Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Numinous

I have seen god. I realize that is a bold statement, but it is true. Not only did I see the numinous, but it drove me to tears today. Hubble Space Telescope released a new deep field image today (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2009/31/). It is the deepest probe into the depths of the universe yet. It is a look at the darkest sliver of space. And though this piece of the sky only 2.4 arcminutes wide (about than a 1/12th of the full moon), it is saturated with galaxies, some of the youngest ever observed.

I look at this image, which could easily be surpassed by images of nebulae and supernova remnants since they are more colorful, and see the majesty of it. Each galaxy in the image is home to billions of stars. It makes me feel so small, and yet so warm. I am the product of a grand plan older than I can image, created by something/someone/some-unnamable. This universe is beautiful, it expands farther than human imagination and varies more than we can guess. I look at the deep field and I see the numinous, the powers-that-be, God.

All I can do is look at it, smile and cry.

J.R. West

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