Journey into the Universe

Journey into the Universe

Dear Team:

Humans in the ancient past discerned at most a few thousand stars, but today science has revealed a universe of unimaginable size and inconceivable violence. Billions upon billions of stars--like our sun--burn with the energy of a thermo-nuclear furnace. Many die in explosions that litter the reaches of space with gas and dust from which new stars and planets are born.

If I was a super-alien the universe would look the same from every angle. I would then zero in on a particular super-cluster of galaxies that would then lead me to a smaller cluster of galaxies where our Milky Way is embedded and finally our particular sun with its solar neighbors.

Most humans thought that our galaxy was the ENTIRE UNIVERSE until the 1920's. The billions of stars that make up our galaxy are only a tiny fraction of the known stars in the universe. We know this today. A central reddish bulge in the middle of the Milky Way glows with the light of older redder stars. Our sun orbits the center of our galaxy every 230 million years.

Galaxies are the large atoms of the universe. Stars are even smaller atoms within these bigger atoms. Light from the sun takes 8 minutes to get to earth. 5 hours to get to Pluto. More than four months to get to Alpha Centauri the nearest star to our sun.

Having this bigger perspective always allows one some valuable distance when looking at the problems on planet earth. Most humans can barely think beyond the boundaries of their country. Imagine what a perspective one get's on global problems if one can simply step back from one's limited earth view. This is a crucial psychological step.

An alien would see from the 1800's on a move towards total war as the west industrialized from an agricultural and wood based civilization. This trend climaxed in 1945 with Hiroshima. The Cold war proved to be a stalemate.

Since 9/11 we are headed towards total war but instead of from WITHOUT. It could be from WITHIN. Computers and nuclear energy are creating a strange new process that governments can no longer control. The immune system of a civilization is now vulnerable to attack from within. In the old days we looked up from the sky and looked for the incoming missles.

Throughout industrial and agricultural history we can see cycles of boom and bust in new technologies and their their financing, their production, their marketing, and their consumption both for civilian and military purposes. In the digital age these cycles of boom and bust are accelerating.

The cultural, social, political, and religious dimensions to these technological and economic cycles would interest an alien enormously.They certainly interest me. Our education system is completely flawed because it does not transmit how all these dimensions and cycles interact with one another.

Outer and inner poverty with this outer progress is now haunting us. The alien would see the outer contradictions, but only the saint can really see the inner and outer contradictions. We are still struggling to fuse holistic outer views with reductionist ones. The struggle to fuse ALL outer views with inner kinds of vision has barely been started. This is what my work is about.



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