Monday, October 09, 2006

CAN YOU FIGURE OUT HOW BIG IS THE UNIVERSE?

How large is the universe? This is a difficult question to the average person because it is a subject that does not normally occupy our minds. Further we cannot use the normal measures to state the physical size of the universe. The best way for the average mind to appreciate how large the universe is; is to be aware that:

  1. There are billions of galaxies in the universe. About 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe (Source: Wikipedia).
  2. Our solar system lies in the smallest galaxy called the ‘Milky Way”.
  3. The nearest galaxy to our home “Milky Way” is the “Andromeda Galaxy” which is 2.5 million light years away from us.
  4. It takes light (traveling at a speed of 300, 000 km per second) approximately 1 second to reach the moon.
  5. Therefore to reach Andromeda, the light must have traveled 2.5 millions years before it reaches its destination. That is the distance of the nearest galaxy to our Milky Way galaxy.
  6. Considering that there are 100 billion galaxies in the universe, the size of the universe is beyond the capability of our mortal mind to comprehend.


It is indeed a humbling experience for me to realize this fact. We are really insignificant. The Force or Thing that created the universe must be such an Awesome Power that it is beyond the conceptual mind of us humans to be able to understand.

The more we try to study and understand the universe the more question arises. However the human mind being what it is will never try to stop analyzing it. Will man be able to find out the truth about the universe one day?

I believe the answer is YES, but it will not be in a scientific way because our conceptual mind will not be able to unravel the mysteries of the universe. It will be the spiritual awakening of man that finally enables man to ‘CONNECT’ with the mysteries of the universe:


The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao

The name that can be named is not the eternal name

The nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth

The named is the mother of myriad things

Thus, constantly without desire, one observes its essence

Constantly with desire, one observes its manifestations

These two emerge together but differ in name

The unity is said to be the mystery

Mystery of mysteries, the door to all wonders

-Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu

In this short but very profound verse, Lao Tzu spoke of the Awesome Power that created the universe... And how "WITHOUT DESIRE" we can observe its "ESSENCE".

Next: What is "Observing the world without desire?"