Hello my beautiful friends, Today I am delighted to share a post written by Britt Griscom. He is smart with a laser-sharp mind and the heart of a revolutionary. He writes about consciousness, evolution, futurism and belonging. You can catch him at Ancient Assumptions for some passionate debates and fierce honesty.
Have a read.
We are separate from the physical world.
Humans are not animals.
Do you know your place? Do you really know where you come from? Do you really know what you are part of? For most of my life, I didn’t.
I didn’t know that 65% of my body was oxygen, and that 18% of my body was carbon. I didn’t know that all of my carbon and oxygen atoms had been created by stars when, at the end of their life-cycles, they cooked helium into both carbon and oxygen.
I didn’t know that 10% of my body was hydrogen, and that all of my hydrogen atoms had been around since just after the big bang 13.75 billion years ago.
I didn’t know that all the heavier atoms in my body had been created in supernovae, gigantic stellar explosions that with their tremendous heat cooked up most of the elements that compose our universe.
I didn’t know that I was part of these processes. I didn’t know that the atoms in my body were essentially immortal. I just experienced myself as an isolated particle of the universe. I didn’t know my ancestors, and I didn’t know my relations. I didn’t know that 99% of my DNA was identical to that of chimpanzees, and that the most recent ancestor common to both humans and chimpanzees lived only 6 million years ago. Since life has been on Earth about 4 billion years, that means that 99.85% of our evolutionary journey is shared with them. In other words, if we could go back to any moment in time and meet the ancestor of ours that was then living, and also meet the ancestor of the chimpanzees that was then living, 99.85% of the time they would be one and the same being!
There are many, many factoids like this with the potential to jar us out of our everyday consciousness and pull us into a broader sense of self. I don’t know about you, but I need that broader perspective. I need to experience my connection to the universe. Life as an isolated particle is lonely. I need to feel at home in the universe. I need to know my relations. I need to know what I am part of.
I know that religions have historically provided this feeling of connection to something larger than ourselves, but lacking evidence for their propositions, they just don’t satisfy. The amazing thing is that the evidence itself is the doorway to the wonder and awe that we are so hungry for. What creation story could be more amazing than the story revealed to us through our painstaking inquiries into the real world?