“Souls are begging to come here,” Panache Desai has said, “this is the Las Vegas of the Universe.”
A lot of people don’t feel that way, but it’s a perspective worth noting because it directs us straight to Joy.
Despite how today is going, you cannot deny the evidence of how lucky - fortuitous, destined - you are to be here at all. For that perspective I’ll mention a couple of aspects of our Divine Luck.
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” ---Marcus Aurelius
In simple mathematical terms, you have as a human being a history - a family tree - that approaches infinity in odds. You had two parents. Each of them had two parents. And each of them...It’s even greater odds against any given sperm and egg uniting. A blogger from Harvard Law School, Ali Binazir, created a “probability chart” factoring in the biological odds against conception, coupled with the odds of your forebears surviving to reproductive age. In the chart, Binazir calculates just how improbable it was that the right sperm from your father hooked up with the right egg produced by your mother – by his estimate, it’s about one chance in 400 quadrillion (that number seems only slightly more tame in scientific notation: 4 x 10^17). And that’s hardly the whole battle: To even get to that stage, all of your ancestors, going all the way back to the beginning of life on Earth, had to survive to reproductive age. Multiplying the string of probabilities together, he concludes that the odds of your existence are an astronomical one in 10^2,685.000.
Multiply that by the sheer numbers of ancestors you have (like the lottery, each has these same chances) and you enlarge the spectrum even more.
2) The Existence of the Universe and Life
The odds against this are simply incalculable, just as no one who believes in the “Big Bang” theory of Creation can say what existed before that event - what was it, exactly, that the Big Bang exploded from?
Thinking of Life arising alone, you can see how lucky we are to exist. The Universe is theoretically some 13 Billion years old, with Life clocking in at around 3.7 Billion; humans as we know ourselves crop up at 200,000 years, Civilisation around 6 - 15,000 years. Industrialization, only since the 1880s.
We take all of these for granted, but the co-incidence, the coming together of these factors is again incalculable.
“Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.” ---Thich Nhat Hanh
3) The “Goldilocks Paradox”
This is perhaps the most intriguing aspect of our luck, one we share with all that is on the Earth at this moment.
Have you ever considered how unlikely it is that everything in our lives supports us in our lives?
If the atmospheric content of our little planet were 1° different in any of its components then we would not exist.
On more fundamental, scientific terms, if the “strong nuclear force” were a few percentage points different, stars like our Sun would exist only for a minute or two and then burn themselves up. No time for life to develop.
If the “weak nuclear force” were a few percent weaker, heavy metals - that make up most of our world - wouldn’t be here and neither would we.
The Goldilocks Paradox points out that everything about us and our lives is “just right” for our lives and the planet we share. It was “all set up just for us,” researcher Marcus Chown states in New Scientist.
This, and the odds against Life, are debatable, and unlikely to be resolved any century soon. We can sort of “explain” this situation by stating that Life developed interacting with the conditions of our contexts, so untold mini negotiations and compromises grew in co-creation with the elements around us.
“When you realize who the good people are in your life, you're so lucky.” ---Sophia Bush
4) You are Nothing.
This is a real odds-beater.
You are 99% “nothing.” (One caveat: we don’t know what “nothing” is, beyond saying it’s “space”.)
That’s right, if you ever want to see a miracle take a look in the mirror. ScienceAlert is one of many sources pointing out that almost all of the body is “empty space”. In which atomic and subatomic particles spin, this is the space we share with everything that exists, and, for all of our science, space itself - so it is within us and all around us.
How could so much nothingness become a structure that is a stone? A bird? A human?
“If the nucleus were the size of a peanut, the atom would be about the size of a baseball stadium. If we lost all the dead space inside our atoms, we would each be able to fit into a particle of dust, and the entire human species would fit into the volume of a sugar cube,” Business Insider quotes.
These vagaries are what science calls “the Unknown”, religion and spirituality call them “Mysteries” - that perhaps will never be solved. It is not unlikely that in the vastness of our lives, there is a potential limit to what the human being can understand.
I find these thoughts humbling, if nothing else. It’s helpful to me, when I’m twisted in knots intellectually or emotionally, to remember how big and how small is Life both within me and without.
I’ve never been to Las Vegas, never been much of a gambler. So I can’t say whether that’s a desirable place to be - perhaps you’d prefer Disneyland. But I can tell you, unequivocally (as I need to remind myself often):
To have a life to make of what you can?
You Are Lucky!
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