Insignificance?

11877690_10207190034729866_732640749_oWhen you look up at the stars, what do you see? Does the panorama of tiny infinite lights give you answers, or, as it does for many of us, raise infinite questions?

Every point of light in this sky is a star or an entire galaxy. Each galaxy holds billions of stars, with solar systems like ours orbiting each of them. Is it the Great Unknown or the Meaning of Life?11881381_10207190034849869_501418580_oBecause we are born egocentric, the prospect of our personal insignificance, and thus no afterlife, is disturbing.
Fear of our own mortality creates a need to believe in something greater than we are and that our death is not the end. In addition, if there is life after death, there is the belief in reunion with those we loved, lost, and grieve for.DSC_4740But if you hold an atheistic view, you accept and may even appreciate the notion of your own insignificance. If this was your attitude, would it make you feel that everything you do is futile?

Or is it simply the freedom and beauty of seeing our world, and our lives, from an omniscient perspective? The universe was here in all its immensity before we arrived, and will be long after we’re gone. Doesn’t that make our time here on earth all the more exquisite?11881335_10207190034889870_138625341_oAre we forgetting the value of living in the moment, the desire to improve the world for others, and the joy and privilege of telling those we love how much they mean to us, because one day our time will be up? 

Alas, this is just a blog post, not a lofty dissertation. 

Tell me what you think of, when you look up at the stars.

*Photos in this post were taken by my husband’s cousin, Paul Sautter Jr., on his recent visit with us. His superior camera, lens, and photography skills allowed him to capture the night sky on Perry’s Point in a way that is “light years” beyond my ability. I have so much to learn!

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38 thoughts on “Insignificance?

  1. His pictures are magnificent! I think that regardless of what our beliefs are, that we should appreciate and cherish every day that we are given, along with the people who spend those days with us. Life on earth is too short to waste. Everything that we do now can have an impact on generations to come, regardless of what our after-life holds. Therefore, we should make our life count.

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    1. Well put, my dear. I think if we follow that advice, we will have few regrets. Having a purpose in life, whether that be to work at improving the world or to leave your mark in artistic form, or anything that is a benefit to SOMEBODY, is worthwhile.

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  2. I always marvel when I look at the stars that there is someone else on the other side of the world looking at those same stars. How tiny we all are. And yet, how significant in our own landscapes . . .

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  3. Truly amazing photos, really! I’ve never seen the Milky Way in real life, but I sure enjoy those photos that tell us so well why the ancient Greeks called our galaxy that name, have tons of them in my blog. Nice writing too, should not neglect that! Very nice post all in all. Best wishes for the blog! Cheers,
    Gonçalo

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  4. I love the stars Jennifer and in the grand scheme of things I know I’m just a blip in all of creation and I marvel at it. I do believe in God and I do believe in an after life and I do believe in the value of living in the moment. How precious life is, how odds are stacked against any of us to be born, the right sperm for the right egg and then to make it full term and be born and have the privilege of experiencing everything. Amazing stuff. Thanks for reminding me. ❤
    Diana xo

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    1. You are more than welcome for the reminder, Diana. And I agree, life is indeed precious and amazing. And just because – or in spite of the fact – we are the tiniest of blips in all of creation, that doesn’t stop us from seeing ourselves as creatures of value, purpose and meaning.
      Star-gazing can prompt interesting conversation, no matter what you believe. 🙂 ❤

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  5. Jennifer, your star photography is amazing. I miss how easily I could see them at our country place. The first thing that came to mind when I saw your pictures was a verse I came across yesterday in my reading: He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Psalm 147:4
    My dad pointed the stars out to me when I was a child, so when he died I found myself thinking of him when I saw them. Now I think of our Creator and how little I really know about anything. But I do know you’re right we shouldn’t take this life, our friends and family, or the planet for granted.
    Blessings & hugs ~ Wendy

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    1. To be stewards of the earth and to care about how we pass it on to future generations is a noble calling, whatever the reason the universe came into being. We share something in common, Wendy. I cannot look into the heavens without thinking of my own dad. He too was fascinated by creation, the universe, and all the tough questions we wrestle with. Hugs ❤

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  6. Oddly, I wonder what our ancestors thought, before we figured out that stars were the light of other suns, that the Universe was vast. I imagine them seeing the shapes and movement and thinking stars were living creatures.

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  7. Jennifer I am mesmerised by the beauty of these images and even if we don’t believe we go somewhere else after this life. (I like to think we do) but if we don’t. I am sure our energy, when it leaves these bodies joins a higher energy, like maybe in the stars. That is where I look when missing the ones I love.

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    1. Kath, you remind me of what Neil Degrasse Tyson the astrophysicist said about the stars and us: “The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them in their cores and exploded these enriched ingredients across our galaxy, billions of years ago. For this reason, we are biologically connected to every other living thing in the world. We are chemically connected to all molecules on Earth. And we are atomically connected to all atoms in the universe. We are not figuratively, but literally stardust.”

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  8. Beautiful photos Jennifer and a wonderful reminder of the vastness of our world. That when I feel overwhelmed or worried about life, I need only look up, and remember I am not alone or isolated, I am surrounded by light, love and spacious energy.

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