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Perspective

March 9, 2013

In the beginning, there was kind of nothing. And the nothing was like a point, because time and space hadn’t been invented yet. Watch carefully, they’re coming soon. At least they would be if “soon” had any meaning and if there was any “where” for them to come from.

Boggle for a moment, because this is something worth boggling at. Then, fast forward thirteen or fourteen billion years or so.

To here, and now. Here and now, time and space are in abundance. The point has inflated beyond imagining, ballooning into a place where things can happen, where things need time in which to happen. It is no longer a kind of nothing. It is a universe.

And in the universe are beings who can look out into the cosmos and notice that everything is rushing away from them – inflating away from them. Beings who can imagine rewinding time – and rewinding it, audaciously, all the way back to the moment when it all began. An origin.

And that origin is – here. Everything rushes back to – here.

Here?! It all started here? Here?!  Don’t get cocky. It also started (flails wildly and points randomly) – there. Move a billion light-years to the left and it still looks as though everything in the universe is rushing away from you.  A million, billion, trillion light-years in some other direction? Same story.

Because everywhere in the universe, everywhen in the universe, came from the point – the origin. And, at the origin, “here” and “there” and indeed “everywhere” is all fundamentally the same place. We are not at the centre, or in the beginning, or of any special importance. Everywhere is the centre, the beginning, and (cosmically speaking) of just as much importance as anywhere else.

The bit we are in is only special because we are in it. We could just as easily be in some other bit, billions of light-years away, in some distant galaxy, orbiting some distant sun, and wondering there, just as we wonder here.

Makes you feel small, doesn’t it? And, perhaps, it makes you wonder whether all this bickering with neighbours* might not, in fact, be worth the effort.

(*Who, then, is my neighbour? On a cosmic scale, we all are.)

[TOMW]

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