Thursday, January 15, 2009

Last 5 Seconds

Carl Sagan brought to us a famous imaginary picture of the history of Earth condensed into a calendar year. His illuminating tale, worth retelling over and over, started with the Big Bang 15 billion years ago. Amazingly, the Milky Way did not come into being until May 31st. Then nothing much happened until dinosaurs appeared on the planet on Christmas Eve. Three days later the first flowers bloomed. On the last day of the year, December 31st at 10:30 pm, the first humans arrived on the scene. At 11:59:20, humans took up agriculture; 20 seconds later the European Renaissance began. Right now, we humans stand at the final moments of the imaginary year, 11:59:55.

~Adapted from a speech by Ramu Damodaran
"Private Faces in Public Places"

Of Note: Whether each of these occurrences is exact or just imaginary, Sagan's message is clear. Humanity is at a decision making point, and it is up to us to consciously decide how to use those 5 seconds.

Today's Weather Report: Well, well, it did reach 30 below last night after all. God knows what the wind chill temperature was, but in some parts of northern Minnesota, it reached -50! Maybe it was -50 degrees here as well since we are not too far from there. It was a mistake to sleep in our unheated bedroom last night. This morning up awakening, I could see my breath. Even though the heating blanket was toasty, the hands and feet that crept out were not. Tonight more of the same is expected so a move downstairs to the heated bedroom is in order.

News You Can Use Snippet: Alice Bailey wrote a large volume of illuminating books in the first half of the 20th century. She comprehensively laid out the rudiments of Ageless Wisdom. Even in their vastness, the books barely brush the whole library of universal knowledge. Bailey covered many topics, even contemporary, and said of democracy:
"True democracy is only a dream at the present but will take form when people everywhere are regarded in reality as equal, in which differences of race, culture, or history are not barriers but simply give a particular texture which enables each individual to contribute something to the good of the whole."
She emphasized that the battle for true democracy would be take place in the United States, not because we are so good at it because we are not, rather our racial and cultural diversity makes us the best place for the experiment in right human relations to unfold. This is our destiny. Thus, the United States plays a significant and leading role in Sagan's last 5 second scenario. How this plays out is up to us collectively and individually. Thanks to Marie for providing this shot of the sun-streaked horizon.

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