(photograph by Citizenrod)
With comet Neowise (C/2020 F3) currently in our skies and Solstice just having past last month, I thought it appropriate to reflect on the grandness of the Universe (or the insignificance of Man) and how we don’t think too much about it anymore.
Thanks to electricity and our ability to turn lights on, literally, at the flick of a switch, night skies no longer provide the canvas of inspiration and awe they once did, and we are losing more than we think.
Light pollution, a necessary evil.
Ok, evil is a bit harsh, but let me explain what I mean.
On the one hand light pollution signifies our advancements in technology, our ability to build networks that allow for the distribution of the energy we create, the development and prosperity of nations, the spreading of basic needs to those that once went without. The evolution of Man basically. That’s a good thing.
But on the other hand light pollution is creating a veil over our cities, slowly reducing our view of our great Universe. The result? We can’t see it.
Can’t see the stars… so what?
Well, the problem is we are losing more than just our ability to see the stars, much more. By losing our view of the Universe, that simple act of standing in the night, looking up, and clearly seeing it, we are losing perspective, appreciation, and an important thinking tool.
When we don’t know our place in the universe, we have no base, we are not grounded and our thoughts are scattered. When we don’t have perspective, when we don’t see how small we really are, we fail to think bigger. If we are the “biggest”, if we are all there is, if we are the alpha, then there is nothing more. If there is nothing more, why search for it…
What’s up there anyway?
It’s not about what is up there, or what isn’t up there. Looking up at the Universe is a tool, a tool for the mind. Looking up helps you pause, it helps you reflect, it helps you think. And the vast unknown of the Universe lets your mind run free, unabated. Who needs meditation? Who needs lucid dreaming?
Great thinkers pondered the unknown. Great thinkers pondered the chasm (khaos) of nothing. But from the unknown, from nothing, came great thoughts and ideas.
The Universe is… your mind, a blank canvas, and a big glass of wine.
Once upon a time we thought we were the center of the universe, and everything revolved around us. How close minded we were. Once upon a time we thought the Earth was flat, and if we sailed too far we would fall off the edge, so we didn’t sail too far. But once we realised there was more, suddenly our minds opened up. Suddenly we envisioned endless possibilities from the unknown, the immense potential of NO LIMITS!
Looking up at the stars is a reminder, it’s a poke in the ribs.. Hey! Shut up, look, think, awe.
But when there is nothing to look at then…
Interestingly we now use maps to FIND dark places. Stargazers use sites like Dark Site Finder to find the best spots to star gaze.
Citizenrod | art | design | think