Sunday, December 18, 2005

Universal Consciousness

Not to get all cosmic on you but I was fascinated to read the beginning of this post over at Daily Kos by poster DarkSyde last Friday. It describes an experience few people have or, if they do, communicate.
Speeding through the empty Texas prairie, Dec 26th, 1968 at 2 AM. I'm laying above and behind the back seats, my six-year old body easily stretched out on the old style rear console, staring up through the slanted glass of a Ford sedan at a crystal clear nightscape. The Milky Way spilled across the sky like powdered sugar. In a moment of pure Synchronicity the radio played a static filled, crackling Season's Greeting carried a quarter million miles on the gossamer wings of invisible light, conducted by bone to my inner ear via the speaker beneath my head, as I stared into the starry infinitude:

For all the people on Earth ... the crew of Apollo 8 has a message we would like to send you ...

My wonder aroused, the rest of the family dozing, I asked my father about those brilliant stars. He began to explain to me quietly, patiently, using analogies of distance a child could grasp. And IT hit me.

In an electrifying jolt of acceleration it was as though I was thrown head over heels off into the endless heavens, an infinitesimal mote of consciousness dwarfed by intimidating immensity. I was swallowed whole by space and time, united with uncountable tiny points of light flickering in a boundless black abyss.

It was terrifying, it was exhilarating, it was glorious. I was mainlining cosmic eternity, and like that first warm bourbon buzz for the latent alcoholic or that first rush for a burgeoning junkie, after my transcendental ride ended, all I could think of was: I want some more.
I’m surprised a six year old could experience this but I know exactly the feeling DarkSyde is describing. I had it one night reclined on the roof of a house near Frontier Lake northwest of Springfield back in the summer of 1977. I was 17. The sky was brilliantly lit (Frontier Lake was a bit farther from civilization than it is now). Suddenly, as DarkSyde describes, the infinity and massiveness of the universe hit me.

It really is a moving experience as your mind really isn’t equipped to grasp such notions. We get caught up in our lives and social interactions and politics and getting by day to day, but letting go of it all for a minute and feeling the vastness of things beyond the bounds of Earth really is an experience that makes everything you know seem small.

OK, I return you to more terrestrial things.

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