August 6, 2012

Report: The Universe Doesn’t Suck.

“Curiosity” Photo: YouTube

In the wee hours of the night, the “Curiosity” rover landed on Mars.

Getting that rascal up there was a feat of engineering which is absolutely the stuff of the future. Take a minute and look at an animation showing what happened:


This is soooo much sexier than experimenting on animals.

If the “Be Here Wow” dharma talks from Wes Nisker are to be believed, there are an estimated 100-200 billion galaxies cruising around out there.

Can our yoga practice include contemplating them? Hell, yeah. Download that talk, it’s free, funny, and mind-opening. I promise. Lots of talks on that site are worth an ear, by the way.

NASA.gov backs Wes up, putting the 1999 Hubble Space Telescope estimation at 125 billion galaxies. Wes also tells us that we are wheeling around the sun at about 6,000 miles an hour. That the sun whips around the galaxy at a steady 220k per second, that our galaxy is on a fast track toward the nearest super cluster (a half a million miles an hour), and that the whole mess, in turn, is cruising at that speed toward a further cluster.

So we’re in a crazy awesome circus. Looking to what exists is often a genuine shortcut to a state of wonder. Seeing what is around us, we sometimes slip into acceptance, and even, into great appreciation. Looking around rocks.

“Curiosity” photo: YouTube

“We are like pieces of the universe trying to comprehend itself.”

~ Wes Nisker

Can looking to the sky help me grow up?

My coffee this morning was weak, but some galaxies contain hundreds of millions of suns. Contemplating the latter diminishes the implied insult I can’t seem to stop seeing in the former. Weak coffee is less important than the vastly improbable action of getting ahold of a cup and drinking it.

There is every possibility that the Rover on Mars can give us grace.

But we have to choose that, right?

They are planning to “unlock the secrets of Mars” through  Sample Analysis. And we can unlock our own secrets, our own sample analysis, in seated meditation. We grow our perspectives by examining this unwieldy universe, and the small part of it that we own, free and clear.

The rover will also be snapping tons of images, and sending them to us here.

Its awesome. If we let it be awesome.

Because what we pay attention to grows, right?

So if I’m all up in Chick-Fil-A’s grill about their CEO’s position, or worked up about Oprah’s hair color, there’s a very real possibility that I’m missing the point.

Louis CK is onto something with cell phones and satellites and wireless internet on planes.


It bears looking into. Our culture fosters an intellectual laziness. The gravity is towards some pretty dumb stuff. Just sayin’.

 Editor: Lynn Hasselberger

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