There are things we know we cannot control, like the weather, the passing of time, a desire to create. Then there are things we know we can control although can be a little beyond reach: the elected President, piss, and, every so often, what we think of ourselves.
There was a time when I thought of myself as a fraud. I was convinced that I had fooled myself and everyone who believed in me into thinking that I am worth more than I really am. I was constantly paranoid about having nothing to show for my life’s purpose. Suffice it to say that it was hard for me to believe that I deserved to be anywhere.
The paranoia persisted until I began to overindulge in a show called “Rick & Morty”. Despite its casual use of cheap, idiotic fart jokes and the like, the show on the whole is thematically dark as the protagonist, Rick, exhibits a bleak attitude towards tragic human experiences such as death and failed romance. As a genius scientist who can travel across dimensions, stop time, and “turn a black hole into a sun,” Rick constantly grapples with nihilism and the cosmic perspective.
It was relating to Rick’s character that ignited my hopeful search, no longer for meaning, but for a healthy way to cope with the magnificence of the cosmic perspective.
What is the cosmic perspective? The cosmic perspective is the understanding that beyond the observable universe we are but a speck of a speck of a speck of a speck. Think of Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who! in which Earth is a speck on Whoville and, depending on one’s creed, there may or may not be an elephant hovering over all the boundaries humans have a name for.
The scientifically-grounded fact that every single person on Earth are but grains of sand from the unfathomable perspective of an all-encompassing universal eye can be devastating to the human ego. Therein lies the problem and the solution. Only by freeing ourselves from any degree of self-importance will we come to truly see, as Neil deGrasse Tyson puts it, our “relevancy to the cosmos.” Remembering that we are literally made of star dust diminishes any implication that our existence is for nothing. All of what we are is part and parcel to the cosmos as it is at this very moment.
I had to go further beyond myself and this world to realize that my very existence is proof enough that I am exactly where I should be. And so are you.