As is the usual, I look through my self-made spyglass gazing through the intermittent hues of lights that flicker well past the distant skyline.
I wish I could get away from the disturbing glare of the cities and go back to my once-in-a-while isolation and self-imposed hibernation. Free from these bright pervasive city lights, away from the litter and graphical eyesores of industries, and beyond these annoying and invasive humming noises of humans quite so obsessed with technology.
Just so I could spend a whole night wondering like the philosophers of the old, munching not on numerical delicacies but of great discoveries, and unraveling not the apathetic tasks of mediocrity but remarkable ideas that are amorous to the specie.
It’s probably that kind of night a few hundred years ago that Galilei, looking at the same patch of the night sky, started to wonder how to devise ways to discover the mysteries of all these natural glitters that are now hovering above me.
From our self-imposed high and mighty place at the center of it all, he managed to single-handedly kick us in the butt, smack us in the head and put us back to where our rightful place is, back to our modest corner in the galaxy. We found out we are not so special, but rather a small part of the billions of specks that littered our entire universe.
We are in fact but just a blue dot suspended in an unfathomably endless, timeless and, quite possibly, infinite space.
Technological breakthroughs in all the physical sciences have brought us enormous amounts of information that we are now using highly sophisticated mirrors and refractors as substitute for my poor ancient spyglass. And it had given us incredible views of stars, nebulaes and endless arrays of galactic clouds and materials, from the exotic and alien to the slightly familiar ones.
But we are just getting started. Our capability to see the universe increases tenfold every time. We have come and gone to the moon, sent rovers to Mars, launched telescopes in space, and there’s currently a spacecraft on its way to Pluto and all the way to the edges of our galaxy.
We live in a time of great discovery.
But this shared enthusiasm of what’s yet to come, the way I think about it, is slightly overrated. It actually is overshadowed by the fact that despite recent discoveries and breakthroughs, all these information that we currently have and will most probably have, I’m afraid, is still not enough for us figure out what we are actually trying to accomplish.
And that is finding our place and meaning.
Since the dawn of time, we have looked upon these heavenly bodies for patterns, clues, and meaning to our evolutionary existence. True, Darwin have calculated the evolution of species but not quite the meaning of our existence. We do not survive simply because we willed it to. The idea of our survival simply to feed or to be fed upon simply lacks elegance.
It goes back the the simplest question of… “Why?”
For thousands of stargazing years, we try to decipher meaning of our existence, looking for answers from the stars above and beyond. From there we found seasons and reasons. We dared go and search for alien worlds and indiscreetly hopes but fails to find something similar. Our search very much reflects us as humans- we go to distant lands and yet, despite all the varieties we find, we still yearn to see familiar ones.
In this exceptional era of space exploration and discovery, we should not lose sight of why we’re doing it in the first place. The point of this whole galactic journey is not about finding and discovering new worlds, but about finding ourselves.
We, still, are lost in space.