The Basic Irrelevance of the Human Condition

Modern cosmologists have investigated our place in the universe and has found that our lives on earth are basically irrelevant.
Thomas Merton recognized this long before it became a scientific fact. He wrote this in The Asian Journal of Thomas Merton, which was published in 1975. This was almost fifteen years before cosmologists even proved that the universe is expanding.

The Basic Irrelevance of Humans | September 6, 2014

Are monastics and hippies and poets relevant? No, weÂ’re deliberately irrelevant. We live with an ingrained irrelevance which is proper to every human being. The marginal person accepts the basic irrelevance of the human condition, an irrelevance which is manifested above all by the fact of death.

– Thomas Merton, “Clouds and Water”

I offer the following three videos in order to give you some perspective about the basic irrelevance of the human condition.

The first one shows the helical motion of the planets as the sun moves along in the galaxy at 70,000 km/hr. The old heliocentric model is shown to be incorrect, just like the earth centric model was proven wrong in the 16th by Nicolaus Copernicus and verified by Galileo Galilei with his telescope and the discovery of the four largest moons of Jupiter.

Now this model of the universe is out of date. The planets, moons and other space matter follow the sun as it moves through the Milky Way.

Watch the video to see what I mean.

Now, there is even another twist to the movement of the sun and the Milky Way. The Milky Way, itself, travels around the local group of galaxies in the local supercluster at the rate of about 600 km/sec. It takes the solar system 226 million years to rotate once around the galaxy. So the helical motion becomes more like a vortex.

Please watch the second video.

The Milky Way is just one of the many galaxies in our local group which is called a super cluster. Cosmologists have given the name Laniakea to our supercluster. Laniakea is a Hawaiian word meaning “immeasurable heaven.”

Is this possibly what the Buddha meant when he taught the Four Immeasurable Minds of loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity? It seems to me that when we cultivate the Four Immeasurable Minds, we certainly enter the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of the present moment.

Please now watch the third video.

Do these videos give you a good idea about the basic irrelevance of the human condition? Do they make you think about how insignificant human life actually is? What do you think?

Books by Thomas Merton

The Asian Journal of Thomas Merton (New Directions Books)

Thomas Merton

“This is quintessential Merton.”—The Catholic Review.

“The moment of takeoff was ecstatic…joy. We left the ground—I with Christian mantras and a great sense of destiny, of being at last on my true way after years of waiting and wondering…” With these … [Read More…]

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