Monday, March 14, 2016

Monday Mantra: Oblivion & Coincidence

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: Two black holes walk into a bar...
Meteor Rain
A few weeks ago an announcement was made by LIGO (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) about two black holes colliding together a billion or so light years in the future. I'm no Sheldon Cooper, but I can tell you that in the land of physics this is ridiculously amazing news. In the land of human-beings-who-live-on-earth-and-barely-know-a fraction-of-how-the-universe-works, this is also incredibly wild and can be perceived as somewhat terrifying news, which is why they didn't release an official statement on it until months after it had happened. 

There are a lot of interesting facts in the article (all the articles written about this, actually) but what gets me is a few key details. First, the sheer size of these two black holes boggles my mind. One was 36 times the size of our sun! I can't even process that idea. Also keep in mind we have (as far as I understand) pretty much no idea what black holes are all about. Like, almost none at all. Space, in and of itself, is a mystery to us. Pair that with the news that these two gigantic black holes basically dosey-doed around each other hundred of times a second and then smashed into each other, creating one giant black hole that is the mass of 62 suns and it can be a little scary.

For instance, in my non-scientist mind that knows basically nothing about this line of study, I freaked out a little bit when I heard this. Even though they said the black holes were light years away, what I latched on to was the idea that life as we know it could have been over in a nano second. All of the apocalypse movies would've have gotten it wrong. It wouldn't be disease or zombies or the San Andreas tearing apart the world. The end of our age would come so fast it would be nothing to us. Nothing at all. 

I couldn't stop thinking about what that would be like. I kept imagining myself driving home on the freeway, alone in my car, living life like I'm doing right now, assuming all the plans I've made and worries I've worried about would add up to something. But in less time than my brain would have been able to even process in that moment, one of those ginormous black holes could have swallowed up the earth, could have swallowed up the sun. I wouldn't have seen it coming in the slightest. 

That thought gave me mixed feelings. On one hand, it made me reaffirm the idea that the things I worry about, the things I waste time on, really don't matter. That I could (and should) stop wasting precious time on each and every stupid thought/idea/task that doesn't ultimately lead to a better, happier life. I mean really, if life can end faster than I can blink, none of it is worth it. 

On the other hand, it made me ponder how miraculous it really is that we're on this giant globe, heated by an even more gigantic orb that could essentially set us ablaze- but doesn't. We are spinning through outer space, but we're not spinning out of control. We have the exact climate and surroundings and minerals and essentials needed to sustain life on this (and only this as far we know) planet. There are meteors flying through space that could obliterate entire cities, black holes swallowing each other whole, and we're still here, untouched and thriving. That boggles my mind even more. It makes me think of how we try and explain magical moments away with one single word- coincidence. It reminds me how each and every time something remarkable happened to me, each time something unexplainable occurred, I've never once in my life believed it was a coincidence. It makes me wonder how little we must really know about absolutely everything. 

I don't know what you believe in or don't believe in. God or aliens or nothing at all. I wouldn't dare tell you to pick or choose, or try and sway you into one thing versus another. I like believing in all kinds of things. I like imagining the possibilities of so, so much more than I can even explain. But what I'm trying to get at, based on all of this black hole we-don't-know-much-about-anything business, is this: don't let the little things in life ruin you. Don't let the opinions of others sour your mood. Don't concern yourself with their concerns of you. Do not hold on to anything - anything at all - that does not support a remarkable life. You have no idea what's going to happen one moment to the next.

Make every single second count.

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