an indifferent universe

Earth, the Pale Blue dot

14 billion years ago, our universe took form. Within fractions of a second, our universe went from being smaller than an atom to rapidly expanding into a hot, dense mush of elementary particles. From there, after billions of years of additional expansion and subsequent cosmic evolution, our universe is now home to seemingly immeasurable amounts of matter — within the observable universe we are able to see hundreds of billions of other galaxies, and each one of those galaxies on average contain about 100 billion stars. Galaxies are the home of stars and stars are generally the home of planets. When you look in the night sky and see all those countless amounts of stars, realize not only that there are trillions more of those balls of light that you just can’t see, but also realize that those dots in the night sky are possibly home to other solar systems — solar systems that may foster undiscovered life. The probability of some form of life occurring elsewhere is irrefutable. Surely, the chance of there being other 5 fingered, human-shaped organisms that listen to music and develop nuclear weapons living out in the cosmic void is quite low, however, life itself could not be patented by us humans, thus there are endless possibilities of unique life existing somewhere else in the universe.

Our Earth is one speck in a pile of literally trillions of other specks. The idea that this universe, or even our home planet was built ‘just for us’ is a laughable notion. Our universe — one that is possibly also one of trillions of other universes, is an indifferent one. This universe doesn’t care what you think, who you sleep with, what you eat for dinner — it doesn’t even sustain any capacity for caring at all. Our consciousness manipulates us into believing that we are the ‘one and only’ however the empirical probability is entirely against this proposition. We humans are not great ourselves, rather, we are just small fraction of something much more extraordinary, something that cannot be explained in our post primal languages or reduced to some book. It’s even likely that at the very fundamental level, our universe is not meant to be understood at all.

Certainly, a lot of things had to align in order for us to evolve and become the way we are today, but we hold no copyright on life, intelligence or anything in between. We may recognize our individual uniqueness as a species and our qualities of exploration and curiosity; these things are beautiful and worthy of notice. Yet despite this, if we wish to have any hand in understanding what this universe is all about, then we must remain grounded and grasp the fact that we are just one small needle in an unfathomably large cosmic haystack.

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