The Greatest Selfie Ever !

We’re quite possibly the most self indulgent species on the planet. We think of ourselves as the most intelligent life forms here on Earth. Unfortunately this self centered projected view we uphold is the same one that blinds us from seeing how ironically stupid we really are or choose to be; that is . Right now in this very moment as you’re reading this line, humanity has already achieved the impossible

Selfie by Mike Hopkins during a spacewalk on Christmas Eve, 2013

Taken by Mike Hopkins

and the realistically unfathomable by running on a deceptive socio-political economic system, propelled by the premise of Infinite growth on a planet with finite resources. Whatever caused our accelerated evolution that was previously not seen in nature or by us at least ; has got us thinking that we are the apex organism,  the capstone of the pyramid , the top of the food chain, the culmination of evolution with all it’s grandeur. You get the picture .

And why shouldn’t we be proud? Our time here on the geological clock is barely a fraction of a micro-second in contrast  to the span of time that has passed since the formation of the Earth. Yet, in this short span we’ve tremendously influenced the planet , carved out our existence and  built our many Babylons.They are our mega cities across the globe, full of towering skyscrapers, roads and bridges overflowing with our inventions and contraptions that started out merely as a thought, an idea  from our collective imagination. We have manifested these thoughts into the very reality of our perceivable existence through technology, which is basically the extension of our skill and ingenuity.

We have even created borders and nations on a planet that is to be frank, quite border-less without us. We have an abundance of nourishment here, enough for all and yet millions die every year due to scarcity of it. We are so intelligent, that we’re totally aware of our egotistical power here. We understand that we impact the planet directly and know that we have a responsibility to maintain it;  just as we treat our cars and planes, our ships and trains, even our teeth, hair and finger nails. We’re intelligent enough to know that none of them would be able to function properly and would gradually deteriorate  if they are just used to their maximum potential and more; without taking breaks and scheduling regular maintenance.

Me vs We

If we do live to see our grand children, exactly how would an overly intelligent species like ourselves narrate the vast abundance of brain power that we used to solve these issues to them? It  could go along the lines of:

Grandchild   : “How did we humans make it this far? Weren’t we on a path of self annihilation and planetary destruction as well?” Grandparent:  “We’re smart. So smart that we invented devices that ran on cleaner alternate forms of renewable energy that would replace our current environmentally polluting ways. We made engines that ran on air, water and harnessed energy from the light of the sun.” Grandchild   : “Awesome ! Hooray for  mankind, now let me take a selfie !” (Assuming that the art of the selfie isn’t just another  introduced trend and does continue on as an integral part of humanity)

All sarcasm aside, we really have invented all, if not most of the solutions we need to sustain ourselves and the planet with all it’s complexities and beauty . We know how. Yet, we choose not to implement it. Why not? Because we’re self centered and we therefore we focus on the preservation of the self, to the degree that we’ve forgotten that our self preservation varies in direct proportions to the preservation of our planet, the only one we have.  In essence we’ve forgotten who we really are. We take selfies and admire our appereance,  digital binary coded mirrors of ourselves that we created. The selfies give us a feeling of self worth and feeds our inherent need for societal acceptance. I couldn’t sleep well one night and for some reason I was thought to myself “What would the greatest selfie ever even look like?” Eventually, I found it. This is what it  looks like: The Greatest Selfie Ever. The Greatest Selfie Ever!

According to me this isn’t the ‘best’ selfie ever . There are selfies much better than this one but this is the Greatest. I say this because this picture is composed of billions of galaxies and each having billions of stars like our sun. These stars , planets and other celestial objects in turn are composed of elements that are identical to the ones present in us and everything we know at the atomic level. According to this idea, we’re literally made up of stardust. Could this notion actually be true?

Turns out that it is. Every chemical element in the human body, apart from hydrogen, came from within a star! During their lives, stars fused hydrogen into helium . When a massive star dies, it explodes in a supernova. The resulting enormous heat and pressure create even more denser and heavier elements. These elements get expelled deep into interstellar space, are then involved in the formation of new stars, planetary systems around those stars, and everything else. The molten lava deep in the Earth , the flora, fauna and  even you and me, are made of the same elements created inside or in the exploding stars.

That could mean that the elements in your left hand may have come from an entirely different nebula system than the elements in your right hand. Pretty cool stuff !

Also a picture of space taken by an astronomical telescope,  operated remotely by a scientist or astronomer here on Earth  studying the heavens is thereby in a sense, the universe observing and studying itself and it’s own consciousness through the human form. I think if we have anything to be proud of, it would have to be the fact that we were born of stars and maybe someday due to some impending apocalyptic event, if the Earth does get annihilated for whatever reason, those same atoms in you will once again traverse through space and time to become a part of some new star, planet or perhaps some new life form entirely. Who knows, the possibilities are endless.

If you ever feel worn out from your mundane schedule of school, work or whatever it is that you do in life or if your faced with overwhelming adversity, just look up to the stars. Remember who you are, where you came from and what you’re made of. I assure you that your overwhelming issues will appear to you in the form that they really are; tiny and insignificant . In the words of King Mufasa from ‘The Lion King’ :  “You have forgotten yourself and hence forgotten me. Remember who you are!

Here’s a random Octopus escaping from the inside of a glass jar  (click for amazement!).



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