This is Galaxy Cluster Abell 1689. Each glowing orb visible here is a giant elliptical galaxy with more than a thousand billion stars. The mass of this cluster is so great that it acts as a colossal gravitational lens, bending light from galaxies behind it into distorted shapes. Within this image there could be as many as one quadrillion (1,000,000,000,000,000) planets and moons. What events are happening in this tiny patch of sky? Far, far more than we can ever imagine…
This whole existence is in love: these trees are moving tremendously in love; these stars, these rivers rushing towards the ocean, are rushing towards a love-affair where they can meet and merge. Watch, and you will find everywhere the shadow of love, the thrill, the excitement, the ecstasy of love. Whatsoever the form, if you look deeply, you will always find something throbbing at the center which cannot be anything other than love.
A human being is a part of the whole called by us “the universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest - a kind of optical illusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening the circle of understanding and compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
We do not “come into” this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean “waves,” the universe “peoples.” Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe.
Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics. You are all stardust. You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded. Because the elements, the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars. And the only way they could get into your body is if the stars were kind enough to explode. So forget Jesus. The stars died so you could be here today.