The whole of nature in its beauty
A human being is part of a whole…[but] he experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest…This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
When the lunar missions burst from the atmosphere and left the horizon in their wake, the astronauts reported an overwhelming sense of awe at the sight of our planet.
They were experiencing transcendence as a physical phenomenon. They had literally transcended their own world.
They were small, disconnected, humbled by the incredible beauty.
They brought back one of the most profound artifacts of human existence: the photo of Earth.
It is unique in our experience of the universe. Look at the photo and you can feel it teeming with life: the colors are vivid, the great expanses of water and earth bursting with energy.
This is the whole Einstein felt.
As I write I look out over our garden. A yellow butterfly flits about. My two dogs rest quietly, a little apart. Two blackbirds flap across the yard. A hawk coasts high above.
This is just a infinitesimal portion of the rich interconnected life that makes up our world.
There’s a great revolution underway of sharing and awareness. It is enabled by the Internet. I know more of more people than at any other point in my life. I discover like interests. I experience affirmation in my experience of the world through the experience of others. I am surprised and delighted in ways that I never imagined.
Sometimes I’m wearied by it all, but I never turn away for long. This is the stuff of Life.
Looking at Earth from space tells us about our incredible potential. It is the key that unlocks our personal prisons.