This week’s solar eclipse that crossed the US created an opportunity for millions of Americans to actually SEE and FEEL for their first time the greatest show put on by our universe—a full eclipse of the sun by our moon.
Most of us take for granted the endless rotations of the Earth, Sun and Moon. We go about our lives without giving much thought to the overriding effects of our universe’s immutable geometries on humanity.
We are reminded on the few occasions that we can see, hear and feel FULL eclipses that those fleeting events have been going on for as long as forever.
One wonders what our ancestors must have thought thousands years ago when they first saw the Moon blot out the Sun. Fear? Confusion? Awe? One thing we know for sure is that, until the last few thousands of years, humans had little understanding of what was going on overhead.
I wonder whether it has ever occurred to us humans how the immutable geometry of our universe might have more relevance to our lives than simply ‘having the lights go out’ in the middle of a day.
If the geometry of an eclipse is so predictable, is it possible that basic human behavior is subject to some set of universal rules? We do know that the odds of all babies’ sex at birth are 50/50 male or female. We also know that very close to half all humans alive (and probably who ever lived) are either male or female. I am not aware of any scientific law that says this should be so! There are obviously “laws” of some universal sort that dictate those facts.
Whether we like it or not, we are just another species of life that happened to emerge into a prominent role on earth.
We clearly began in very simple ways. Infant mortality was staggeringly high. Gradually we grew into families, tribes, and separate states and countries.
Along the way our differences became more acute and relevant and we lapsed into fighting and killing millions of each other over, for example, as little a few yards of earth during World War I.
There are a few signs that there has been any discernible rhythm to all our human stupidity, the societies we build and the wars we fight. And despite efforts to discover that rhythm, we live in ignorance of how and why our world devolves into conflict with alarming regularity.
Perhaps after another few hundred or thousand years—if we survive—such a rhythm may reveal itself.
If it does, I think it may be fair to imagine that there has been some form of geometry that has been driving our human process from the beginning of time.
If we could just tease out what that human geometry looks like, perhaps we could take steps to predict what is coming and possibly anticipate what to do about it.
Basic to all our lives is the ability and/or inability to get along with everyone else on Earth.
If the intersection of our cultures and societies is as inevitable and immutable as the motion of the larger masses out in our universe, then perhaps we may not be doomed to extinction?
We should take this most recent and thrilling FULL eclipse as a new challenge to look harder for the answers to these challenging questions.
It is likely that our forbearers had similar kinds of questions about eclipses long before it was really understood!
If we look at the provocative amazement of a full eclipse the right way, we should be able to learn from it.