"One does not have to be especially spiritual to experience awe at the infinity of galaxies we can see in the night sky. Our human consciousness does not merely make possible the question Why? It insists that the question be asked. The urge to know is a defining feature of humanity: to know about the past; to understand the present; to glimpse what the future may hold. ... The night sky is full of unanswered questions.” (389-340)
- Richard Leakey Origins Reconsidered (1992)
Meditating on the Universe and this planet from the perspective of a scientifically grounded cosmology, I often center down and reflect on the nature of life itself. Understanding Life requires an existential hermeneutic; it requires poetic reflection upon what is known and what is hoped for, what is dreamt and what is already proven. Life arises out of the processes set in motion at the Big Bang. It has come into being on this planet as a logical though not necessary consequence of the various particulars of the dust & gases that were available when our sun began to coalesce coming together and then, as planetary bodies – perhaps dozens of them in the early days of our solar system – began forming, either being blown out of existence by collisions with other bodies being formed or else being drawn into the creation of larger bodies through gravitational attraction. Soon after our planet came into being, the potential for life must have existed as a matrix in its material systems. Life did not have to happen. Yet it did, and in that becoming many wondrous beings have come into existence and then passed away again into extinction, over and over, down across the eons of time since the genesis of life on Earth some 3.8 billion years ago.