If you were to gather all of your friends and exclaim, “I am the universe, and so are all of you!” you would probably stop getting invited to parties. However, if you were amongst Physicists or Zen people, they would congratulate you for realising your basic inseparability from the ongoing process that we call “The Big Bang”.

Go back 13.8 billion years. Within the next fraction of a second, all of the laws of Physics will have come into existence and the universe will have increased in size by an enormous amount from the initial single speck. Three minutes later, while everything is being shot out at an incredible speed in all directions all at once, the first simple atoms are beginning to form, collecting as vast clouds of dust and gas called Nebulae. It is not until 150 million years later after the universe has continued to expand that the first Nebula collapses due to its own gravity and begins to burn hot and bright at its core. A star is born.

All stars eventually run out of fuel to burn, but it is only the heavier stars that undergo a spectacular explosion called a supernova, blasting out into space the elements formed from the burning process, to later collect as new nebulae elsewhere. These elements are no longer the simple atoms from the original Nebula, but are a mixture of all of the heavier atoms up to Uranium – a multiplicity of which are vital for life.

Curious isn’t it? Stars seemingly have a life cycle as though they were living things just like you and I. This new ‘baby’ nebula grows just like its parents once did, but now I want to draw your attention to the smaller amount of dust and gas that didn’t quite make it into the burning core. Don’t be sorry – this ring of dust that now orbits the star begins to condense too, sticking together into lumps of rock and gas, growing over time into planets of a variety of shapes, sizes, and distances from the sun.

Now, there is a chance that a planet may grow at a certain distance from the star, in what is called the “Goldilocks Zone”. Warming your hands by a campfire at night, if you are too far away you’ll feel cold, but get too close and you’ll burn yourself. That is to say that there is a distance that is “just right”, wherein life can comfortably exist. The “Goldilocks Planet” is a planet which grows a goo of stable molecules from which the first self replicating molecule emerged – developing into the fundamental building blocks of life, which themselves grew into you and I over millions of years of evolution.

Don’t forget that all of this is the still ongoing process of the Big Bang. Therefore who you are can be nothing less than the emergence of the entirety of the universe. Right here, doing whatever you are doing at this particular point in space and time. So you see, you don’t have to worry about anything, because whatever you do or wherever you go, you’re always home.

Social Zen © 2018