Saturday, 26 March 2011

Life, the universe and everything

Sometimes I wish I had the brain of a scientist. There are so many things that fascinate me, that I wish I could understand,that my puny little brain can only stare at, agape and in awe of it all. Take the universe, for example. I watched BBC's Wonders of the Universe last night, another excellent documentary by the channel that is the Mother of all documentary film making.

The universe is vast. It's incomprehensible. Mankind has strived to solve its puzzles for centuries. Modern scientists have theories, based on mathematical formulas, observations and what not, and they still can't explain the biggest mysteries of them all: How did it all start? How will it all end? Is talking about beginnings and endings redundant, when time cannot exist without matter? Are there other universes out there? How about intelligent life?

Hubble Sees 'Island Universe' in the Coma Clusterphoto © 2010 NASA Goddard Space Flight Center | more info (via: Wylio)

Yet I can't help but bring it down to scale sometimes. I don't need to stargaze to be in awe of the universe. The universe is all around, here on our planet, in the tiniest little bug or the most delicate flower.

On my long runs, if I'm lucky, I sometimes get into a certain state. You could call it meditative. While in that state, something strange happens. I can feel the tiniest creaks in my body, the numbness in my toes, the tiredness in my limbs, and at the same time it's as if I am observing those things from a distance. They don't touch me. Some other times, my mind just seems to scatter and expand, until it is not a mind any more, but rather particles carried by the breeze. When all of this happens, I feel as if I am part of something bigger. A part of the universe.

It sounds new age-y, I know. I could very well be influenced by pop culture in my view of the universe. I have found that it is very hard to talk about the universe as a layman without sounding like a hippy. But analysing the universe scientifically cannot take away the awe I feel when I'm out on a long run, the childlike curiosity with which I look at my surroundings or the way I marvel at the beauty of it all. And my awe and wonder can only make me thirstier for knowledge and understanding.


  1. Jag gillar tanken kring kvantfsyik. Och att vi alla innehåller stjärnstoft! :D