It’s funny to appear at ourselves and see how we quarrel about the littlest things… just like the behavior of an annoying coworker during a gathering or the one that cuts us off in traffic.
From my very own experience, it’s very easy to get dragged along by a minor event, in an exceedingly way that a dog is obsessive about a stick. We worry, anxiously, about the long run, and endlessly ruminate about the past. But, from a cosmic point of view, how significant are the items we invest most emotional energy in really? although practicing Stoicism may be considered a very serious undertaking; there’s also a way of looseness to seek out within the words of Marcus Aurelius when he speaks of the insignificance of our lives in reference to the larger picture. The world will cover us all, then be transformed in turn, which too will change, with no sign of ending. which also, forever and ever. consider them: the waves of change and alteration, endlessly breaking. And see our brief mortality for what it’s.
In these eternal cycles of life and death, creation and recreation, we are even but a grain of sand within the Sahara desert compared to what we are within the universe. This doesn’t remove that the human experience is intense and our senses are constantly tingled during our short lives on our small, blue planet. Sometimes we get so entangled within the human drama, that we experience emotional disturbances like anger and anxiety. Some people are obsessive about wealth and fame, willing to form great sacrifices to urge to the highest, while, presumably, their names will be forgotten 100 years from now. And whether or not you belong to the lucky few whose names are preserved throughout the centuries; it’s still insignificant once we look at it from a wider perspective.
Considering the entropic nature of the universe, the earth will disappear at some point. If we don’t destroy it ourselves, and the planet escapes the destruction by a meteor, it’ll eventually be swallowed by the Sun when it enters the red giant star phase. Who cares, then, what quantity of money you had in your savings account? Who won the Nobel peace prize? Even the bloody wars we humans have engaged in will become insignificant.
All things move in unison with their appointed times; they’re destined to change state, to grow, and to be destroyed. the celebrities which you see moving above us, and this seemingly immovable earth to which we cling and on which we are set, are going to be consumed and will cease to exist.
The thought of our insignificance could lead some people to despair. But it also can be a really calming thought. The day to day problems that caused us so many headaches, the constant striving for goals that we deem utterly important, over analyzing the past and future, obsessive brooding about what should be and may have been; what if we could view all this from a distance, and reduce it all to what it really is: a mere dot in one among the countless galaxies within the universe?
What foundation is going to be left for worry, greed, or anger? The fashionable Stoics have turned the musings about humanity’s place within the cosmos into an exercise called ‘The View From Above’.
This exercise gives us a short-lived break from our daily affairs and puts them in another light. Changing our position towards external things changes the way we predict about them which, in turn, changes how we feel. It’s a Stoic variety of meditation to calm the mind. you begin the ‘View From Above’ by visualizing yourself within your close and direct environment. It’s such as you are being watched through the lens of a complicated telescope that’s placed thousands of light-years away.
Imagine an alien civilization that’s able to observe earth in real-time, watching you sitting on a chair or lying in bed in your room. Now, the telescope zooms out a bit and focuses on your house. Then, your neighborhood. You’re already quite small in comparison to all the streets and other houses. Now, it’s a town and its environment. See how small you’re. You would not be even noticed by him. Just like others surrounding you. It’s become impossible to look at you with the optic. Then, compared to the vast countries or oceans that surround the town, it’s has become nothing over a tiny low dot. The continents are spread around the globe, which predominantly consists of oceans that hold vast areas that we haven’t discovered yet, and you are negligible now, just like a zero after decimal in the money. Earth is merely a little planet compared to other planets like Neptune or Jupiter, which, in their turn, are tiny compared to the sun. The sun isn’t really a giant star compared to, let’s say, Antares, which is 850 times its size. Both the Sun and Antares are a part of the MilkyWay which contains between 150 and 250 billion stars. When the aliens turn the telescope away from our galaxy and direct it outwards, it registers millions, even billions of other galaxies, many even bigger than our own. Meditating on how small we are within the grand scheme of things, how short our lives are, and what we see as important matters less than we expect, is both freeing and humbling.