Universe and Us
Once upon a time, at the very, very beginning (about 13.7 billion years ago) before there even was time, there was a mysterious emptiness, a profound and fertile quiet. We're not sure exactly how this happened, but in a trillion-trillion-trillionth of a second (an unimaginably small amount of time), the universe appeared on the scene. It was about the size of an atom and it was very, very, very hot. Cosmologists called this event a "singularity" - a oneness that contains everything. All the energy that would ever exist in the universe was in that tiny speck.
Over the next one billion-trillion-trillionth of a second, in what we now call the "big bang", the universe expanded to the size of a galaxy. Nothing before or since, not even light, has ever moved that fast. And it moved at exactly the right speed. If it had been one trillion-trillion-trillionth of a percent faster or slower, the universe would never have been more than a big bunch of atoms.
There's an amazing elegance and intelligence in the unfolding of the universe – so many critical moments when the universe had to get it just right. There's a messiness too. It wasn't always pretty. For example, in the firestorm just after the big bang, most of what was created was immediately annihilated. And yet a vastness remains.
At the moment, there are about one trillion galaxies in the universe, with an average of 100 million stars in each galaxy. That adds up to 100 million-trillion stars. That's a 1 with 20 zeros after it – a very big number. Each star is unique and one of a kind – just like every planet, every person and every blade of grass. And all that uniqueness, richness and diversity originated in oneness. It's all interconnected. Every bit of it is kin to us.
I believe the story of the universe is a story of love. And, because we are inseparable from it, it's our story too. There is a vastness in us that mirrors the vastness of the universe. There is a richness and diversity in here that mirrors the richness and diversity out there. There is a messiness and elegance in humans that mirrors the messiness and elegance of all creation.
We live in a universe imbued with intelligence, creativity and love. Where we live is who we are.