Did you know that the moon moves a little further from the Earth by 3.8 cm every day?
As a being who is approximately 70% water, I find it difficult to believe that the moon, which provides major high tides to both sides of the planet once a day, does not have anything to do with my cellular makeup, or daily function.
I grew up in a fairly “woo-woo” town (that is to say, liberal, witchy, hippie town) of Olympia, Washington. The moon has always been fascinating to me.
I remember going for a late night drive with my parents at a young age. From my car seat, I watched the stars and the moon bobbing by from the comforts of the car. The moon seemed to buoy along in the sky next to us, and I said, “Mommy, why is the moon following me?”
It was beyond my reckoning to imagine that a celestial body, ¼ the size of Earth, was simply nearly eternally visible from my vantage point (and many others, provided there weren’t clouds in the sky) and was not some amicable, floating friend which functioned as a nightlight for me.
I am still learning the lesson that the world does not revolve around me, as a therapist recently pointed out. Thanks for that one, Jim.
NASA has projected a return to the moon in 2024. Some NASA employees say that it could be later than that, but the point is, mankind is returning to the moon. (If you think the moon landing was a hoax, get the heck outta here.) We are adapting to imagine our own pollutant potential on the surface of the moon, rather than just looking at what we can bring back. There is speculation there may eventually be a permanently “manned” space station on the moon, and space travel seems ever more imminent.
I don’t know how I feel about this. Space travel is unequivocally impressive, but part of me wonders what else we could use those funds for (exploring more than the 3% of the ocean we’ve bothered looking at, for example, or say, feeding the world’s population).
I can only hope that taking a look from the galactic perspective will encourage us to unify and progress as a species.
For a series of months about three years ago, I was obsessed with the Great Filter Theory.
The Great Filter Theory, at its simplest glimpse, attests that intelligent life reaches an “intelligence threshold” at which point their technology either consumes and destroys them, or they transcend greed and material problems. This is a hypothesis as to why we haven’t heard from other intelligent life, which, according to the Drake Equation (touched on in the above link), is likely to exist. Either there are already intelligent life forms out there which have, for whatever reason, denied connecting with us (I imagine much like Star Trek’s Prime Directive), is unable to contact us, or has “failed” the Great Filter Theory and has consumed itself with its own obsession with technology, a fate I wonder if we are heading towards.
While I by no means consider myself a war-mongerer, I understand that NASA’s budget comes out of the National Defense Budget—though this is a very small proportion of what the military gets—and is less than 0.5% of the total U.S. spending budget, according to (and I say this somewhat begrudgingly and with a self-aware grain of salt) Wikipedia.
What are the goals and aims of such endeavors? Is extraterrestrial colonization a viable option? Only time will tell. I leave that in the hands of those much smarter than me. Lord knows I don’t fucking know what to make of our changing planet as it relates to space exploration. I am just hoping to leave a smaller carbon footprint than the generation before me.
I took a long, hot bath today while listening to a hertz frequency designed to relieve anxiety and negative energy. In candlelight, I read the label of my Doctor Bronner’s soap in its entirety and, while doing my best not to be caught in the obvious snare of its religious rhetoric, was amazed by the idealogy of the late 1800s German-Jewish immigrant who took it upon himself to brand his soap with world unity and peace. That’s a man with a vision.
I don’t have faith in much anymore (aside from my aforementioned faith in the internet, and also the approximately 7 billion iterations of “truth” which exist in each human individual on the planet) but I have faith in NASA, and the epic, universal truth of space.
I have faith in the fact that you and I are composed of star guts. I have faith in the moon, and the tides.
Watching documentaries on space encourages me to look up and stop looking within. Perhaps if we all took a little more time to think universally, the majority of human drama would not exist.
Speculation doesn’t do much good without evidence to back it up. I am in my early stages as a scientist of human behavior. I am still collecting data. I am still learning what it means to love, and love fully.
But I know that come tomorrow, the moon will still be there, if 3.8 cm further away than the night before. I know she will continue to moderate our tides, my menstrual cycle, and the feelings which seem to take me by storm. I know there are scientists and mathematicians working diligently to shake out the mysteries of the universe. And that is worth believing in.