“… the total number of stars in the universe is greater than all the grains of sand on all the beaches of the planet Earth…” Carl Sagan
If Carl Sagan’s estimate of the number of stars in our universe is correct and you believe (as I do) that man has evolved from earlier forms, here’s an enigma for you. Not withstanding SETI’s long and careful hunt for extraterrestrial life, it appears that we’re alone in our solar system and perhaps the galaxy. And even if there exist billions of worlds teeming with life, still, intelligent awareness must be an incredibly rare commodity across the universe (after all, it’s a rarity even here on earth.)
Somehow, among all the untold atoms comprising our universe, a few have managed to come together under precisely the right conditions for life, and beyond life, consciousness. Think about that … molecules aware of themselves. What a glorious trick! What’s the probability of that?
There is an unbroken link between us and the first primordial forms two billion or so years ago. Of course that could also be said of most organisms … blades of grass, redwood trees, bacteria; all of those living things throughout the ages… unaware. But instead of developing a pair of claws and the ability to scuttle across the slime of some abyss we’ve managed to evolve an awareness of ourselves and our universe. I propose that individually, the odds of that are so great as to be impossible. It’s like winning the cosmic lottery …and therein lies a kind of spirituality.