Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Universe is in Us

I simply can't get enough of this video. It's been a couple weeks since this video has been posted and is almost up to 2 million views! Of course whenever a video like this gets posted and shared there are some which bring up religion into the conversation. And that's okay, it's very human of us to see, reflect, and respond through our own specific personal view. That's the reason why I shared this video on my Facebook page and here as well. It echoes what is important to me.

 (Via Unreasonable Faith)

This video is not commenting on religion, God, or faith but the reflection of one astrophysicist, one fellow human being on our relationship to each other and the universe. Whether you believe in evolution or intelligent design is not important, what is astounding is the FACT that we are connected to each other. This astounding fact of our interconnection is what has guided me as a human being, a father, a husband, and neighbor more so than any other belief system. Of course the background music makes the video that much more beautiful.

My spirituality is not based on any religious background but on the sheer experience of being. I don't follow a creation myth nor do I have an infallible book with an infallible god to back up my spirituality. But as a very fallible human being with very fallible human thoughts I seek only to eat, drink and be merry. I travel through this life to love, be loved, and not prevent love for anyone else. Videos like these remind me that even if you and I don't share the same beliefs or views we share the same origin at the atomic level. Some theist would say that we are built with a drive to seek God, I would say that we have an inner drive to seek each other, to seek connectedness. You can see that by simply following the trend of people switching to smartphones to stay connected with the world (and yes I work for one of those smartphone companies). How can we ignore our global interconnectedness to neighbors suffering halfway around the world, or even down the street, when we have the world pouring into our living rooms through our TVs and phones? We can't ignore it. Those who want the good ole' days when gays, Muslims, and Atheists were out of sight out of mind will never reach their goal. The space between ourselves and our neighbors is evaporating and unless you're willing to live in a community out in the country secluded from the wilds of an increasingly interconnected world then have at it, the world is not going to go back to a time with less diversity and interconnectedness. But we can have so much more, we can be so much more, by accepting the fact that we are connected to and need each other.

Now that I finish this post I remember I posted a similar video (with the same exact title) back in September 2010 here. It was exciting then and now.


Sabio Lantz said...

The desire to be connected & bigger-than-we-are causes us to fool ourselves constantly. Doing with stardust talk or religious myths seem no different to me. Doing it with smart phones or blogs is equally deceptive, I think.
We are not connected the way we want to fantasize.
Is there a restful position without the need to create artificial meaning?

Don said...


Eruesso said...

@ Sabio
I'm not sure I have an answer to your question. I believe artificial meaning can still feel quite real to the person experiencing it. I don't personally have a desire to be bigger than I am, I simply enjoy being. I find the relationship we share with one another beautiful. Whether it takes the form of stardust talk or religious myth I find story (the fleshing out of that connection) very...human. Are we really connected the way we want to fantasize? Meh, probably not, but I find the tale told through our imagination enriching.

Sabio Lantz said...

@ Eruesso,
I agree that healthy relationships, inspiring stories and more can feel very good. Lots of things feel very good.

Kay said...


I don't believe the connections that we have with each other and everything else to to be artificial. It seems quite obvious to me, but then I lean a bit towards the "woo" side of some things.

Ah well.

Hey Sabio. How are ya? :)

Sabio Lantz said...

Hey Kay.
But here is the question:
If we were all NOT all connected in that wonderful, beautiful way that inspires you and Eruesso, what would the world look like? Would it look any different? Could you even begin to say how?

Kay said...

I'm not sure where to start with answering those questions ... Let's see ...

Would the world *look* any different if we are not all connected? Objectively? No. The world is as the world is.

But - it would look different to *me*. It would change how I perceive things.

That's the rub though, isn't it? Can we really get outside our heads and view things objectively? No. We come at everything with subjective viewpoints (worldviews, opinions, experiences).

Perhaps we are not all connected in any objective sense (though I believe we are), but choosing to view that we are all interconnected impacts how I think and live.

I think it could impact how we all think and live.

Hopefully some of that made sense. :)

Sabio Lantz said...

Kay, you said:

"Perhaps we are not all connected in any objective sense (though I believe we are)"

So my question is, "Why do you believe that?"
Especially since you believe the world would not act or be any different to the eyes of others if it weren't.

Yes, I get that having some notion of "We-are-all-wonderfully-connected" makes things better for you.

But a world full of fairies does the same for some people.
As does a world full of racially inferior people do the same for other people.
Just because believing something makes you feel better, doesn't tell us anything of interest, I am afraid. Sure, it is a confession, but that is about it.

I don't think believing the world is all connected helps some people live better than others. If you did believe that, it would be an empirical claim and would be fun to test. If believing in fairies makes the world a better place then we might as well promote that too --- for there is equal amount of evidence.

Kay said...

I'm not sure what else I can say Sabio except to have fun setting up your tests.

I did try to make it clear that viewing the world the way I do is, ultimately, a subjective thing. I just happen to think it's a better subjective choice than racism. (And to argue that they are the same is just that - being argumentative.)

And I'm not interesting in an "If it can't be empirically tested it doesn't exist" discussion.

Nice chatting with you. It's fun to be commenting out in the blogosphere again.

I think I'm done here though. Time to head to the backyard and get the garden going.

Sabio Lantz said...

I agree that it is subjective. So I am saying that some atheists that are comforting themselves saying the world is all connected in some comforting way are doing the same as some theists -- no better, no worse.

And, I agree that thinking the world feels better because you are a woo-woo all-connectedness person probably is better for us than living with racist fantasies.

But putting science spin on the woo-woo seems to disguise the same game. It is fine of course. Just discussing the principles here.

Enjoy your gardening, Kay.

Kay said...

Ah. I think we might be speaking past each other because I am not an atheist. Your objections make more sense now.

I enjoy the science woo to a certain point, but it's within my panentheist outlook.

The gardening was great (though I did get a bit sunburned). :)

Anonymous said...

Nice video and mostly true. Only problem is if you have eaten any food or water that has been materialized psychically - vibhuti etc. Still, many scientists don't believe this sort of thing, doesn't mean it doesn't happen though.

Post a Comment