We live in the Milky Way Galaxy. The edge of our galaxy is over 50,000 light years away. (For comparison, our moon is 1.3 light SECONDS away.) Trying to comprehend how far a light year really is I did some math: light travels at 186,000 miles a second, so in one year light travels a whopping five trillion, eight hundred and seventy-eight billion, four hundred and eighty-nine million, eight hundred fourteen thousand two hundred and ten point one miles (5,878,489,814,210.1). Multiplied by 50,000 and we understand what “really really really big” is. The Milky Way has between 200 and 400 billion stars; that’s just the Milky Way. Add to that some 80 billion galaxies out there and that’s about the point where my mind blew up. (Did I lose you before then?) Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that the universe is incomprehensibly large. How small are we?
N.A.S.A.’s Wilkinson microwave probe, which confirms principles of quantum physics, determined that the universe is made up of 96% dark matter and energy: 71.4% dark energy, 24.6% dark matter, and 4% regular atomic matter. Of the 4% percent of atomic matter approximately 3.999% consists of subatomic particles/cosmic dust. What we are left with is .001%. Everything that we can see, you and me, the planets and stars, the desk that I’m sitting at, the trees in the forest, the car that you drive, everything we see basically consists of nothing. How small are we?
Everything that we can see are made up atoms. The atoms have a nucleus made up of protons and neutrons with electrons spinning around them. Atoms make up cells and cells make up molecules: nothing is solid. To quote a term from Deepak Chopra, “everything is a verb”, there are no nouns. All objects are either growing or decaying.
When the conditioning begins…
When I was a little boy, we were learning about the solar system, atoms, etc. in science class. I became very confused. I kept asking the same questions over and over again; apparently, I was frustrating my teacher. Using the analogy of the solar system to explain the atomic structure, I tried to understand how human bodies stayed together. There was so much space between the atoms and the subsequent molecules which make us up, why don’t we just float away? What held us together? She replied “our skin” but I then asked was not our skin made up of atoms and molecules? She replied that it was. For some time in class, I would fixate on my fingernail and all I could imagine was the atoms and molecules running around and I envisioned an entire universe on the tip of my finger. After several days I asked the question again; what then, is holding us together? My teacher replied, “Your skin, are you stupid or something?” The entire class laughed at me. Later in parent teacher conferences, she said I was a day dreamer and was not paying attention in class; my parents were not happy. I was not given a very good grade in science. That was nearly 60 years ago.
After my year-long sabbatical studying and practicing meditation, I have concluded that we are all an infinite, universal, molecular soup. We are not small, we are one with the universe, without boundaries. We are infinity, we are the universe.
From the moment of our birth, we have been going through social conditioning, feeding our ego self the illusion who we are. In discovering who we really are, we must first discover what we are not. Meditation helps us move beyond our social conditioning and helps us discover that we are not our body and we are not our mind. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.
Lifelong entrepreneur and resident of the 1000 islands. Started his meditation practice in 2018.
15.What am I Grateful For?