How Did I Get Here? The Importance of Cosmology

I am adopted. I never had an interest in meeting my natural parents until much later in life. At first, I thought, I have parents. I don’t need more of them. But as time passed, I noticed things about me that baffled my family. There was a lot of head scratching from my parents as they got to know me. So I thought I was unique. And often enough not a good unique. A baffling, lonely unique that made me notice a small void growing in me.

Meeting my natural mother explained me and it filled that particular void. My first conversation on the phone with her, she asked me if I believed in nature or nurture. I said nurture. She agreed. And we are spending the subsequent years proving ourselves wrong. My physical make up: identical to her. My taste in food, men, clothes, etc: like twins. There’s a man out there who likely explains the unexplained parts, but overall, I feel pretty sated. Not because I met my natural mother and she explained me, but that I met her and realized I didn’t need explaining. After my time with her, and all subsequent conversations, I get that warm, fuzzy feeling seeing me as a reflection of her and it has freed me to see me as a reflection of my adoptive mother, my adoptive father, and inevitably in everyone I meet, everyone who teaches me and everyone who learns from me. My reflection is in everyone I touch.

Well, how did I get here?
Well, how did I get here?

I think the same evolution of thought happens to us about our belief system and our creation story. The mere curiosity of cosmology feeds a very deep-seated hunger for a very specific validation. Not information, or at least not just information. Validation. We want to know we aren’t unique -baffling, lonely unique. Every creation myth gives us this. We have a common mother. We have a watchmaker of our inner wheels, cogs and coils. Even in the atheistic cosmology, we have a common mutation – in fact, every breathing being shares the same pool of origin. Some need sentience with their evolution so they believe we have a common Thing that made the mutation happen out of a desire for us to exist. But in the end, we all want to know the Beginning to boost our morale about the Present. God made us in His image? I think that belief truly hits the core of why so many of us believe it.

So let’s look at that need -that hunger in us, -and satisfy it with what is here instead of what is hoped and theorized. Let’s look at our reflection in others.

I’m going to start with a quote by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. “We are all connected; to each other, biologically. To the Earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe, atomically.” That is very profound. That doesn’t need an origin story. It can have one. It’s human to look for one. But alone, that is amazing. And it’s proven. It’s not a belief. It’s true. The question now becomes how do we, in mind and deed, live that truth?

I actually have no idea. So I’m going to let you tell me. Anyone who answers via twitter or facebook or personal email or here, I’ll update this blog with that answer (and credit you). I’ll also be researching this and updating with what I find, so you all aren’t on your own. What I hope for is a final draft of my first video blog in my “sermon series.” (I gotta work on that title). I now humbly pass this torch to you.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. splitid says:

    I’m going to update in replies and then find the best way to summarize when I’ve gathered all the suggestions. So the first one from Desiree Vanderwal – “We live that truth by exploring that truth. By seeking answers. We are star particles–bits of matter and energy from the universe–come together for a brief moment in time where we have consciousness. We are the universe being aware of itself.”

  2. splitid says:

    I got another answer in my internet stumbling today. There’s a photographer who has a site called Humans of New York. I follow him on facebook. He photographs people in NY and talks to them, so his photos are captioned with something they say. I always see my reflection in these photos and the people are so different in each photo, it’s truly a manifestation of Tyson’s quote.

  3. Devin Pike says:

    This’ll be a rambling answer, as I’m trying to work it out in real time instead of giving a concise, edited answer. Might turn out better that way.

    I’m adopted as well – a no-information baby, and if I decide to listen to the whispers and start looking for my birth parents it’ll be a lot more difficult. That said, I feel completely connected to my adoptive parents (or, really, “my parents”). Except… I’m not. My mother died in 2004, and I barely speak to my father anymore. My true familial connections are with my wife, and the two dozen-or-so close friends who make up my day-to-day life.

    With that lot, I sincerely never feel disconnected. They remind me of who I am, where I’ve been, and where I’m going. They give me love, they give me grief, they bust my bubble and then re-inflate it.

    If this doesn’t help, Justina, feel free to whack me on the nose as a redirect.

  4. splitid says:

    Spouses and friends -the family you choose. Yeah, that’s a great answer! I look at John and my friends in a similar way. I like the bubble busting and re-inflating image. I so get that.

  5. marksackler says:

    All you can do is be true to yourself. There is no one true way that fits all.

  6. Erik Andrulis says:

    Hi Justina, I was familiar with that quote of Neil’s. And, I agree, it very profound. Like you wrote, It’s true.

    Then you asked the question: “How do we, in mind and deed, live that truth?” And added:

    “I actually have no idea. So I’m going to let you tell me.”

    Let me repeat Neil’s quote, for the purposes of response: ” “We are all connected; to each other, biologically. To the Earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe, atomically.”

    How do “we” live that truth?

    Well, I had to come to terms with what that truth, in fact, means. And consider that only I – that is, the person who encounters information and must assess its meaning – decide and act on what I learn. And only I decide what I – that is, you – am and am not.

    Only I – again, you – can take the things from a belief in truth to a knowledge of truth.

    So then, writing to you, the reader, first, *know* that you are all people, and everything that connects all people.

    Second, *know* that you are all biological systems.

    Third, *know* that you are all biochemicals and chemicals.

    Finally, *know* that you are all atoms.

    In other words, know that you are the Universe .

    In knowing that you are the Universe, you cannot help but be humbled and uplifted simultaneously. It is both frightening and gratifying. It is unbelievable and intuitive.

    In knowing that you are all people (well, at least in that I know I am all people), you may see that there is every reason to treat yourself (that is, all people that you are) with dignity, respect, grace, understanding, patience, forgiveness, compassion, and, most importantly, love

    Since I asked myself.

  7. Great post. I’ve been obsessed with metaphysics and epistemology for the majority of my life. The questions you raise are so essential, and yet so ignored by the majority. The topic is too vast to answer in a reply, but thanks for posting it (and your whole blog, which I am enjoying).

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