Wonders of the World

The age and the size of the Cosmos are beyond ordinary human understanding and our tiny planet Earth is lost somewhere between eternity and immensity of the universe. And yet the humans, this young species, are brave and curious. They show much promise and in the last few millennia they have made the most astonishing and unexpected discoveries about the world and their place within it, explorations that are exhilarating to consider.

Only recently the civilisation has waded a little out to the Cosmic Sea, enough to dampen the toes or, at most, wet the ankles. The universe seems inviting and calls. The Earth is just a place. It is by no means the only place.

Humans have evolved to wonder. They have understood that knowledge is prerequisite to survival and understanding is a joy. They look back through countless years and see the great will to live struggling out of the intertidal slime, struggling from shape to shape and from power to power, crawling and then walking confidently upon the land, struggling generation after generation to master the air, creeping down into the darkness of the deep… Their future depends on how well they know this Cosmos.

Some part of human conscience knows that the Cosmos is from where we all came. And that is why we long to return. We are expanding, elaborating ourselves, pursuing our relentless inconceivable purpose, until at last it reaches us and its being beats through our brains and arteries.

We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries.

Out of our lineage, minds will spring, that will reach back to us in our littleness to know us better than we know ourselves. A day will come, one day in the unending succession of days, when beings, beings who are now latent in our thoughts and hidden in our loins, shall stand upon the earth as one stands upon a footstool, and shall laugh and reach our their hands amidst the stars (Herbert George Wells, The Discovery of the Future, Nature 65, 326, 1902.)

lady and lotus flower

In a cosmic perspective, our concerns seem insignificant, even petty, but imagination will carry humans to worlds that never were. Without imagination, humans go nowhere. Image : © Megan Jorgensen

railway station in china

A Railway Station in China. All that the human mind has ever accomplished is but the dream before the awakening. Image: © Grandquebecois

infinity

The known is finite, the unknown is infinite. Intellectually we stand on an islet in the midst of an illimitable ocean of inexplicability. Our business in every generation is to reclaim a little more land (T.H. Huxley, 1887). Photo © paysquebec.com

man on the river

A mythical old man thinking about life and death. Skepticism enables humans to distinguish fancy from fact and to test speculations. Source of the image: © kennedytruth.com

paris seen from eiffel tower

Paris as seen from the Eiffel Tower. We are a local embodiment of a Cosmos grown to self-awareness. Our loyalties are to the species of the Earth and we speak for this planet. Photo : © Univers.grandquebec.com

maisons de pierre

Our obligation to survive is owed not just to ourselves but also to that Cosmos, ancient and vast, from which we spring. Image: © lequebecois.ca

cat frigo

All the past is but the beginning of a beginning, and all that is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn. Photo: © Marina Fetisova

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