Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Wonder of the Universe is Wondering In Us

--by Paul Fleischman (Apr 24, 2017)

The universe is very big and very old. It was only discovered by us in the twentieth century. When you look up at the night stars you aren’t seeing it. Our Milky Way galaxy alone has billions of stars, but we can see only thousands with our naked eyes. There are billions of galaxies like the Milky Way that can be seen through our telescopes, and the light by which we see distant galaxies has traveled for billions of years to enter the telescopic lenses. There may even be other universes. Our universe can be seen through the Hubble Space Telescopes and has been expanding since its origin fourteen billion years ago.

We are animals born to hunt, multiply, and adapt. Our brains grew to help us survive, and they set limits to our understanding. We can’t grasp the dimensions that numbers tell us about the age or size of the universe. The complexity of so many light-years and galaxies is overwhelming. In order to reduce our fears, we imagine we see patterns and parents, explanations and conclusions, often seeking comfort and security rather than accurate information. Yet we also can remain curious, inconclusive, hovering in wonder, unknowing in order to know more.

Our bodies contain octillions of atoms organized into intricate and functional patterns. All of our atoms came from Earth, which itself descended from previous suns and supernovae explosions. In our red blood cells, we contain cobalt, an element which is made only in supernovae. Our bodies are formed by trillions of cells that interact and cooperate. The numbers of atoms and cells are too big, and their interactions are too complex, rapid, and information-dense for us to understand. Our cells utilize chemical pathways that evolved in slow, interlocking success stories across billions of years. It took the history of the Earth for our complex brains and thoughts to become possible within life-forms.

We exist within a whole planet system. Green plants are the only living thing that can capture electromagnetic photons from the sun and turn invisible energy into sizzling bonds between atoms, to create the large molecules we call “food.” Plants also create the oxygen molecules we breathe. We breathe out the carbon dioxide that plants eat. All of life is interdependent and begins with sunlight, that comes from hydrogen atoms being fused in the sun. These solar hydrogen atoms are congealed from the energy that was released at the origin of the universe, which is everyone’s birth canal.

The universe has permitted the creation of living beings as complex, enduring, and insightful as we are. Our wondering minds are products of the universe. From within the universe, wonder about the universe has arisen, by accident, intention, or slow destiny. The wonder of the universe is wondering in us.

Paul R. Fleischman is a retired American psychiatrist, writer and meditation teacher in the tradition of S. N. Goenka. Excerpted from his book, Wonder: When and Why the World Appears Radiant.

Add Your Reflection:

Send me an email when another comment is posted on this passage.
Name: Email:

Previous Reflections:

On Apr 21, 2017 Jagdish P Dave wrote:

We live in two universes: the universe within and the universe without.Since the dawn of life, we as human beings have been wondering about  these two universes. We ask the core question; Who I am I? We look within and understand  different layers of I- physical, mental, emotional and relational.When we do not identify ourselves with the changing scenario of the I, the knowing of the I manifests. And this I is beyond time and space. It is universal and eternal. Until we realize that I, our wondering will continue,

The cosmos, the Universe is like the inner soul-the Cosmic I, the Universal I.. We have been expanding our knowledge and understanding of the Cosmos, the Universe.We as the inhabitants of this Universe are wondering about it and making space explorations.When we become aware of the vastness of this expanding Universe and compare it with the planet earth, we as human beings feel very humble. And when we look at ourselves with this cosmic lens, we realize how little is  our egoic self..

Such inner inquiries awaken me and I feel released and liberated from the little cage I live in. It seems to me that the essence of the inner world and the outer world is the same, beyond the conceptual lenses we may use to understand these two worlds. It feels like a mystery, a wonderment. I sense it when my mind ceases to wander. It gets still and remain open and clear like the blue sky.

May we be free from the bondage we create by ourselves and relate to the expanding inner and outer world!


Jagdish P Dave

On Apr 22, 2017 david doane wrote:

 How else could it be except that our wondering minds are products of the universe?  Everything is part of the universe, including our wondering minds.  When the notion began to sink in for me that all that is is one interconnected interrelated whole, I began to realize that the universe is a wonder and the wonder of the universe is wondering in and through us.  We are the universe in wonder of itself.  It is a wonder to me that I and every living and not living entity exists and is constantly interacting, evolving and expressing in different forms.  What helps me connect with wonder and inquire into it is my awe about it which results in my continuing to expand my awareness about the interconnectedness and unity of the universe.

On Apr 25, 2017 Ronald wrote:


On Apr 25, 2017 Rajesh wrote:

Wonder-ful passage. Indeed, the time and space dimensions spoken of here are so unfathomable! Puts one in place -:)

On Apr 26, 2017 Rajeev wrote:

 Awesome writing .. impactful simple write-up.. 

On Apr 26, 2017 Rajeev wrote:

 How wonderfully written.. Thanks for it

On Jan 6, 2018 Hamza Mehmood wrote:


On Oct 4, 2018 mk bags wrote: Bolsas Michael Kors Precios Michael Kors Rebajas Bolsos Michael Kors Outlet Michael Kors Väska Rea Michael Kors Rea Michael Kors Plånbok Longchamp Soldes Sac A Main Longchamp Sac À Main Longchamp

On Oct 9, 2018 teena wrote:

  Thanks for sharing the post. This is a great list to use in the futur free gift cards generator and free gift cards generator and free gift cards generator

On Oct 19, 2018 Tania wrote:

 It is a wonder to me that I and every living and not living entity exists and is constantly interacting, evolving and expressing in different forms.  What helps me connect with wonder and inquire into it is my awe about it which results in my continuing to expand my awareness about the interconnectedness and unity of the universe.

On Nov 11, 2018 john wrote:

I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to start my own Godaddy 1 dollar domain blog now.

On Dec 11, 2018 pinal wrote:

Online video downloader for Youtube, Facebook, Dailymotion, Vimeo online video downloader