“The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.” ― Carl Sagan
The more I think about this quote, the more I am fascinated by the awe-inspiring possibilities of the statement. To think that the cosmos lies within us is contrary to everything we have ever been taught. We are told that the cosmos is out there, beyond the curve of the horizon, beyond poor demoted Pluto, out somewhere in the Milky Way, trapped between the ever expanding ‘boundaries’ of the Big Bang. Yet Mr Sagen suggests that all that infinity is instead inside of us? Our moral, boundried bodies? How can that be?
Is the tiny speck of the Big Bang hiding somewhere down in our souls, radiating out stars and planets and even black holes through ribs and muscles and lungs? Or is the universe reversing inside us, growing smaller and smaller with each step we take to make this world a smaller place?
I can image my body filled with the ‘reality’ of blood and muscles and bones, but I have a harder time with the image of myself filled with star-stuff. What exactly makes up this star-stuff? Asteroids and space dust? Black holes? Wormholes? Matter and dark matter? Or could it be all of these together just as in the vast unknown of the Universe?
I remember a book cover I once saw that has a person’s outline filled with the dark of sky and stars. That is how I imagine myself filled with the stuff of the cosmos. And this, I know, is only but a tiny fraction of what the words mean. Maybe I will never understand the reality of Mr Sagen’s words, but I will spend my life trying. That, after all, is the most anybody can expect.
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