Monday, February 8, 2010

If Your Religion... Part 3

So probably another disclaimer is in order before I start on today's post.

If your religion or belief system is not destructive, helps you to be happy and good, and fulfills your spiritual needs, then I'm not really talking to you. I think we can agree that there are a lot of people out there who are hurt by religion, or hurt others because of it, and I would just like them to think a little instead of blindly reacting to the programming they have subject to.

And now on to this month's post...

If your religion keeps you from seeing the're doin' it wrong.

I'm sure all of you have heard of the auto-tune, the program that can make any person sound like a singer...wait, this has a point, I promise...and the somewhat recent rash of spoofs that people have done, like the auto-tune news. Well, one of my favorite things that have popped up is the Symphony of Science which has taken some of the great scientists of our age and set them to auto-tune.

My favorite is "We Are All Connected", which has the line by Carl Sagan,
"The cosmos is also within us
We're made of star stuff
We are a way for the cosmos to know itself"

And this reminded me of the first time I put together the idea that the carbon I am made of was once fused by a giant blue star that lived billions of years ago, and I realized that atomically, I am a descendant of a star.

Talk about a pedigree! I thought that was amazing, blew my mind open! Forget being a queen in a former life, I was once a *star*!

This idea also made me think more about what it really took for me to be here. The unimaginable amount of decisions that it took...I mean, just for a quick Mother's best friend had been dating two men with the same name. One of them she introduced to my Mother, and three months later they were married. If the friend had decided to introduce the other man to my Mother, I could not be here. There are bazillions of moments where if it had gone the other way, I would be someone else.

How is this not miraculous? How is the staggering amount of chance that goes into each and every one of us somehow less a sign of a deity's hand than the idea that we were rolled out of mud and breathed upon?

I think that dismissing the miracle in this way does not only a disservice to the process of life, which is so amazingly complex we still don't fully understand it, but also to the deities seen as creator or creatrix.

I mean, which is the greater sign of an intelligence so vast that the human mind is incapable of comprehending it? A colossal system of fusion that creates matter that eventually, after billions of years, coalesces into a planet that is in *just the right* spot to sustain life as we know it. Or little mud people (thanks Ardriana) that suddenly poofed into existence one day.

I don't know about you, but I am simply awestruck whenever I consciously consider the scope of our universe and our tiny place within it. How fragile our planet is in the scope of the larger system we exist in. Some people say that it's all just chance, and there's no evidence of a cosmic intelligence behind it all. That's fine, but I choose to think that there's *something* out there. What it is, I have no idea, and I'm ok with that too.

My point is, I try to live each day with that awestruck wonder. I let it help inform my decisions on how I interact with others and my environment. I like to think that it helps me be a better person, more likely to kindness rather can not. More likely to patience rather than frustration and irritation. More likely to compassion rather cynicism and distance. Because we are all descendants of stars, and if that's not a miracle, I don't know what is.

Don't miss the miracle in front of you, the one that becomes more complex and amazing as we learn more about our universe.

I choose a different way, and so should you, whatever it may be.

Till next time, be well,

PS, Suggested Viewing, "The Pale Blue Dot" by Carl Sagan. This is an edited version, part of it set to music. I've listened to the full speech, and find this version to encompass the feel of what Sagan was saying.

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