Thursday, February 3, 2005

Stardust

I look at myself in the mirror; and, for a while, wonder why I’m here, in this exact place, at this same moment. Not that I have the answer to such question—I don’t. If there’s any human being who knows why he’s living, then he’s certainly not I. People always ask questions, don’t they? They look for answers to really puzzling questions—why there are just so many stars, whether there’s a planet like ours out there, what blackholes are (or if there’s any truth to their existence), whether the universe is infinitely expanding—and somehow, they never just get tired. They may get confused or discouraged at times, yes, but they never stop asking questions. To ask about something, after all, is uniquely human. But I guess the most intriguing question that people have asked, and have so far, sought to answer, is that which I have asked myself a million times: Why are we here? Where do we come from?

Forgive me, but I hate—in fact, disagree—with what science has to say: that life has existed because of the favorable conditions that the planet Earth has. If that’s all, then it’s a lame reason. For one, it doesn’t give us a sense of purpose, a goal or a pilgrimage to fulfill. And I don’t believe in luck either: There are a gazillion planets that have been created, but why has the Earth been chosen over a billion years ago to be the cradle of those so-called primitive prokaryotes? If we believe that all of these happened because of luck, the probability is so small that I’m baffled and forced to think that such luck doesn’t just exist. This line of reasoning (involving probability and all that) comes from the most widely-accepted Big Bang Theory. At first, the theory seems rather scandalous and yet somewhat believable. It tells us that the universe was created when this dense mass of clouds exploded; the explosion was so intense that it had triggered the formation of galaxies, stars, planets, and later, of life. Our bodies are remnants of stars; so perhaps, there must be a sort of connection between men and the stars—thus, the term, star quality. Even if scientists claim that they have enough proof to prove their conjecture, this theory still gives me a splitting headache. Surely that mass of cloud (that which exploded) must have come from something or must have been created by Someone else—otherwise, common sense would tell us that it wouldn’t have existed.

Unless we believe that there is a Creator, then everything would seem pointless. On the contrary, if we assume that there is a God who was before us and who created us, then all the bright ideas would emerge: we are created to give Him glory, to worship Him. Our purpose is to live this sacramental life on earth, and when we die (we all will, anyway), we’ll live in an eternal abode.

It never fails to bring me awe and wonder whenever I look at the stars embedded in the black, night sky. When I was a child (I still am—at heart), I’d wish to travel in all of them: perhaps, I might see an alien, or get a grain of sand from Mars… Silly as these thoughts may seem, they’re not. They reflect the same wonder that has driven astronomers to explore the wide expanse of the universe, to answer questions regarding our very existence, and to believe that we are all stardust.

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