On the Internet, on TV, there are lots of postings and TV shows about ghosts, about magic, about the supernatural, about aliens, about yetis or sasquatches, about people having bizarre experiences. They are very popular.
Which of course makes me wonder, Why?
It seems that many of us want to believe in these fictions — in magic or supernatural powers or aliens or strange creatures or ghosts. Somehow we want more than the mundane, everyday world we see around us. How much of that is because we aren’t paying attention?
Shut off the TV, get away from the computer screen. I’ve got some ideas for you.
Sit back in your chair. Shut your eyes. Feel your body. Feel the air going in and out of your lungs. If you listen closely enough, you can feel your heart beating. How magical is that?
Do you have a pet? Call them over, look into their eyes. What do you see. Do you see the intelligence there, looking back at you? Not a human intelligence, an alien intelligence. Right there, in your living room.
Do you have a small child or grandchild? Watch them carefully, watch them pick something up, look at it, turn it around. Think of the process going on, as their brain processes the information, learning as it goes, building that information into a massively interconnected relational database we can’t even begin to understand or duplicate.
It’s night here now. Go outside. Look up at the stars. The stars you see are the mere outskirts of the Milky Way. If you can see the Milky Way itself, spread across the sky, realize it is well over two hundred billion stars. You could give thirty entire solar systems to every human alive right now, and have leftovers.
Look back at those other stars again. Half of what you think are stars are actually other galaxies, just as big as our own. There are over two hundred billion of those as well. Thirty entire GALAXIES for each and every member of the human race.
If it’s daylight, walk outside. Look around you. Look at the plants, really look at them. Little microscopic factories, building the plant, using sunlight as fuel and carbon dioxide as a building material, releasing oxygen as a waste product. Oxygen we need to breathe, so we can exhale the carbon dioxide they in turn need to build.
The sun above. Five million trillion trillion pounds of solar furnace, without which the Earth would be a bare rock with a temperature of 450 degrees below zero.
You don’t need to think up things to be amazed at, or watch the latest TV program or Internet post about something amazing, weird and almost certainly untrue.
WAKE UP, DAMMIT. PAY ATTENTION.
You are surrounded by marvels.