It’s almost astounding to think that the world around us is essentially a reflection of our position within a cosmic reality; that everything our existence depends upon and the everyday realities of our lives over the years are shaped by where we rest in the larger scheme of things.
Maybe that’s something obvious which I should take for granted more than I do, but it’s also an interesting exercise of thought. After all, our lives are pretty much defined by the rising and setting sun, the lengthening or shortening days, the activities that fill the different seasons, and the cultural variations that developed in response to it all (see Note One).
Life, culture, and often even our emotional state can be seen as largely informed by the unfolding movement of the planets. Movements in space effectively moulding our existence through the marking and passing of time: sunrise; the promise or disappointment of weather; seasonal associations of growth, warmth, abundance, or otherwise; memories, frustrations, colour itself; then the enfolding calm of the night.
It’s just interesting. It’s this daily reality that we may be innately inclined to ignore (given how anything consistent seems to generally become as if invisible to the human mind). So, all the while there’s this reassuring regularity in nature, we may well drift into taking it all as a given.
And maybe that’s also partly because it’s so out of our control. Spending time contemplating the revolution of earth within an almost incomprehensible sense of space, guided by forces we may or may not fully understand, could be a questionable use of time. What can we do about it, and what’s the point in thinking about things we can do nothing about?
Appreciate them, I suppose. That sense of reverence for the magnitude of existence and respect for those things we don’t understand. Gratitude maybe, and responsibility for a possibly precarious state of balance. There’s many ways of approaching that which is outside our control, but also still effectively within it (Notes Two).
Sometimes I write about seeking the bigger picture, and it may well be that zooming out to the planetary is too far and risks losing a useful perspective; but it does offer quite a wonderful example of a consistent and integrated system capable of giving rise to some pretty perfect conditions. The principles of balance, renewal and harmony woven throughout the natural world and its planetary causes might actually be a good picture to keep in mind.
And I might be being almost deliberately naïve and poetic in this, but that’s because modern thinking often seems to cast some things aside that maybe could be worth keeping and reworking into a newer form.
I mean, our world is literally a depiction of our place in the cosmos; and nearly everything that makes up our cultures, societies, and personal lives is marked by that reality. It may not be a thought that ‘goes anywhere’, at least not directly, but it still seems important to note.
Notes and References:
Note 1: Culture and the passing of time
Note 2: Spirit as the invisible
Note 2: At what cost, for humans & for nature
Note 2: Aesthetic value of nature
Note 2: Living the dream