StarstuffJul 20, 2022
"We are made of starstuff." Carl Sagan
Now that you’ve had a chance to see the clearest views yet of our universe, how do you feel?
When I first saw the photos from the James Webb telescope that revealed numerous galaxies, some more than 4.6 billion light years away, I was moved by the beauty of the images and stunned by the scope of what they captured.
Then, I felt deeply comforted to realize how infinitesimal we are in the unfathomably vast expanse of the universe. After all, life on planet earth is no picnic these days, so it can be somewhat of a relief to consider how insignificant and tiny we are in the bigger scheme of things, right?
Well, yes and no, according to yoga.
The non-dual traditions of yoga see the entire universe and everything in it as a manifestation of Shakti - the creative power of absolute consciousness. They describe how this one consciousness steps itself down into manifestation and becomes all that we see and experience in the world around us.
Everything in the universe, including us, is seen as an expression of this infinitely diverse, endlessly creative, and supremely intelligent energy.
In other words, we are made of the same conscious, pulsating energy as the galaxies. We are composed of the same chemicals as the planets, and enlivened by the same forces that create stars.
This awesome vision serves as a humbling reminder of the miraculous convergence of forces that has allowed the universe to manifest as you.
Ultimately, I think, it beckons us to revisit our ideas of who we are and just how truly significant this little life of ours really is.