May 31, 2009
A friend I hadn’t seen in over a year dropped by unexpectedly today. He is a highly intelligent, scientific-minded person. We talked about being morally responsible to our fellow human beings because we are all connected to one another.
He said his wife had a quote taped to their refrigerator that read: “We’re here not to see through one another, but to see one another through.”
“Ah, yes, I believe that too,” I said, familiar with the quote.
During our conversation, he mentioned some astonishing discoveries made by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope (HST):
“They pointed the telescope into black space, where they couldn’t see any light at all. And what the telescope showed were 100 billion galaxies. One hundred billion galaxies they had no idea existed!”
I checked on NASA’s website to learn more about it:
“…in 1999 the Hubble Space Telescope estimated that there were 125 billion galaxies in the universe, and recently with the new camera HST has observed 3,000 visible galaxies, which is twice as much as they observed before with the old camera. We’re emphasizing “visible” because observations with radio telescopes, infrared cameras, x-ray cameras, etc. would detect other galaxies that are not detected by Hubble. As observations keep on going and astronomers explore more of our universe, the number of galaxies detected will increase.”
Over 125 billion galaxies? I found it odd that earlier in the day I had written the following in my notebook:
“There are times when I seem to see the world through different eyes, as if there is a transparent film coating my field of vision and everything looks different. But it’s more than that. What I’m perceiving with my eyes doesn’t just appear different, it also feels different, as if this transparent film I’m looking through is part of me and yet separate. It feels like it’s hovering above the world, above the physical me that’s here being the observer. This ‘extension’ of me is floating above my immediate consciousness and telling me to quit taking everything so seriously because it’s all just a game anyway. And what we are meant to do with this life is enjoy the game. Suddenly it doesn’t matter what I eat, what I drive, how I look or where I live because it’s all impermanent. It’s icing on the cake.
And then I wonder if in those moments, what I’m really seeing is a higher intelligence or another form of intelligence watching me, observing me and sending this awareness back to me because it feels so different from how I normally feel. This idea causes me to wonder about all the unseen forces that exist in our universe and beyond. I know they’re there. I’ve seen evidence of them but never anything provable.
I wonder how many forms of ‘life’ are out there, how many are part of our known world and what do they have to do with me? I know that some of them have something to do with me because they’ve made themselves known in so many ways. And if they’re making themselves known, they must have a reason to do so.
I also believe that they are part of God, the Divine plan and the hub of our connectedness.
Then without realizing it, my mind slips back into it’s familiar awareness and once again I am being fooled into thinking it’s imperative that my shoes match my purse so I don’t look silly when I go out, or that I must contain my excitement about things—behave myself—and not draw attention to myself. I fall so effortlessly back into that mode, the one that auto-pilots my life. And when I find myself returning to that way of perceiving things, what I see through my eyes feels as if a camera lens has been pulled back from revealing a close-up to showing a wide-angle image that has gone completely out of focus.
I realize it’s important to stay grounded in reality because one has to function in society… but there is so much more out there in our vast universe than we have any clue about.”
And now, when I look at the photos of galaxies captured by the HST, I see that the universe is even more vast than I thought. The galaxy in which we live is but one in over 125 billion galaxies. I can’t begin to fathom that information. If we think we are the only form of life amid that unfathomable number, we are kidding ourselves. And if we are connected to one another and to this earth as I believe we are, it stands to reason that we are also connected to the other forms of life out there and to those beyond the boundaries of our limited mortal minds, forms of Being that blur the distinction between body, mind and spirit.
Was it mere coincidence that I wrote about this earlier today and my friend just happened to show up and offer scientific reinforcement of my thoughts? Or was my mind predisposed to this conversation because of what I’d written earlier? Before my mystical experience, I would have been inclined to believe that and not questioned its relevance. And yet, I do believe we draw to us that which we are thinking about, but that’s another discussion.
Since so many strange things have happened to me from the moment my mystical journey began, I no longer believe in coincidence. I now believe that everything happens for a reason. However, my ego mind continues to lurk on the sidelines like an angry parent whose son has wrongly been penalized in a hockey game. In this case, it’s screaming that this notion of attracting what we need just by putting it out there to the universe is ludicrous.
But my heart knows better.
Photo Credits: www.nasa.gov