Even in the darkest moments of our lives, there lie hidden, often far from sight, cracks in the darkness, openings to joy and light.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Pale Blue Dot
An excerpt from a talk by the late Dr. Sagan
"We succeeded in taking that picture [from deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.
The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. It's been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."
Perhaps for some, it not the only home they have ever know.
There are those whose souls have come from other planetary systems, other worlds, universes and even other dimensions, so different from our own that all known reason is lost and futile. Yet, even for those, the experience of being human here, on this wondrous blue world, is little different and the challenges of living each moment no less than those who have always been on Earth. Perhaps for them it is even more frustrating and painful. Perhaps the memories of who they are, drives many to madness and suicide.
I have always been a searcher, looking for the Holy Grail, philosopher’s stone or ovum anguinum; searching for some hidden secret hidden knowledge which would transform my being into something more worthy than I felt it to be.
I searched, spent years of study of Quantum Mechanics, Physics, Cosmology, and Microbiology. I searched the esoteric writings of enlightened eastern, western mystics and established religions, all to no avail. The truth I sought, was not to be found in this world or the next, it was not anything which could be grasp, held in my hand or given to another.
The closest I have come to seeing truth was to gaze into the eyes of a new born babe. It is this innocent wonder, the light of the Divine Mystery shining out from the soul; which is love, life, and truth.
This Holy Grail is found within, if only I dare to look through the darkness which cloaks it so well and walk quietly, patiently, waiting for those rare moments when the dark clouds part and the light shines, warming the empty coldness which so often engulfs me.