Some scientists like to believe that more information about the origin and nature of the universe can be found by poking around in the farthest reaches of outer space, many millions of light years away. What they are trying to do is catch up with the earliest light generated by “the Big Bang” – for those who subscribe to that theory – and hopefully catch a glimpse of what was going on at the time. I wish them luck, but suspect all they are likely to find is more space and more cosmic dust … and more “dark matter”, of course. (What is that stuff, anyway?)
I say this because it is my belief that scratching around in the far corners of the universe – like a cat trying to find a way out of a locked closet – will not get us any answers about the origin of the cosmos, what it was that brought us about, and all that this might represent to us; that kind of information is likely not to be found out there. Why not?
Well, it is all about the nature of the information we are in search of. I believe we are necessarily limited in our ability to describe and interpret the universe beyond this being a function of the conditions that brought us about and defined the scope of what it is we are able to see, interpret and understand. The nature of our perceptual apparatus is a successful response to these conditions, and our ability to gather, discern and interpret the data provided by it. Our survival as a species continues to depend on managing this process successfully, allowing us to see what we need to see, hear what we need to hear, etc. Consequently, the universe that we see out there is very much of our own making, at least in terms of our conception of it, and to think we can extrapolate that to the larger hypothesis encompassing the very origin of the cosmos seems a bit of a stretch to me, notwithstanding some very smart people out there, including Stephen Hawking and his singularity theorems introducing such hypothetical entities as infinite space-time. But do we really understand what we are talking about here? I doubt it.
So where am I going with this? Not much further than to say that – to find the answers to the larger questions concerning our reason for being – we need to go in the opposite direction: into ourselves. We need to go into our own inner space and start cultivating the still murky but fertile ground of our thoughts, with the hope they might be ready to flourish in the emerging dawn of enlightened thinking, and that they will be able to thrive, eventually, in the light of a brilliant source deep within us. At the core of our being and in every atom in our bodies – and not hiding out in some far off corner in outer space – it is the origin of the cosmos, and the drive and determination that fueled the process that brought us here, and with it the meaning of all that we are and all that we can be. So very close to us – we cannot be separated from it – yet, clearly, still so very far away.