Essays > Science, IT, Nature — 14 January 2014

Shanti shares his insights about time, history, and the universe.

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated ourselves over the threshold of 2013 towards a brand-new 2014. These numbers are pretty artificial. They don’t do any justice to our real history. On Thursday, March 21, 2013 the European Planck Space Telescope made the most accurate estimate of the age of our universe:

We are (not 13.7 but) 13.8 billion years old.

I love to introduce you to one of my teachers, David Christian, a man who’s book Maps of Time has been a good source of inspiration and information for me while writing my Chronicle of the Earth. David has a dream and Bill Gates is supporting him since 2011 to make this dream a reality. His dream is called the ‘Big History Project’.

Big_History_Hero_Molecule

Big History is the story every one of us should know. It’s the story of our 13.8 billion years of shared history.

It’s a universal story based on recent scientific research.
It’s relevant to anyone and everyone, because it’s our story,
the story of our universe, our planet, the life on our planet
and our own life as well and how all this is interconnected.


I studied this story a few years ago, taught at my Alma Mater, the University of Amsterdam. This subject is being taught now to secondary school students all over the world. Gradually it will take the place of yesterday’s legends and myths. I think it is wonderful that this story is being told to all tomorrow’s people worldwide, updated every day with the new findings in this Golden Age of science.

The project is a joint effort between teachers, scholars and scientists. Bill Gates is funding the ‘Big History Project’ to help bring the course to everyone for free. November 1, 2013 he announced the Big History Course is available now for anyone and everybody to take it online. He himself calls it his “favourite course of all time”. You want to see for yourself? Here it is: Big History Project

You want to spend less than 18 minutes and see David explaining your very own history to you? So watch his 2011 TED talk. You may enjoy it and so did I – History of our World in 18 Minutes

You may need a couple of more minutes than just 18 for reflection upon this long history. Have a look through a wonderful book and walk more slowly, in your own pace, through the evolution of life on Earth: A Walk Through Time: From Stardust To Us by Sidney Liebes.

This kind of scientific information I love sharing with you makes me aware that being here today is being at this particular place in our universe, that being now is being at the turning point of our long past and a much longer future; our universe is still very young, no more than 13.800.002.014 years!

It makes me think also of the beautiful words of 13th century poet and mystic, Jalal ad’Din Rumi:

I spent millions of years
in the world of inorganic things,
as a star, as a rock…
Then I died and became a plant,
forgetting my former existence
because of its otherness.
Then I died and became an animal,
forgetting my life as a plant.
Then I died and became a human.
And when I die again I will soar past the angels
to places I cannot imagine.
Now, what have I ever lost by dying?

I died as a mineral and became a plant,
I died as plant and rose to animal,
I died as animal and I was Man.
Why should I fear?
When was I less by dying?
Yet once more I shall die as man
To soar with angels blessed.
But even from angel-hood I must pass on
and when I sacrifice my angel soul
I shall become what no mind ever conceived.


Let Life be a blessing in your New Year!

With love, Shanti

Photo credit www.history.com

 

Shanti TNShanti is Osho’s sannyasin for more than 35 years. A psychology teacher by profession, he translated the books of Roberto Assagioli and introduced ‘Psychosynthesis’ in Holland. He gave numerous workshops on witnessing and accepting sub-personalities. Later he was trained by Dr Edward de Bono in ‘Thinking Skills’ and worked as a management trainer. Nowadays he enjoys writing a book, ‘Chronicle of the Earth’, the history of our planet from the Big Bang up to Now.

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