clouds in a blue sky. And yet whatever you are will last many billions of years.
The universe looks different and works differently on different size scales, but you can't tell that from looking around, because any size scale you focus on appears to reality itself.

"I do not see a delegation
For the four-footed.
I see no seat for the eagles.
We forget and we consider
Ourselves superior.
But we are after all
A mere part of the Creation.
And we stand somewhere between
The mountain and the ant.
Somewhere and only there
As part and parcel
Of the creation."

Chief Oren Lyons, Onondaga Nation, Iroquois Confederacy, 1977

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