Sometimes I think about the universe… they say that it’s so big we can’t really measure it. The part we can see has a radius of 47 billion light years.
And I think about how in this universe, there are supposedly at least 100 million galaxies.
And I can’t help but think to myself, “Wow. We live in just one of those galaxies.”
But then I remember how even in this galaxy, our constellation, our sun, is just one speck inside the huge dust of it all. In fact, there are 300 billion other stars in our tiny corner of space.
And as I think about how our solar system is so tiny compared to the Milky Way, I can’t help but realize that our earth is just a tiny speck in relation even to that sun, which is just a speck in the galaxy, which is just a speck in the universe.
And even so, even after all that, I can’t help but think just how huge the earth seems in comparison to me. And how wondrous.
And after all that, I start to think about what’s on this earth. All the varieties of animals, and how even if we’re just counting ants, there are 10 quadrillion walking around.
And how there are 5,702 species of mammals…
And I realize how within all those huge numbers are us humans. A ridiculously low number relative to all the ants and mammals. And even more ridiculous if we are compared to the universe and the galaxy and the sun.
When I was young, I used to get to this point and stop. I would realize how small we are, how pathetically tiny, relative to it the quadrillion ants and the trillions of galaxies and all that… and there wasn’t much more to say.
Most of us live our lives trying not to think about this tininess. It’s uncomfortable to remind ourselves of all this.
But, recently, I’ve been thinking about it more. And I think… this is the thing: we’re missing a huge element of all this. A part of the equation isn’t being taken into account.
Well, let’s start with looking at all the things humanity has created.
To beautiful buildings:
But all that, all that is just a beginning. Because we don’t just create. We also seek to understand. We’re driven to understand. To dig deeper.
From exploring the very space that scares us so much:
To delving into the atoms themselves and beyond:
All that, all that is a sign: a sign of something more going on. That you can’t just look at us as material beings, that live in a material universe (there’s a song about that, right?). No, we’re something more.
Because all of that art, and all of that science, and every other creative and intellectual pursuit we undertake… it’s all a reflection of something deeper going on.
What’s that deeper thing? What’s going on beneath it all?
It’s what takes us from creativity and intellectuality… to spirituality.
Because inside us all, we’re aware. Aware that our thoughts and our art and all that, it’s a part of something deep. Beyond the materiality. Beyond the numbers.
And that’s why we’re willing to fight and die, destroy our own materiality, for something deeper:
It’s why we are willing to sacrifice our own material security to create new life:
It’s why we meditate, pray, dream of a better world:
Because we know that time and space are one thing. But souls are something else. And when we erase “soul” from the equation of the universe, we’re essentially cutting ourselves out.
When we cut out souls from the cosmic equation, then we lose the most important truth of all when we realize how small we are.
We forget that it’s not that we’re small. It’s that we’re actually big. Huge.
Out of the quadrillions of animals and organisms on this planet, we’re the only ones with this awareness. This awareness that allows us to create and understand, and ultimately connect to something higher.
Out of the light years and light years of the universe, even if there are others like us, we’re still a rare breed. We’re the only things created with this awareness. With this specific kind of soul that encourages us to delve deep. Even out of all those stars and galaxies, there’s still an insane amount of darkness. To then possess a soul that not just lives in a world radiated by a star, but also to be able to reflect that very light and use it, and make things with it, and use it to help us understand it all…
That’s singularly unique.
So, when you take into account our own awareness, our own souls, and realize how insanely unique they are relative to the immensity of the universe… when you rip apart all the materiality and see our inherent spirituality…
Then you realize we’re not one of the same out of a vast sea of uniformity.
Nope, we’re more like lottery winners. Lottery winners that have won a contest with impossibly low odds. Like as if someone on earth won a billion lottery contests in a row. Literally. That’s how lucky we are.
We’re like the celebrities of the universe. We stand out, above the crowd, so totally more impressive than everything, so unique, so beyond, so special…
… that we have no choice but to accept that none of this is a coincidence. That this isn’t about math or chance or being lucky, or lotteries. No.
This is about something more. Something deeper. Something that was meant to be.
And that “something” we call G-d.