: "What a strange time it is to be a dead star reanimated by chance and patience."
Anne Waldman: "We're here to disappear, therefore let's be as vivid & generous as we can."
The universe unfolds across timescales that render human civilization an insignificant blip, let alone a single human lifetime. Our lives are tiny gnats on the great body of the cosmos.
Objectively, we probably don't matter. Subjectively, we're the only things that matter. Reconciling these is tricky business.
Add onto this the existence of black holes (which assure us we do not understand how matter or space-time really work, or what they're capable of); the unknown status of the size of the universe (is it infinite? Or some sort of donut/taurus that curves in on itself?); the possibility that this is all just a simulation, and artificial intelligence already exists (it's us); all of this, and I'm supposed to brush my teeth, do the laundry, and get haircuts, as if nothing outlandish is going on?
If I take these things seriously, how might they come to bear on how I make sense of things, or live my life?
Yes, there's the usual revelation: we should kindle a sense of wonder over our impossibly confounding situation, & imbue all that we do, all that we are, with it. We should soak our lives with this delightful, if dizzying, sense of awe. We should build civilizational institutions that hold wonder sacred, rather than bureaucracies that extinguish it. We should never forget all that we do not know.
We should also explore. The physical landscape, yes. How far into space can we peer? Travel? And the interior landscape, too. What new states of consciousness might we taste?
Maybe there are new rituals to imagine, ones that keep us in conversation with the night sky. Or others that keep us in conversation with the seemingly bottomless interior landscape. Maybe we can imagine these sorts of things anew, for our times?