a wild dance of wondrousness

 

Eagle Nebula

 

It utterly overwhelms the imagination to consider the size and complexity of our cosmos with its billions of galaxies and trillions of planetary systems, all partaking in a continuous flow of creation. How can it be so vast, so subtle, so precise, and so powerful?

Metaphorically, we inhabit a cosmos whose visible body is billions of light years across, whose organs include billions of galaxies, whose cells include trillions of suns and planetary systems, and whose molecules include an unutterably vast number and diversity of life-forms. The entirety of this great body of being, including the fabric of space-time, is being continuously regenerated at each instant.

Scientists sound like poets as they attempt to describe our cosmos in its process of becoming. The mathematician Norbert Wiener expresses it this way:  “We are not stuff that abides, but patterns that perpetuate themselves; whirlpools of water in an ever-flowing river.” Physicist Max Born writes, “We have sought for firm ground and found none. The deeper we penetrate, the more restless becomes the universe; all is rushing about and vibrating in a wild dance.” Physicist Brian Swimme tells us, “The universe emerges out of an all-nourishing abyss not only 12 billion years ago but in every moment.”

– Tom McFerran


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