The Beginning

Everything has a beginning.  Even the universe apparently.  According to the Big Bang Theory, the entire universe began as a singularity – a perfectly ordered, infinitely small entity that suddenly, and inexplicably, exploded in what is known as the ‘big bang’.  It was the start of everything since even time did not exist before this.  And it has all gone to shit ever since, at least from the perspective of order anyway. The universe, over the past nearly 14 billion years, has been changing, evolving, from order to chaos.  At some point in the future, probably 4.5 billion years from now, our local star – the sun – will expand as a red giant, engulfing the inner planets, including our home, burning everything to a crisp before collapsing in on itself, and becoming a white dwarf.  This will happen to most of the stars, except the large ones, which will become supernovae.  Ultimately, maybe a trillion years from now or more, all the stars of the universe will eventually die – at some point in time the light from the final star will dim and go out, and our universe will be a vast, cold place, devoid of all life, all energy.  Time will once again cease to exist since there will be no way to measure it.

The metric expansion of space. The inflationar...
The metric expansion of space. The inflationary epoch is the expansion of the metric tensor at left. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And what about humans?  Will we have left any mark whatsoever on the universe?  We’d like to think that we would, but frankly, that is highly unlikely.  So, what can we make of all this.  I guess it really comes down to one of two things: either we can be overwhelmed by the utter insignificance of our existence in the here and now and give up; or we can look inward to find the meaning of our existence.  Our lives should be about maximizing our potential.  Whatever we do, we should do it with purpose, with ‘gusto’.  Why not?  We have nothing to lose.  It may be cliché, but living each day/moment like it’s your last may not be such a bad way to live.  Best case scenario: we actually improve ourselves and can view our short time in this existence with a sense of pride and accomplishment.  We may even have been a beacon to our fellow humans, serving as an example of the best of humanity.  Worse case scenario: we’ve wasted our time and energy while our tiny planet, on the outer arm of an average galaxy, one of billions of galaxies, has continued its insignificant journey during a tiny blip in the life of our universe.