This is home.
January 28, 2012
Photo credit: NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring
The image above is home. It is the place where all but five hundred of the over ten billion humans have lived and will live their entire lives. It is the only place we know of that contains our scale of life. This place is amazing to us, for it gives us physical locations of shelter, warmth, chilling, cyclical seasons, and the chance for us to learn about its inner-most workings.
This is not a planet to us, but our figurative mother. It is the place we have called home, mother, savior, basket, and to some, God.
We are currently destroying our home. We are currently deconstructing the adventure of this planet’s creation and evolution that has taken part for over four billion years. This is not a secret either, but a cold fact of our current existence. It is a side-effect of our selfish processes, and we are not transparent to the planet, as we should be.
Clearly it is foolish to expect that we, as humans, who: explore, break, change, break, learn, create, break, and improve everything in our lives could ever become transparent (or, cthulhu-forbid foster naturalistic processes) to this planet? Or is it?
We are able to create and manipulate data into new forms and constructs at a rate that is equal to the previous year’s amount of creation and manipulation. (Read: exponential growth) We are not different from the systems we create, nor the systems which we experience, but part of those. Even more humbling is the fact that we are physically exchanging matter with those systems. From the most complex systems of galaxies spanning thousands upon thousands of light-years, to single celled bacteria, we are making exchanges with everything.
The counter-concept of this which seems to propagate so many human minds is an barrier of absolutes. It is not our abstractions of superficial importance which we impose on reality that dictate the truly powerful systems in our lives, but those systems which we often least understand have control over us.
I wish, beg, and plead with people on an almost weekly basis to become open to this train of thought. It is far less of a disturbance or shattering of your views than what you may think. However, it is a fundamental switch in how to function. A complete unwrapping of the world around you, and that’s special. It’s always a thrill to learn something (a)new. Just as other things may excite you, understanding the systems and their inter-connectivity is mesmerizing.
This post originally appeared on the UNI Freethinkers and Inquirers website.
About the Author: Adam ShannonAdam Shannon is a sophomore at the University of Northern Iowa studying computer science. He is the UNI Freethinkers and Inquirerswebmaster and loves secular and marriage equality activism.
The Course of Reason is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
CFI blog entries can be copied or distributed freely, provided:
- Credit is given to the Center for Inquiry and the individual blogger
- Either the entire entry is reproduced or an excerpt that is considered fair use
- The copying/distribution is for noncommercial purposes