The Unexpected Universe (NY Times)
Jul 16, 2014
Editor’s note: On the face of it, this story has nothing to do with wind energy. But that’s just on the face of it. In truth the story has everything to do with everything, including who we are and who the universe is. I use a personal “who” instead of “what.” For it seems to me that, regardless of whether one thinks of the universe as a god (capitalized or not) or simply a great, patient, inexhaustible intelligence — that “who” fits better than “what.”
I offer this NY Times video as a way of putting our lives, and even this campaign, into perspective. It’s the biggest perspective of all. All of us, me included, risk imagining that our thoughts, along with those of humanity at large, are front and center, paramount above everything else. A story like this corrects such hubris.
Behold the scaffolding of the cosmos. The shadow universe — a spidery web of matter we can’t see — existing alongside the one we do perceive. “Dark matter” isn’t just out there in the abyss we call outer space; it’s intimate, it’s personal — a shadow self of you and me.
The poet John Donne, wrote Loren Eiseley, “recognized that behind visible nature lurks an invisible and procreant void from whose incomprehensible magnitude we can only recoil” (Eiseley, “The Unexpected Universe,” p. 31).
Recoil? Maybe. Personally, I find it thrilling.
Click here for the related article.