For the next six weeks Elizabeth, a wonderful social-media publicist will be assisting me to help get my OSAU blog off the ground. I plan to make “Our Self-Assembling Universe” (OSAU) into a series that will ultimately encompass all of the atomic building-blocks that our universe has used and continues to use as it assembles itself.
My goal in all of this is to start a discussion that I hope will lead to my own growing understanding of reality, help bridge the gap between believers and nonbelievers (we are all made of atoms after-all, and as far as I can tell, whether we like it or not, self-assembled by them), and with the help of others, make the subjects of atomic chemistry, molecular biology and cosmology interesting, approachable and user-friendly.
My first book, OSAU-1, is mainly focused on the first few primordial minutes of self-assembly, a process for which there is good evidence of a time-line, one that began over 17 billion years ago. I’ve started writing OSAU-2, which begins with its focus on stellar assembly, and with another one of my “obvious”, startling revelations. The startling revelation from OSAU-2 begins below.
It’s 6 am. I’ve just finished tying my shoes and I’m about to head out for my customary 6.5-mile, early-morning-run. Suddenly, another one of those, it-should-have-been-obvious, revelations hits me. “Holy —-!” I sputter, “I exist!”
Well, duh, of course I exist. I generally don’t have to remind myself of that fact, but this time it’s different. This time it’s like I’ve become one with the infinite. I not only “see” but “feel” my place in forever. The atomic as well as the cosmic scale of things begins to swirl about me in fearful clarity. The frightful part of this thankfully brief experience is almost more than I can bare. I’m left breathless.
“What the heck was that?” I gasp. I continue to sputter and frantically reach for my cell phone to commemorate the occasion. Then, for the next 15 minutes or so, I don’t move. I’m transfixed by fantastic, not commonly recognized, yet undeniably accurate versions of reality that play before me in vivid, Oculus–Rift-like, 3D VRs.
I “see” myself traveling on the deck of an enormous, spherical spaceship. I “watch” as my ship creates a sunset by blocking out light from a star that it circles. I become one with my ship and “oversee” its assembly by exceedingly patient atoms that have worked tirelessly for billions of years on experiments that have led to the creation of my ship, its lifeforms, and many other astounding inventions. I “experience” my ship shrinking as it becomes an infinitesimal speck within a ~300-billion-star spiral-galaxy. I “twirl” with that galaxy as it swirls about the drain of a supermassive black-hole. I “watch” as my galaxy glides with other such galaxies, ephemeral gas-clouds and clusters of star-factories that course through cosmic rivers of seemingly infinite design. I “feel” my ship zooming through a network of expanding space-time, drawn by dark-matter and a gravitational force that has me and my ship traveling through space at a speed that exceeds 1,300,000 miles-per-hour. And then, as I’m “watching” all of these unbelievable things unfold, the obvious, yet again, comes up to smack me aside the head! None of what I am witnessing is just a story! All of these fantastical things including my own existence, my own self-assembly by atoms, my planet, my solar system, my galaxy, and my universe are real. Indeed, these things are the real things. And, if anything is just a story, it’s what I’ve been calling my everyday life!