Where do we come from?

On http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/2019/03/physics-with-bjorn-cosmology-and.html the physicist Bjorn Brudberg asks us to consider the Big Bang theory and the concept of the expanding universe:-  

Once I asked Google –  “What was before the Big Bang?”

I received a number of answers.   The one that intrigued me the most was the idea that the Big Bang emerged from a singularity.   This singularity was the last remaining trace of a previous universe.   This previous universe had gone through a period of expansion after its creation from its own Big Bang.  After eons of time the energy released during that Big Bang dissipated and the universe that preceded ours began to implode back in upon itself.   Eventually all that remained was the singularity that eventually exploded in the Big Bang which released the energy which birthed our universe.   In time this energy will expend itself and our universe will implode.  It too will become a singularity that will, at some point, explode in another Big Bang.   A new universe will then come being.

While I may not have grasped the finer points of this concept I was struck by the similarity between it and a Hindu creation story that is recounted in the Upanishads, an ancient text compiled around 800-200 b.c.   Once again I may not have grasped the finer points of the story but as I understand it goes like this:-

When the god Brahma breathes out, all life comes into being.   When Brahma breathes in all life ceases to be.   When Brahma breathes out again life comes into being once more.  All existence is Brahma breathing in and out, in and out, in vast cycles of time and no time.

Are Brahma and the singularity one and the same?   Perhaps it is that our universe is part of a an endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth.




Rock of Ages

prompt:  https://dutchgoesthephoto.net/2019/03/26/tuesday-photo-challenge-years/

DSCF9143-02Down in south west Victoria, Australia there is a rocky point known since white settlement as Point Ritchie.   To the local aboriginal tribe, the Gundjitmara, the place has always been called Moyjil.


Since the  1980s archaeologists have been studying evidence of aboriginal occupation at Moyjil.   High up on the cliffs in a spot that is off limits to the public they have found evidence of a fire pit that could possibly date back as much as 120,000 years.  If this can be proved it totally rewrites the story of human habitation in Australia.   Up until now the aboriginal settlement of this part of the country has been estimated to be around 30,000 years.  https://rsv.org.au/moyjil/

Elsewhere in Australia scientists have discovered evidence of aboriginal habitation that dates back 65,000 years.  The idea that habitation could date back even further is too much of stretch for some scientists who feel the fire pit might be nothing more than evidence that a tree burnt down to the ground all those many, many thousands of years ago.  https://cosmosmagazine.com/archaeology/claim-that-australia-was-settled-60-000-years-earlier-than-thought-disputed

Which ever estimation proves to be correct there is something about Moyjil that gets to me.   Clambering around on the rocks there I have often had the sense that I am walking with ancient spirits.

DSCN8656-01-01 (1)

A friend and I went looking evidence of aboriginal settlement ourselves one morning in late summer a couple of years ago.   At the base of the cliffs we found circles of fire blackened stones surrounded by reddened rings.  The markings were so subtle it was hard to take photographs of them so I will post a video that is absolutely fascinating viewing.


There’s so much going on in the world I need to clear my head.   Driving away from town I take a bumpy dirt road down to a beach where not many go.  From there I walk through the dunes to the open sea   There is nothing but sea and sky between me and Antarctica.

DSCN9984-02-01 - Copy (640x480)

Walking along the beach I collect scraps of plastic thrown up by tide.    I find a beer bottle with a Chinese label.   The lid is still on and there is still beer inside the bottle.   I figure it must have washed off a fishing trawler somewhere out there in the Southern Ocean.

I stand and watch the waves.  DSCF0116 (480x640)

Beyond the horizon big trawlers from across the globe ply the waters – who knows how many are out there and if they are fishing sustainably.    Three miles off-shore an oil company is doing exploratory drilling for natural gas.    I’ve signed a petition against it but right now Big Oil rules the waves.   Beyond the rigs the Sea Sheppard vessels will be harassing the Japanese whalers as the whales swim north to calve.   Closer to Antarctica the sea will be choked with melting ice bergs that have broken off the continental ice sheet.   Recently I read Antarctica is breaking up faster than the scientists anticipated.

I stand watching the waves and am overwhelmed with sadness for the state of the planet.   Doom and hopelessness engulf me as I think of the whole sorry mess of species extinction, climate change and seas full of plastic while governments besotted by the dollars handed out by global corporations stand idly by.   Dystopian images of death and destruction gleaned from movies, news reports and bleak contemporary fiction flood my mind.   Everything seems pointless.

I take deep breaths to calm myself.   The Om of the waves as they lap the shore soothes me and my heart opens to the beauty of the moment.

2017-12-30-20-49-21 (640x340)

As I watch the sunlight sparkling on the waves I glimpse alternate futures where the ingenuity and resilience of humanity gathers strength – futures where ecological awareness blossoms into understandings of the interconnection of all things.   I see futures where harmonious and creative ways of living evolve into cohesive social structures where all people are respected.  I see the Earth regenerating and ecological balance being restored.

As I stand and watch the waves it comes to me that this is a pivotal time.   No one can possibly know  exactly what the future will bring.    I, like every one of us, now face a choice.   I can let myself be swept up into the mindset where all hope as gone or I can learn to surf the waves.

009 (640x480)

prompt:   https://scvincent.com/2016/05/26/thursday-photo-prompt-still-water-writephoto/













Blue Space


1. Going to the beach reduces stress –
The positive ions in the coastal atmosphere create feelings of ease in the mind.0092. The beach boosts your creativity
The blue space of the beach clears the head and promotes feelings of calm that enable you to reflect on creative ideas.Days end - East Beach

3. Going to the beach can help reduce feelings of depression
The sound of waves combined with the sight and smells of the beach can induce a meditative state that alleviates feelings of sadness and depression.


4. Spending time at the beach changes your perspective on life

161 (1)

Personally I didn’t need science to tell me that going to the beach makes me feel good but I couldn’t resist combining these scientific ideas with haiga I wrote long before I read an article about it this morning.

Reading the article did make me want to go to the beach but the wind is extremely strong here today.   Just going out the back door demands intensive planning.  Driving my car to the beach would require precise scientific calculations about wind velocity, the mass of my car and the nature of the surrounding terrain. Instead I contented myself with going through my files to find haiga about blue space.  I wrote the one below for colleen’s poetry challenge for this week.   In my mind it works as a response to her prompt but, quite possibly, I’ve been spending too much time in blue space.

tuning in

Just in case you prefer your blue space without words as I usually do here are some word free images.

2017-09-14 14.40.51-01

001 (1)