Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Happy Bearthday

Maybe you didn't know this, but today is the Earth's birthday.

So how old is it?

Well, after a careful and thorough accounting of biblical "begats" in 1650, the Archbishop James Ussher calculated that our planet was created on October 23, 4004 B.C. - making it 6,010 years old. Holy smokes that's old!

If you hold a geocentric view, you limit your universe to the moon. The Earth is about 4.6 billion years old.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Nature never fails…

It is now the closing hours of an unseasonably warm October day and I just got back from another mountaintop epiphany.

As I laid there on my favorite curved rock, soaking up the easy breeze, soft light, and the warbler’s sweet tweet, I drifted into a very clear, very intense, thought experiment.

I imagined I could see the flow of time. From out in the space above the lake, I could see a future moment condense into a discrete thing, and flow toward me. I could feel it reside in me for a moment and then pass by into the future and dissolve, never to be experienced again. Where it came from and where it went I don’t know, but for that moment, when it was within me, I had complete and personal ownership.

With a little concentration, I found that I could tick each moment off as it went streaming by. This little daydream was fun… but it soon became just an exercise in counting the moments.

That’s when it hit me. It was that little moment of personal ownership that mattered. What made each moment special was what I chose to do with it. I could waste it, or value it.

I turned my attention to the grass beside me. Suddenly I felt a great wave of connection. I felt I could see overwhelming beauty in the simplest of things. Little furry corkscrew seeds, intricate patterns, rich warm tan, sweet-smelling, like the hay-bales of my childhood. Truth is, I spend a lot of moments this way.

Then I tried tuning my thoughts toward love and meaning. And there they were, moments full of love and meaning. The best part is, I decided each moment could last for a second, a minute, an hour, or a lifetime.

Carl Sagan once said, “We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.” I think I may finally understand what this means. Moment by moment, each of us makes the Universe. So if your thoughts are devoid of meaning, the universe has no meaning. If you hate, the universe hates. But if you have compassion, the universe is full of love. If you see beauty, the universe is beautiful. It's an empowering idea.

I guess the big question is, what will you choose to do with your moments? What universe will you make?

Note: No drug or religion was used in the making of this post - just fresh air, autumn light, and an open mind.