Break the patterns

WHAT makes man the most suffering of all creatures, according to one philosopher, is that he has one foot in the finite and the other in the infinite, and he is torn by this seeming contradiction.

Those who are willing to travel unfamiliar territory often experience a changed spiritual perspective and reverence for this fragile planet.

One great traveller, astronaut Neil Armstrong, was amazed when he looked out of his space capsule window on his way back from being first man on the moon in July 1969.

“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth,’’ he said later.
“I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.’’

Another moon walker, James Irwin, was also moved at seeing the Earth from his capsule.

“As we got farther and farther away it diminished in size. Finally it shrank to the size of a marble, the most beautiful marble you can imagine. That beautiful, warm, living object looked so fragile, so delicate, seeing this has to change a man. I felt the power of God like I’d never felt it before.”

When patterns are broken there is a chance for new worlds to emerge.


4 thoughts on “Break the patterns

  1. Not to take away from the grandeur of the experience, but isn’t the geometry out of whack here?
    How could the earth ‘shrink’ to such a relatively small size “a tiny pea” from less than a quarter of a million miles out, when even the moon appears to be much larger than that from the earth?
    ….and the earth’s diameter is about FOUR times that of the moon’s.

    Simple arithmetic suggests you can’t block out the earth from moon-orbit with your thumb unless it’s held fairly close to the eye….on which basis I can block out the house across the street and Mount BawBaw.

    Perhaps excitement-fueled hyperbole?
    We’re lucky they didn’t come back with Polaroid shots of god. 😉


  2. It’s amazing how one person has a feeling of wonder and awe, common to everyone, while James Irwin decides to interpret it as “the power of God,” common only to believers.

    Some people introduce the concept of God into everything they see that they can’t fully comprehend. It’s purely interpretation based on a particular mindset, with absolutely nothing to support it but more imagination and lack of knowledge.

    Of course people are free to do that. It’s just a pity they cut themselves off from the real world when they do it. I get it that they prefer the feel-good fantasy of it all. You’d think, though, that truth and reality are such benchmarks of intellectual integrity that they should be the goal at all times.

    Yes, the prospect of facing oblivion at death could be initially disturbing, but once you see it for what it is then it is simply what you experienced before you were conceived. Quite comforting really, and an incentive to make this life the best one it can be for everyone. Those who waste it all in the hope of an oxymoronic “life after death” might do better to examine things in the clear light of logic and reason.

    They would realize that we are moral people because it feels good to help and be nice to others and to experience that in return. It makes sense to do things that help the well-being of the society It is better for everyone you meet to be a caring, concerned person. Societies from time immemorial have always known that. Those societies which have descended into ritual brutality and murder have always used religion as a justification.

    People who claim we behave morally only because of the carrots and sticks of religion just demonstrate their own deplorable lack of personal moral standards. How could anyone accept as real a supposed “loving God” who will apparently condemn their own loved ones to an eternity of torture and pain, without compassion or compunction, simply because they cannot believe the unbelievable, regardless of the worth of their whole life?

    And to justify “salvation” from an invented hell through the unrequested temporary “death” of an innocent scapegoat for everyone else’s “sin” (which continues unabated anyway) is to be as nonsensical as it gets. Add in the fact that even the clergy seems to be as badly-behaved, if not worse than the general community, and is there a skerrick of justification for such beliefs?

    I think not. But faith has been aptly describes as “pretending to know what you don’t know”. On that score you can convince yourself of anything at all. If you tell a lie often enough you can come to believe it, especially if you surround yourself with others who are also determined to believe it.

    Each to their own. But such a pity when the truth can set you free from the slavery of religion.


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