Stars from a wall painting in Tomb of Karakhamun at Qurnet Murai, Egypt circa 700BC
Ancient stars in their death throes spat out atoms like iron which this universe had never known. … Now the iron of old nova coughings vivifies the redness of our blood.
— Howard Bloom, Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st century (2003)
“When I look up at the night sky, and I know that, yes, we are part of this Universe, we are in this Universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts is that the Universe is in us. When I reflect on that fact, I look up—many people feel small, because they’re small and the Universe is big, but I feel big, because my atoms came from those stars.” - Neil DeGrasse Tyson
The atoms that currently form me will have all come from something else. Some may have previously been in the rocks of Mount Everest, or perhaps they were sea water, a giant redwood tree, oxygen in the atmosphere, or the soil under our feet. They could have come from just about anything, even from other planets. Some of my atoms will previously have been part of another person many years ago, and after my death, given enough decades to fully re-circulate, will again form part of someone else, and also something else. All over the planet, since it was created, atoms have been busily re-cycling from one form to another; at times being part of inanimate objects and other times being part of a living thing, be it plant or animal or human. In a strange and paradoxical way we are both temporary and eternal, thanks to our atoms.
Keith Mayes, Science, The Universe and God, 2004
Quantum physics has now proven that everything we see is an illusion, that the physical world is an illusion. Everything is made up of interacting energy. Energy interacts on a subatomic level to form energy fields which physicists call subatomic particles. These subatomic energy fields interact to form atomic energy fields, atoms, which interact to form molecules. Everything in the physical world is made up of interacting atomic and molecular energy fields. There is no such thing as separation in the physical world. Energy is interacting to form a gigantic, dynamic pattern of rhythmically repeating energy interactions. In other words, a dance of energy. We are all part of a gigantic dance of energy. This Universe is one gigantic pattern of dancing energy patterns.
Think of an experience from your childhood. Something you remember clearly, something you can see, feel, maybe even smell, as if you were really there. After all you really were there at the time, weren’t you? How else could you remember it? But here is the bombshell: you weren’t there. Not a single atom that is in your body today was there when that event took place …. Matter flows from place to place and momentarily comes together to be you. Whatever you are, therefore, you are not the stuff of which you are made. If that does not make the hair stand up on the back of your neck, read it again until it does, because it is important.
Union Carbide advertisement (1960)
Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. So that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. That’s kinda cool! That makes me smile and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It’s not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us. — Neil deGrasse Tyson
But how could we possibly explain anything? We operate only with things that do not exist: lines, planes, bodies, atoms, divisible time spans, divisible spaces. How should explanations be at all possible when we first turn everything into an image, our image!
There are different worlds in which we live. There’s the macroscopic world that we see. There’s the world of our cells. There’s the world of our atoms. There’s the world of our nuclei. These are each totally different worlds. They have their own language. They have their own mathematics. They’re not just smaller— Each is totally different. But they’re complementary, because I am my atoms… but I am also my cells. I’m also my macroscopic physiology. It’s all true. They’re just different levels of truth. The deepest level of truth uncovered by science and by philosophy is the fundamental truth of unity. At that deepest subnuclear level of our reality… you and I are literally one.