A Pale Blue Dot
“Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”
These are words spoken by astrophysicist Carl Sagan in early 1990 – when for the first time in our history human beings were able to look at a picture of Earth taken from the boundaries of the Solar system. From that perspective – from the perspective of Voyager space probe, which at the time when the picture was taken was just passing Pluto, some 3.7 billion miles away from here – the Earth seems like a tiny blue-whitish dot.
Sagan’s words are testimony of a true spiritual-religious experience of a modern human being – a genuine materialist, who nevertheless was able to perceive something magnificent, something precious, something divine in this grey speck of cosmic dust.
And it is perhaps only out of such grandiose cosmic perspective, away from Earth – away from Ourselves that we can begin to grasp the true dimension, the true meaning of Christmas.
Christ – the Creative Word of God – the Logos, the archetype of the entire creation, through whom everything that is came into being, has chosen the Earthly Body in which he would dwell – here among us; saints and sinners, heroes and cowards, kings and peasants, creators and destroyers – on this mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
So that we can become who we truly are.
So that we can be free from ourselves.
Editor’s Note: For reflections on the Christmas season as it is celebrated in the Christian Community, please go here. If you are looking for a children’s story for this time of year, you can find one here.