The Improbable Moon

The Improbable Moon by Stephanie Thomas Berry

I was driving home, late, from the studio, in the last bit of dusk. And it’s true I was frustrated. Everything had pretty much gone wrong, and sometimes a day like that hits you harder than it should. You might feel compressed, heavy, even brittle at the edges.That’s how I felt, at least.

Until this happened.

The Moon, in an improbable sliver of sky.

In my near twenty years of living here, and driving this last mile of road home, I’d never seen the Moon through this window in the forest.

I stopped my car. I turned my headlights off.

The Moon sent her Grandmother light into my eyes, into my body.

I was hushed. Lulled. Lifted.

I’m reading a book about Quantum Theory and another theory––biocentrism––that describes the Cosmos as life-centered and conscious. It is a wild romp, as Quantum Theory always is, but it also affirms in its strange and rational way something that I have experienced time and again throughout my life––that the entirety of the world is conscious, and that the individual me exists within the Cosmos much like a cell in my body exists as part of me.

Every cell in my body is part of my being, humming with the biological experience of Stephanie Ocean (even, curiously, the bacteria of my gut and other biological interweavings). And the Stephanie Ocean is part of the Cosmos Ocean, humming with consciousness and life.

Sometimes the perspective flips, and I sense myself as having the Cosmos within myself.

Putting aside, for the moment, his failures, Nietzsche wrote that if you stare long enough into the abyss, you will find the abyss staring back at you. (Of course it was the abyss for him).

But also, if you gaze deep enough into the Cosmos, you will find the Cosmos dwelling within you.

This is what my work is about. This deep gaze that embeds a wider consciousness into my own. And now, curiously, the same Moon that gazed into me, has leapt from my consciousness to a panel of dust (that’s basically what pastel is, magic dust) and now lives in the light of your screen, so that you too have gazed at the Moon of that moment.

And we are all entangled together. It’s stranger, really, than Quantum Theory. And beautiful.

The book is Beyond Biocentrism, by Robert Lanza and Bob Berman. As far as reading goes, it’s okay, but the ideas are fascinating. I thought I’d end with a little excerpt about our beloved Moon:

Even locally, here on Earth, life would be difficult or impossible if we didn’t possess our massive nearby Moon. That’s because our world’s axial tilt would naturally wobble wildly, sometimes aiming straight for the Sun so that it would be overhead for months at a time, producing impossibly hot temperatures. But our planet manages to avoid going through such chaos. Our axis’s obliquity is essentially stable and displays small harmless variations of ±1.2 º around an average of 23.3 º––just about where it’s aiming today. If the Moon’s gravitational torque were absent, the axis would change from nearly zero (meaning, no season at all) up to about 85 º––meaning, aimed sunward the way poor Uranus does.

Thus the Moon regulates our climate, keeping it gentle and relatively consistent over the eons, instead of us periodically having impossibly hostile conditions that would have made the ice ages seem by comparison like subtle room-temperature changes.

And how did we get the Moon? The perfectly timed collision of a Mars-sized body coming from a propitious direction and at the correct speed––not too fast or passive to destroy us, and not too small to fail to do the job. Direction matters because unlike all the other major moons of the solar system, ours is the only one that doesn’t orbit around its planet’s equator. Our Moon ignores our axial tilt. If it orbited normally, it would’t always sit in our orbital plane and thus exert its torque in a Sun-vector alignment, where it’s maximally effective at stabilizing our axis. Another accident.

This is an extremely unlikely universal. So unlikely that even the most die-hard classical, randomness-believing, atheism-proselytizing physicists concede that the cosmos is insanely improbable in terms of life-friendliness. The combined existence of all the life-friendly values of all its physical constants and values defy the odds of one in several million.

Beyond Biocentrism, by Robert Lanza & Bob Berman

In this extremely unlikely universe, I am willing to lean into the improbable, the mysterious, the capacity of life for healing and renewal.

I hope you can join me there!

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