Universal Appeal

Stargazing Live - Jodrell BankWatching Stargazing Live on the BBC over the past three nights has left me feeling comfortable in the knowledge that we are all part of an incredibly beautiful Universe.

Whether the inane comments of David Baddiel left you saddened at the continued ‘dumbing down’ of science programs on the BBC, or not, you could not have failed to be in awe of the wonders on view.

The numbers involved in astronomy are are simply mind blowing, astronomical you might say. The Earth is our own very special piece of rock, orbiting a very ordinary star, but that star is one of billions that we know of up to now. So to imagine that we are the only life in that Universe is little short of preposterous. Just because we haven’t found it, or it found us, doesn’t mean life isn’t out there.

With the Buddhist view of the Wheel Of Life, the cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth, I believe we experience changes in external form, whilst remaining the same ‘packet’ of energy throughout eternity and across the entire Universe. The more science learns about the laws governing energy, be that by way of quantum physics or the nature of astronomical phenomenon, the better the fit with Buddhist teaching seems to become.

Dara O’Briain and the ever popular Professor Brian Cox have again brought us another excellent program about astronomy. Their enthusiasm is infectious, reminding us of the late great Sir Patrick Moore, who will be sadly missed by many viewers. I’ve been keen on astronomy for more than fifty years, and it never ceases to amaze me to see Buddhism and its principles, going hand in glove with a science I love.

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