The New Universe

Last night I was watching NatGeo’s ‘Journey to the edge of the Universe’. One of the lines which struck deep was that we are all made from the nuclear waste of stars. My goodness, talk about a blow to humanity’s ego. Is that all we are? Waste? I am sure the commentator did not mean that its all we are, but that its what our bodies are made of. Sometimes I think that the script writers get carried away with their own depressing existence. It must be a very lonely job.

I personally think we are more than the sum of our parts. I think it takes a lot more than just a collection of atoms to even comprehend the brutal raw processes that go in to create a star or to deduce its eventual death without ever having witnessed it. I wonder if the stars ever look at humans from their heavenly abode and wonder why we are. I wonder if they can tell the difference between Beethoven and Bon Jovi? Do they care? I don’t know but logic dictates that they don’t, not unless intelligence is defined in terms radically different than logic.

But there is another perspective, more foolhardy but still just as human. If we are made of star stuff then we are immortal. We have been around in one form or the other since time began and will continue to survive in some form or the other as long as time lasts. Our bodies certainly won’t but our elements will. I guess there is some demented comfort in that. Parts of us would live forever in mute memory of the grandeur we inherited while we lived and contemplated the universe around us; even if for less than a blink on the time-scale of the heavens. Whatever else may happen, our essence has been forever etched on the fabric of our universe. Can’t get any more immortal than that.

One thing I am sure of after watching all these astronomy programs on the tube – we don’t know squat. But we certainly don’t lack the imagination for a shot in the dark. Every year theories from the previous year are discarded and newer more fantastic theories proposed. If nothing else, it keeps the 3D animators employed as they try to keep up with the visuals needed. It also keeps the TV channels from airing the same shows over and over again. About twenty years back, Reader’s Digest ran a fictional piece in which humanity is wiped out and thousands of years later when the new civilization digs up our remains, they try to understand our world with their own perspective. I have forgotten most of the details but I do remember one clear image. They (the new civilization on earth) assume that the toilet-bowl, ever-present in every ruin they unearthed, was some kind of a deity for us and the toilet-seat, a ceremonial necklace.

I think the current state of astronomy falls somewhere in that intelligence bracket. Logical but far removed from any reality or common sense. Maybe one day a time will come when all these ridiculous theories will be replaced by a factual all-encompassing theory of the universe. Till then, I guess, we will have to put up with our universe in a black hole, a worm hole through time and space; and dark matter with gravity strings that hold the whole thing together. Did I mention time that flows backward so that the dead rise to life, race through life from old age to new born and end their existence with an orgasmic bang. How cute is that?

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.