The Gold Standard, Chemical Weddings, & the Journey of Zero Distance
"If you are truthful you will have as much gold as you want." --Greek proverb
"It is observed of gold, in an old epigram, that to have it is to be in fear, and to want it is to be in sorrow." --Samuel Johnson
"There were three things sought by invaders who crossed
oceans to discover America. Those were gold, gospel, glory. There are four things sought by aliens who crossed heavens
to discover planet earth. Those are gold, gospel, glory, gene."
--Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut
The well-known astrological (and now astronomical) symbol for the Sun is a circle with a dot in it. The same image was once the alchemical symbol for gold, "the most perfect of the metals. For the alchemists, it represented the perfection of all matter on any level, including that of the mind, spirit, and soul."1 So it may come as no surprise to learn that gold (which is "god + 1") really does come from the stars.
"The source of about half of the heaviest elements in the Universe has been a mystery for a long time. . . The most popular idea has been, and may still be, that they originate from supernova explosions that end the lives of massive stars. But newer models do not support this idea.2 "Newer models suggest that heavy metals are the product of stars colliding -- making not dying stars but "interstellar sex" the means by which gold is created. "In just a few split seconds after the merger of the two neutron stars, tidal and pressure forces eject extremely hot matter equivalent to several Jupiter masses."3 This plasma-like matter then cools (to less than 10 billion degrees), allowing nuclear reactions to enable the production of heavy elements. Gold and other precious metals were then transported (or seeded) to Earth via meteorites.4 "[M]ost of the precious metals on which our economies and many key industrial processes are based have been added to our planet by lucky coincidence when the Earth was hit by about 20 billion billion tons of asteroidal material.5
Before we bring the discussion back down to Earth, here are a couple more cosmic factoids:
Life on Earth so far spans 3.5 billion years. It takes place in a Universe made up of roughly (!!) two hundred billion galaxies, each consisting of several billion stars and an impossible-to-even-guess-at number of planets. That’s the backdrop to our existence. It’s always there, whether or not we include it in our personal philosophy of life. Everybody knows we are surrounded by an unimaginable vastness of both time and space, but few people take time out in their busy schedules to wonder what this fact might mean for us in our daily lives.
As well as being unimaginably vast, the Universe is a wholly coherent system and is complete unto itself. No part of it is extraneous, random, or separate from that larger, wholly coherent system. This makes us like the sleeping cells of a vast living organism, dreaming of autonomous lives independent of the Universe that created us. It’s a rich and vivid dream we are dreaming, but it is only a dream. When a man dreams of being a butterfly, the dream may be quite real to him, but eventually he wakes and realizes that his body is still that of a man. So it will be for us, who dream of being people, when we are something else entirely.
None of this is news. Yet the question still haunts us. What are we doing here? What is this dream of existence for? How can we live a life that measures up to that vastness? If the life of the Universe is our life, seen through a lens wiped clear of delusion, through awakened eyes looking outward on reality, instead of inward at fantasy; how can we become more than just face-blurred figures in a teeming crowd of extras, glimpsed for a split second as the Universe rushes by? The answer has to do with attention and what we pay it to.
Read the full article at: realitysandwich.com