The Pleasant Surprise That Brought a Cosmic Perspective

Our yellow tent nestled at Mt. Lobuche’s high camp
During vs. After the climb (at the 20k-ft summit, photo taken by Dennis)
The Khumbu Glacier near Everest basecamp. Look at the scale of the people at the back.

“We have a strong urge to be special in this world. Don’t feel bad about this fact. We all experience this. The cosmic perspective undoes this urge to feel special. But it undoes it in a way that rebuilds it better than it was before.

Cosmic perspective teaches you that you are special not for being different from everyone else but for being the same. A cosmic perspective has the power to reset what it is you think is important in life, has a power to humble you but in a good way, has the power to have you recognize that the ego you had carried with you throughout life is unjustified in the grandest scheme of things.

That is a cosmic perspective…

When I go up to people, if someone happens to be a little depressed or their life isn’t going as they want it, I remind them that atoms of your body are traceable to stars that have exploded across the galaxy. And out of that scattered enrichment forms next generations of star systems that have the ingredients that will make planets. And in at least one planet, make human life.

Here we are on Earth. You wake up. You have breakfast. Go to work, go to school, take care of the home. We are a participant in an ecosystem. And so when you put all this together, you realize it’s not that we are here and the universe is there. It’s not that we are humans and everything else isn’t. It’s that we are a participant in the great unfolding of cosmic events. And for me, that gives a sense of belonging. That’s a cosmic perspective that allows you to sort of sit up straight and look around and say, I belong to something bigger than my daily routine.

That’s a gift of 20th century astrophysics to civilization. That awareness. That sense of participation.

You’re not separate and distinct from the universe. You are part of the universe. You are in the universe. The universe is in you.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson on “the cosmic perspective”

More here: https://www.haydenplanetarium.org/tyson/essays/2007-04-the-cosmic-perspective.php

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