The Cosmic Heartbeat

Yet a few beats, and thee the all-beholding sun shall see no more



TUCSON (A-P) — If the universe is 75 cosmic years old:

Cosmic Time Human time
75 years 13.8 billion years
1 year 184,000,000 yrs
1 month 15,300,000 yrs
1 week 3,830,000 yrs
1 day 548,000 yrs
1 hour 22,800 yrs
1 minute 380 yrs
1 second 6.4 yrs
1 heartbeat 5.5 yrs, 1,980 days,
47,600 hours, 2,860,000 minutes,
200,000,000 human heartbeats

So dinosaurs lived in the early days of the current year, hominids within the last month, Australopithecus within the last week, Homo neanderthalensis within the last day, complex society within the last hour, and industrial society, the Euro-Sino Empire, within the last minute. Those reading this have lived within the last 12 seconds of the lifetime, to date, of the comos. For humans, temporal blindness is the norm.

Life has evolved on Earth for 21 years. Ten thousand human years = 1,840 cosmic heartbeats or 26 cosmic minutes. The current empire has a few seconds left to avoid the fate of all (with the possible exception of the Taironans who may not be able to avoid dissolution) prior civilizations. Or maybe some industrial humans could grow up and learn to live properly with the planet. Earth, if loved as Giving Parent, could provide for ecolate human needs for hundreds of millions of years, as humans reckon them, which is the view of extreme Cornucopian optimists who listen to Nature, as distinct from those, Cornucopians or Doomers, who do not. 'To think is to listen. Listen'.





by William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878)
Written at age 17

To him who in the love of nature holds
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
A various language; for his gayer hours
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile
And eloquence of beauty; and she glides
Into his darker musings, with a mild
And healing sympathy that steals away
Their sharpness ere he is aware. When thoughts
Of the last bitter hour come like a blight
Over thy spirit, and sad images
Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall,
And breathless darkness, and the narrow house,
Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart;—
Go forth, under the open sky, and list
To Nature's teachings, while from all around—
Earth and her waters, and the depths of air—
Comes a still voice. Yet a few days, and thee
The all-beholding sun shall see no more
In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground,
Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears,
Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist
Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim
Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again,
And, lost each human trace, surrendering up
Thine individual being, shalt thou go
To mix forever with the elements,
To be a brother to the insensible rock
And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain
Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak
Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mold.

Yet not to thine eternal resting-place
Shalt thou retire alone, nor couldst thou wish
Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down
With patriarchs of the infant world — with kings,
The powerful of the earth — the wise, the good,
Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past,
All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills
Rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun, — the vales
Stretching in pensive quietness between;
The venerable woods — rivers that move
In majesty, and the complaining brooks
That make the meadows green; and, poured round all,
Old Ocean's gray and melancholy waste,—
Are but the solemn decorations all
Of the great tomb of man [organisms past]. The golden sun,
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,
Are shining on the sad abodes of death
Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread
The globe are but a handful to the tribes
That slumber in its bosom. — Take the wings
Of morning, pierce the Barcan wilderness,
Or lose thyself in the continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound,
Save his own dashings — yet the dead are there:
And millions in those solitudes, since first
The flight of years began, have laid them down
In their last sleep — the dead reign there alone.

So shalt thou rest — and what if thou withdraw
In silence from the living, and no friend
Take note of thy departure? All that breathe
Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh
When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care
Plod on, and each one as before will chase
His favorite phantom; yet all these shall leave
Their mirth and their employments, and shall come
And make their bed with thee. As the long train
Of ages glides away, the sons of men—
The youth in life's fresh spring, and he who goes
In the full strength of years, matron and maid,
The speechless babe, and the gray-headed man—
Shall one by one be gathered to thy side,
By those, who in their turn, shall follow them.

So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan, which moves
To that mysterious realm, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.



So live, that when thy summons comes to join the fate of all phenotypic expressions, thou go not, like the wordsmiths of self-credited certitudes, to any envisioned end. There is no persistant thou, only genetic and memetic information that develop into forms most beautiful and most wonderful that have been and are being evolved. Thou art a whirl, a drop that parts from the waterfall for a brief time to then reenter the stream as verily there are no separate or permanent beings. Thou art such information as has worked, and thus selected for.

"Thou shall treasure thy heritage of information, and in the uniqueness of thy good works and complex roles will thy system reap that which is new and immortal in thee". —H.T. Odum



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