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Things that Continue to Leave Scratches

 

“We are a thin layer of moss on a huge rock. We are a little biologic phenomenon that makes words and thoughts and babies, but we don’t even tickle the soles of the feet of our planet. We pick and dig around on the outer skin and mark it for ourselves in little squares. We look out at the stars and think they, too, are for us. In spite of the grandeur that we see, we still entertain the most unusual ideas about ourselves.

Is it because we are afraid of the dark or death that we have to puff ourselves up and be kings of creation, masters of everything, protectors of the planet? How can we pretend to be masters when our flashlights are always running out of batteries and leaving us in the dark? What about the fear that the sudden lack of human eyesight causes? Does that seem like something a planetary master would feel? If all the energy modes on the planet are summed, with all the information on each of them, most of it is still indecipherable to us and most of the energy modes over which it is conveyed are still invisible to us. There’s nothing significant missing when the flashlight goes out. If it’s dark without it, then it was dark with it. We are only watching a couple of channels. There are a million.

The vast majority of the world is invisible to our eyes regardless of the brightest of our lights, and we can’t hear more than a tiny bit of the sound of it with our ears, and we can’t feel the subtle textures of it with our fingers. Even with all our instruments, long tubes on mountains, and a Hubble telescope in space, we are blind to the myriad of complex energies that are whirling and vibrating and clattering all around us day and night, year after year, millennium after millennium.

The appropriate demeanor for a human is to feel lucky that he is alive and to humble himself in the face of the immensity of things and have a beer. Relax. Welcome to Earth. It’s a little confusing at first. That’s why you have to come back over and over again before you learn to really enjoy yourself.

The sky is not falling.”

– Kary Mullis/February 2000