What Does the Night Sky Tell Us About Ourselves?

“If you truly dream of something, look up at the sky, pray, and send your thoughts out into space. If we pray sincerely, then at some point we will achieve what we dream of.

When I heard this statement, I kept pondering the human brain’s ability to connect – could it be like a type of wifi signal – invisible but somehow always able to connect with other worlds, just that science hasn’t discovered it yet. I’ve been trying to find the answer for years and years, until the day I watched a wonderful BBC documentary of Brian Cox, it’s called: Wonders of the Universe.

Wonder of Universe – a BBC documentary by Professor Brian Cox

Himalayas was once living creature

Every mountain in the Himalayan range is over 6,500 meters tall, scientists believe that these mountain ranges were once living creatures. When we look closely at Himalayan limestone, we can see a kind of chalky granular structure, because limestone is made primarily out of the bodies, the shells of dead sea creatures – corals and polyps. When they die, they are compressed under great pressure and turn into limestone. Therefore, the Himalayan ranges were once living creatures. They were formed from the ocean floor, gradually pushed up to become mountains, evidencing the continuous recycling process of nature.

We are too a part of that system. In Vietnamese, we say: “Con người sinh ra từ cát bụi rồi lại trở về với cát bụi” (Humans are born from dust and return to dust). We can see this connection everywhere. Himalayan rock contains calcium carbonate, similar to the calcium found in our teeth and bones. Humans are made up of chemical elements: hydrogen, helium, lithium, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, fluorine, sodium, and many more. Oxygen is present in the atmosphere, and carbon is in every molecule of our bodies. It’s evident that everything is connected.

A limestone from the Himalayas

From Star to Standing on Two legs

Each of us has a connection to the universe, every atom in our bodies was formed through the life cycles of stars. Throughout their lives, stars are hot enough to create helium. To create heavier elements, they need to be hotter, and this only happens at the end of their life cycle. Stars are only temporary celestial bodies, existing as long as they have hydrogen to burn. When they run out of hydrogen, they begin to die. Instead of cooling down, they become much hotter, they start to expand.

Over tens of millions of years, they expand hundreds of thousands of times. And when they explode, they throw into space the elements that become a red giant star as it cools down. Every carbon and oxygen atom was created in the core of a dead star. 92 chemical elements have formed everything we have today – including the human body. Thus, for us to live – a star had to die. We are made of the same matter as stars and galaxies. Therefore, we can truly connect with the universe.

For us to live – a star had to die.

From Stardust to dreamers

When we look into space, we are looking at our own origins because we are truly their descendants. Life is a movie for dreamers to never stop dreaming. But upon deeper reflection, it’s not merely a fanciful dream. Keep dreaming and constantly pursue your dreams. Somehow, the universe will hear our request and will make it come true. This world already has too many realists, so let me choose to be a dreamer.

Love, Be happy, Be present

Chang Le.


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