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challenging your perspective

I am reading Brian Greene’s The Fabric of the Cosmos and it really is making my head spin.  Greene discusses everything from the description of reality and spacetime as accepted in modern physics to the origins of the universe and the big bang.  While I’ve always been somewhat of a space geek and an admirer in physics (even though I never got good grades in it), and this book is supposed to be written from a pedestrian perspective, I still find it a fairly difficult read.  It is written really well, it’s just that the way I’ve grown up and the way we’ve grown up with this world around us and the 5 senses we have to live in it, are truly incapable of understanding what else is out there.

As I was reading last night about the inflationary cosmology theory, which has to do with the big bang and how the universe expanded after the bang, I was absolutely blown away by what they discovered.  They figured out, based on their discoveries and assumptions of the power related to the big bang, what the total mass/energy of the universe should be.  The remarkable thing is, the stuff we’re made up of and everything we see and touch is made up of, even the stars are made up of, only accounts for a tiny sliver of what is the universe.  In fact the visible matter (atoms, stars, us, everything we see, feel, smell, taste, etc) only accounts for 5% of the total mass/energy of the universe!  What an amazing statistic!  So all the things we’re aware of, all the things we’re afraid of, all of the things in our lives, accounts for basically nothing in the great scheme of things.  The visible matter (us) really more or less is the floating debris on the ocean that is the universe.  (I can’t help but point out when you realize this and believe it, it’s hard to really buy the idea of judgement by a higher being pitfall by many of the religions.  In a universe this vast, do you think there really is something out there that cares whether or not you eat meat on Friday’s, go to church on sunday’s, or if you “kill the infidels?” If it makes you feel good, keep doing it, but don’t do it just because you think you’re being judged)
I’m not saying that our lives, our fears, our excitements are worth nothing.  Of course from everyone’s perspective, their lives are the center of their universe, and that is how it should be.  I’m just saying that viewing things with this knowledge (of course it’s a theory, but one that has been proven in about 15 different ways) affecting our perspective, really changes the game.  We’re here in this vast amazing space, on an equally amazing earth, why would you want to do anything more than enjoy it?

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