35 years ago Voyager 1 was launched. It surveyed the planets, passed through the Kuiper Belt and traversed the Oort Cloud.
Today we are told that Voyager 1 is about to cross a mysterious boundary between our solar system and empty space beyond. And even our best scientific brains are subjectively stumped as to what it is, and what that means, and are looking for a scientific answer. Trouble is, it takes 17 hours for messages to reach us, traveling at 186,000 miles per second, the highest possible speed.
My question is why bother when the answer is contained in objective existentialist questions? And these questions should not remain in the rarefied minds of philosophers. It’s an occasion for us all to think about where we sit in the scheme of things, especially now in these especially heated times.
Let’s get some perspective.
How about pondering the fact that there are more stars in the heavens than grains of sand on all of the earth’s beaches? That if we were a grain of sand in Los Angeles, the nearest star would be in New York?
There are billions of stars in each galaxy including the Milky Way (ours). There are billions of galaxies in the universe. There is a mathematical certainty that there are billions of planets capable of supporting life. Everything renews and recycles in the timelessness of space, including life, forwards and backwards.
Then how will ours end?
Whenever our enemy’s weapons are equal to ours, a built-in certainty. Whoever or whatever created the big bang and designed the universe cleverly and deliberately made sure that these are uncrossable boundaries. Hopefully Voyager 1 will teach us all of these things, and we can stop the futile bi-polar behavior of Earth’s rulers, and instead concentrate our efforts on saving the planet and all of its lowly creatures (including soldiers, sailors, entertainers, doctors, judges, politicians and rulers. Maybe not lawyers and certainly not corrupt judges.)
So where’s the answer? There is none.
We just have to make sure that this window, the life that we have now, does not become part of the inevitable destruction that lies ahead for this planet. Let that be thousands of years into the future. Just thank your god that as a human, you were given a life expectancy of upwards of a hundred years, and not that of a mayfly, given but just one day. Meanwhile, we can prepare ourselves by caring enough for this species to survive by looking elsewhere within the Solar System.